These 11 Ranch-Style Homes Highlight Why This House Type Is Considered a Classic

published Mar 31, 2024
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

Aspiring homeowners have to sift through several styles while looking for their new dream home — whether it’s classic Craftsmans or cozy bungalows, the list can seem endless. But if you’re investing a chunk of change (and time!) into looking for a forever home, you’ll want to see all the options. Consider a ranch-style home. 

House tour cover

Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox

Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter

 “The open floor plan creates a sense of spaciousness and allows for flexible interior design options,” he says, which is one of the many great things about ranch homes,” says Chris McGuire, founder of Real Estate Exam Ninja.

You’ve landed in the right place if you’re in the market for a new home. These 11 unique ranch-style homes have been fully customized (and modernized!) while keeping classic ranch elements, like an open floor plan and long, narrow design. But before we dive into the different styles, let’s break down exactly what a ranch-style home is.

Credit: Minette Hand

What Is a Ranch House? 

The sprawling ranch-style house rose to popularity in the United States in the 1920s and became a staple of suburban life. This no-frills home can accommodate a variety of family sizes and boasts a single level or, in some cases, a split level. 

Credit: Minette Hand

What Makes a Ranch-Style House?

The main defining features of a ranch-style home include a single-story layout, a low-pitched roof, and a wide, horizontal footprint, says McGuire. “They typically have an asymmetrical design with a simple and unadorned exterior. Ranch-style homes often have large windows that allow ample natural light to enter the living spaces,” he says. 

McGuire shares the different types of ranch homes you might see while house hunting. 

  • California ranch: Often situated in a U- or L-shape with oversized sliding glass doors, often centered around a pool or patio.   
  • Raised ranch: Split-level layout, with a partial basement or lower level that partially emerges from the ground. 
  • Split-level ranch: Has multiple levels, typically with the bedrooms located on a separate level from the main living space. 
  • Modern ranch: Incorporates contemporary design elements, such as clean lines, minimalistic aesthetics, and sustainable features. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Ranch-Style House?

Thanks to its single-story layout, a ranch home makes it possible to dwell in one home from early adulthood to old age. This layout makes a ranch house perfect for someone with mobility issues or those who want the convenience of having everything on one floor, including laundry. Single-level living can also lead to energy savings, reducing heating and cooling costs. 

“The open floor plan creates a sense of spaciousness and allows for flexible interior design options,” McGuire explains. “Ranch-style homes often have large lots, providing ample outdoor space for gardening, recreation, or expansion possibilities.” 

Despite this, there are some drawbacks to consider when it comes to ranch-style homes. “One drawback is the limited vertical space, which may be a disadvantage for those who desire multiple levels or separate living areas. The sprawling layout can result in long hallways and separation of living spaces, potentially impacting the flow and interaction between rooms,” McGuire shares. “Some people may also find the exterior design of ranch-style homes to be less visually appealing compared to other architectural styles.” 

If you’re looking for some ranch-style inspiration, keep reading to see 11 gorgeous homes. 

Credit: Minette Hand

1. A Bold Blogger’s Colorful “’90s Ranch”-Style South Carolina Home

Bold, bright colors against a neutral background bring this ranch home into modern times. Ample light streams in the large windows, giving life to the abundant greenery and allowing the home’s eclectic decor to take center stage. Because this ranch-style house is a rental property, renter Maggie Overby was somewhat limited in paint options. Instead, she incorporated bold color combinations like verdant green, black, navy, and bright orange in her decor choices for a beautiful finished look. 

Visit the full home tour to see more of this gorgeous space.

2. This Charlotte Ranch-Style House Got an Update with Bold Colors and Patterns

With its open floor plan and old-school vibe, a ranch home is the perfect backdrop for a mid-century makeover. And that’s just what owner Brandon longed for when he purchased this ranch home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Working with designer Amber Guyton, he incorporated jewel tones like olive and burnt orange, then placed them against a moody but elegant black backdrop in the main living area. This ranch-style house is on point with pops of bright colors throughout and furniture that keeps with the mid-century aesthetic. 

See how this colorful house comes to life in the full home tour.

3. A First-Time Renovator on a DIY Budget Transformed a 1971 Ranch-Style House into a “Kitsch-Chic” Home

Who better to bring the mid-mod vibe to a ranch-style home than blogger Megan Housekeeper, who owns the popular Mid-Century Millennial blog? With a clear vision, Housekeeper “embarked on my DIY renovations to make the house a retro fever-dream room by room” in her historic home. And it’s nothing short of that, with bold wallpaper patterns, a fabulous arch that leads from the living room, and plenty of funky colors throughout. 

Explore more of this mid-century modern space in the full home tour.

4. This Ranch Style House Has a Warm, Earthy Color Palette and Lots of Plants

This 3,000-square-foot ranch home in Chesapeake, Virginia, features a warm, earthy color palette that softens its edges when you walk in the door. Owners Reggie and Tracey Hairston have intentionally made their mark on every inch of this long, flat home, creating a cohesive look that adds a sense of peace and tranquility. Tracey has used the expansive, light-filled living room — a hallmark of a ranch-style home — to house tons of houseplants, which are her greatest passion. 

Take the full home tour to see the rest of the plant-filled environment.

5. An “Ew, This Is All Old and Gross” Suburban Ranch Got a Colorful Redo

“I fully believe that interior design, especially home design, should be a reflection of who you are,” creator Kara Lauren Kirchhoff said at the time of the tour when asked about their eclectic ranch-style house. “It should evoke joy and give the feeling of sanctuary.” They’ve left no stone unturned in their fantastic Missouri home — from custom paint work to exposing old (but fabulous!) wood floors, they’ve carefully and tastefully designed a bohemian paradise for their family using a dated ranch-style home as the palette. 

Visit the full home tour to see more of this colorful house.

6. This California Ranch Home’s Ethereal Ambiance Is Inspiring

Rejecting that a ranch-style house must look bland and basic, Paleny Toros spent months making their 1592-square-foot Van Nuys, California, ranch home a dream space. They began by opening up the kitchen, which brought a ton of natural light into the main living area. The house incorporates a neutral color palette, with hues like white and gray and a beautiful soft blue color used on the kitchen cabinets. Added touches like rustic beams take this ranch-style home straight into modern times. 

Check out more of this airy space in the full home tour.

7. A ’50s Ranch Home That Battles the Seattle Weather with Pops of Color and Warm Touches

Seattle couple Stephen and Bobby have carved an oasis out of a 1950s ranch-style house by incorporating modern touches and pops of color throughout. While the home’s “guts” are preserved (smaller windows and an entryway separating the kitchen and dining area), clever additions make it seem like a much more modern space. Take the upscale textiles in the living room, for example, and the clever use of bench-style seating in the dining room. A fully renovated kitchen is another bright spot in this small home. 

See more of this incredible space in the full home tour.

Credit: Kim Thomas

8. This Designer’s Memphis Mid-Century Ranch Has the Home Gym We All Wished We Had During Quarantine

If there’s one way to describe designer David Quarles IV’s impossibly cool Memphis ranch-style home, it’s curated. Since day one, he’s let his Caribbean heritage and his love for his culture inform the design of his home. And it shows! From the perfect sectional for his long, narrow ranch-style living room to his eclectic artwork and those enviable French doors leading to his dining room decked in an explosion of green, his home is a total vibe. 

Explore more of this colorful bohemian oasis in the full home tour.

9. This Raleigh Ranch House Has a Hip Home Gym, Bold Backyard, and More

Homeowner Marie had a chance to hone her DIY chops with her ranch-style home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her three children. Using eclectic art as the centerpiece of her home decor, Marie slowly and carefully made every room of the home exactly how she wanted it. The main living space features a bright, open living room adjacent to a small kitchen featuring dark, mid-century-inspired cabinetry. A dining nook combines it with a dramatic wall displaying her vast collection of African masks. With custom art carefully placed throughout and the addition of bold, funky colors and decor, Marie’s ranch house is a desirable space. 

See more of this gorgeous ranch-style house in the full home tour.

Credit: Submitted by David

10. A California Ranch Home That Takes Style Inspo from Valley of the Dolls

David and his husband are only the third owners of this sprawling ranch-style home in California. The wide-open interior is anchored by a fantastic stone fireplace that creates a cozy vibe. In keeping with the state’s nearly perfect weather, all of the entertaining spaces in this home open directly to the outdoor pool and patio. At the same time, the upgraded mid-century-inspired kitchen is a beautiful feature. 

Visit the full home tour to see more of this gorgeous ranch-style house.

Credit: Tara Carney

11. This Moody, Dramatic ’90s Ranch-Style House Pulls Inspiration from English and French Design

“This home was a complete blank canvas with no flow,” Tara Carney, who owns this eclectic ranch-style house, said at the time of the tour. “We’ve created separate spaces in a great room — a library, music room, dining room, entry, and living space all in one large room.” This is a great way to style a ranch house, using furniture and other elements to make it your own. 

Explore more of the inspired space in the full home tour.