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Bungalows Are Back!

An interior designer discusses the current architecture and interior trends of bungalows

Ajay Arya Published 29.07.21, 11:04 PM

If you’ve been paying attention to architectural trends lately, you know that bungalows are back in a big way. The ongoing pandemic and lockdown phases have made us realise the importance of space in our homes. Over the last year, our homes have had to become multifunctioning spaces that accommodate all our needs of working, unwinding and entertaining. This has resulted in the rise of the popularity of bungalows once again.

There has been an increase in people choosing bungalows as their primary residence. We are seeing this in cities such as Mumbai and Calcutta as well, where apartments and flats were previously popular. In Calcutta, people are buying bungalows in various gated communities such as Urbana, which offers plots for bungalows, or Belair in Alipore that has a number of row houses.


Origin of Bungalows

The word ‘bungalow’ derives from a Hindi word meaning “a house in the Bengali style” and came into English during the era of the British administration of India. Thereafter, the architectural style became popular in England and it was eventually carried over to the US.

Advantages of a Bungalow

Living in a bungalow offers a number of advantages. Large families can live together and still have their individual space. Also, bungalows enable residents to segregate rooms for specific needs such as a meditation room, a media room, a home office or a hosting room.

Moreover, bungalows have the added advantage of comprising an outdoor space in the form of a verandah or a rooftop, which leads to a better lifestyle and added privacy. In addition, residents and interior designers can be more innovative when it comes to conceptualising the interiors of a bungalow as there are less space restrictions.

Current Design Trends

Due to the pandemic, there has also been an increase in the number of families that are investing in bungalows as second homes. For instance, many Mumbai residents are buying weekend bungalows in Alibaug or Lonavala. We Calcuttans also have options to own a holiday home at Raichak or Vedic Village.

Presently, people are either choosing traditional or contemporary architectural styles for their bungalows or villas. There are families that prefer the ancestral home feel to their bungalows. These Kerala-inspired homes feature indoor courtyards along with the heavy use of wood, terracotta, greenery and bricks. On the other end, there are people that desire modern architecture with large floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary furnishings and verandahs or gardens. Also, as most of India has tropical weather, indoor and outdoor spaces are often integrated in bungalows. These trends will continue for a while.

The Interiors

One of the responses to the Covid-19 pandemic has been the emerging need for our homes to be tranquil and relaxing, a kind of sanctuary for our busy lives. Along with being functional, people want their homes to be uplifting and comforting.

The interiors of bungalows usually depend on whether it is the residents’ primary home or not. If it is their primary home, the furnishings are made of wood, metal and velvet, and are more formal and luxe. If it is their second home, the furnishings are usually more experimental and casual, and are made of cane and linen. When it comes to second homes, people are more open to experimentation and designers are creating interiors that are eye-catching.

The Future of Bungalows

I believe that bungalows will continue to trend for the next few years. People are understanding the significance of get-togethers with families and friends, and bungalows will play an important part in this bonding!

The author is principal interior designer, A Square Designs

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