How to Decorate a Bungalow

Written by dawn sutton
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How to Decorate a Bungalow
Decorating small homes such as bungalows present some challenges. (Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images)

The term bungalow often refers to any house that utilises space efficiently. Bungalows usually have one floor, a low-pitched roof and a horizontal layout. Bungalows come in various architectural styles such as the Craftsman bungalow, the Cape Cod bungalow and the California bungalow. Many bungalows have connecting rooms without the use of a lot of hallways. The challenges in decorating bungalows lie in how to make small areas appear more spacious.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Choose your overall style design for your bungalow before experimenting with home decor ideas. If you own a Craftsman bungalow, for example, and wish to maintain its original character, consider pottery, metalware accessories, candlesticks and handblown glass. Alternatively, plan an eclectic cottage look, an eco-friendly garden home, a traditional or modern style decor theme.

  2. 2

    Make the most of outdoor space to enlarge your living areas. Use the part of your backyard closest to the house as an extra living room, for example, by using weather-resistant couches and chairs, a coffee table and end tables. Add an outdoor dining area with a table and chairs. Consider a pergola, awning or patio roof so that you can enjoy the outdoor space in any kind of weather.

  3. 3

    Choose colours such as neutral beiges, tans, and light browns that make rooms seem larger in living rooms or family rooms, or use light pastel colours in bedrooms. Avoid dark-coloured paint or wallpaper. Wallpaper borders may make the height of a room seem shorter. Avoid busy print wallpaper as it may make a wall appear closed in and smaller. Use bold colours or prints as accents such as pillows or on an accent wall.

  4. 4

    Opt for symmetry in each room of your bungalow. Using symmetrical lines will help to balance out small rooms so that they appear more spacious. Consider placing your TV between two wall sconces, for example, and two sofas facing each other in front of a fireplace. Symmetry also provides a sense of order which complements small spaces. Place your bed between two night tables in your bedroom.

  5. 5

    Arrange good lighting in every room of your house. Dark rooms appear smaller. Consider recessed lighting, sconces and chandeliers so that each room is well lit. Storage is at a premium in small bungalows, so opt for drawers that are built in under beds, wall units, bench seats with storage inside and organiser units in closets.

Tips and warnings

  • Furniture should be appropriate for the size of the room. Huge couches will overpower a small living room, for example, and use up needed space. Opt for smaller, apartment-size furniture for most rooms. Avoid a king-size bed in a smaller bedroom when a double or full mattress will do fine.

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