California bungalow - an American way for a single-family house

Although popular mainly in the first half of the twentieth century, it is still very popular today, especially in the United States.

Bungalow in a Californian style can still be found in most of old areas throughout the US. How to recognize them? What is their characteristic feature?


California bungalow is a single-storey house with a gently sloping roof and a large attic. Its characteristic feature is simplicity - there are not many decorations and a small front porch - necessarily with a roof. It is a rather modest house if you compare it, for example, with a classic brick bungalow typical for Chicago area (Chicago bungalow). The structure is built on a rectangular plan and - which is typical - the main entrance leads directly into the living room with a fireplace.

Frank Lloyd Wright had the biggest impact on the character of American single family homes. It is a legendary figure in the world of architects, who introduced the concept of pure lines. In practice it meant that although a single family home could have many different architectural elements, they should always create a coherent whole.

Windows and doors

They are divided into so called panels. At the top of the door there was often used glazing - in order to get more sunlight into the interior, and bolection in the windows . A moulding dividing the glass into smaller areas today is primarily aesthetic.


White is dominating, but light, pastel, subdued colours are often used, including all shades of green (from olive to mint). All this is because an American family home was supposed to be an integral part of the environment - its colour was to be as close to nature as possible. Beige or skyblue colours can be raraly seen.
Interestingly, the entrance door is painted in a diffrent colour - apart from dark green it can be, for example, subdued red.


There are numerous options. They consist of facade tiles (plinths, front chimney and columns), as well as wooden shingle or panels (mounted vertically).