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Design Focus: Bungalow Style

The bungalow – a traditionally picturesque home known for it’s simple design enriched with fluid layouts and distinguishing charm.  The humble beginnings of the bungalow came from warm tropic Gujarati bungalao region in Southern Asia.  The humid climate and warm breezes in the scenic area was peppered with low thatched houses that allowed for air flow and coverage from the hot sun.  In North American we have adapted this unique style and evolved the once simple style homes into luxurious, high class, suburban houses.

So how did this traditionally tropical style of housing end up here in North America?  Interestingly, when the British Reserve Army was located in this region the lived in these bungalow style homes.  Once the army returned back to their homeland of Great Britain, these quaint, cool and reserved homes made their way across the ocean and becoming a popular garden home for many British families. Over time the bungalow migrated across another ocean and settled in North America as well.

The uniqueness of the Bungalow has developed throughout the years to accommodate harsh Canadian winters.  The desire to create an indoor space out of doors brought along the design of wrap around or sleeper porches.  The floor to ceiling windows at the entrance are also a token fixture of the cozy bungalow.  Commonly, the porches and entrances can be accented or created out of local stone.  The ability to harmonize local products with the traditional layouts can create individuality and beauty in what could otherwise be seen as a basic home. When properly crafted the bungalow embraces simplicity, naturalness and redefines what it means to be cozy. From the outside, the Bungalow brings a whole new meaning to simple sophistication.

WHAT IS BUNGALOW STYLE?

In essence bungalow style is simple and spacious that is appreciated through fluid layouts and airy design.  The generally open concept layout is perfect size for first-time homeowners, due in fact that their costs are relatively low to operate.  With just enough room and space, it is ideal for a brooding family of four or working hip couples that enjoy having the luxury of space in the busy city. That is to say that this style of home can be perfect or just about any family.  It’s simple and yet sophisticated feel is mouldable to meet your needs and expectations. From manufactured stone panel siding to a natural stone of granite and brick – the Bungalow is perfect for any suburb and climate.

Cost efficient, sustainable, the use of materials such as wood, steel or even aluminum to build it makes it adaptable to any region and climate. From the cool West Coast to the dreadful winters of the East Coast, the Bungalow is the ideal home for anyone looking to have a piece of a getaway retreat.

COMMON FEATURES OF A BUNGALOW DESIGN

When thinking of paradise most people travel through their minds to those tropical scenic like Bali, Costa Rica or Fiji.  The magnificence of these scenic areas can be replicated closer to home within existing homes or with an entirely new build.

Verandahs: Also known as a covered porch, a verandah addition to your home can enhance style and function. The shelter provided by the roof can extend the life of a summer season and even allows the creation of a lush oasis with the addition of appropriate plant selection.  Certain palms and ferns will happily live on your verandah during the summer giving it that tropical flair.  Because porches can be built out of a vast array of materials such as wood, natural stone or prefabricated stone, each verandah can be designed to meet a homeowners’ personal taste, while still complementing the charming style of the bungalow.

Large Tall Windows:  When designing your new build, choosing to install full length windows can be the ultimate choice for creating your own bungalow paradise.  Large windows create the illusion of space and luxe, especially when paired with stylish lighting fixtures.  The extra light created also allows for more tropical plants to be brought indoors which can enhance your indoor oasis.  While it may seem like a only a new build can have beautiful, large windows this simply is not true.  Older homes can indeed be retrofitted to allow for tall windows.  Even if you do not live in a bungalow you can bring in the more desired design elements with a window renovation.

Regional Elements: Perhaps what makes a bungalow so distinguishable is the regional component of the design.  The ever so simple and yet elegant Bungalow has always been built around the inspiration of local construction materials.  Canada is quite fortunate to have access to a number of suitable building materials.  This is true for both new builds and existing home renovations.  A newly built bungalow can be built with local stone or wood features.  An older home can be given an uplift with a brand new, locally sourced façade.  Adding local and natural elements to your own home attractively reflects the rustic charm of the once quaint bungalow to enrich style and curb appeal.

CREATING YOUR OWN BUNGALOW

Remarkably, if you are looking to transfer some of these oasis and relaxing features to your own home, there are things that can be done that do not necessarily require a big move.  Changing the landscaping features or the façade can do wonders in mirroring a bungalow style paradise.  The addition of natural or locally sourced stone, or Cultured Stone® that reproduces local stone, can deliver rustic appeal, while oozing modern luxury.

Though your existing house may not be an actual bungalow it is possible to take the most distinguishable features and apply them to your own home.  If you have decided to delve into the world of a new build, a bungalow may be the perfect answer to your unassuming yet high-end sophisticated wishes.  Either way, the most important design element to balance nature with true simple beauty.

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