Best Bungalow Books to Buy

Best bungalow books to buy

Best Bungalow Books: Here are our 17 favorite

 Are you an avid fan of the bungalow lifestyle? Are you drawn to the charm and simplicity of a small home? If so, then you’re in luck! We’ve scoured booksellers high and low to come up with the 17 best bungalow books to buy – all written by passionate experts in this beloved architectural style. These titles range from reference guides to how-to books, select photo collections, and more—each one offering unique insight into creating or maintaining your own beautiful bungalow. So if you’re looking for inspiration or practical advice on recreating that classic Downhome style, these remarkable reads are sure to keep your creativity buzzing for weeks (if not months) to come!

1. Craftsman Bungalows: Designs from the Pacific Northwest

If you’re interested in the Arts and Crafts Movement, then you’ll love this fascinating reprint of a rare architectural catalog. Filled with photos of actual completed bungalows from the era, it provides a great look at the charming simplicity, cozy style, and storybook appeal of the Craftsman bungalow.


One of the key distinguishing features of these homes was their mix of Spanish tile, stucco exteriors, wraparound porches, overhanging gables, handcrafted stone, and woodwork. They were designed for “beauty, convenience, and comfort,” and many remain standing today as beautiful examples of this popular style.

2. Aladdin "Built in a Day" House Catalog

Aladdin "Built in a Day" House Catalog, 1917 (Dover Architecture) Paperback – July 12, 1995 -Best Bungalow Books

Looking for a new home design? Aladdin “Built in a Day” House Catalog, 1917 has 60 different designs to choose from! Whether you’re looking for a simple four-room bungalow or something more comfortable with four bedrooms, a reception hall, and pantry, this catalog has you covered. Plus, each design is shown in both landscaped exterior and floor plan views, so you can get a good idea of what the finished product will look like. And the best part? Detailed commentaries on each design make it easy to find the perfect one for your needs.

3. Craftsman Homes: Architecture and Furnishings of the American Arts and Crafts Movement

This book is a must-have for any fan of the American Arts and Crafts movement. It contains 296 architectural drawings, floor plans, and photographs. It illustrates 40 different kinds of “Mission-style” homes from The Craftsman magazine (1901-16). You’ll get thorough coverage of the Craftsman idea in text and pictures, making it the perfect collector’s item.

4. Bungalows, Camps, and Mountain Houses

Looking for a classic example of American architecture? You’ll love this entry. The craftsman style has overhanging eaves, exposed rafters, and fieldstone verandas, among other features. You’ll also find open floor plans and fine woodwork in these homes. Originally from abroad, the bungalow quickly became popular in the United States due to its suitability for country living. Many modern homes lack the jaunty, distinctive style, and attention to detail that characterizes older bungalows and mountain houses.


This fun classic reveals the designs of thirty-two American architects. It includes descriptions of materials, siting, sanitation, color, furnishings, and an entire chapter devoted to camps, lodges, and log cabins. More than a lovely expression of old-fashioned charm, these plans can easily be adapted to create a modern vacation home or permanent residence. So if you’re looking for an iconic piece of American architecture, pick up a copy of this book!

5. The Bungalow Book: Floor Plans and Photos

The Bungalow Book is a reprint of the rare catalog from Los Angeles architect Henry Wilson, who called himself “The Bungalow Man.” The catalog contains 112 of the most popular and economic bungalow blueprints from Wilson’s time, with each set of prints accompanied by an illustration or photograph of the completed house. This reprint is an ideal reference for preservationists and restorers, as it represents a wonderful time capsule of the bungalow style.

The bungalow style is often associated with cozy, charming, and distinctly Californian architecture. Originally designed to survive earthquakes, the low, rambling structures combine grace, beauty, and comfort at minimum cost. The Bungalow Book showcases some of the most popular examples of this style, making it an essential reference for anyone interested in preserving this iconic piece of American history.

6. Sears Modern Homes

If you’re one of the thousands of Americans who dream of owning your own home, this book is for you. Sears Modern Homes, 1913 reproduces a rare edition of the Sears catalog that features 112 designs for homes of “comfort and refinement.” These authentic plans offer a wealth of information on building materials and other details, along with external views, floor plans, descriptions with prices, and more. Antique collectors, home hobbyists, and fans of traditional design will find this book a bountiful resource for valuable tips on building and restoration.

7. Bungalow Style: Creating Classic Bungalow Interiors

We all share a longing for the values that hark back to the Arts and Crafts era, with its lush woodwork, ingenious open plans, and fine finish details. In Bungalow Style, author Treena Crochet provides inspiration and advice on how to incorporate period-authentic details into your home without sacrificing modern convenience.

 

Over 300 photographs offer a host of ideas, while case studies and sidebars show real-world examples. This extensive collection of beautifully photographed interior architectural elements is an indispensable source of information and inspiration for anyone interested in creating a classic Arts and Crafts home.

8. The Bungalow: America's Arts and Craft Home

The Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Home explores the history and design of this iconic American style. This essential popularity of the California bungalow style, which made it one of the most prolific housing styles in American architectural history, and which quickly spread throughout the country, was due to its economy of construction that incorporated the combined structural and decorative use of modest materials. Popular at the turn of the twentieth century and for many years afterward, the bungalow is of special interest today for being the home of the American Arts and Crafts style.

 

This book delves into the origins of the bungalow style, showcases its many variations, and profiles some of the most celebrated architects and builders who helped to popularize it. Featuring beautiful full-color photographs and informative text, The Bungalow: America’s Arts and Crafts Home is an ideal resource for anyone interested in learning more about this beloved American architectural style.

9. Bungalow Nation

Bungalow Nation showcases the charming appeal of the bungalow style of design. It features a variety of stylistic treatments from Colonial Revival to Craftsman to Tudor that exemplify the best in decorating for bungalow bedrooms, kitchens, living rooms, and baths. This hardcover book has over three hundred full-color photographs. It is printed on high-quality paper which makes it great for coffee tables and reference bookshelves.

10. Bungalows: Design Ideas for Renovating and Remodeling

Looking to renovate, remodel, or build a bungalow style home? Look no further than “Bungalows.” This unique combination of outstanding designs and proven ideas offers inspiration and guidance for anyone looking to create their perfect bungalow. Featuring over 20 case studies of updated homes and bungalows built from scratch, the book is illustrated with inspiring original photography and before and after floor plans. With a casual tone of voice, this book provides all the information you need to get started on your dream bungalow.

11. Inside the Bungalow: America's Arts and Crafts Interior

Inside The Bungalow showcases the interior architectural details, furnishings, and built-in features of a variety of Craftsman-style houses. It’s perfect for anyone who loves the Arts and Crafts aesthetic and wants to bring its style into their home. The book is filled with gorgeous full-color photos of real-life homes, each with its own unique flavor. You’ll see everything from simple, understated interiors to elaborately decorated rooms.

 

No matter what your taste, you’re sure to find inspiration in Inside The Bungalow. The book is packed with ideas for flooring, walls, ceilings, fireplaces, built-ins, and more. You’ll also get some great tips on how to incorporate Craftsman style into your own home. Whether you’re looking to create a cozy cottage feel or a grandiose Arts and Crafts showplace, Inside The Bungalow has got you covered.

12. Bungalows Details Interior - Best Bungalow Books

 In this follow-up to the popular Bungalow Details: Exterior, Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen go inside the bungalow. Thye identify and explain the wonderful details that make a bungalow authentic, from wood floor to beamed ceiling!

 

Arts & Crafts homes often feature an attention to detail and design that is lacking in all but the most expensive homes built today. Yet, in the iconic home of turn-of-the-century working-class folk, these details were ubiquitous-wood detailing, built-in furniture, art glass, beamed ceilings, inlaid floors, extensive tile work, and impressive fireplaces were featured in even the most modest bungalow, just as they were in the larger architect-designed counterparts.

 

Powell’s expertise in the era and Svendsen’s captivating photography combine to focus on the important features of bungalows and their origins. This book is an essential guide for anyone wanting to understand and appreciate the unique features of Arts & Crafts bungalows

13. Bungalow Details: Exterior - Best Bungalow Books

What is an Arts & Crafts bungalow? Many say it’s hard to describe, but you know one when you see it. And knowing one when you see it is all about knowing how to spot the details. With Arts & Crafts homes, it is often the way the details are combined, and the philosophy they represent, that makes a house an authentic Arts and Crafts bungalow.

 

It is not just knee braces in the gable, nor a river rock column, or a three-part front window. In their latest book, bungalow experts Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen identify the finer points and visual characteristics that make a bungalow a bungalow and show how to incorporate these important details into your bungalow. The authors skillfully explain how to identify key features and bring out their beauty in your home.

14. Bungalow Details: Design Ideas For Renovating

Bungalows: Design Ideas for Renovating, Remodeling, and Build (Updating Classic America) Hardcover – October 30, 2002.

Looking to renovate, remodel, or build a house in a traditional American architectural style? Look no further than the Bungalows series of books! Filled with design ideas and inspiration, these volumes offer innovative strategies for living comfortably in traditional-styled homes. Whether you’re looking to update an older home or build one from scratch, you’ll find all the information you need right here. So pull up a chair and dive in!

15. Bungalow Colors: Exteriors - Best Bungalow Books

Bungalow Colors: Exteriors is a comprehensive guide to using historically accurate colors on your bungalow home. The book draws on the works of Arts & Crafts masters like Greene & Greene, Stickley, and Wright, and provides practical advice for integrating those colors into your home today. Whether you’re restoring an older bungalow or aiming to create an authentic Arts & Crafts look on a new home, Bungalow Colors: Exteriors has everything you need. The book covers exterior walls, windows, roofs, and other architectural features, plus body, trim, accents, stucco, shingles, and clapboards. With this guide, you can create a beautiful and historically accurate bungalow exterior that will stand the test of time.

16. The New Bungalow Kitchen - Best Bungalow Books

 The American love affair with the Bungalow continues. And in this most adored housing style, it is the kitchen that homeowners must most often restore, renovate, or remodel. But no one wants an authentic Bungalow kitchen, which was a rustic space that usually featured just a stove, a hoosier, and a sink.

 

While there are books that describe the authentic Bungalow kitchen, there are few that show readers how to update a Bungalow to handle today’s lifestyle needs and personal preferences. Happily, manufacturers today understand the demand, and there are many material and appliance options for homeowners–and the designers they hire–to bring contemporary convenience and beauty to an updated or new Bungalow kitchen. The New Bungalow Kitchen not only provides wonderful historical nuggets about Bungalows and their kitchens but also features beautiful full-color photography of inspiring real-world kitchens.

 

This book isn’t just about looks, though. It’s packed with information on how to choose appliances and cabinets that will fit your needs; select materials that will withstand daily use; and lay out a workable kitchen plan tailored to your specific cooking habits. With The New Bungalow Kitchen as your guide, you can create a kitchen that is both beautiful and functional–perfect for enjoying all your favorite meals in style.

Bungalow Kitchens - Best Bungalow Books

A bungalow kitchen is a classic look that never goes out of style, and with this book, you can learn how to create one for your home. Filled with helpful advice and gorgeous photography, this guide will teach you everything you need to know about recreating this iconic style. From picking out the perfect appliances to adding touches of nostalgia, you’ll be able to create a space that’s both stylish and functional. So whether you’re looking to completely renovate your kitchen or just give it a little update, this book has you covered.

We hope you enjoyed our round-up of books on the bungalow lifestyle! These titles offer a wealth of information and inspiration for anyone interested in this classic way of living. From reference guides to how-to manuals, these reads are sure to get your creative juices flowing as you prepare to make your own bungalow dreams come true. So what are you waiting for? Pick up one (or all) of these captivating books today and start learning more about this charming architectural style.

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Mark Hughes

Mark Hughes is the President and curator of Bungalows and Cottages LLC, Blog, and Networks. Mark's mission is to bring the design, history, and lifestyle of smaller comfortable iconic American bungalows and cottages to everyone. Mark is a real estate broker, manager, and coach, and industry executive who once ranked in the top 1% of agents worldwide for sales and has sold or managed over 6 Billion in U.S. real estate sales. Small Home, Big Life.

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