Remodeling A Bungalow Style Home For Present-Day Living

Remodeling Ideas For Older Bungalow Homes

For the past few years, the mid-century modern, single-story ranch was America's favorite home choice. But no longer. According to a recent survey by the real estate website Trulia, Millennials who are beginning to buy their first homes, have made the craftsman bungalow the top choice among home styles.

It's interesting to note the difference between the generations. For older Americans aged 55 and up 52% of those asked still list the single-story living offered by a ranch home as their favorite choice. It makes sense that older Americans with an eye towards aging in place would opt for the single-story lifestyle a ranch has to offer.

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Millennials, homebuyers between the ages of 18 and 34, picked the craftsman style as their favorite by the same 52% margin! But therein lies the challenge. Coming across a bungalow isn't so easy. The home inventory in America is mostly made up of Colonial, ranch, Cape Cod, Victorian and mid-century modern homes. This makes the craftsman home a commodity.

What Makes The Craftsman Bungalow Home So Special

While the Victorian has a stately charm, and mid-century homes offer sleek lines and minimalist design, when it comes to the craftsman bungalow, the beauty lies in the use of natural materials and beautiful workmanship. Some of the most popular elements include plenty of wood detail, typically oak, including built-ins, window frames, floors, and crown molding. Kitchens often feature hand-forged black wrought iron hardware and lighting, and earthy color combinations.

You'll often see details like dutch doors, rustic flooring, clean and straightforward cabinetry with details like glass panels. Move into the living and dining room, and you'll often find beautiful built-ins featuring the traditional wood lattice detailing in windows and cabinet doors. Other details might include built-in window seats, wood beams and plenty of shelving making for inviting living areas that are pleasant to the eye.

Another key feature you'll often see are rooms that are partitioned with built-in bookcases or columns instead of walls, allowing for intimacy, but also offering plenty of light and simple flow. In the living room, you'll often find a detailed fireplace as the central focal point often featuring tile, stone, and wood.

Move to the exterior, and you'll find the craftsman bungalow has stunning curb appeal showcased by the central front door, often flanked by a large porch on either side or a covered entry. 

Put it all together, and you have a stunning, yet charming home design. It's no wonder that it has such a growing following among Millennials!

The Challenges of Owning a Craftsman Bungalow

The craftsman style was popular early in the 20th century with many being built between 1900 and 1940. As a result, many tend to have compartmentalized layouts with each room having a specific purpose. For example, the kitchen is often removed from the living space and separated by a door. The living and formal dining rooms may be connected or adjacent to each other but are often also compartmentalized with each room having its own function. Storage can sometimes be a challenge and bathroom tend to be smaller. 

Fortunately, these older homes are often solidly built and feature well proportioned comfortably sized rooms that offer plenty of light and air circulation, which was important in the days before air conditioning. Kitchens were often isolated with ever-changing storage and appliances. It's not uncommon to find a four or five bedroom 75-year-old house with a single small bathroom. Most feature a tub which was used for bathing the kids.  Older homes also may have mechanical systems that are not up to the task of modern living. 

While these homes were functional when they were initially built, they are not up to today's lifestyle needs. But, working with an excellent design-build team, craftsman bungalows can be updated to honor the homes original style and workmanship while redesigning the space to meet the needs of today.

Remodeling A Craftsman Bungalow For Present Day Living

When updating a craftsman bungalow, you'll probably want to initially focus on three areas of the home. They are the kitchen, the bathroom(s), and the general storage areas. Today, many homeowners are seeking a more open concept living experience. 

• Open the Kitchen and Add Storage
This is a great place to start. Updating the kitchen by opening it up to the living space by removing or creating a passthrough between the kitchen and dining area is a great start. Adding a peninsula or island can modernize the kitchen and provide you with additional working and storage space. Often, in a craftsman style home, there is a door in the kitchen from the driveway. By adding a pantry to this area of the kitchen you can stash the groceries as you come into the house, adding convenience. 

• Add Closets to the Main Living Space
Storage is an important feature today's homeowners seek when buying a home. Often a craftsman can be somewhat lacking in main floor storage. Consider moving walls to incorporate additional storage opportunities into the existing footprint. 

• Add an Addition to Update The Master Suite
Adding a small addition to the back of the house can provide you with the space you need to bring your master bedroom up to date. Adding a two-story addition to the rear of the home can give you the space to add a bath to the master along with a walk-in closet creating a modern master suite. It can also give you a covered back entry that can function as a mud room for example. Work with your design-build contractor to create the space you need.

The craftsman bungalow is a charming home style that features plenty of detail and charm. With a few updates, you can end up with the perfect home to meet the needs of your family today and far into the future.

If you live in the Madison, Wisconsin area and are considering the purchase, or have purchased an older craftsman bungalow, give the design experts at Degnan-Design-Build-Remodel a call. We can help you update your beautiful older home to meet the needs of today's lifestyle. Our team can update your home to create the perfect living space for you and your family!

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