So What Are You Reading?

Reviews of Books.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Bungalow Nation. Diane Maddex & Alexander Vertikoff

Bungalow Nation is a truly sumptuous and detailed look at American bungalows.With color pictures on every page, this book is a wonderful balance of text and graphics. The author's text and the photographs by Alexander Vertikoff together present a well-rounded introduction to bungalow style through brief looks at over 75 specific examples of bungalow architecture.

In a chapter called "In The Land Of The Bungalow" the book starts with a brief history of the origins and growth of the architectural style and its place in American history. This chapter is followed by brief treatments of specific aspects of bungalow style: the outside, porches, the inside, fireplaces, built-ins, and furnishings.

Then the author and photographer take us to five different cities to look at examples of bungalows in each. Sample bungalows in Los Angeles, Seattle, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, and Washington DC are highlighted in two to four page spreads. Each house has a description and history of the house and some information on the current owners. This is followed by some photographs of specific features with captions describing each.

The book ends with a bibliography and lists of organizations and architects in each of the five areas highlighted.

This is a lovely book. The bugalows are beautifully photographed. The endpapers are sheet music for the song "In The Land Of the Bungalow" by George F. Devereaux. The cover has a color print of a crewel embroidery of dragonflies. It is a labor of love that is a delight to read and a treat to the eyes. If you love bungalows, this is the book for you.

I got this book because of my plans to remodel the kitchen and bath of my 1930 bungalow and was looking for ways to do so while retaining the original integrity of the house. This book has given me many good ideas.


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