1900's Bay villas - 3-4 bedrooms with at least one bay window at front of the house and a front veranda decorated with ornate fretwork.
Differences Between a Villa and a Bungalow
When it comes time to define what makes them different from one another, the lines can become blurry, as established in our article on New Zealand Architecture.
The terms New Zealand villa and bungalow are often thought to be the same thing and it is true that they do look alike. However, there are subtle differences which you can use to tell the difference between and villa and a bungalow.
The Victorian Villa
1910, the traditional villa started to incorporate bungalow features - a lower pitch roof and wider eaves with exposed rafters instead of the villa's boxed eaves.
The Victorian villa began to appear from around 1860’s when Europeans started arriving in large numbers. Built completely with native timber, NZ villas were generally single storey detached buildings, although two storey villas were common in parts of Wellington where land was scarce. With decorated verandas, high ceilings, small windows and wide hallways, they have been a part of Kiwi life for generations. It can be said though that the villa was built for appearances, meaning that there was more thought put into how it looked from the outside instead of how it functioned inside for the occupants themselves.
The California Bungalow
After World War One, the bungalow was the predominant style of house being built in New Zealand.
A bungalow on the other hand, began emerging around 1910 and drew its inspiration from the California bungalow. With a less formal and ornate style, the relaxed American bungalow had lower ceilings, was open plan and leant towards the arts and crafts movement in regards to the built in features. Windows were also large and let in plenty of light. A bungalow was built primarily for the comfort of the occupants, rather than concentrating on how it looked for those passing by, in direct condradiction to a villa.
Villa renovation Auckland - verandah taken back to period
Renovating Your Bungalow or Villa
Plenty of bungalows and villas retain many if not all of their original features. Leadlight windows, detailed carvings, high ceilings and wooden floors are some of the features which are desirable to keep when planning your renovation project. But small kitchens and bathrooms, poor insulation and cold, damp or boxy rooms are not appealing for today’s lifestyle.
Recent design trends have seen the street view of these houses remain the same, but have instead seen renovations of the rear and internal areas of the buildings. Adding an extension, introducing indoor-outdoor flow, modernising the amenities and removing walls to enlarge rooms are also common renovation choices.
While the character of these buildings remains popular, the low level of energy efficiency they provide has home owners concerned. Modern building code requires that homes meet the minimum level of insulation, something which did not exist when these historic homes were built. Frequently this sees the interior wall and ceiling linings removed and replaced with plasterboard after insulation has been installed.
You can read more about two of our recent renovation projects. In the we replaced a kitchen in an old villa because of water damage and the ,second renovation saw a major overhaul for a 120-year-old bungalow which had seen better days. If you have a project you’d like to do on your NZ bungalow or villa, give us a call and together we will bring it back to life for you.