I’m obsessed, I know. I just can’t help myself,  but kit homes from a century ago are just charming and adorable. And of course it doesn’t help that I found this amazing website that lists tons of antique kit homes. I could spend hours drooling over the house plans and advertisements of yesteryear when a bedroom was referred to as a “chamber”. Of course “chamber” sounds a little archaic, but it’s nostalgic just the same.


My current favorite (and this changes on a day to day basis) is the Harris Homes bungalow collection of the 1920’s. Many of the bungalow plans this company offered were on the small end of the spectrum, under 800 sq. ft., but some of the two story versions were a comfy 1,200 sq. ft. I think the large porches with the staunch pillars are what draw me to this style the most.

Harris Home Design
Harris Home Design

Harris Homes also dabbled in Four-Square and Colonial Revival residential architecture, but the majority of the 1920’s models revolve around bungalow, or Craftsman style, home designs. Their bungalow floor plans were much more open than their Four-Square plans. Most of their kit homes delivered regionally around their business in Chicago, Illinois and can be found throughout the Great Lakes Region.What’s interesting about this company, is they were truly pioneers in the “green” movement before it was ever popular. Their specialty was wrecking and offered “money back for waste” according to the Antique Home Style description. The only thing I see that’s missing in most of their floor plans, was a second bathroom. However, I’m sure that in 1920 it was a treat to have indoor plumbing!

Today there is still a desire for Craftsman House Plan designs. A few companies I’ve come across that sell similar plans, though not necessarily kit home plans, are The Bungalow Company. I’ve written about this company before; they have some amazing bungalow house plans including a small house plans design area. They also have slide shows of sample interiors and exteriors which helps in determining a favorite plan or style.

Another company that offers a lot of bungalow style plans, as well as other architectural designs, is Designs for Living. They have lots of plans to choose from and many of them have actual photos of completed homes instead of just illustrations or mock-ups. Their floor plans are really open and unique and not so cookie-cutter. Also, the architectural plans are quite reasonably priced compared to other companies I’ve come across, however I’m not sure if you’d need additional sets of plans upon construction. Comparatively, some companies include 4 sets of plans for one price that are called “construction” plans.  Since I’m not ready to build my dream home yet, I’m a little unsure of the materials needed.

At least I’ve found companies that offer bungalow style plans. Once I get serious about where I’m going to build my home, find a reasonably priced lot (this is the kicker of them all!), and decide on a design style, I know where to look!

If you’re interested in purchasing an antique craftsman or bungalow home, check out OldHouses.com for current listings.

What style is your dream home? Does antique architecture pique your interest?

14 Comments

  1. I love these kit homes! They just don’t make them like this anymore!

    All the best,

    Len
    Len Penzo dot Com

    • @Len – No, I don’t think they make homes as sturdy or charming as they used to. However, I’m guessing that new homes have better insulation now a days.

  2. I’m a huge fan of smaller homes with style. Well designed Craftsman style places are pleasant to be in. They’ve got “flow”. They’ve got comfortable, yet cozy spaces. The relatively big windows bring in good light. I didn’t know these plans were still available. Thanks so much for your post!

    • @Olivia – Craftsman style or bungalow type homes do have a much better flowing floor plan than many other styles. And you’re welcome for the link to a few current companies that still design these types of homes. I have to say that the second link I found, Design for Living, has some great floor plans. The first floor is really open and well designed.

  3. I love Bungalows. I think it’s my most favorite part of the little suburbs in the northwest. There are so many of them there.

    I too didn’t know these were still available.

    • @Money Reasons – I think that’s part of their characteristic; that romantic charm. It reminds me of the original Thomas Kincade paintings of the cottages (before his work ended up everywhere!)

  4. I also a fan of the Craftsman style homes. They have a lot of them in the LA area and I enjoy when restored homes are featured in the Sunday paper.

    • @Bucksome Boomer – Many of the Craftsman in the LA area are in some of the worst areas of LA, and that’s very disheartening. However, Pasadena still has plenty of bungalow style homes in nice areas. I recently drove to downtown Pasadena and had forgotten how quaint that area is (or at least quaint for LA).

  5. I like these homes, as long as they’re in good shape. Here in the Chicago area, there are TON of old bungalows. In fact, there is large area called the “bungalow belt”, for the preponderance of these homes in these neighborhoods. While not all are probably ones that appeal to all, some of these areas have some nice looking homes.

    Some years back, I went to an open house into one older home, which was unaffordable at the time but nice to go through anyway. Turns out it was an old Sears kit home. Not a bad looking house!

    For me, the first thing that pops into my mind when thinking of a dream home would be one with a “Prairie” style, with a Frank Lloyd Wright look to it. Not for everyone, but they appeal to me. To each our own, right?
    .-= Squirrelers´s last blog ..Holiday Memories and Lessons =-.

    • @Squirrelers – I’d love to see the “bungalow belt”, I’m sure there are some really cute homes or some in need of a little TLC. As for the prairie style homes, I waver back and forth with those; sometimes I love them and sometimes they come in as a runner up to my Craftsman obsession.

    • @Sandy – You can still dream about the White House! 😉 As for the Tudor Styles, they definitely have a defined and unique style.

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