Traditional Craftsman Bungalow Colors

Category: Accents

From the House in Progress mailbag...

"I found your website while I was doing a search for interior paint colours, specifically a colour for my new bathroom...I want to stick with a Craftsman colour on the walls.......any suggestions? I was thinking about a rust/gold colour, chrome fixtures." - AJB

Good question! There are actually lots of resources, which means you can get plenty of great ideas. However, it also means there's no single easy answer.

The main decision that needs to be made about a bathroom is between being true to the bathroom itself or just more true to general bungalow colors. Before 1930 almost all bathrooms were white. It was considered sanitary. After 1930 the art deco movement started which introduced pastels and a wide range of more vibrant colors. This could include rust or gold, as you mentioned, or pretty much anything else. If you're looking to stay true to craftsman colors more than period bathroom colors, then the pallet below is probably more useful. Choosing a color comes down to personal peference.

Look around for old ads like these or books with photographs from the period you're going for. If you're looking for a single resource, it's hard to beat the book Bungalow Colors (although this focuses on exteriors) or a room specific book like Bungalow Bathrooms (which has a section on colors starting on p. 114).

The other part of the challenge is finding a paint made today that will match your find in books and photos after it dries on your own walls. This is no science, a bit of an art and even just trial and error. (Though, did you know that you can take a piece of cloth, the binding of a book--anything done in your preferred color--and a paint store will make paint as close as that color as they can...just for you? It is done with computers. Pretty cool.)

The following colors are from Sherwin-Williams' Historic Colors collection:

  • Roycroft Bronze Green
  • Aurora Brown
  • Bunglehouse Gray
  • Weathered Shingle
  • Roycroft Suede
  • Roycroft Adobe
  • Roycroft Copper Red
  • Rembrandt Ruby
  • Craftsman Brown
  • Dard Hunter Green
  • Morris Room Grey
  • Roycroft Bottle Green
  • Ruskin Room Green
  • Roycroft Brass

Selecting bungalow colors is a very common topic over at the American Bungalow discussion boards. A recent thread starts here. A popular brand over there is Devine Colors, although it is a bit pricey.

If anyone else has had good experiences matching historical bungalow colors, please share with everyone using the comment section below!

Looking for More?

House in Progress Search for more on 'bungalow colors' on this site. Search for 'bungalow colors' on on other houseblogs like this one.
Google Search for 'bungalow colors' on Google. Search for 'bungalow colors' on


I have been pleased with the Eddie Bauer Bungalow Colors available at Lowes. As I learned from the AmBungalow discussion, you can have the color prepared in American Standards paint, which, in my opinion, is the best deal on paint (quality for the price) anywhere.



Thanks for the tip! We'll take a look at those too!

How is your own house coming along?


Does anyone know of a software program or a design company in the chicago area that can "plug in" different house colors over a digital picture of our house? We would like to get an idea of what a new color would look on our house before we actually spend the time/effort/money on changing it.


I think that such software would be excellent! I have used Photoshop (poorly) to get a hazy idea of colors for the outside of our house. It seems that Heather and David from 1912 have somehow found or done something cool about might want to pose this question to them! It is very neat what they have done.



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Started years ago as a scrapbook, this collection of photos serves as inspiration as we restore our own bungalow. We hope you find it either useful or entertaining as well.

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