The bungalow traditionally refers to a one-story residential building, especially in a more tropical, rural area. The actual word ‘bungalow’ tends to draw up a sort of beach-like image with palm trees, sand, and a small hut somewhere by the sea. Indeed, the idea of a bungalow had once meant a small one-story house with a terrace and a flat roof. Those types of bungalows were popularized by British colonialists, who had once resided in them during the colonization of India. Today, the modern bungalow is used in many countries, including the US, India and Spain.
The modern bungalow can refer to both one-story and two-story buildings, with a flat or sloping roof. The bungalow can be built from brick, wood, stone or any other common constructive material. Unlike other types of houses, the bungalow must include a private veranda.
Many bungalows are designed to include columns/pillars as part of their exterior structures. However, despite these columns, the bungalow is not considered a grandiose version of a cottage or some kind of palatial structure. A bungalow is said to be a lighter version of a country house consisting of several rooms.
Bungalows are also widely used in the hotel industry, usually a separate one-story room/house with all amenities included. Bungalows can be built above water or in close proximity to the beach. They are generally the more expensive alternative to ordinary hotel rooms.
The residential real estate industry refers to bungalows as a single-family house in a rural area. Residential developers often try to build bungalows in close proximity to ponds or forests. Some features of the bungalow include: being bright, having small rooms, and being built from cost-effective, natural and locally sourced materials such as wood, tile, stone or reed.
Bungalows today are not solely exclusive to tropical, rural areas, and are built in many countries, including the US, the Netherlands, Australia, and Spain. In contrast to villas, bungalows are more accommodating to nature lovers, are more horizontally shaped, and typically include no stairs.