Bungalow-style houses are small-to-medium-sized homes built between 1900 and 1930, according to the website Bungalow Home Style. These open and one-story homes featured a variety of decor styles, including Craftsman or English Tudor revival, to name just two. But basically, a bungalow was defined by three factors: a horizontal orientation in structure, an open floor plan and a large front porch -- at least big enough for a table and chair.
While the Craftsman-type home is readily recognised as a bungalow in architectural and historic circles, differences of opinion exist on whether other home styles qualify as bungalows, according to Antique Home. The author of "Classic Houses of Seattle" says scale, not style, defines a bungalow, while the author of "Classic Houses of Portland" insists that the Craftsman style movement had more than one facet to it, with bungalows being but one of those facets. But Harry Saylor's "Bungalow" book from 1911 states that low-pitched roofs, open interior floor plans and big front porches define a bungalow-styled home.
In the late 19th century, it was Bangal, India that inspired British officers to create bungalows for travelling visitors to rest between points being visited. These homes were called Bangla and were one story, with thatched or tiled roofs and covered verandas. Initially, this style was seen as a temporary residence, unlike the bungalow-styled homes in America today.
Craftsman bungalows from the 1900 to 1930 period typically have projecting eaves that can be accented with brackets. The home porch -- used at times for dining -- boasts an extended roof held up by wide columns. The columns were often encased in brick or stone about midway down their length and continuing to the ground.
Residential bungalow architecture styles other than Bangla and Craftsman -- called by many names, depending upon whether they were purchased as a Sears and Roebuck kit or designed years later -- typically have one or more of the following general characteristics. They can have a low-pitched, gabled or hipped roof and be 1 or 1 1/2 stories tall. The dormer can be in the shape of the shed, gable or hipped style. They have deep eaves, exposed rafters, decorative knee braces, a large fireplace and an open floor plan, as well as beamed ceilings and built-in cabinets. Massive columns support their large front porches, just like the Craftsman style, and windows are typically double hung.