Story: Housing

Housing floor plans

Housing floor plans have changed over time. A typical 19th-century worker’s cottage (1) was small and had one or two bedrooms. Long, narrow sections meant new lean-to rooms were often added at the rear of the cottage. Washhouses and toilets (usually a long-drop) were built in the back yard.

The 1920s and 1930s Californian bungalow (2) usually had two or three bedrooms. Whereas in the cottage and villa the kitchen was a social hub, in the bungalow it became a working space for the housewife and was reduced in size. In the early bungalows toilet and washing facilities were outside at the back of the house, but in later ones they came inside, reflecting greater interest in family hygiene.

The 1930s and 1940s English cottage-style design used in state (public) housing (3) also had two to three bedrooms. Whereas in the past the living room had always been at the front of the house, in the English cottage-style house it was sited to maximise exposure to sun. The dining room was replaced by a kitchen meals recess so the homemaker was not isolated in the kitchen.

Using this item

Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Source: Malcolm McKinnon, ed. Bateman New Zealand historical atlas: ko papatuanuku e takoto nei. Auckland: David Bateman, 1997, plate 74; Jeremy Ashford, The bungalow in New Zealand. Auckland: Penguin, 1994, p. 29

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How to cite this page:

Ben Schrader, 'Housing - Interior planning and living', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 25 July 2024)

Story by Ben Schrader, published 5 Sep 2013