Ranch Style Home Design

Ranch-style homes are a popular American home design style. Admittedly, more so on the west coast.  But no matter where you find a home fitted with ranch-style home design, you will undoubtedly walk in and feel comfortable and welcomed. This specific style feels specifically arranged, however, still lived in. Creating a sense of warmth and home-y rather than posh and cold. And with so many variations of this home design style, you will always notice the subtle differences in each ranch-style home you encounter.

These houses date back to the mid-'20s and are still going strong. This is because they are casual, easy to build, and maintain. Let’s look at the various characteristics of ranch-style decor.

What Is Ranch Style Design?

There may be a lot of variations in the style, but the underlying elements and characteristics of the ranch homes remain the same. A unique element to it is that they are mostly single-story. To make up for the lack of a second story, they are typically built with an open concept floorplan. The house has huge, full-size windows and a low-lying roof. Most have a dedicated outdoor space or patio. Ideally, a wrap-around porch!

Mostly, they are rectangular with an attached garage. But you will also come across "L or U" shape ranches. Another standard element is a large sliding glass door. Typically oversized and placed as a statement piece in the room. A beautiful view leads to the backyard, adding to the home’s outdoor aesthetic. Assuming the home is not on the west coast, a basement adds much-needed space to the house and is mostly used as an additional bedroom, home gym, or even home theater.

ranch style home design exterior

History of Ranch Style Home Design – Where It All Started From

A well-known architect, Clifford May, built the first-ever ranch house. He felt the need to build something different because he was tired of the same old box houses. According to him, a Californian house needed to be a mix of informal outdoor living and a lot of sunshine. For this reason, he was inspired to include a courtyard with a lot of ventilation inside the home. Over the years many different variations of this style have been adapted and evolved. Let's take a look at the many different types of ranch houses.

Types of Ranch Houses

1.      Californian Ranch

These are Spanish-inspired and are also called "Rambling Ranches." They are "U or L" shaped and are low-lying. This means they are closer to the ground with low ceilings and roofs. They look close to nature and always have a front lawn and a patio.

2.      Suburban Ranch

A suburban ranch house has the same "L or U" shape as the Californian Ranch. The ranch-style home décor is the same from the inside, boasting an open concept. The difference between both is that the suburban ranch is more asymmetrical and compact in structure. Also, its main elements are a cool background and garage.

3.      Storybook Ranch

It is also called the fairytale ranch. It is the most unique and beautiful of all the designs (I simply love it). The windows are huge but diamond-shaped, creating a beautiful accent piece for the space. A stone or brick chimney makes it aesthetically beautiful, and the roof is steep and low-lying. As you can tell, this design style does not require much in the way of personal decor as the space itself has accent pieces incorporated throughout.

4.      Split-Level Ranch

The house is just like the suburban ranch but has 3-stories. Creating a very atypical layout compared to most ranch-style homes. The stairs lead to the bedrooms above, and the front door leads to the kitchen, dining, and living areas. This layout is very similar to a farmhouse layout with a mixed-in open concept layout.

5.      Raised Ranch

The main difference between the split-level and the raised ranch is where the front door opens to. In the raised ranch, the front door opens to a staircase. It goes both up and down. The kitchen is usually on the upper floor of the raised ranch adding more depth to the difference in style this type of home layout offers.

Advantages of the Ranch Style Home Design

1.      No More Stairs

Except for a few layout types, ranch-style homes do not include stairs as they are typically single-story homes. Even though it does not seem like much, the absence of stairs can be all an elderly couple needs. This is a big reason why ranch houses are popular with those looking to purchase a forever home to age in place. This also makes for a great family home because you no longer need to worry about adding a security gate to the stairs to keep small children from taking a tumble.

2.      Easy Maintenance

With only one floor, maintenance takes on a new level of simplicity in comparison to homes that include a second story. With the exception being managing oversized floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding glass doors, cleaning will be a ladder-less task.

3.      Open House Plan

Save yourself from the hassle of planning the house décor. Entertainment becomes super easy. The simple and connected floor plan makes it easy to go from the dining to the kitchen to the living room.

The simplicity, easy-to-move-around layout, and casual air of a ranch-style home make it a popular home design choice even today. The best thing about it is that there are multiple variations to choose from. You can go for a suburban home or a split-level home if you are looking for more stories. It all depends on your needs and personal taste!