Californians Love Craftsman Bungalows!
According to a recent market update from the California Association of Realtors, 1/3 of buyers say the Craftsman bungalow is their dream home. Some of our local communities, including Long Beach, San Pedro, Pasadena, and Orange, have beautiful examples of Craftsman architecture and are sought out by those who love the homes.
So what is it about the Craftsman bungalow that has people swooning?
First, lets discuss what makes a bungalow a bungalow:
The dictionary defines a bungalow in very vague, simple terms: A one or one-and-a- half story dwelling. However, the vast majority of bungalows have a few key characteristics:
- A large front porch
- A horizontal orientation
- An open floor plan
- A low profile
- Low-pitched gable or hipped roof, often with dormer windows
History of Practicality:
Most bungalows were built in the early 1930’s and typically have an exterior made of rustic, handcrafted materials. Perhaps the most common characteristic of a bungalow is the low, horizontal floor plan. It is near impossible to have a bungalow with a large, vertical build. The low floor plan goes well with the large porches that are also associated with bungalows.
Because many bungalows are from the 19th century, the large porches were built and used as a means of access to fresh air. During the 19th century, residents were extremely wary of diseases such as tuberculosis. Thus, families were eager to ventilate their homes well. The large porches were also built as attachments to the small homes to serve as space-saving solutions.
Furthermore, the horizontal design of bungalows gets its practical history from the 19th century too. The horizontal style was built as such to keep the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer months.
Bungalows are associated with open floor plans. This style was taken from the Japanese style architecture in the first two decades of the 20th century. Creating an open space was seen as a way to increase ventilation and natural sunlight. The simplicity of the Japanese style signified a healthy home.
Bungalows get their name from Bengal, a province in India. In the early 18th century, British colonial administrators built the homes to be used as summer retreats in the Himalayas as well as in compounds outside of the city. In the early stages of the bungalow, it was viewed as a “resort style home,” so when the first bungalow made its way over to the U.S. it was actually a two-story house built in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The resort style quickly caught the attention of the west coast. Because California was seen as the ideal vacation spot, bungalows started popping up everywhere. It was here that the simple characteristics and small build of modern bungalows started appearing.
Bungalows soon became an affordable housing option for people in cities and suburbs. The bungalow filled the American ideal of being able to live in a simple, cozy home with a garden and large porch for friends and family to gather together.
What sets a Craftsman Bungalow apart from the rest?
The Craftsman bungalow is a favorite among home buyers because of the detailed handiwork that is visible throughout these homes. From handcrafted, built in cabinets to specially designed hardware and gabled roofs, every Craftsman bungalow feels original.
Bungalows are a breath of fresh air among the excessively large, upscale modern homes that are common in the United States. They are simple, cozy homes made to actually live in. They also represent an old school American ideal that clearly still resonates with home buyers. Many have front porches and open living and dining areas that make them feel spacious and inviting.
The Craftsman bungalow is not just the work of an architect, rather it is the result of artistic craftsmanship. Craftsman bungalows are popular homes to raise a family in because the nature of the home is well suited to communal living. However, because bungalows are not typically oversized, they are very pleasant homes for single buyers too.
So many people have swooned for Craftsman bungalows that an industry of sorts has been built around it. Looking for reading material? You can find lots of great books, including Paul Duscherer & Douglas Keister’s popular The Bungalow and Outside the Bungalow, which feature lots of great information on bungalows and gorgeous images of homes, including many from right in Long Beach and Pasadena as well as other Southern California communities. American Bungalow Magazine also offers a wealth of information for bungalow lovers. In Pasadena, Pasadena Heritage puts on a two-day Craftsman Weekend each year, allowing bungalow lovers to immerse themselves with bus and walking tours, speakers, vendor fairs, and more.
Where Can You Find Bungalows?
In Long Beach, CA you can find some great examples of Craftsman bungalows in Belmont Heights, Bluff Heights, Rose Park, and Carroll Park neighborhoods. There are also bungalows across the harbor in San Pedro and further inland in the old town areas of Orange as well as in Pasadena. Price ranges can vary depending on the size of the home, the lot size, and the neighborhood.
If you’re interested in buying a Craftsman bungalow in Long Beach or elsewhere in Los Angeles or Orange County, please let us know and we’d be happy to help you find the home of your dreams!