Friday, September 7, 2012

Respecting the Ranch House: #1

I grew up in a ranch house, live in one now, and in my current neighborhood am watching them routinely being torn down to oftentimes be replaced by unfortunate mega-boxes. While ranches aren't perfect, their strengths and benefits are often overlooked. So here's to a new series about the liveabilty and allure of ranches and ways to sensitively bring them into the 21st century without going the route of the pop-up.

Featured in the Sep-Oct 2009 issue of D Home, Lori and Rick Golman, the owners of this 1950s ranch, admit it wasn't love at first site. “It’s a basic ranch house. It was affordable, but you wouldn’t drive up to it and go, ‘Wow,’” she says. But the Golmans looked past the 1970s decor and realized the house was exactly what they needed. It had good bones and a great floor plan." (article by Laura Kolsteny, photography by Timothy Kolk)
Their remodeling plays on the strong connection ranch houses can have with their outdoor environment. Love this pool area with the wall of tasteful sliding glass doors. It expands the feel of the space and brings the outdoors in, a popular trend today.

The simple aesthetic of the architecture is a perfect backdrop for a mix of antiques and modern elements.
Finding a way to elevate the ceiling in select rooms can make a ranch home feel more expansive and architecturally interesting.
Have you ever lived in a ranch house? What did you love about it?
To read more, head here.


Katherine said...

We just bought a ranch bungalow that needs 'everything' done to it, and we are currently entering a year long project to renovate it. We know that the end result will be worth it when all of the living space is on one level.
The first image on your post is exactly the inspiration I need right now. Thanks!

Jessie said...

When I was 30, I wanted a colonial but, nearing my 60s, a ranch looks like a smart choice to me.

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Michelle- We had a center hall colonial when we first married, then moved to a 1978 ranch four years ago.

I feel move adventurous and modern decorating the ranch house. It seems more open to possiblilites, more of a blank slate!

We did a windowseat renovation last year, and I love it. Luckily, the house does have a huge cathederal ceiling over the living room - no need to pop up the ceilings. I was lucky to get a consulation with Vern Yip on how to use space in our house (and yes, he is awesome...)

The strangest part of rnach living was getting used to the bedrooms being on the same floor - and I miss the exercise of the stairs! Ha ha!

Please, please keep sharing photos of YOUR ranch!



Nat said...

I've never lived in a ranch but I'm always intrigued by them. Being a real estate agent I've seen some that have had amazing renovations, they definitely have a lot of potential!

for the love of a house said...

Grew up in a ranch and lived in a ranch in Dallas. I love them. Sounds like my neighborhood was similar to yours with all the tear-downs... would make me so sad. I think ranches have good flow and good lighting as most were fitted with those awful sliding glass doors in the 60's;) This was a fabulous example of how wonderful they can be. Will love this new series of yours!
happy weekend,

The Pink Pagoda said...

I really like ranch houses. Our first house was a darling ranch. As our family grew, we needed more space so we sold it to someone who tore it down and built a McMansion. There was a huge, beautiful oak in the front yard that was cut down to make room for the gigantic house. That's the basic story of Preston Hollow in Dallas which is disappointing. The ranches that are torn down are almost always more aesthetically pleasing than what replaces them.

Sara said...

I love this style of home! We just about moved to Dallas and I was excited at the prospect of moving in to one of these. Not too many of these in Seattle. Thanks for featuring these. I will be saving the pictures.

Loi Thai, Tone on Tone said...

Hi, Michele ~
I, too, grew up in a ranch North Arlington. This one here is the most stylish ranch house! Talk about pizzazz! Love the mix of modern and traditional. Cool ceilings and mantel!!

helen tilston said...

I love this post and the light that comes through from the floor to ceiling doors. It is great as we age to have all living space on one level.

Have a lovely weekend

Helen xx

Nantucket Daffodil said...

I have never lived in a ranch...but over the years I have developed a fondness for them! The right one! Thanks for sharing these lovely photos!

Victoria said...

I am a ranch lover! I was thrilled to get my hands on our current home - a 1960's ranch - which we took back to its mid century style. It's airy, efficient and a little different in the land of Annapolis colonials.

Thanks for the post.

NotesFromAbroad said...

I also grew up in one, in North Carolina.
I have a fondness for Center Hall Colonials and some cottage-y looking houses, but lately I am starting to like the mid-century moderns .. who knows, maybe we will live in a Ranch house in NY one day :)

Reggie Darling said...

I've not lived in a ranch house, but with the passing years I find them more and more appealing. California living and all that. I could see myself retiring into one.

Nita {ModVintageLife} said...

This is a very interesting post. I love it that you are doing this. Yes, the ranch house needs to be respected. It can be fabulous when done over right....but you have to go with it's long low lines and the connection to the environment....I agree open up the ceiling in a few rooms but keep the ranch feel.

I have a friend that has a very large 1957 ranch. It was a very nice home in 1957. It's been very well maintained and now she is putting in a new kitchen. But...she ignores it's beginnings....she has a thing for rustic Italian and is putting in a kitchen that is rustic italian. Totally wrong for it! Embrace what is great about a ranch and expand upon that instead of trying to stuff it with overly large intricate furniture.

I grew up in a large white cape cod which was across the street from a tiny ranch house. I always felt sorry for the little old lady that lived in that plain little house. But 10 years ago I ended up in that VERY house! Only for three years as I rented but ranch houses are very practical and I could imagine making it great. It was a small house but had large uncomplicated rooms.

I now live in a historic tudor cottage and though I adore it.....I can see how the ranch lends it's self to modern lines and easy living.

We have a neighborhood in OKC full of large ranches with cottage and craftsman and even asian influences. It's recently become a very popular neighborhood for flippers. But so far...they have embraced the ranch aesthetic and are only enhancing them not tearing them down even though this neighborhood is next to one of the wealthiest in the city.

But then, this is Oklahoma and ranch style is always in style.

Ideezine said...

What's old is new again they'll be back and reinvented.

Sistergirl said...

I love a ranch house. They are really getting hard to find but I like one level living especially with my contemporary style.

Karena said...

Michele in California there were many U-Shaped wrap around ranches, many with a pool in the center. Lots of light and windows. I love them!

Art by Karena

ArchitectDesign™ said...

I've never lived in one, but always loved them. So often you see them 'done up' so stylishly -yours is an example! There is something so great and simple about 1 floor living! Live smartly, not bigger and wasteful!

Nancy said...

Hi Michelle, just did a post on mid century ranch houses. I live in a ranch and will never have it any other way..It flows so easy, so serene, easy to clean,'s all good.
xo Nancy

Carla Designer said...

What a beautiful home they have...a perfect example of the potential that ranch style homes have. I too love the sliding doors...a great way to add more light into the space and open it up! I am actually beginning a job on a 1950's ranch home and am very excited to see the dramatic makeover unfold.

Bethany [at] Powell Brower Home said...

Mom (see above) has a ranch house and its where i grew up. I LOVE THEM. Maybe that's why? I live in a one level cottage now, and while it's so different, I still love the one-level bit. THanks for paying homage.

Debbie said...

I love the idea of a ranch. I grew up in a split-level and the stairs were ridiculous - seemed like you were always going up or down. My current house is very small, but on two levels, which means it's annoying to keep clean. I don't have room to keep doubles of everything so again, I'm constantly going up and down the stairs. And it's very easy to ignore the mess on the 2nd floor :)

pve design said...

Love ranch dressing....and that home certainly has a lovely sophisticated attitude~
Love how at home the mix of antiques as well as modern items co-exist.

Rodger said...

In 2001, my parents told me that they want to live in a ranch style home when they reached their 50s, and ten years after, I bought them a house that they wanted. As I have observed how happy my parents are living there, I can say that a ranch house is very much ideal for the elderly. This is because it has an accessible design. I bought a ranch bungalow and the house is spacious, open and airy. This is what most elders want, the one that is very convenient to them and gives them an easy access. They will not find it hard to get around the house anytime they want to.

Rodger Ciliberto

Darren Lanphere said...

I do. I had so many precious memories from our first ranch house back when I was in high school. As far as I can remember, the two most unforgettable moments were horseback riding through uncut hay meadows and racing toy boats down our backyard stream with my high school friends. Oh my, how I miss them so! :(

Darren Lanphere


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