Annotated Bungalow Bookshelf

This is my annotated list of Craftsman bungalow related books that I borrowed, own (or did own and got rid of) including my opinion of whether I thought it was a worthwhile purchase.

500 Bungalows by Douglas Keister. This is a fairly small book (quarto size) which includes pictures of bungalows. If you're looking for paint colors, this would probably be useful. If you're looking for historical accuracy, look elsewhere.

American Arts and Crafts Textiles by Dianne Ayres, et al. It was nice to finally see some color photos of period textile designs. They had such nice colors that were lost to the black and white photos of the time. Also, this book specifically covers the American side of the arts & crafts movement. It's a good book I'll be picking up for my library.

American Arts and Crafts: Virtue in Design by Leslie Greene Bowman. A coffee table book showing nice pictures of A&C furniture in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Beautiful book. It has quite a few pictures in black and white. Good documentation on pictures detailing when the item was made and by whom, if known.

American Bungalow Style by Robert Winter and Alexander Vertikoff. I can't really say whether this book is a great read because I've not actually read the words. It does have lots of nice pictures. The best part about this book is the appendix, where they show resources for buying period appropriate furnishings. "This special catalogue section highlights modern reproductions of tables and chairs, lamps, textiles, wall coverings, tile and hardware that look right at home in bungalows...." (Since this was published in 1996, many of the resources are dated or out of business. Currently used copies are selling for less than $10, which may make it a worthwhile purchase. But, really, this is probably one you can just borrow from the library.)

Arts & Crafts (Abbeville Stylebooks) by James Massey & Shirley Maxwell. Small book with black and white photos. Seems more geared toward Britain's Arts & Crafts movement. Really not worth the money; so many better sources available for little or no money.

Arts & Crafts: Architecture and Design Library by Kitty Turgeon and Robert Rust. A mishmash of period and modern bungalows. I would not buy this one again (unless it was a dollar or two).

Arts & Crafts Carpets by Malcolm Haslam. This is an oversize book showing many color pictures of early-1900s carpets. It's pretty heavy into William Morris designs. It shows quite a few Donegal rugs, which are wonderful in bungalow interiors. If you have the big bucks, you don't really need a book; just buy one of the amazing reproductions currently available. I found the book useful for shopping among the inexpensive machine made offerings because it helped me find some designs that weren't necessarily reproductions, but were a reasonable substitute. (When I bought it, I found a copy for $12, which was a deal. I don't think I would pay more than $40.)

Arts and Crafts Design in America: A State-by-State Guide by James Massey & Shirley Maxwell. They probably have some good examples in this book, but the listings for Oregon were SO BAD that I couldn't get past that section. We have SO MANY fabulous Arts & Crafts neighborhoods and homes in Portland (Pittock Mansion, for instance), I don't understand how they could have listed the weird few they did. This book might be helpful to plan a trip to visit different A&C houses through the states, but don't rely on it as your only source (especially not for Oregon).

Arts & Crafts Furniture: Identification and Price Guide by Mark F. Moran. If you're just looking for pictures of period furniture, this is THE book to get. Many pages have four color pictures and a short description and estimated price for each. Since it was published in 2004, I imagine the prices are out of date by now. But if you're looking for inspiration for modern reproductions, this book would be helpful.

Arts & Crafts Home Plans by Hanley Wood Home Planners. Don't buy this book. The plan numbers are out of date and the home plans can be found for FREE at Or, go to my pinterest page and look at house plans there for free.

Arts & Crafts Needlepoint by Beth Russell. This book has British Arts & Crafts patterns based on William Morris' wallpapers and fabrics. There are some really lovely designs. I haven't actually made up any of these patterns yet, but I think when I do it will be a bit difficult. The patterns are printed into the bound book across two pages, so there is a gap between the two edges of the pattern. It would be very easy to make a mistake counting squares and shift the design by mistake. When it is time to actually make a pattern, I would probably have to break the binding and take color copies of the pages and tape the two edges together. It would have been nice if they included the designs on fold-out pages maybe. Otherwise, the designs are quite nice if you like William Morris designs.

Arts & Crafts Patterns & Designs by Phoebe Ann Erb. So not worth the money, unless you need some arts & crafts style clip art to scan for a newsletter.

Arts & Crafts Stencilling by W.G. Sutherland (reprint). This book is a reprint of a book originally published in the 1920s. It includes tons of stencil designs published in period. If you aspire to cut out your own stencils, this book is definitely worth taking a look at.

Arts & Crafts Textiles by Ann Wallace. A nice little book with lots of illustrations, tips for identifying period textiles, and ideas and advice for creating your own. I'm enjoying this book.

The Beautiful Necessity: Decorating with Arts & Crafts by Bruce Smith and Yoshiko Yamamoto. I don't really understand the point of this book, as I haven't actually read it. I think you'd need to read it to find out if it is any good. There are some nice color photos. I definitely don't find this book to be a necessity, but I might pick it up again if it were less than $10, including shipping.

Building with Nature: Inspiration for the Arts and Crafts Home by Leslie M. Freudenheim. This book is a history about the Arts & Crafts movement in California architecture. It includes quite a lot of reprinted black & white photographs from the period. In the author's words, "This book focuses on the largely unknown yet exceedingly charismatic Swedenborgian minister Rev. Joseph Worcester, a serious student of architecture, and the quiet revolution he created as he turned Californians, and eventually Americans, towards the Arts & Crafts movement." While I did not read all the words, it did seem to be well done based on what I did read.

Bungalow: American Restoration Style by Jan Cigliano. This book includes some truly exceptional bungalow restorations. Most of the pictures are black and white, but for a few pages of color photos which are gorgeous. The houses are jammed packed with actual antiques and the folks who did these restorations clearly spent some big bucks. (More than most of us can afford.) Since used copies are so inexpensive, I may pick up a copy for my library.

Bungalow Basics: Bedrooms by Paul Duchschere and Douglas Keister. A quarto size book with color photographs. Good examples, but I wish it were larger. It included photos of two neat murphy beds.

Bungalow Basics: Porches by Paul Duchschere and Douglas Keister. Another quarto size book with color photographs. As above, you really wish they were larger. There are some really beautiful examples of porches but I'm not sure I would spend $13 on it. I checked my copy out of the library.
Bungalow Bathrooms by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. This is my favorite book for restoring period bathrooms. Since I agree with Jane's bias toward restoration over remodeling, when I was planning our project, I read the entire book and took notes! I didn't always follow her suggestions but I certainly was influenced by them. Given how much time I spent with the book, I'd definitely buy it again.

Bungalow Colors: Exteriors by Robert Schweitzer. This book is fairly good, though it didn't end up being super useful for us because we ended up choosing a color scheme out of a period house kit catalog. In some of the examples, I think rather more of the exterior details, like brackets, are painted in too many colors, giving some of them a vaguely painted lady look, which is definitely not Craftsman style. This can't be an easy topic to cover since almost all of the period pictures are black and white.

Bungalow Details: Exterior by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. I'm pretty sure if you wanted to build a modern Craftsman, or restore a ruined home, you would find this book invaluable, as it generally gives an "Obsessive Restoration" option and a "Compromise Solution." Though Jane is pretty preachy about what materials are acceptable, so if you're on a close to zero budget and can only afford plastic substitutes, skip this book. As usual, there are lots of good photos, though I was expecting information about paint colors, which I don't believe I found. Since I whole-heartedly agree with Jane's opinions, I find the list price to be fair.

Bungalow Details: Interior by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. Like her exterior book, this one is an excellent resource for restoration/building with real, expensive materials. If you have a Home Depot budget, then this probably isn't the book for you. Though there are plenty of good photos and as long as you don't read the text, you might still enjoy the book. Since I whole-heartedly agree with Jane's opinions, I find the list price to be fair.

Bungalow Kitchens by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. This was our "bible" for our kitchen restoration. I read the entire book and took notes! I didn't always follow her suggestions but I certainly was influenced by them. Given how much time I spent with the book, I'd definitely buy it again.

Bungalow Nation by Diane Maddex and Alexander Vertikoff. Like most bungalow books, lots of pretty photos. I would have found the book more useful if the author had identified what dates were attached to what interior shots. They didn't seem to pay much attention to how bungalows were done "in period," they seemed mostly to want to show pretty bungalow interiors.

Bungalow Plans by Christian and Christen Gladu. Apparently the Gladu's own the Bungalow Company in Bend, Oregon, who sells bungalow plans. I do like their plans because the garages do not overwhelm the fronts of the houses. I'm not sure why you would need to buy this book to see their plans when they're available at their website for free, but this book does show some well done interiors.

Bungalow Style by April Halberstadt. Another mishmash of period and modern bungalows. I would not buy this one again (unless it was a dollar or two).

Bungalow: The Ultimate Arts & Crafts Home by Jane Powell and Linda Svendsen. This is a beautiful coffee table book loaded with amazing photos. Though, the houses in this book are often too grand for the budgets of most normal people. These are the interiors of the homes of the rich and famous (or tech-bubble workers who got lucky enough to time the market right).

California Bungalows of the Twenties by Henry L. Wilson (reprinted by Dover). Yeah, you could pay $4 to have the soft copy of this book, or you could download a very similar edition for free. They have virtually the same material, though the printed copy has a bit better picture quality, so if that matters to you, spring for the $4.

Century of Color: Exterior Decoration for American Buildings, 1820-1920 by Roger W. Moss. This book is mostly useful for Victorian style houses, but there are about 10 pages of examples of houses from the early 1900s (mostly 1914 from a Lowe Brothers Paint brochure).

Cottages in the Sun: Bungalows of Venice, California by Margaret Bach. If you're a fan of small, brightly painted bungalows, you'll probably love this book. I did not. There was one beautiful, historical renovation where the homeowner had stripped the painted woodwork; that was my favorite.

Craftsman Bungalows: Designs from the Pacific Northwest by Yoho & Merritt. This is a Dover reprint of a 1920 house plan catalog. There are some small black and white photographs but, in general, I don't think this book is very useful unless what you're trying to do is identify where a design came from for a historic house. Or, you can download a 1912 version of the house plan book here.

Craftsman Homes and Bungalows by Gustav Stickley (reprint). Unless you're looking to build a modern Craftsman home and are looking for a floorplan, probably not worth the money. Honestly, I don't think there is anything in this book you can't get for free in a google search or by poking around the Craftsman magazine.

Creating a New Old House: Yesterday's Character for Today's Home (American Institute Architects) by Russell Versaci. This book is not specifically an Arts & Crafts house book, but there is a section which illustrates a modern A&C house. It is really well done and shows newly-built houses shown with classically-styled interiors. If you are planning to build a new house, I would definitely recommend checking out this book.

Decorative Glass of the 19th and Early 20th Centuries: A Source Book by Nance Fyson. I was a little disappointed about this book. I was expecting to find lots of great examples of Arts & Crafts/Bungalow era leaded and stained glass and there was little to be found. They mostly focused on Victorian and Art Deco. Also, the book did not document the pictures. I believe some of the examples shown were modern pieces done "in the style of" the period, but there was no way to know for sure.

From Architecture to Object: Masterworks of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. A fairly large coffee table book showing many examples of beautiful arts & crafts furniture and furnishings. Good for inspiration, but most people can't afford furniture that's been custom made with such nice details.

From Our Native Clay Art: Art Pottery from the Collections of the American Ceramic Arts Society, edited by Martin Eidelberg. Lots of beautiful photos of pottery from the late 1800's through the early 1900's. If pottery is your thing, this is a great book to invest in.

Homes and Interiors of the 1920's (originally published as Building with Assurance, by the Morgan Woodwork Organization), reprinted by Lee Valley Tools Ltd. This book is a reprint of a HUGE period catalog. It has many color drawings of houses, leaded glass, and some suggested interiors. Most of the pictures are black & white, however. It shows period hardware, doors, windows, mouldings, stair parts, you name it in its nearly 500 pages. It's an awesome book, if you're looking for what was available during the period right after WWI. It's out of print right now—and expensive—but occasionally good deals do present themselves if you keep looking. I was very fortunate to have my copy gifted to me by a friend.

Inside the Bungalow: America's Arts and Crafts Interior by Paul Duchscherer and Douglas Keister. This book has a lot of nice pictures of bungalow interiors. I enjoy some of the before and afters, though the decor is heavy on wallpaper transformations. This book also shows a number of good shots of of Greene & Greene's Gamble and Thorsen houses. (At the current offering price of $8 plus shipping, I think it's a worthwhile purchase.)

Jewelry & Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition by Elyse Zorn Karlin. This book is a good resource for folks who are interested in making or buying early 1900s style jewelry. There are pages and pages of pictures of jewelry dating from the period. It would have been nice if more of the pictures were in color, but I suspect some of them were printed from original black & white photos from the period.

New Arts & Crafts Houses by Neill Heith. Yes, they are new arts & crafts inspired houses. Many of them looked rather too modern and open for me, but if you're building a new craftsman-style house, this book is probably worth looking into, at least for inspiration.

Old House Woodwork Restoration: How to Restore Doors, Windows, Walls, Stairs, and Decorative Trim to Their Original Beauty by Ed Johnson. This book was published back in 1983, so some of the tools are definitely dated. But this book helped give me the confidence to try stripping our woodwork. The pictures are black and white and most of the info is in the text. But if you can pick it up for under $10, including shipping, I think it's a worthwhile place to start if you have no clue how to strip woodwork. I've not found anything more recent in print.

Outside the Bungalow: America's Arts and Crafts Garden by Paul Duchschere and Douglas Keister. We're just getting around to fixing the yard, so it's hard to say yet whether this is a good book. There are lots of pretty pictures of yard details, like pergolas and paths. I'm looking forward to checking it out this year.

Sears, Roebuck Home Builder's Catalog: The Complete Illustrated 1910 Edition by Sears, Roebuck and Co. (reprinted by Dover). This book is actually one Dover reprint I'm pretty happy with. This book actually has color images (mostly of leaded glass designs), which is a bit surprising for a 1910 catalog. I do love color pictures in period catalogs! Though, this catalog does have a lot of victorian style stuff in it because mission / craftsman was still the new thing.

Shop Drawings for Craftsman Interiors: Cabinets, Moldings & Built-Ins for Every Room in the Home by Robert W. Lang. I definitely think this book is a worthwhile purchase if you plan to build a new Craftsman-style home or install cabinets, moldings or other built-ins in your existing home. Lots of drawings. I haven't actually built anything out of this book (yet) because the house we bought already had the moldings in place. (At the current selling price (under $15), I would definitely pick this book up.)

Small Bungalows by Christian Gladu. This book is designed to help people who want to build a new bungalow. I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by this book; I was expecting to hate it. So many new house designs are totally dominated by garage, but not in this book. The author also includes some lovely wainscoted interiors. And while I do prefer the examples of stained woodwork, the painted interiors are nicely done as well. The book, according to the dust jacket, "features detailed home plans, photographs and illustrations, as well as sections on following sustainable and green building principles to help design the small bungalow that's perfect for you." I believe I would buy this one if I was thinking about building.

Stenciling the Arts & Crafts Home by Amy A. Miller. If you aspire to stencil your bungalow with period appropriate stencils, then this book is a good place to start. It shows you lots of period examples and explains the process of stenciling. This was my stenciling "bible"; I actually read this book and learned a lot.
The Arts & Crafts Home by Kitty Turgeon and Robert Rust. Some nice pictures of nicely furnished arts & crafts interiors. Again, mostly "great homes," like the Gamble House and Stickley's home, so there was plenty of space. I did like that there were many detail pictures, showing groupings of vases and other small wares arranged throughout the interior. Also some pictures of exterior details.

The Arts and Crafts House by Adrian Tinniswood. This book starts with the British A&C Movement, and ends with the American A&C Movement. It has pictures from many of the "great" houses well known for the period. I saw a few examples of curtains I liked, but not really worth owning. Borrow it from the library and scan the photos you like. Or, used copies are cheap enough, it might be worth picking up to complete the collection.

The Arts and Crafts Lifestyle and Design by Wendy Hitchmough. This has many nice pictures, but like so many other books, it mostly focuses on grand houses, like the Gamble house, that aren't really practical examples for normal-size houses. As usual, I think this book is mostly good for inspiration, but I don't feel compelled to buy the book; I borrowed it from my local library.

The Arts & Crafts Movement by Oscar Lovell Triggs. This book is about the British Arts & Crafts Movement, so it's interesting, but not necessarily useful if you're going for the American version of the Arts & Crafts Movement. Lots of nice pictures of William Morris wallpapers, rugs, etc.

The Bungalow: America's Arts and Crafts Home by Paul Duchschere and Douglas Keister. Some beautiful interior photographs. One of my favorite inspiration kitchens is in this book. This books has lots of swoon-worthy examples and I will definitely be keeping it in my library. (It looks like used copies can be picked up for under $10, including shipping.)

The California Bungalow by Robert Winter. This is a fairly old book, published in 1980, and predated the more recent trendy bungalow books. It is a well-researched and thoroughly cited history of the bungalow in the US with an emphasis on the California bungalow. (I really appreciate Mr. Winter citing his sources because then I can go look for them.) All the pictures are disappointingly black & white but this is a good book to read about the history of the bungalow architectural style.

The New Bungalow by Matthew Bialecki, et al. There are some stunning modern day projects in this book as well as some nice color reproductions of period postcards and house designs. The book includes many pages of resources and offers advice for hiring professionals to build your own. If I had plans to build a new bungalow, I would consider buying this book.

The New Bungalow Kitchen by Peter Labau. I'm not enamored by this book. I know lots of people are fans, but with websites like Houzz and Pinterest, why spend the money? It's really just another kitchen idea book. Like other kitchen idea books, though, they do include a list of resources for most bungalows shown, i.e. what kind of countertop, refrigerator, etc. which may make this a worthwhile purchase if you like a particular kitchen shown. But, really, most libraries are going to own this book; just check it out first and see if it's worth $20+ to you.

The Vintage House Book: Classic American Homes 1880-1980 by Tad Burness. This book is put together in a collage style of presentation. Pages are crammed full of small pictures of houses and fixtures and other small adds. Generally there are at least ten per page. While there are 22 pages given to 1910-1919, most of the pictures are too small to really be useful for anything. And they're mostly black and white or badly colorized. I borrowed this from the library and I'll quickly be returning it.

Universal Millwork Catalog, 1927 reprinted by Dover. I borrowed this book from the library and I'm glad I did. Though it had lots of nice millwork, it was hard to tell the difference between this and Morgan catalog reprint. So, unless you specifically have a late 1920s bungalow, the Morgan millwork catalog reprint (Homes & Interiors of the 1920s) is better. Also, the original Universal catalog apparently has 12 color pictures, but Dover cheaped out and printed everything in black and white.

Updating Classic America Bungalows by M. Caren Connolly and Louis Wasserman. This book is tough, because there were some pretty, classic-looking remodels. But I was not a fan of many of the suggestions in this book, but my taste is not typical. I prefer renovations that preserve the historic craftsman look. These projects had way too many can lights and rooms were freakishly large; in one example they turned three rooms into one and then added on. Quite a few of the remodels looked more mid-century modern to me, so much so that they were jarring. This is not a book I'll be adding to my personal library.

Wardway Homes, Bungalows, and Cottages, 1925 by Montgomery Ward Co. (reprinted by Dover). Unless you need a bound soft copy, you can download this book here at internet archive. This catalog has only B&W drawings of house exteriors a drawn floor plans with very little information on interior finish details. Overall, disappointing (unless you download the free version).

West Coast Bungalows of the 1920s by E.W. Stillwell (reprinted by Dover). If the need a reprint of the 1919 edition, this is the one. But, you could download the 1912 edition, which is nearly as good, for free at internet archive. All the photos are black and white and there are no interior pictures.

I've now signed up with Amazon as an affiliate, so if you click through these links and order a book, I'll make a microscopic portion (pennies on the dollar) of the sale and it will cost you nothing extra. This slight commission has had no impact on my opinion of the book. I appreciate your support and will likely apply any funds earned to expand my bungalow library.

(Stay tuned as I continue to sift through my bungalow and house restoration library. I'll add more later.)


  1. That's quite an annotation! I have some of these books, as well as many, many, many issues of American Bungalow Magazine. These books always make me drool over what my house could actually look like when renovated. :)

  2. I will also say that the Jane Powell books are historically accurate and detailed enough, with enough pictures, to win arguments with your designer with. They'll still think you're batty, but showing a picture of exactly what you want and how to do it helps you get what you really want. It also helps you to know what you really want in the planning stage.

  3. Thank you so much! I will be checking out a few of the books that you have here. (using your links :) ) I stumbled across your blog while searching for information to help me restore my own Laurelhurst Bungalow. Thank you! Thank you!

    1. You're welcome. I hope they help. You might also try your library so you can preview them before purchasing.