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The History Of Bungalow Style Homes

Anchored around charming front porches, this craftsman style architecture dates back to 18th century colonial India and the United States arts and crafts movement of the 1900s.  Jeanne Sager composed an excellent article for that captures the best of the origins and the features that make a true bungalow style home!

Think: focal-point fireplaces, charming dormers, coffered ceilings, exposed rafter tails, and open floor plans. At one point, the Craftsman became such an American classic, you could even build your own bungalow from a kit in a mail-order catalog. Just one more thing to love about these Craftsman cuties!

Bungalows have spawned a variety of styles—Mission, Tudor, Prairie Pueblo, Chicago, Cape Cod, and even Victorian (a seemingly contradictory mashup), among others—but the Craftsman bungalow is arguably the most popular. Craftsman houses are found in neighborhoods throughout the United States today, having taken root in Southern California in the early 1900s. Bungalows are also particularly common in the Midwest.

The term “Craftsman” comes from the name of a popular magazine published by the furniture designer Gustav Stickley from 1901 through 1916. Stickley was a leading proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, which bucked the rise of industrial mass manufacturing by espousing the virtues of handcraft and simple, folksy design.

While Craftsman-style homes are often described as simple in design (compared to, say, Victorian-style homes), the details are not especially austere. Bungalows, which could be built without an excess of materials or effort, suited the Arts and Crafts movement and were designed with the working class in mind. Craftsman homes are relatively small, easy to care for, have no wasted space, and are easily tailored to the owner’s preferences.

Sager reported Stickley started selling Craftsman bungalow kits through his magazine for the low price of about $1,000 (which was cheap even for the early 1900s). From there, the popularity of Craftsman bungalows took off. Copycat Craftsman designs began to crop up from architects throughout the United States, with kits available in the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog, among other sources.

Key features of a Craftsman style bungalow home include:
Low-pitched, gabled roof (occasionally hipped), with wide, unenclosed eave overhang
Exposed roof rafters
One and a half stories
Horizontal shape
Porch with thick square or round columns
Porch supports usually squared and sometimes tapered
Porch support bases extending to ground level
Wood, stone, or stucco siding
Exterior stone chimney
Most of the living spaces on the ground floor
Living room at the center
Dominant fireplace
Connecting rooms without hallways
Built-in furniture and lighting
Numerous windows
Detailed wainscoting and moldings

Peebles Homes, a Dayton new home builder, invites you to experience the intimacy of bungalow style living at Downing Farm in Washington Township, Ohio where you’ll find five freshly designed bungalow home plans available now in a low-maintenance new home community.  The Belterra, a bungalow style model home is open Sunday through Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m. at 300 W. Social Row in Washington Township, OH.

About Peebles Homes: Locally owned Peebles Homes is a third-generation new home builder offering energy efficient new homes in the Dayton area for over 80 years. Offering new homes in some of the finest communities, Peebles Homes is an active member of the Dayton HBA. Second generation homebuilder Tom Peebles served as President of the HBA in 1995 and was picked by his peers as the 1994 Builder of the Year based on a record of leadership and accomplishment. In 2009, Tom was awarded the prestigious Robert E. McDaniel-Karl Zengel Leadership Award for demonstrated leadership accomplishments over a career. Third generation homebuilder, John Peebles, is a graduate of Southern Adventist University and a Certified Green Professional by the National Association of Home Builders. John has served on the Board of the Home Builders Association since 2013, serving as Vice President in 2016 and President in 2017. John was also named the 2018 Builder Member of the Year for contributions to the industry and the community.

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