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Gibbs Smith

- About the Book

by Gibbs Smith, Publisher

The Arts & Crafts bungalow has been reborn, in as rich and full an array of iterations as it was in its heyday -- from tight clusters of similar, inexpensive housing opportunities to the grand scale of the "ultimate bungalows" of the 1910s.

The New Bungalow is a celebration of contemporary interpretations of this classic art form. It offers attractive, environmentally-aware alternatives for today's housing. Founded on the principles of the original bungalow movement, this book is a guide to creating a home that has an honest expression of style. Given their simple lines, spacious and open floor plans, natural tones and colors, it is no mystery why new bungalows are gaining popularity for neighborhood developments as well as single-home design.

The New Bungalow, like the subject it covers, shows an appreciation for quality craft. Like a bungalow, the book uses open space in the layout and leading to invite the eye. It offers breathtaking views of dozens of homes, with photographs trimmed in gold frames, and period-perfect graphical ornamentation. From its Smythe-sewn binding to its uncluttered covers, the construction of this book echoes the movement it documents.

In addition to dozens of luscious photographs, The New Bungalow includes floor plans, designs, and an amazing resources chapter for those considering building, renovating, or restoring one of these classic homes. The photographs accompany essays by five leading champions of the new bungalow:

  • Matthew Bialecki, AIA, an architect and designer who specializes in nature-based buildings and furniture. His work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Period Homes, and other publications.
  • Christian Gladu Owner of The Bungalow Company, specializes in the design of new "old" homes. His philosophy and plans have been featured in Country Living, American Bungalow, Oregon Home, and on Home and Garden Television.


  • Jill Kessenich, Associate AIA, a partner in Ashmore/Kessenich Design, specializing in house designs inspired by the early 20th Century.


  • Jim McCord, AIA, an architect whose projects include the preservation and renovation of significant bungalow homes.


  • Su Bacon, an interior designer and co-owner of Historic Lighting, specializing in restoration of historic residences and businesses with period-appropriate lighting.

The New Bungalow can be found at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble Online, and at well-stocked bookstores and specialty retailers throughout the United States and Canada. For inquiries about bulk purchases or rights, please send e-mail to or visit our web site at http://www.gibbs-smith.com Thank you.

Copyright ©2002 by Gibbs Smith, Publisher. Excerpt copyright ©2001 by Jill Kessenich. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as no changes are made and this copyright notice is attached. Thank you.


- Excerpt


The New Bungalow

by Gibbs Smith, Publisher


This feature article is taken from the book, The New Bungalow, team-written by five architects, designers, builders, and renovators. The feature walks you through the typical characteristics of a bungalow style house, from the generous front porch, through rooms loaded with custom woodworking and built-ins. To see the rich photographs in a larger format, just click on the smaller versions that highlight each section.

Bungalow homes are enjoying a renaissance, and rightly so. Often found in urban neighborhoods, they offer affordable living in modest buildings featuring open floor plans that bridge interior spaces with mature landscaping and friendly neighborhoods. The author of the text below is Jill Kessenich, Associate AIA, a housing designer who specializes in restoring old bungalows. More information about the author and the book, The New Bungalow, follows the excerpt. Enjoy!

A Virtual Walk Through The New Bungalow

Text by Jill Kessenich, Associate AIA

Ask anyone in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, what a bungalow is and nine times out of ten, they can simply point to one on their street. It is a clapboard or brick home with a hipped or jerkin-head roof and a three-season front porch. It is a story and a half tall, and the upper level has an open attic, or maybe has one bedroom with a dormer window. Milwaukee is just one of many cities that came of age during the industrial era, when housing was needed for a growing population and growing families. The bungalow seemed to fit most everyone's requirements.

Most bungalows in America were built in the early 1900s on narrow city lots, grouped in neighborhoods near a local industry. Vintage bungalows are ideal for today's living because of where they were built. They are most often in first-ring suburbs of major cities, or just blocks away from the downtown in smaller towns. That makes them close to shopping, entertainment and other services, often within walking distance.


The trees that were planted when the houses were built are now mature, and provide welcome shade from the summer heat. The towering canopies give the streetscape an inviting quality. The houses themselves also provide a neighborly quality. The front porches are a place where children can play, or a parent can watch from a distance. This promotes interaction with the neighbors.

The American bungalow of the mid-1900s typically has a prominent front porch, a low roof pitch, and wide eaves. The narrow end usually faces the street, and the first floor has six rooms, stacked side-by-side: a living room, formal dining room, kitchen on one side, and two bedrooms and a bath on the other side.


Upon entering a vintage bungalow from the spacious porch, you see there's a built-in bench or boot box in the front hall. You immediately feel the house envelop you with its warmth. Most likely, it's the woodwork, maybe a natural redwood, or Douglas fir, or a richly stained white oak. Even if the woodwork is painted, it's usually abundant, and still gives the room a rich quality.


One of the great things about a bungalow is that it's most often a one-story house, which makes it a viable retirement home for when negotiating stairs can be a problem. It's also a good first home that can be expanded upstairs as the need arises. Sometimes staircases are narrow and steep, or hidden behind a door. These can often be opened up or reworked to make a more natural transition between first- and second-floor living spaces.


The floors will also be wood, maybe a natural maple or vertical-grain fir, but typically oak. In the living room, there's almost always a fireplace, and it may be flanked by bookcases and piano windows. It's the perfect place to relax on a chilly evening with a good book and blazing fire.

In the dining room, there will most likely be a built-in china hutch, often with a beveled mirror and, if you're lucky, some stained art glass. This may even have a pass-through to the kitchen. The hutch provides a lot of storage space and doesn't clutter up the room like freestanding furniture can. Maybe there's a window seat, or a bay window that lets in more natural light and gives the room a spacious quality.


The kitchen might still have its original cabinets, which are probably painted white or at least a light color. Perhaps there is a wall-mounted sink or a wood-burning or gas stove. There might even be some funky old linoleum on the floor. Some bungalow kitchens might still have the old icebox and compressor, or at least the cabinet.


The bedrooms will most likely be small and cozy. Many remodeled and new-construction bungalows have adjusted to modern times by creating large master bedrooms that act as private retreats as an antidote to hectic schedules. As such, the bedrooms are designed with large attached baths and ample closet space.


The bathroom may have its own set of treasures. If it's in original condition, it will most likely have white hexagonal floor tile, maybe with a colored accent. There could be a tiled wainscot on the walls, or plaster scored to look like tile. A pedestal sink and claw-foot tub would be the norm, and the toilet might have a wooden tank mounted high on the wall, or even a round tank. The original shower could have a sunflower-shaped head surrounded by a round or curved curtain rod.


Many people living in vintage bungalows are attracted to them for the same reasons: they're affordable, they're close to the city, and the houses are built with character. These homeowners also have something else in common. With the value of these houses on the rise, they all have some ideas for restoring, remodeling, or adding onto their houses. Any improvements they make will add to their equity.


Whether you own a modest kit bungalow or one that was designed by a local architect, chances are that your house has gone through a few changes over the years. The rooms most likely remodeled were the kitchen and the bathroom, as the advent of amenities like refrigerator/freezers and stand-up showers were seen as modern advances, and most people wanted to obtain them. Later on, items such as pre-manufactured cabinets, built-in ovens, and fiberglass shower surrounds began to appear.


Unfortunately, most of these new innovations were not built in styles that complemented the old-fashioned bungalow and, to our eyes, might clash with the original built-ins and furniture. One of the first steps in restoring these spaces to their original charm, while maintaining the modern functions, is to identify the style, or styles, of your bungalow. Then, when you plan a larger project such as a major remodeling or addition, you can know what to look for in products and design. You'll find an extensive library of bungalow styles in the book, The New Bungalow.


Copyright ©2002 by Gibbs Smith, Publisher. Excerpt copyright ©2001 by Jill Kessenich. Please feel free to duplicate or distribute this file as long as no changes are made and this copyright notice is attached. Thank you.

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