When you look at America’s most popular home style, which are ranch style homes, the biggest complaint is that it’s boring.

Ranch style houses are dead simple: four walls and a roof, and not a lot of bells and whistles.

Even split-level ranches only offer an extra half-story, which isn’t a lot. When you’re thinking about a ranch style house remodel, the first thing to do is to try to make it stand out.

Think either BIG or little

Regardless of whether you want a major remodel of your ranch style home, or just do some cost-effective home improvement things, here are a few things that can turn your boring home into one of those modern ranch style homes.

Ranch Home Exterior

Landscaping: This is a biggie when we’re talking remodelling. Landscaping is often as boring as the structure, but if you replace the featureless lawn with rock gardens, flower gardens, and some new shrubs and trees, that exceptional landscape will draw some attention away from your unexceptional home.

Edmondson-by-John-Lively-Associates Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: John Lively & Associates

You can also visualise your new style by finding a ranch home that’s being built, and see it before the landscape is installed, this gives you a good pallet if you want to imagine your new beginnings.

Siding: When you’re thinking of a ranch style home, the image of a house covered in drab, inexpensive vinyl siding just pops into your head. Changing this single thing can make a world of difference.

Both aluminum and concrete fibreboard siding gives you an option to spice things up with daring exterior house colors for ranch style homes, and cedar shingles make your house look like a whole new different home. Even small brick or stone accents for chimneys can add that texture that tricks a person’s mind into not noticing the floor plan.

Porches, patios and decks: There are plenty of front porch ideas for ranch style homes, but often these additions are neglected due to budget. Even if there is an outdoor area, it’s just as unimaginative as the house.

Keystone-Ranch-Home-by-Brasada-Ranch-Style-Homes Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Brasada Ranch Style Homes

Get a contractor who specializes in this kind of additions if you want to add some character to both your landscape and your home. Regardless of whether it’s a stone patio, a screened-in porch, or a new redwood deck, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy it.

Windows. Plenty of homeowners don’t appreciate the difference new windows can make in a home. Bigger is usually better, and large windows will give you more light, and better views. And, if you can, use bay windows where you can.

You can use them to add texture to the uniform exterior, but you can also use picture windows, palladian windows or even colonial ones if you want to do that same thing. These window styles give your home a whole new vibe, both on the outside and the inside.

Completely re-envision your home

Do you have a few extra pennies saved up somewhere? Some major construction can shake things up, such as adding a second story, or raising the roofline if you want to set your home apart from the ones around you.

Use gabled dormers for the bedrooms upstairs and add more of that exterior texture we mentioned above. Covered entryways can also add a little something extra to your front entryway too.

Cat-Mountain-Residence-by-Cornerstone-Architects Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Cornerstone Architects

With this kind of home, you usually have your house sitting in a neighbourhood full of other ones just like it. Walk by your home on the opposite side of the street, you will want to know how your home sits on the block. Is it the dullest color, or the brightest?

Does it have more, or less exterior texture? Compare it to the other homes. When you want to set your home apart, you should consider changing the connection to the surroundings, not just changing it in a vacuum.

You can also remodel a small kitchen by removing the wall to the living area. This expands it without losing the original character of the home. You can include modern touches such as custom cabinetry, halogen lighting, hidden outlets or a built-in bench.

Problem: Your kitchen is small and closed off

These kind of homes usually come with a lot of features to attract a modern home buyer. They’re usually mechanically and structurally sound, and they have a low-pitched roof with wide overhangs that protects both the windows and the siding, and reduces the maintenance on the outside to a minimum.

The trim is easy to both match, and reproduce, and it goes pretty well with a lot of modern options for furniture and cabinetry. However, the floor plan usually has plenty of small, enclosed spaces, which aren’t really up to date with today’s lifestyles that prefer open space and informality.

Hidden-Hills-Ranch-Interior-Design-by-Chad-Jones-Photography Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Chad Jones Photography

A good idea for remodelling would be to open up the kitchen in a way that combines the cooking and socializing areas, and do this without destroying the features that make the house unique.

Solution 1: Open up the kitchen to the living area

Instead of isolating the project, you can reconfigure the entry, dining room, living room and kitchen, and remove the wall between the kitchen and your living room. This gives you an amazing view of your backyard through the glass in the living room, and gives a space that is wide open, so guests and family members can chat with the cook without shouting through the walls.

Solution 2: Honor the ‘50s ranch style

The beauty of old wood is stunning. However, bland, neutral surfaces that surround it can be a bit boring. You can re-design this to look like a ‘50s aesthetic kitchen. Go with black-lacquered cabinets on the end of each wall cabinets run, and add a modern flair on the island which balances the design.

Keep the tongue-and-groove wainscoting and moldings from the tear-out, and wrap them around the opening and into the kitchen, this way it makes things look like the rooms were always like that.

Custom-Ranch-House-Craftsman-by-Beck-Builders-Inc. Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Beck Builders, Inc.

Solution 3: Modernize with custom features

Cork flooring is soft and warm underfoot, and is a good solution for a kitchen, even though it’s a major throwback to the ‘50s and ‘60s. However, standing water may cause edges to swell. You can get it in a few different grain patterns, depending on the cut, and there are also a few stain colors to choose from.

Advantages of a ranch style home

Open floor plans

Sure, you can get this on a colonial style home, but thanks to the different floors, you can’t avoid the divide. With a home like this, you get everything on a single floor, and you get a more open feeling, with only the bedrooms closed off.

Great rooms combine the dining room, living room and family room into a single space, and are becoming increasingly popular. There’s often an open look into the kitchen, and nobody ever gets sectioned off in a whole different room.

Better use of land

Even though a multi-story home can mean a smaller foundation, which, in turn, means lower costs, a home like this makes a much better use of the land it’s built on. The whole home is on a single level, and you can spread it out on the land it’s built on, thus ending up with less wasted space.

501-Derbyshire-by-Hamilton-Developers Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Hamilton Developers

Additionally, you can go for a square or rectangular foundation, whereas plenty of modern homes require foundations with odd shapes and more than four corners, which impacts the overall costs of both the foundation, and the home.

Space efficiency

The problem with the so-called McMansion explosion that occurred before the housing market collapsed in 2008 was that we now have much more space than we need, and in turn, we end up buying more things than we need.

Sure, you can build a large ranch-style home, but they tend to gravitate towards smaller sized ones. This is ideal for people looking to eliminate things in their lives that they don’t really use.

Elderly and disabled

For someone with disabilities that impact mobility, this kind of home can make all the difference between independence and needing regular care. This way you don’t have to worry about going up and down stairs when you want to access all the rooms in your home, and, consequently, about having to use wheelchairs, walkers, or any other assisting devices.

Cortona-Kitchen-by-Hamilton-Developers Ranch Style Homes Interior And Exterior Ideas for a Modern Home
Image source: Hamilton Developers


Sure, when you think about a ranch style, single-level home, the Midwest and retirement communities spring to mind. Both things are valid, and true, but there are a lot of other advantages to this kind of home. Above you have but a short list of ways you can make your home stand out from the rest in your neighbourhood.

You can always talk to a contractor or any other professional about projects you have in mind. They can also suggest something new, something you maybe haven’t thought of. Regardless of the professional’s type, they can share ideas and information that you simply can’t not take advantage of.

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