Dec 2, 2020

Ranch Home Remodel Ideas That'll Leave You Saying Yeehaw

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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

A ranch house that is build with brick walls, rather than authentic, ranch house materials
Is your ranch house everything you dreamed it would be? Don’t worry- most ranch houses look more like this one than a real California ranch. With these tips, you’ll be saying yeehaw in no time! Courtesy of Laurel Home.

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

A ranch house with a beautiful, open floor plan
One key feature of an authentic ranch house is that it’s meant to have an open floor plan. So, if your ranch house is feeling a little cramped, it might be time to tear down some walls. Courtesy of Impressive Interior Design.

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

A ranch house patio that is flat, lined with stone, and decked out with nice furniture
If you’re thinking about adding a porch, try a patio instead! The ranch house aesthetic is one that’s rooted in natural building materials, and a brick patio feels much more natural than a bulky wooden porch. Courtesy of Daniel Montez Real Estate.

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

A sprawling ranch house with dark oak doors and garage doors, and large windows
If you’re trying to go for the full, authentic ranch house style, the devil’s in the details. Check your windows and doors- the traditional ranch home will have bigger windows, and solid wood frame and panel doors. It might seem like windows and doors are a small detail, but they’ll make all the difference in tying the whole look together! Courtesy of The Plan Collection.

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

A ranch house living room with western accents, including neutral colors and natural materials
Don’t worry- we’re not going to insist that you redecorate your house like this. But, if you want to go full western, this is a great example! Notice the continued theme of natural materials here, including the cowhide coffee table, leather armchair, stone fireplace, and all the natural colors. Courtesy of

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 home renovation.

Western Fusion

A ranch house living room with Scandinavian design elements
The great thing about a ranch house is that it’s easily customizable. So, even if your exterior says Yeehaw, your interior can say whatever you want it to! Like this living room, which incorporates Scandanavian design elements. Courtesy of Dwell.

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. 


A ranch house living room with contemporary design elements, including bright colors and fun patterns
This couple used several reclaimed materials to make their drab living space into a lively, modern home. Courtesy of Dwell.

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

A ranch house living room with unique couches, a glass table, and distinct paintings
Don’t throw out your furniture, show it off! This ranch house owner used the ranch style to their advantage by showcasing their collection of iconic furnishings, creating a style that is all their own. Courtesy of Dwell.

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!

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