Here we go…

September 21, 2009

What is a Ranch style home?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ashley Hawthorne @ 6:30 pm

The house is a Ranch-style house- hence the name “Ranch Dressings”.  I have honestly always been drawn to cottage style homes which belong to a previous generation, but lately there is a revival in the “appreciation” for the Ranch style (almost a sub-culture online!).  What is this style of architecture?  Ranch-style houses (also American ranch, California ranch, rambler or rancher) are a uniquely American domestic architectural style. First built in the 1920s, the ranch style was extremely popular in the United States during the 1940s to 1970s, as new suburbs were built for the Greatest Generation (lived through the Great Depression) and later the Silent Generation (born in the Great Depression).  The ranch house is noted for its long, close-to-the-ground profile, and minimal use of exterior and interior decoration. The houses fuse modernist ideas and styles with notions of the American Western period working ranches to create a very informal and casual living style.  Land was really cheap when these were developed, so unlike “garden district” neighborhoods and the ones that have the precious little bungalows- these developments have expansive lots and are often wooded.  (In Baton Rouge- think Old Bocage, Pollard Estates)

The following features are considered key elements of the original ranch house style:.

  • Single story
  • Long, low roofline
  • Simple floor plans
  • Open floor plans
  • Attached garage/carport
  • Sliding glass doors opening onto a patio
  • Large windows
  • Windows often decorated with shutters
  • Large overhanging eaves
  • Cross-gabled, side-gabled or hip roof
  • Simple and/or rustic interior and exterior trim

Most people see this as the “Red Headed Stepchild” of real estate.  Upon further inspection, however, you can start to see some of the features that made them so popular in the 70’s.  Their lots are huge, the rooms flow into each other effortlessly, “family” living areas are all open to one another, and the connection to the exterior is always pretty obvious with the large windows and adjacent patios.  My guess is that these neighborhoods are on the brink of a major comeback!  The emphasis on community and “gathering” as families and groups of friends, hospitality, and outdoor living all point to these homes being a great investment!

2 photo examples:





  1. I like anything with lots of windows! Good luck!

    Comment by mindy — September 22, 2009 @ 2:57 am

  2. oh how fun! i feel so well informed now. 🙂 i can not wait to see the progression! how special to add another generation to it.

    Comment by jenny gilbert — September 22, 2009 @ 6:42 am

  3. =(

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