If your style is simple, straightforward, and informal, you are a great fit for a ranch style home. This no nonsense home style is all about function and keeping it real. Ranch style homes embrace open spaces in a casual, unassuming style.
Early ranch style homes started cropping up in the 1930’s and became much more popular after World War II. As the middle class grew in the 1950’s, ranch style homes provided modest, simple, and affordable housing options for families that wanted to invest in homeownership.
In a true ranch style home, says Beverley Solomon, Creative Director of Beverly Solomon Design in Texas, there’s a feeling of “comfort, freedom and…wide open spaces”.
Characteristics of Ranch Style Architecture
Traditional ranch style houses in the US and Canada are “long and low” – a single-story with an asymmetrical rectangular, L, or U-shaped design. They’re often have an attached garage, a large patio and a shallow gable roof.
Ranch homes made the open floor plan popular, with common areas and sleeping quarters on separate sides of the house. Variations allow for customized floor plans and raised ranch or split level designs.
Ranch style interiors have same principles as their architectural style, featuring simple, humble, and comfortable designs.
You can apply the look to any room, though, whether you live in a ranch style home or not. Here’s how to do just that!
Use Home Features to Add Interest
Designers can find creative ways to break up the amorphous floor plan in a ranch style home. Nicola Croughton, an Interior Specialist based in West Yorkshire, U.K. uses floor-to-ceiling fireplaces in brick or stone to serve as room dividers and design elements. You can also use vaulted ceilings with wood finishes and exposed support beams to pep up your ranch style interior.
With ranch style homes, a little landscaping goes a long way in making your lot pop. Using native grasses, plants, and stones are well-suited to this “salt of the earth” style – but don’t be afraid to incorporate fountains, rock gardens, or flower beds if you have the space.
Keep interior and exterior trims simple, and use textural accents to draw the eyes. Mixed material exteriors like stucco, brick, wood, or stone work well outside and indoors.
A true rancher’s home has a strong connection to the land – ranch homes use design features to bring the outdoors in. Plus, says Croughan, it’s important to bring light into these low, single-story homes. Many ranch homes include big windows with decorative shutters, thin profile, metal frame windows, and glass doors that open onto a patio or sprawling yard.
There are many ways to finish out ranch style interiors. Make it a little more rustic, a little more chic, or add in some mid-century modern furnishings. Even industrial features work in this simple style.
When it comes to traditional ranch styles, you might see western or Navajo art, says Solomon, and horseshoes, ranch tools, and other worn or collected items. Croughan says, “Use layered throws, cushions, and squishy, overstuffed sofas to create a comfortable space.”
Add a Modern Twist
Spoiler alert: Your ranch home doesn’t have to be all brown. For a clean, modern vibe, lighten up your color scheme with some muted natural tones. Think cream and white, wood tones, and light gray. For something more chic, swap the stone fireplace for a sleek room partition.
Rebecca Rosenberg is a freelance copywriter, digital media strategist and world traveler. After working in marketing for some of Austin’s most beloved brands, Rebecca started her own business and left Texas behind to travel the world. You can find her currently bumming around Europe. Often flying solo, she has visited over 35 countries and lived abroad in four. In addition to being a digital nomad, Rebecca is an avid hiker, design enthusiast and certified plant nerd. She speaks English, Spanish, German and Korean.