Other joinery

Bungalows typically had fairly plain timber skirtings and architraves, and built-in cupboards in halls, kitchen and other rooms.

Built-in storage

By the 1920s, built-in storage was becoming common in houses. Hallways generally included a coat cupboard and sometimes a linen cupboard, and bedrooms often had built-in wardrobes. Bathrooms often had a small, recessed medicine cabinet built into the wall above the hand basin.

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Kitchen joinery

Bungalow kitchens were designed with built-in cupboards and storage spaces. Often, a whole wall would be dedicated to fitted storage including specialist units such as tilting bins for bulk storage of flour and sugar. 

Food safe

The food safe of the Victorian/Edwardian villa survived in some bungalows. These safes were small cupboards attached to an outside kitchen wall with some of the cupboard sides covered in steel mesh to allow breezes to keep food inside cool and fresh.

Sink bench

In bungalows, the scullery was integrated into the kitchen so a sink bench with an enamelled cast-iron or cast-aluminium sink and cupboards below was usual. Terrazzo was introduced in the mid 1920s and this became a popular material for sink bench tops. Linoleum was another material used for surfaces.

Servery hatch

Another common feature of bungalows was a servery hatch between the kitchen and dining room. 

Cupboards and shelves would often be built around the servery on one or both sides of the wall. In the dining room in particular, these could be quite elaborate with features such as leadlighting to cupboard doors.

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Skirtings and architraves

Finishing timbers, such as skirtings and architraves, were far plainer than those of the villa. They were mostly either completely flat or partially bevelled, although architraves can occasionally be found with a partial ogee profile (Figure 1).

They were typically cut from  4 x 1” or 6 x 1” (100 x 25 or 150 x 25 mm) dressed boards. Rimu was very common, but miro, totara,  matai, tawa, red and silver beech, and sometimes oregon, were also used (Figure 2).

Architraves often had either the vertical or the horizontal section overshoot the other. 

Where the vertical sections overshot the horizontal section, the top or lintel was often narrowed from the centre to the outside edges of the section. The vertical sections were generally finished straight at the top but could be capped with a small ledge. 

Where the horizontal section overshot the vertical section, the vertical sections sometimes narrowed or splayed in towards the top of the section.

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Fireplace design varied. A common design was a simple tiled surround with a rimu mantelpiece above. For more detail, see fireplaces and chimneys.

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Bungalows are typically (and by definition) single-storeyed, but two-storeyed bungalow-style houses were built. 

The timber staircase was usually rimu, miro or matai, and generally clear finished with shellac or varnish. Handrails, newel posts and balusters tended to be square or rectangular in a plain, ‘modern’ geometric style. 

If timber panelling installed in the hallway and stairwell was dark stained, the stair timber would be stained to match.