Those lovely low-pitched Atlanta homes with overhangs and exposed porches are often loosely described by Realtors as Bungalows, meaning any small to medium-sized home built between 1900 and 1940 with an open floor plan, and a single story or story and a half.
The original Indian word, “bangla”, was the name used to describe a small thatched structure for wayfarers. The British adapted the concept during their colonial occupation of India in the 19th Century, building one-story houses with wide covered verandas and an open floor plan to encourage cross-ventilation in a hot, arid country.
The popularity of the Bungalow style grew at the turn of the century, offering a low cost and attractive alternative for many individuals getting by on modest means. According to Old Houses.Com, the Bungalow filled more than the need for shelter. With its style, convenience, simplicity, sound construction and excellent plumbing, it represented the fulfillment of the American Dream.
Atlanta Homes – Bungalows
While many Bungalows in the Atlanta area were built between 1900 and the 1940’s, the style is still popular today and the influence is evident in many newer Decatur homes, as well as Atlanta Homes. Most are constructed of wood, brick, stone, or a combination of exterior finishes, and are often characterized by a side porch or a covered front porch with an entryway set off to one side. Antique Home Style lists the following typical features of Bungalows.
- Low pitched roof, often with broad eaves
- Entry opens directly into the living room
- Often has large front porch that creates an outdoor room
- Open floor plan and good flow from room to room with minimal space wasted on hallways
- Small with built-ins – like “Butler’s pantries” – for storage and organization.
The most prevalent Atlanta Bungalow styles are the Arts and Crafts/ Craftsman, Tudor and Cape Cod varieties.
Atlanta Homes – Craftsman-Style
Our Craftsman-style bungalow has its roots in the British “Arts and Crafts” movement, a philosophy nurtured by William Morris, that emphasized the hand-made over the mass-produced. The American “Arts and Crafts” movement was a reaction to the over-decorated Victorian era, just coming to a close in the early 1900’s, and encouraged originality, simplicity of form and the use of local natural materials. These homes were built by the new “middle class”, and were often modest in size with low, gently sloping roofs and deep porches with distinctive square pillars. Interiors featured built-in china cabinets, nooks, bookcases, seating area and shelving.
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