Rooms: The living room and the dining room are the focal points of the bungalow with the bathroom, kitchen, and the bedrooms surrounding these two areas. In the Midwest, there may be an entrance hallway in a bungalow for the cold days. Otherwise, the door opens up into the living room, which usually has a fireplace. There is an arched opening leading from the living room to the dining room, and bookcases usually flanked either side of the opening. This arched opening may not always be an arch, per se, but could also be a square opening. Both the living room and the dining room may have picture rails from which one could hang pictures.
The kitchen was designed for practicality—not appearance. The kitchen was usually white with few and simple implements. The sink was made of porcelain with a wall-mounted faucet. There was a built-in drain-board, but the oddity was that the area under the sink was kept open in order to allow the air to flow freely; it was thought to help keep the kitchen clean. Later, a curtain was added around the area so the pipe-work wasn’t so exposed. Often times, there would be a breakfast nook off the kitchen for more informal dining, but that was pretty much the extent of ornamentation. Later on, the kitchens were more elaborate to ease the work.
Dining rooms were usually separate and included a built-in buffet—sometimes called a sideboard or cupboard—for the dishes and such. The buffet usually included panels and/or mirrors if it was on an inside wall, and windows if it was on the outside wall. In addition, it would simulate divided lights by use of muntin bars. The preferable wood of that day was quartersawn oak, but if that was too expensive, then either plainsawn oak, Douglas fir, or other wood was used instead. This applies to all of the trim in the house as well. In addition, some times there would be a plate rail which went all around the room. A chandelier usually hung low over the table.
There were usually two, small bedrooms (by today’s standards) measuring 11 x 11 feet or so. While the dining room and living room were dark, the bedrooms were bright—usually off-white. There wasn’t much to them. The bathroom usually connected the two bedrooms by way of a small hall—bungalow builders weren’t keen on halls, but they did include telephone nooks and a built-in linen closet in those hallways.
Doors: In the bungalow, the interior doors would usually have a large or single panel or sometimes a three-panel door consisting of two smaller panels below a single large panel, or five-six-seven-panel door with equal-sized panels horizontally stacked on top of each other. Nowadays, we think of a six-panel door consisting of two columns of three panels each, which is not considered part of this classic style. Often times the doorknob was set on a decorative backplate, which is the rectangular piece of metal that is directly behind the door knobs. There were a few common styles of backplates, which were typically brass, with a pattern stamped into it. In general, the doorknob was made of the same material. In more upscale homes, the backplates and doorknob were sometimes made of hammered copper instead.
Flooring: Most flooring material in the various rooms was wood, as is expected, but not necessarily the same wood in every room. The darker, more substantial wood with the more pronounced grain is oak, and it was usually used for the formal rooms—such as the dining room and the living room. Oak was more expensive back when bungalows were first being built, so the show rooms were usually oak. Whereas maple, which was cheaper, was used for the back rooms—kitchens, bedrooms and such. The irony is that maple is now more expensive than oak so the floors of the less formal rooms of yore are worth more today.