Contrary to what the name suggests, you don’t have to own a large tract of land to enjoy this staple in American architecture. This truly American style found inspiration in the low, casual homes on cattle ranches of the Old West. Its open, casual layout usually has an attached garage or carport, at least one large picture window, and a patio or other outdoor living space.
Fieldstone or stacked stone in a contrasting color is a popular type of masonry added to jazz up a brick ranch house exterior.
This relatively open floor plan includes large windows and glass doors, for easy outdoor access and cross ventilation. It centers around a big patio or courtyard, with many rooms opening directly into this outdoor living area.
Pale stucco walls, arched doors and windows, and low-pitched, red barrel-tile roofs are all hallmarks of this style. Original ranch style house design included elements from the Arts and Crafts Movement.
Decorative brackets, exposed rafters, handcrafted woodwork, and stonework are common on a Craftsman-style ranch home. Many ranch house owners improve their home’s curb appeal by renovating the exterior with Craftsman touches.
An estate ranch home is a good option for someone who has a large tract of land and needs extensive square footage. Sprawling and elegant, ranch style home design provides an impressive exterior even as a single-story dwelling.
For instance, keeping the large picture windows and brick exterior of a 1960s-era ranch maintains the mid-century style. Newly built ranch homes often include Craftsman design touches, such as wide, tapered columns and a welcoming front porch. Common exterior finishes include horizontal or vertical wood siding, brick, or a combination of these. A wide, wrap-around porch brings a farmhouse touch to a classic ranch house plan.
A simple ranch home is the perfect blank canvas to show off luxurious finishes and top-end materials. A wide paver driveway and lush landscaping are important elements of a luxury ranch estate.
The Spanish Colonial-style ranch home is popular in Florida, California, Arizona, and other hot climates. These luxurious ranch homes look impressive adorned with oversized cacti or mature palm trees.
In all climates, large modern ranch home windows let in plenty of sunlight—important for alleviating seasonal depressive disorders. A modern ranch style house will use plenty of natural materials, including concrete, metal, stone, and glass. A bright red, orange, or yellow front door provides a modern pop against neutral color exterior walls. For example, you can paint a vaulted ceiling with dropped wood beams white to bring it into the current century.
A long, low sofa fits well into a midcentury ranch home, alongside other pieces from that era. A rustic cabin with a ranch footprint can carry stained wood paneling and a large stone fireplace. A stucco California ranch home with a Spanish Colonial style feels casual and warm inside. Arched door openings, terracotta floor tiles, and clean white walls all work well in Spanish-inspired ranch interiors.
A ranch floor plan is perfect for homes on the smaller end of the square foot range. The beauty of the ranch house style is that it works equally well for small cottages as sprawling estates.
Note that a smaller home is the perfect place to showcase high-end finishes such as quartz countertops or mahogany shiplap. Also called a raised ranch home, these dwellings have the kitchen, main living room, and bedrooms on the upper floor. Suburban ranch-style houses usually sit on concrete slabs, with sliding glass door access to the patio. Because ranch homes can look boxy, introduce curves in your front path and landscaping to soften the edges.