Ranch Style Home Architecture and Design Features

Ranch Style homes go by many names, including American Ranch, Western Ranch, and California Rambler.

These homes first gained popularity in the mid 1900s. Ranch Style is a direct descendant of the Prairie Box home design.

Post war suburban sprawl increased dramatically with inexpensive, one story ranch homes being developed widely in the western United States.As with Prairie Box homes the stress in designing ranch style homes was on economical design and use of available building materials.

Since so many Ranch Style homes were built in a short period of time after World War II, there are a few commonly used floor plans. Of course, there are also custom Ranch Style homes.

Ranch Style homes have only one floor (and may or may not have a basement). However, variations such as the split level ranch and raised ranch have multiple floors.

Most of these homes have a long, low profile. The most common Ranch Style layouts are rectangular, L shaped, or U shaped.

Ranch Style Exterior Design Features:

  • Low pitched gable or hip roof with deep set eaves
  • Common exterior materials include wood siding, brick, and stone
  • May have exterior shutters but otherwise there is minimal detailing
  • Large windows in a variety of styles including double-hung, picture, and sliding windows
  • Usually has a sliding glass door at the back of the home leading out to a patio
  • Often has an attached garage

Ranch Style Interior Décor Features:

  • Floor plans are simple and relatively open
  • Combined living and dining areas are common features
  • Common architectural details:
    • Exposed ceiling beams
    • Crown molding
  • Linoleum, carpet and wood are the most common flooring options
  • Laminate and Formica countertops are most common in the kitchen

Ranch Style Decorating Suggestions:

  • Open beam ceilings and floor to ceiling windows are common features in many ranch style home interiors.Unless they’ve been recently updated, ranch homes can look dated. Simply replacing the fixtures can bring the home into the 21st century. You can also try updating paint colors and replacing worn carpeting with something newWhen your floor plan includes a lot of rooms that are open to one another, it’s important to define areas. Cluster furniture to help keep the space from looking all mashed together, and use accent pieces to define the space
  • With a low-key home design, it’s better to choose less ornate furnishings. Fancy Victorian furniture would look out of place in a Ranch Style home; stick with more casual designs
  • Some decorating schemes that work particularly well with Ranch Style architectural design include:
    • Rustic style
    • Retro décor
    • Swedish décor

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