The popularity of the bungalow home style first gained traction in the 1900’s in California, where its simple construction and design gave people of average income the opportunity to own homes that were convenient, durable, and affordable. As the country emerged from the industrial age, the bungalow’s appeal was rooted largely in its craftsmanship and ease of customization, which enabled owners to create distinctive and imaginative designs for their homes.

However, the bungalow has its origins in India. “Bungalow” comes from the word “bangla“, which was the name given to small huts used by travelers. The English residents modified the style for their needs, adding features such as broad porches and open floor plans. The bungalow style would later become popular all over the world.

The bungalow has come a long way from its humble origins as a rural hut, but it retains its particular charm as a home characterized by carefree living. Here are some of the most beautiful bungalows in Asia beyond the traditional limitations of their settings.

  1. House in Akashi, Japan by Arbol Design
House in Akashi
The introverted facade reveals glimpses of light between the timber slats at night.

The timber cladding and small openings in this minimalist structure conceal three inner courtyards bursting with tall fruit trees and bathed in sunlight. The kitchen and dining area overlook the gardens, and the common spaces flow into each other without being divided by doors. A wood-burning stove in the living area and a laundry-drying space reveal a rustic functionality. This is a house for living at a more gentle pace, where the art of relaxation and mindful work can be more easily mastered.

  1. Song Saa Jungle Villa, Cambodia
Song Saa's construction includes wood reclaimed from local beaches.
Song Saa’s construction includes wood reclaimed from local beaches.

The classic bungalow features of open floor plans and verandas find a tropical twist in this beach getaway. A wide sundeck with a pool overlooks miles of jungle and ocean views. The indulgent 300 square meter living space is sheltered by a high ceiling, and provides ample seating for gatherings, encouraging socialization and interaction. The warm atmosphere is amplified by ambient lighting, stonemasonry and exposed beams. Soft, white linen canopies enclose four-poster king-size beds, making this the perfect place for luxurious island living.

  1. Jungalow de Luxe, Thailand
Thailand house
The economical construction keeps things light and airy.

A central principle of Thai traditional architecture is adaptability to the elements – designing structures that use wind, sunlight, and rain to their advantage. This principle is executed in this riverside property with a mix of modern and traditional materials. The elevation protects the house from flooding, while long eaves filter the sunlight. The trees and grass surrounding the house provide shade. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls, combined with the adobe clay foundation, is a unique arrangement that integrates to form a structure perfectly suited to its terrain and climate.

  1. Dinesh Mills Bungalow, India

Architect: Atelier Design N Domain

Atelier DnD
This home is the ideal space for leisure, family, and nature.

This stylish, minimalist home was built to blend indoor and outdoor spaces. The owners wanted the architectural plan to preserve as much of the original vegetation in the area as possible. The monochromatic palette and clean lines are offset by unexpected touches of color, such as a metallic turquoise sunburst on the entryway wall, paintings in the bedrooms, and traditional statues in the hallway. The backyard pool hugs the glass walls of the house, further enhancing its connection with the exterior. This house is an elegant demonstration of the bungalow’s promise of a well-constructed, specialized home, made to one’s requirements, and offering complete comfort and ease.

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