Wood flooring is a major, character-defining feature in a bungalow & I vigorously encourage their restoration. However sometimes, they are so worn or damaged that it requires installing new wood flooring in your old house to provide a surface that provides sufficient safety & functionality. Fortunately, more often, they require only patching. This article is about the types of materials available which you would choose for patching or replacement.

One of my followers is preparing to replace her floors so I have been answering many questions for her, which is what prompted this article, putting together all the pieces.

Here are  the basics, in more detail than I have provided in the glossary. I will link to the wood flooring glossary when using terms that are covered there. It’s a really long article, so stay with me!

I write for you (& for my younger self, desperate to learn all these things to do right by my house) so any questions that you might have, I want them! If I have been unclear or omitted needed information, please let me know!


Wood flooring products are referred to as tongue & groove, or T&G because protruding tongue is cut in one side of the board & a groove is cut in the other at the mill, allowing the pieces to be fit together closely when installed. This was done so nails could be hammered into the tongue & hidden from view by the groove. Before the advent of T & G flooring, boards were nailed from the top and these nails were visible.

In unfinished wood, the area above the groove, the top or wear layer, is ¼” thick. If you purchase salvaged wood, you need to ensure that the top layer is at least 3/16″ thick.


Woods are categorized as hard or soft woods. The hardness of a wood is determined by its ability to resist indentation. Hardwood comes from broad leaved trees such as oak, ash, cherry, maple & poplar. Softwoods come from conifers, such as pine, fir, or spruce. To learn more about the hardness of woods, read this article by the National Wood Flooring Association here. You’ll see that there is great variation amongst the resistance of each category.

In many bungalows more than one species is used, either in patterns or in different rooms. Often the public areas were a more expensive hardwood & the private were a locally sourced softwood.

Widths of bungalow wood flooringThe wood found in most bungalows is called strip flooring. Hardwoods are mostly 2 ¼” wide by ¾” thick. Softwoods can be wider, usually 3 1/4″.


Wood can be purchased in different lengths, with each gradation being more costly. Often, the boards used in public areas were longer than those used in private areas.  However, in homes which have hardwood flooring such as oak in the public areas, with pine or fir (softwoods) floors in the private areas, the softwood floors were always longer in length than those of hardwood floors.

Hardwoods: 2′-8′, with an average of 4′.
Softwoods: 6′- room length, with the max at 16.’ It was common that many pieces would be 10′-15′ long.

Hardwood solid, unfinished- (standard) 9″-7′ with an average of 2 1/2′ to 2 3/4″ wide. You can get specially milled flooring that is longer for more $$$.

Hardwood engineered, unfinished- better brands offer 1′ to 7′. 2 1/4″ width may not be available unless you have it custom milled at a much higher price.

Hardwood prefinished, solid today- varies between 9″-7′ for better products.

Hardwood prefinished, engineered today- no data. Varies greatly by manufacturer.



This cut utilizes the whole log, with the smallest amount of waste, making it the least costly of all the grain patterns. It results in a large, course, looping grain pattern. Plain sawn wood is less dimensionally stable (The degree with which wood shrinks & swells with changing moisture content) than quarter sawn or rift sawn so will tend to expand & contract more across the width of the boards than quarter sawn lumber.

Should you need to replace flooring in your house, I often recommend that oak be used because it is both reasonably hard and traditionally used. I suggest that this cut be chosen for the private areas because though it lacks the excitement of quarter sawn, it is still a workhorse.

Should you not be able to access quarter sawn or reclaimed, this is a fine type of oak to use in your public areas with all the beautiful rugs of the Arts & Crafts era. Unless you are a museum, your honoring the natural materials of the Movement counts with me.


This is the wood of the Arts & Crafts Movement. When you gasp at the beauty of a Stickley piece, much of your awe & admiration are your reactions to the beautiful flecked graining, the Tiger Oak wood.

To produce the intense flame pattern, each log is sawed at a radial angle into four quarters. Then each quarter is cut along the center angles, near the center of the tree. (To better understand tree anatomy, read this article.) The wood from this cut twists & cups less than plainsawn, making for a more stable floor. It also wears more evenly under traffic.

Quarter sawn is more costly than plain sawn because it wastes more wood & is also more difficult to cut. I recommend its use in public areas where you want to impress your guests!


Rift sawing is similar to quarter sawing, with many of the same advantages. The way that it is cut accentuates the vertical grain but minimizes the tiger stripe effect found in quarter sawn oak.

Also a pricey option, it mixes beautifully with quarter sawn in a public area. I think that a floor of all quarter sawn looks whiskery!  Rift sawn flooring was not used in older homes by itself, but was usually mixed with quarter sawn in a cut sold as “rift & quarter sawn” flooring. Today, standard milled oak flooring is sold as rift & quarter sawn as a mixed grade. You get more rift, usually 70% of the bundle, than quartered boards. This is much more economical than purchasing, from a specialty mill, all quartered or all rift cut oak. Place the boards strategically so that it is varied throughout the floor.


There are more grades, but none that are appropriate for use in a bungalow. Some of the omitted grades are lacking in character (considered imperfections) & lose the look of real wood & some have too much character & appear too rustic.

Here’s straight from the big guys, the National Wood Flooring Association:


Contains all the variations in coloration produced by the contrasting differences of heartwood & sapwood. Also included are minimal character marks, such as small knots, worm holes, & mineral streaks, as well as slightly open characters.

The combination creates a floor where the light sapwood & dark heartwood are combined with small characters & other small color interruptions.

Should you be unable to access reclaimed wood or quarter sawn, in newly harvested wood, this grade, in plain sawn, is a good choice for your public areas. Arts & Crafts patterned rugs are perfect accents for bungalows & this grade of flooring will look beautiful with them in your home. Honest. View some beautiful ones I have collected for you on my Pinterest board, here.

#1 Common oak


A flooring product characterized by greater color variation than Select, that also contains prominent characters (with size limits) such as knots, open checks, worm holes, along with machining & drying variations.

#1 Common is a tasteful floor where prominent variation is expected. I think it looks fine in private areas, but you need to make sure that the colors are well placed, so that the floor doesn’t look like a study in color-blocking! You can use the shorter, knottier pieces, or ones with more blemishes in your closets.

#2 Common oak#2 COMMON OAK

#2 Common may contain sound natural variations of the forest product & is suitable for homes, general utility use, or where character marks & contrasting appearance is desired.

I like this choice in finished attics because I like them to look like what they are! In unfinished products, this is a material that you can paint without feeling bad about it. And don’t try to hide the character marks. It’s an attic!


This is your first choice. Reclaimed, old-growth wood is milled from lumber harvested from ancient forests that is either rescued as logs from the bottoms of rivers & milled into lumber for various uses, or is removed from old buildings & re-milled for other purposes. Sometimes old flooring is salvaged & employed again as flooring which often does not require milling. You can see some cool videos about it here.

Recycled wood is available in solid unfinished, solid prefinished & also in engineered, unfinished or prefinished.

Should your site finished (as opposed to factory finished) floor require patching, this is the type of wood that you will need to use, especially if your floors are old heart of pine. You can read about its properties & its value here.



Professional floor sanding machineThis is the type of wood that was installed in our old houses when they were built. It requires sanding & finishing on site after installation is completed. Today it is milled from newly harvested trees, generally grown on tree farms. It can also be milled from reclaimed material, or, salvaged as flooring from old buildings.

Unfinished wood flooring, either newly milled or reclaimed, is available in solid or engineered.

After unfinished wood is completely installed, it is sanded, sometimes stained, & then coated with a protective finish. This article explains many of the finish options available.

Unfinished flooring allows you to create a completely custom floor so that you can match or complement the other floors in your home.


A prefinished floor is one on which the stain & finish (a clear, protective coating) are applied at the factory. There are many tough finishes available from oil penetrating finishes which provide a matte finish, natural look, to polyurethanes which coat the wood & are available in matte to high gloss. Most of the finishes you can use on a site finished floor are avail in prefinished. You can read about them here. You are going to want to choose one with a medium gloss which mimics wax or shellac. As far as choosing a sheen level, a matte floor shows dust, dirt & fur & a shiny one obscures the grain & shows scratches & dust, dirt & fur.

The factory/manufacturer applied finishes, especially products at the higher end, are very tough, & are more durable than those applied on the job to unfinished wood. Many prefinished products can be sanded at least once. If you do not have to match existing flooring, it can be a good option, with a few caveats.

Here’s where prefinished floors can have a drawback. In your old floor, after the raw, unfinished wood was laid, several passes were made over it with a sanding machine to fully level all sides of the boards where they join the next rows. This sanding is not done on a prefinished floor. The boards are sanded at the factory before the finish is applied. Consequently, there may be some differences in leveling from board to board. There are several ways in which manufacturers cut the wood at the factory (mill) to make the final floor appear flat.


These products have a very distinctive groove in them.


This is the most common. Each board is just slightly beveled. Some manufacturers add an eased edge to both the length of the planks as well as the end joints. Even this small groove helps hide uneven plank heights. Eased edge is also called a micro-beveled edge.


The edges of all boards meet squarely creating a uniform, smooth surface that blends the floor together from board to board, giving it the same appearance as an old floor. High-end mills offer this option at a higher cost because each board must be cut with great precision. This floor will still not be as flat as a floor that has been sanded on site.



Your traditional floor, which you would find as the original flooring in your historic bungalow. This flooring is cut from one piece of wood. When you look at a piece of it from the side, you see no striations/layers.


This type is created in layers that are glued together. The veneer on the top is called the wear layer & can be of varying thicknesses.

The wear layer of engineered floors can be from 1/32″ to 1/4″ (1 mm to 6 mm) thick, again, affecting the price point.

This method of construction increases the stability of the boards. Especially in high moisture areas or situations, I think it can be a good choice. The majority of the time, these products are prefinished & have the 3 above edging characteristics. Square edged prefinished engineered floors are uncommon & at a much higher price point than are beveled ones.

Engineered wood can also be sold as square edged unfinished, but is more expensive than most prefinished flooring. Usually the wear layer is at least 3 mm on these products. I like this product in humid climates.


Engineered hardwood flooring is built up using layers of plywood or a high density fiber board then on the top a layer of wood veneer, to create the look of real hardwood. Veneer is a thin layer of wood or other material for facing or inlaying wood. Veneer is made of a particular material that is applied to a different material in order to create a more desirable surface appearance than that of the basic material of the object.


The dry-sawn face method creates a thicker layer (4 mm) of veneer than the other methods. This method creates a veneer with an appearance that is identical to solid hardwood in color, grain, & character. (See cut & grain examples above.) This method produces the least amount of usable veneer so it is more costly than the other two methods below.


Slice-cut is the second most common way to create a wood veneer. The finished wood presents a lovely face, like the sawn face above, but is in thinner layers (2mm or less) & is generally less pricey.


In this method, the log is put on a spit & peeled in a long, thin layer. The wood is then flattened which is damaging to its integrity & wearability. This cutting & flattening process produces an unnatural, repeating, unattractive grain pattern. It does create the maximum amount of product from the wood, so it is sold at the lowest price point.

That’s why there’s so much of it out there. I hate it! Be aware that, because of its low price, it is often chosen by flippers. If you see a floor that almost looks like wood, & is touted as being wood, this is likely what it is. 

Engineered flooring has gotten a bit of a hit because the inferior products produced by this method. Engineered wood is a good, durable product & is quite suitable in a historic house- if- you choose the first method. I do not recommend the sliced veneer & do NOT choose rotary veneer flooring.


We replaced a covered porch deck on a 1907 Folk Victorian that we restored & used pressure treated, 3/4″ by 3 & 1/8″ wide, yellow, T & G pine which at least in Florida, is available in a pressure treated product.

Pressure treated wood must dry 30 days before it can be primed & painted. We painted the bottom of the boards before installation & the top after. You might be able to get pressure treated decking which has been kiln dried after it is treated, so the 30 days can be omitted. Sanding is required to give you a smooth level surface, just like with any wood floor.

Porch boards are subject to much wear & water. It is really important to make sure that they are slightly angled so that the water runs off. It’s also a good idea to have a large squeegee on a long handle so that you can dry them after a rain.


In answer to the Good, Better, Best question of my follower:

BEST: 2 ¼” wide, reclaimed wood or salvaged old growth wood flooring, (with a 3/16” or thicker wear layer for 3/4″ T&G flooring, whether it be solid or engineered) of whatever species & grade was in your house originally. In any single house, there could have been more than one species, generally a pricier hardwood in the public areas & a less costly softwood (usually 3 1/4″ wide by 3/4″ thick) in the private. (This is the wood that you need for patching.)

Hire a qualified pro to sand & finish it. Reclaimed wood is $$$$$ & you don’t want to waste it.

BETTER: Select 2 ¼” wide, newly milled, farmed quarter sawn oak, either unfinished or prefinished (squared edged, please see above) solid or engineered with a thick veneer, for public areas. For private areas, 2 1/4” wide, in Select or #1 common oak. You do not want to use farmed softwoods. They are ridiculously soft.

If you want to finish it yourself, I recommend that you ensure that the equipment that you use is the latest & greatest & dust free, well maintained & calibrated. Then study these videos.

GOOD: A Select plainsawn wood floor that is either prefinished or unfinished, solid or engineered. Just no heavy bevels & no rotary veneer. (All are covered above.) Same instructions for sanding & finishing.


Installing it too, or farming it out to a carpenter or handy friend, make sure that they & that they wear the correct PPE & if you are living in the house, or even visiting, please understand the materials that are being used wear it too.  Read this!

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- Wood Flooring for Your Bungalow

OLD HOUSE RESTORATION VIDEOS- Wood Flooring for Your Bungalow

This is not a DIY site. There are plenty of such sites & I applaud them!

Personally, I am not handy. But, I do like a project done correctly & have hired & supervised many tradespeople. Should you be of a similar mind, the more knowledge that you have of construction, the better you can judge competency & oversee your flooring project. These videos focus on the subject of wood flooring for your bungalow.

From books, I have taught folks whom I hired to work on my homes, about the care & feeding of the materials in old houses. I wish that I would have had these videos at the time!

And for those of you who are doing it yourself, my cloche is off to you. I hope these wood flooring videos are helpful & that your floors are smooth & beautiful!

And because I think I’m everybody’s mother: Installing & finishing wood floors is not rocket science, but they have their own precision technology. To become truly proficient takes years. I watched my husband work at mastering the skill over a period of 45 years & at retirement, he still did not feel he knew everything is to know.


How to Acclimate Hardwood Flooring (6:57)
RW Supply+Design

And don’t forget to acclimate your kitchen flooring in the kitchen! Yes, it will be a major pain, but cupping is more so!

How To Install Tongue and Groove Flooring (10:06)
Ask This Old House

An informative video that includes a written list of the tools & materials required.

Installing Engineered Wood Flooring (NWFA)
Greenleaf Floor

Because I’m a fan of some (not all!) engineered wood.

How to Repair a Tongue-and-Groove Wood Floor (4:53)
This Old House

Because a 100 year old floor always has some boo-boos!

How To Sand and Finish Wood Floors (28:03)
American Sanders

An overview only! Watch the rest of the one below.

Bona® Sand & Finish Training – Chapter 1: Preparation (17:29)
Bona Professional

A more detailed look at sand & finish. There are 4 chapters, each one automatically following the next. Watch them all!

How-to Restore Wood Floors (25:34)
About Your House with Bob Yapp

Another option from a master.

Visit Bob to see all the educational opportunities he offers here.

Should you have questions regarding wood flooring for your bungalow, visit my page of articles here. With 45 years in the trade, specializing in old houses, I have a lot to say!

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Bungalow HardwareThe Arts & Crafts Movement highly revered the dignity of labor & valued good design. These attributes were evident in their use of the humbler metals- the hand-hammered copper, molded bronze & forged iron- of our bungalow hardware. The abundance of natural materials, employed “honestly,” that is to say, not molded, painted or otherwise contrived to resemble that which it was not, is one of the hallmarks of the Movement & one of the most charming features of our homes.

Bungalows come to us with hardware in various conditions. In the Hare House, I was stunned to discover that the majority of the hardware that adorned my built-in sideboard was intact & I was even happier to discover that I could easily resource the missing pieces.

My Tampa house was not so fortunate. I had to replace almost every one of my doors & find hardware for them also. It took several months of combing salvage outlets & eBay but at long last everything was in place. I used reproduction hardware for the sideboard & colonnades that I created- a far easier task!

I am going to caution you once again to choose the hardware that is appropriate for your house. It is tempting to want to use the largest, most ornate accents in the attempt to embellish your home. However, making choices more in line with the charm it already possesses, be it modest or or mega, will be more more enhancing.


Bungalow hardware resourceAntique Hardware Supply

An extensive offering of period-style lighting, interior, pocket & exterior door, window, cabinet & bath hardware. They have a page dedicated to Arts & Crafts for easy bungalow shopping.

Antique Hardware Supply provides consultations with experienced designers who are experts in period style hardware.


Bungalow hardware resource Bathroom Machineries

Antique plumbing fixtures, obsolete plumbing parts & faucet restoration. Many of their products are made or designed right in their own shop by plumbing experts.

They offer a huge choice of manufacturers & products.


Bungalow hardware resource HippoHippo Hardware

An eclectic building salvage store specializing in hardware, lighting, architecture & plumbing.

They also provide lighting and lamp repair with a fully UL certified lighting repair shop that can customize length, finishes, plating, & configuration. Their plumbing department will coordinate refinishing with local companies. The hardware department is able to customize with darkening, refinishing, cleaning & rebuilding.


Bungalow hardware resource Historic HousepartsHistoric Houseparts

Antique & new hardware & parts for doors & furniture, plumbing fixtures & hardware, lighting fixtures & parts, heat registers & grills & most everything else that you might need to restore your bungalow.

Their blog is very interesting & has some great images.


Bungalow hardware resource House of Antique HardwareHouse of Antique Hardware

Locksets & door sets, push & kick plates, window & cabinet hardware, lighting & electrical & more. They give you the opportunity to select Arts & Crafts in each category, making for easy shopping.

They are very knowledgeable & will give you great advice.


Bungalow hardware resource KennedyKennedy Hardware

A huge array of hardware for furniture, much of which you could use for cabinets. Some door hardware.

I’m just going to recommend that you visit the site & poke around their lo-o-o-o-ng list of products. They offer free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. for orders over $100.


Bungalow hardware resource KilianWm. A. Kilian

Door & window hardware including weatherstripping, cabinet, window & curtain hardware & myriad more items of many types & functions.

BTW, they also have the cutest stand-up clothes dryer I have ever seen!


Bungalow hardware resources Liz's Antique HardwareLiz’s Antique Hardware

Liz’s is chock full of old goodies & I loved visiting there when I lived in L.A. A great site feature is the history of hardware,  & an extensive hardware glossary.

I think that the best way to understand this store is to visit the Facebook page that has great photos of this hardware paradise.


Bungalow hardware resource Nostalgic WarehouseNostalgic Warehouse

I’m plunking you down right in their Collections section so you can easily navigate to the door hardware of your dreams.

They construct in solid-forged brass & offer 8 custom finishes.


Bungalow hardware resources Van Dyke's Restorers. Van Dyke’s Restorers
The Source for All Your Renovation & Restoration Needs

Once again, you’ll be landing in their A&C section of this massive catalogue of supplies. Van Dyke’s has a great reputation amongst restoration folks.


Vintage Hardware & Lighting

An enormous selection of products so this is the link to their Arts & Crafts section. They have a full menu on the left side of each page to you can get anywhere you want to shop easily.

Visit my Pinterest page to see some very cool hardware from many of these folks!

In addition to these vendors, Facebook Marketplace place can be a treasure for the old house owner as can eBay & Etsy. And don’t forget to check out salvage stores!

I implore you to send me any bungalow hardware resources that you might have that are not included my list. Hardware can be completely missing from an abused old house & it can be a major challenge to replace it.


Historic lightbulbLIGHTING
A series of article on lighting which includes sources for antique lighting as well as work by the modern masters & also reproduction fixtures.

How to choose window coverings that will give you privacy & enhance the beauty & character of your home.

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bungalow Tile

You are wondering about what tile is appropriate for your bungalow. So, what is bungalow tile & what are the resources available to obtain it?

The tile most appropriate & at home in a bungalow, is of the Arts & Crafts Movement, unsurpassed in beauty & variety. While the masters of the period, such as Batchelder, are long gone, there is a wonderful group of modern day artisans, working in the Arts & Crafts aesthetic. They produce tiles that could enhance your bungalow, either installed on your fireplace, in your kitchen or bath, or mounted in a tiger oak frame in your study. I have collected these resources & hope that I have included enough images for you to understand what each company offers. It’s a very extensive list, but I feel that each maker, from the well-known to the more obscure, is worth viewing.


American Restoration Tile

Arts & Crafts tiles resource

ART uses modern manufacturing technology to exactly duplicate the sizes & colors of old ceramic tile, manufacturing to your design specifications, or suggesting colors and patterns to correspond with your era of restoration.

Their unglazed porcelain products have:
• flat tops (no cushioned edges)
• square edge (no rounded corners)
• impervious surfaces
• the style of the early 1900’s

ART’s Historical Color Palette is very informative about the tile colors that were used during different periods in design.

Historic tile colors for your bunaglow

Arts and Craftsman, LLC

Arts & Crafts Tiles

5/8” thick, Stoneware clay, hand glazed in lead free, food safe glazes. Suitable for all indoor applications. Each tile has a notch on the back for hanging.

Carreaux du Nord Fine Art Tile

Srts & Crafts tile resource

They feature made to order art, border & field tiles for fireplaces, backsplashes in the Arts & Crafts, Art Nouveau & Prairie styles, in your choice of either a gloss or matte finish.

Emu Tile

Arts & Crafts Tile Emu

Beautiful, art tile by hand, durable enough for most household applications.

Heritage Tile

Arts & Crafts tile

Specializing in classic, traditional & authentic ceramic tile & stone, they include Design Guides on their website to assist you in choosing appropriate tile. Their Subway Ceramics collection, available in The Bungalow Series, offers satin glazes in a variety of historic colors, as well as many complementary accessories. They also carry mosaic tiles & field & border patterns.

Kuilema Pottery

Custom Handmade Architectural Ceramics & Tile
Handmade relief tiles available in many different, lovely colors & two different sizes. They also offer matching field tile & borders in all glazes.

L’Esperance Tile Works

Arts & Crafts Tile

Experts in the manufacture and restoration of Craftsman-era tiles. They offer a full line of tiles in 3 sheens.

Medicine Bluff Studio

Arts & Crafts tiles

These distinctive, nature inspired, handmade tiles are available in a beautiful palette of glazes.

Mission Tile West

A family owned tile business, their in-house designers will work with you to choose the right tiles to create history, in your own, personal style.

MonteVoepel Copper Art Tiles

Monte, the creator of these tiles, had worked as a potter for a number of years, when he was drawn to durability, warmth & beauty of copper, a material used by many other Arts & Crafts artists.

Moravian Pottery & Tile Works

This company is actually a history museum, owned by Bucks County in Pennsylvania, & operated by TileWorks, a non-profit organization. The tiles are reissues of original designs & are still handmade in a manner similar to those created by Henry Chapman Mercer, the founder, a major contributor to the American Arts & Crafts Movement. They offer workshops & an apprenticeship program to teach the art of handcrafting ceramic tiles & mosaics.

Motawi Tile Works

Motawi Bungalow tiles

Motawi makes handcrafted ceramic art tiles as well as designing larger-scale tile installations, including fireplace facades, bathrooms & kitchen walls.

Pasadena Craftsman Tile

Bungalow tiles from Pasadena Craftsman

Exquisite tiles, many inspired by Batchelder, are made to order by this mother-daughter duo, specifically for your project. They offer brilliant design services to make your installation perfect.

Pewabic Pottery

“We believe in the alchemy of earth and fire.”
Founded in 1903, Pewabic is one of the oldest continually operating potteries in the country. Shown above is a beautiful installation for a birthing center.

Tile Restoration Center

Bungalow tiles from Tiles Resource Center

Reproduction of American Arts and Crafts Tiles, Ernest Batchelder and Claycraft Designs for fireplaces, fountains, floors, wainscot, kitchen & bath.

Weaver Tile

Weaver tiles
High quality, high fire decorative tiles, most of which are are hand pressed in molds that are made from their original sculpted works. Inspired by gardening, wildflowers & nature.

To see even more wonderful tiles, visit my Pinterest page!

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Bungalow basicsMy blog has gotten rather chunky so I have chosen 5 articles that I consider to be the most important bungalow basics for any conscientious steward. In these articles I have covered the information that it is vital for you to know in order to understand, preserve & maintain & enjoy your bungalow. The rest of my blog supports these.

When I purchased the Hare House, I had some of this knowledge having grown up in museums & museum houses. I gained more from reading books & magazines about the Arts & Crafts Movement & am still studying today.

The internet is a wonderful resource, the main caveat being that anyone can represent themselves as an authority & unfortunately, few truly are. The external links I provide in my articles & video posts take you to the people to whom you should be listening. These true experts adhere to & promote the use of the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, which forms the bedrock of preservation. The internal links take you to my articles which embellish each topic. I urge you to follow the those links & continue reading.

So let’s take a look at the information you need to know to win the bungalow game.



The books of Jane Powell. I started this blog in Jane’s memory & to ensure that her knowledge would continue to spread. There is little information about bungalows that is not contained in those books, save that some of the resources may be out of date. I suggest that you start by just paging through, enjoying the lush photos & reading the captions. After you have had this visual orientation, start reading. The type is very small & the the data is very detailed, but Jane was a dedicated researcher & wanted us to know everything!

These books are now out of print but still available. They can be found in many libraries.

I always suggest starting with this one which Jane called The Big Book of Bungalows. It is a good introduction to the subject, covering the history & philosophy of the favorite American house, as well as providing many pictures of amazing houses throughout the United States. These homes are beautifully preserved & impeccably decorated which can guide you in making your choices. Links to all the books are included at the bottom of the page for each of them.


These beautiful videos will introduce you to the soul of your bungalow. When I hear people wondering about decor, lighting or remodeling, I send them here to learn about the origin of the bungalow & the cultural problems it was designed to solve.

When I purchased the Hare House, I did not have this rich, visual resource, created by many brilliant scholars. After getting a subscription to American Bungalow & locating many back issues which I scoured thoroughly, I purchased a book on William Morris which I read concurrent with Jane’s books & I was hooked on The Movement & its American expression, the bungalow.

These videos & their companions offer you a look at history, philosophy, historic preservation & life as it was lived during the early 1900’s as well as containing advice from some of the top preservationists in the field. I have searched the internet to present the most helpful, entertaining & often amusing information available in the format.

When I am chilling, I watch & rewatch these videos.


The word has evolved through the decades & is now used both as an architectural term & as a catch-all term.

This article is written by Jo-Anne Peck of Preservation Resource, Inc. & Historic Shed. Jo-Anne is a historic preservation professional with a degree in Building Science, a Master’s of Fine Arts in Historic Preservation & a licensed Florida Building Contractor with over 25 years experience in preservation. She is very active, leading community preservation efforts in the historic town in which she lives & her own house is meticulously restored.

Jo-Anne has extensive knowledge of all things bungalow as well as all other types of houses. I met her when I was producing preservation educational events & her presentations were some of the most informative, & popular. She is often called upon to side-check my work & I am grateful for her knowledge & her willingness to help.


Old house stewardship is not for everyone. The amount of planning, surprises, decisions, resilience (both physical & mental) & money required can be overwhelming in the extreme!  Fortunately,  there are concrete actions that you can take that will aid you in getting through any project.

This is an article I wrote after doing a restoration that almost crushed me. I was floundering & whining & finally decided that I needed to gather every life lesson that I ever learned about everything & apply it to the situation at hand.

Read the story of how I used all my knowledge & all my skills (& then rapidly developed some more!) to get a house done that I should never have touched in the first place.

I am in no way saying that doing these things made it easy! I’m just saying that taking these actions made it possible!


Even the most dedicated DIY’er will at some point need to hire a pro. Even if your only need is guidance, you want to be assured that the advice given is sound.

The majority of contractors know nothing about old house restoration. They know current codes & modern materials & methods. Or sadly, even less. The trick is incorporating these modern materials & methods into old construction while also have an understanding of when the old work ones actually better. Too often their suggestion is to lose the old & substitute the new.

You need to find contractors who respect old houses & have gotten educated on their proper treatment. If you mention the Secretary’s Standards to a contractor & he looks at you blankly, you need to pass or educate.

This article is designed to help you find the right guys.

The blog is now approaching 200 articles. I hope this gives you an idea of where to wade in. To get more of a feel for it, visit the SITEMAP, which serves as a table of contents, or use the Search feature.

I had to learn all of this piecemeal & want to make it easier for you to absorb, evaluate & align the tremendous amount of information that there is for you to know. Please let me know if there’s any way that my blog can serve you better.

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videos william morrisTHE CRAFTSMAN Volume One
“Though the name of William Morris has long since become a household word throughout America, yet the personality of the man, as well as his great part in the world’s work, is definitely known but to the few. His was a versatile genius…”

The father of the Arts & Crafts Movement, Morris was an undisputed genius whose mastery of textile & furniture design, poetry, illustration & writing changed the world of art & architecture in his native England & here in America.

These videos of William Morris are the work of scholars due to the fact that his influence on art & architecture, & on the cultures of England & America has been profound & lasting. His life, his marriage, his homes have been carefully examined because he was a man of such depth, talent & vitality that he changed the way that the world looked at design, labor & humanity.

Please watch these videos on a larger screen!


The inspiration behind the designs of William Morris (25:14)
Forest School

A fascinating look at Morris’ life.

The Life and Times of William Morris: Textile Arts Council of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (1:13:18)
TAC Social Media

An in-depth look at Morris & his art.

The Eternal Craftsman: William Morris and 21st Century Craft
V&A Museum

An exploration of Morris’ approach to design.

Virtual Member Lecture: “Morris and Company—The Business of Beauty”
The Art Institute of Chicago (45:09)
Textiles & wallpapers exhibited at the museum.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen speaks at the Brilliance of William Morris
Forest School
The story told by Morris’ designs.

To learn more about the work of William Morris’ daughter & the other women of the Movement, visit here.

See the complete Menu of bungalow videos here.

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