Ranch houses are known for their low profile, which hugs the ground, and a floor plan which is open. The style of architecture began in the United States, and is sometimes referred to as California ranch or even rambler. The style is the outgrowth of the idea that the American West offered wide open land where people could stake their claim and live a good life. The homes were built with casual living in mind, and many had beautiful windows which opened to show the views. Popular in the southern and southwestern states, which enjoy a typically more moderate climate, the interiors and exteriors were viewed as extended living spaces for an informal life style.
Some ranch style homes have retained their open beam ceilings and panoramic windows, while others have been extensively remodeled, taking advantage of their simpler lines and open rooms to create modern adaptations. Others resemble the themes of California and the Mexican heritage of the Southwest. All are generous constructions with popular features which many homeowners adore. Here are several fine examples of ranch houses in both traditional and modern styles.
Double T River Ranch House
This ranch house has retained its traditional picture windows, but enhanced them with unique variegated wood moldings. The stone wall surrounding the cast iron fireplace is a cozy focal point. Book shelves, TV and space for cowboy art and décor catch the eye and evoke a sense of the cowboy west. But, the leather sofa and barrel chairs are decidedly contemporary, with clean lines and just a few throws for snuggling inside on a chillier day. Warm browns, tans, chocolates and persimmon colors fill the room. The room has a simple, casual style.
Open Ranch Design
Long and straight lines are key elements to this contemporary ranch home. The picture windows and sliding doors open to beautiful views and the adjacent pool. Unfussy, and filled with comfortable gray and tan furnishings, the dining area is warmed by the light of a stylish contemporary chandelier. Pewter walls and creamy dove paint color the walls and ceilings. These are evident in the outdoor furniture, and the open views allow all the furnishings, inside and out, to create a much larger visual living space. Simple décor and clean surfaces keep living easy.
Part of many ranch style homes in the Southwest, the traditions of Mexican décor are seen in this great room living area. The sofas feature rich leather sofas in mottled brown and tan. The adobe colored walls are rich brown and orange with the texture of stucco. The heavy and luxurious open beam ceiling is a delightful blending of carved patterns and natural wood grains. There is a wrought iron circular chandelier which tops off the rustic and artfulness in the room, while clerestory windows and attractive doorways open to the exterior. Textured and colorful rugs add interest to the gray floors.
Ranch House Transformation
Gray white walls and ceiling unify this living space. The French doors and floor to ceiling windows flanking the fireplace are painted in a very light shade of creamy gray white, which doesn’t distract from the exterior views. What serves as a focal point are the trio of abstract art pieces framed in black above the fireplace, which has a narrow mantle and sleek profile. The sofas are in the same grey, cream and oatmeal color palette, but not upholstered in identical fabric. This allows the fabric textures to complement each other. They are filled with bright tangerine and striped throw pillows which also pick up on the blue upholstered easy chair which completes the seating area. A shimmer of Aztec gold in the frame of the second large artwork adds interest as do the paired lamps situated on the sofa table behind the light grey sofa.
Textures and Comfort
This quintessential ranch, with its long low profile has been filled with textures. The stone fireplace, the pebbled large square tiles on the floors, the natural wood planks on the ceilings and the nubby upholstered sectional sofa and chairs all contribute to the visual textures throughout this room. The colors are all natural, with black leather and ebony grand piano adding pops of neutral color. It is a sophisticated and casual room with ample lighting streaming in the cream draperied windows.
Mid Century Modern Meets Contemporary
The fixed transom-shaped windows across the entire space of this great room echo back to an earlier period, when many ranch homes through the west of the United States had high windows to let in light and air, but control heat levels and damage to the interiors. This contemporary design moves that idea into this home, embellishing the windows with light controlling draperies which don’t obstruct the exterior views. The windows can be as wide open or as closed as desired, but the windows above allow light to flood the space. All in shades in browns, the tiled floors, wooden cabinetry, flush fireplace and TV recess contribute to the contemporary and clean lines. This is a space for gathering and enjoying time together. The comfortable paired sofas and dining chairs soften the horizontal lines and add interesting forms to the overall linear rooms. Pendant lights with round spheres of glow add to the subtle warmth.
This ranch style home includes warm and inviting accents with Mexican and Mediterranean flair. The warm hardwood flooring displays its natural grain, and these colors are lifted into the room. The sofa back table and coffee table are two lovely wood pieces which include colors from the floor’s wood grain. The beams in the ceiling and the rolled wood blinds on the curtains do, also. The spare wood shelf serving as the fireplace mantel and the arms of the rocking chair pick up the theme. Colorful area rug, throw pillows and artwork blend in a mélange of happy colors, which add the inviting feeling in this living space.
Cool Rustic Chic Blend
This sitting area features a leather sofa in cognac paired with two leather Barcelona chairs in cream to create a warm and inviting spot. The walls are tan and the wood ceiling white; which extend the overall brown and white colors throughout the space. The windows are also curtained in cream with two cool and chic wood elephant chairs paired for window gazing. The abstract art is large and dramatically adds orange ochre and turquoise touches. The area rug has hues of tan and violet blue, which coordinate with the sofa’s throw pillows and inviting coverlet. The open beam ceiling and wide paneled wood floor adds to the rustic vibe.
Dering Hall Ranch Remodel
This home began life as a 1955 suburban ranch in Minneapolis, but the owner remodeled it so that it would take on the appearance of a home in the Hamptons. It was extensively remodeled, but designers included the owner’s color palette of soft beige, cream and gray and added touches of elegance shimmer. The glass chandelier in the dining area is part the stylish glimmer. The soft cream moldings on the cabinetry and double sided fireplace, and French doors creates a lovely sophisticated sense of calm. There are pieces with dark wood, including the round clock above the fireplace mantle, in the walls inside the built-in china hutches, and these add contrast and subtle drama.
Outdoor Living Farmhouse Ranch
The innovative use of window walls which open completely to the outdoors, combining the interiors with the exterior living space is what distinguishes this completely remodeled ranch style home. Both the dining area and living room are finished with a neutral color palette of light grays and soft browns. These colors extend from the interior out into the living area underneath the tree. From inside and out, the eye sees the colors and realizes that the three areas are all part of the same home. The casual seating outdoors is differentiated from the formal dining chairs inside, but the wide-open window walls allow views to extend throughout and the social areas merge into a much larger whole.