How to Design Your Bungalow

The bungalow style house is typically a one to one-and-a-half story home with vaulted ceilings, an open floor plan and a front porch. Bungalows are known for using every square foot of space effectively, so good design in these types of homes is crucial. This simple American-style home dates to the early 1900s. Overall, the bungalow is intended to provide many years of happy and efficient living mixing the best of yesterday with the modern capabilities of today.

Open your mind to create the best bungalow for you.
  1. Assess your personal needs. When designing your dream bungalow it is important to know what you require for personal space. The number of people living in the home will help determine how many bedrooms, bathrooms and square footage you will need. Bungalows range in size from as little as 600 square feet to 3250 square feet. The average amount of square feet needed person person can be as little as 150 square feet.

  2. Find the perfect location. Location is often as important as the home itself when dealing with your daily life. Proximity to work, school and play will help make this decision for you. Whether you decide to build your bungalow or remodel, the location is important. Determine through your Permitted Department (PD) what elements of the home can be changed or updated given where the bungalow is located.

  3. Determine the budget for your bungalow. Have a discussion with a lending officer to determine the type of bungalow you are able to design and build. The decision to build or to remodel will depend upon your loan type and credit rating.

  4. Learn from others' past design mistakes. Even if you plan to build, tour a number of bungalows so that you can be sure of your preferences. Make a list of what you like and dislike as you are touring. Remember bungalows can offer a variety of design elements varying from roof pitches and materials, sizes and shapes of front porches, and unique lighting elements.

  5. Use different roof plans and pitches to add character to your bungalow. There are also a number of roofing materials to choose from. Both of these elements can change the look of your home dramatically.

  6. Avoid dark corridors by adding vaulted ceiling, skylights or windows. Given the potential for a 1.5 story facade, floor to ceiling windows can add dramatic lighting. Utilizing light from other rooms by using an open floor plan will also add more natural light. Because a bungalow is not a two-story structure, skylights are always an option to bring in additional lighting from above to the main floor.

  7. Choose outdoor and siding materials with care. While using vinyl may seem final given longevity, using wood can provide more visual warmth and character. Using shape and color will add personality and charm to your bungalow.

About the Author

Leo Sevigny has been presenting, consulting and writing about personal, career and organizational development since 1998. He is the published coauthor of "The Personal Vision Workbook" (Delmar Learning). Sevigny holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Johnson State College, a Master of Science in education from Syracuse University and is employed as an Employee Development Specialist at a fortune-100 company.