If cruising down Melbourne streets on a Sunday afternoon and checking out the old house styles is something you like to do, you probably already know all about Californian Bungalows. Some are originals, some have been beautifully renovated, but what they have in common is that unmistakable architectural style and existed between the two World Wars.
If you’re not familiar with this style, it’s unmistakably Hollywood-esque American, featuring a sloping roof and probably a window high up under the eaves, a front porch, verandah pylons and a real feeling of charm and simplicity that is also perfect for us laid-back Aussies.
If it sounds like we are big fans of the Californian Bungalow, you’d be absolutely spot on. So when we get the opportunity to do California Bungalow extensions, we absolutely jump at the opportunity.
But that’s not to say that Californian Bungalow extensions and renovations are simple! The layouts are quite small for a family home, and blending that unmistakable style with your modern lifestyle can be difficult.
So to make sure you make the most of your forthcoming California Bungalow renovation by enhancing your lifestyle and your home’s value rather than heading in the opposite direction, here’s what to watch out for:
1. Make it blend
As we have already suggested, blending the original old charm with a modern Californian Bungalow extension can be difficult – but it’s absolutely necessary.
It’s therefore really important not to mess with what makes a Californian Bungalow to charming and distinctive, so don’t get too creative with the deep eaves and verandah and roof designs, particularly the gable roof.
2. Keep the front
Similarly, while you may have lots of Californian bungalow renovation ideas for the interior and the back of the home, don’t play around too much at all with the frontage.
You can then really explore your creativity with Californian Bungalow renovations with a rear extension. Adding a room like dining or a much bigger kitchen that even leads out to a rear deck, and another of the best Californian bungalow renovation ideas is an upper storey that can accommodate another bedroom or bathroom.
3. Go up … smartly
Now that you have committed to keeping that iconic and recognisable frontage, you can really explore adding another storey. But even if you build it from the rear, a second storey extension can still interfere with how it looks from the front – so be very mindful of that.
The upper storey should mimic as much as possible the existing characteristic roof, rather than look like a box that has been plonked on the gable.
4. Tell a modern story
However, we don’t want to persuade you to make your California Bungalow extensions too restrictive or old-fashioned. Even though retaining the original charm is crucial, it’s still possible to let your modern flair, personality and 21st century Australian lifestyle shine through when renovating old homes. Just make sure your California Bungalow renovation makes the interaction between the old and the new clear and obvious.
In other words, an observer of your Californian Bungalow extensions should get this message loud and clear: “Here is the old style, and here is what we are saying today.”
As we said at the top, here at RFT Solutions we’re big fans of the best Californian Bungalow extension ideas – and we just love getting our hands on a California bungalow extension or renovation project! If you’re ready to explore a brilliant California Bungalow renovation and need support or advice from Melbourne’s home extension design specialists, give us a call today.