Ranch houses are a very popular style of house in the United States- in fact, until recently it was the most popular style of house. They first popped up in the 1900’s, but it wasn’t until the 1950’s that ranch fever swept over the country. Why? Because their customizability and ease of construction made them a big hit after the end of World War II.
So, if you’ve got a ranch house, take full advantage of that customizability factor! Here are some ranch home remodel ideas that’ll make your house feel top-of-the-line.
Restore Your Ranch
When it comes to remodeling, one option that you may want to consider is committing fully to the ranch aesthetic. No, you don’t need to start installing a saloon- we just mean that you could dig into the roots of the ranch house aesthetic to make your house feel more authentic.
The ranch house can be traced back to the North American Spanish Colonial architecture. But, the catch is that not all ranch houses were constructed to fit that aesthetic. So, if that authenticity is something you’re interested in, here are some ranch house basics to consider.
Fix Up the Open Floor Plan
One key feature of the ranch house is an open floor plan that combines the living room and dining room area. However, once ranch houses were popping up everywhere in the 1960’s, that detail got a bit lost in translation.
So, if you ended up with a ranch house with some extra interior walls, tearing them down can make your home feel way more authentic to the style. You could stick with tradition and just tear down the wall between the kitchen and living room, or you could go all in and adjoin the kitchen, dining room, and living room into one big area!
While you’re at it, you may also want to fix up your floors in general. The ranch style aesthetic is rooted in natural materials, so if your floors are covered in carpet, you’ll probably want to clear that out for a more authentic feel. But, we have good news- you’re more than likely to have something usable under there! You can thank the 1970’s and 80’s for that. Back then it was a big thing to cover existing hardwood or ceramic floors with synthetic carpeting.
Stick to the Southwest
Speaking of natural materials, take a look at the rest of your house as well. Chances are, the house was constructed in inauthentic materials in other instances besides just the carpets. Take your porch for instance. Is it a patio, or a deck?
If it’s a deck, you could make your ranch house feel much more ranch-ish by exchanging that clunky wood platform for a nice flat outdoor area. If you choose that option, remember to stick with tile or stones to keep up that natural feel.
In the name of natural building materials, you’ll probably want to check out your interior trim work while you’re at it. Any hint of intricacy in the casements and baseboards might look fancy, but they actually undercut the original ranch aesthetic. Instead, try swapping them out for simple, square-cut moldings and baseboards. And uh, you’ll probably want to avoid buying the cookie cutter boxes of “ranch moldings” at the home improvement store, too.
Windows and Doors
Thanks to that same wave of 1960’s mass-manufacturing, your windows and doors may not be consistent with the western ranch style, either. In that era, it was very common to see cheap, hollow-core doors implemented in ranch style homes.
However, that’s not your best option if you’re looking to unify your home’s style. If you want to go full ranch, you’ll want to replace those doors with solid-wood frame-and-panel doors (so, the ones with long vertical panels).
And, you can thank that same 1960’s ranch craze for your windows, too. Back then, people were really concerned about energy costs, and so they built ranch houses with small, double-hung windows.
To restore your ranch to its full cowboy power, you’ll want to replace those little guys with expansive windows. For best results, try sliders or casement styles. Besides, modern glazing options with double or triple-insulated glass will make those windows much more energy-efficient than their smaller counterparts, anyway.
Tend to Your Interiors
Well, now you know the details of a ranch style house- its building materials, its open floor plan, etc. But, what are you supposed to put inside those walls??
Well, we’ve got good news and bad news, and both of them are that it’s up to you! The wonderful thing about ranch homes is their customizability, so go hog wild. You could spend your whole budget on a wild west makeover, or you can stick with what you’ve got. The choice is yours!
But, if the freedom of choice freaks you out, then here are some ideas for what you could do with your ranch home interiors.
If you’re looking for something with a little bit more design flare, you could try a fusion aesthetic. For example, this one combines Scandanavian and western design elements to make a really cool look.
Just because your home’s from the 50’s or 60’s doesn’t mean it can’t be trendy! Truly, all you need to make a room feel modern is to incorporate contemporary pieces and color schemes. Whether you go modern or full contemporary, you’re sure to have a blast.
Strut Your Stuff
When we say ranch homes are customizable, we mean it! Why not show off the pieces you’ve already bought? Seriously, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel here.
What makes a home a home is that you feel comfortable there, so take pride in what brings you comfort. If flamingo lamps make you happy, do that! Modern art? Oh yeah! Avant Garde design elements? Okie dokie!
Whatever you decide, we hope you enjoy your ranch home. Oh, and send us a picture if you do end up installing an in-home saloon!
Katie Sabel is a writer from Saratoga, CA, currently studying creative writing at Carnegie Mellon University. Her writing spans across multiple genres, including professional writing, playwriting, poetry, fiction, and game writing.