Bungalows typically had a less formal layout than villas, but kept the living room at the front and service areas at the rear.


Some New Zealand bungalows retained the villa layout of a central hallway extending through the length of the house from which rooms opened off on either side, with a deep front porch (Figure 1). However, many were asymmetrical, some had side entries, and some had no corridors (Figure 2). 

Bungalows were typically oriented towards the street, with no consideration to passive solar gain. 

The living room, with an elaborate bay or bow window and leadlighting, faced the street. A separate kitchen and/or dining room were located towards the rear. 

Bedrooms were at the side or rear of the house, and the bathroom was typically located at the end of the hallway. 

Both the laundry and the toilet were incorporated into the house instead of being in outbuildings. The kitchen, bathroom and laundry were close to each other to minimise plumbing. 

The laundry was often accessed from the rear porch and the toilet would be in a room off the laundry or sometimes accessed directly from the porch. In any case, the bungalow toilet tended to remain separate from the bathroom. Built-in hallway and bedroom cupboards and fittings were common features.

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Practical features

As the bungalow design and layout came to replace the villa, new and more practical features included:

  • lower ceilings that made rooms easier to heat
  • informal layout, in keeping with less formal lifestyles following the First World War
  • built-in storage and fittings
  • an internal toilet (where piped sewer drainage was available).