Understanding Architectural Design: Ranch Homes- Sina Architectural Design


Out of all of the home styles, ranch houses probably have the least amount of architectural detail. These homes emphasize casual and practical living. Don’t let the lack of detail make you look down on these homes though. The open layout and simple design make ranches some of the best homes for young couples, families with small kids, and older buyers.



Ranch style homes are incredibly popular, but they didn’t become big until the 1950’s and 60’s. They took off in California, where this style accounted for nine out of every ten new homes built. The exterior style slightly changed depending on the region, reflecting local building materials and tastes. They were built during the post-war boom when the middle class was rising and housing needs exploded. The simple style meant they could be built quickly and at a low cost.


Understanding Architectural Design: Ranch Homes- Sina Architectural Design


Their popularity began to decline in the later 1960’s and 70’s, as architectural trends began to favor neo-eclectic styles. Ranch homes saw a revival in the 1990’s, but mainly existing ones and not building new ones. Younger buyers found them to be more affordable, new families found them to have practical layouts, and senior buyers could easily navigate them.



Ranches are easy to point out among other styles. They are usually single-story with long, low-pitched roofs. They have boxy exteriors, typically in an L or U-shaped design. The exteriors are usually made from mixed materials, usually a combination of stucco and brick, wood, or stone. Ranch style homes favor simple trim and thin profile windows. Neutrals and earthy colors are typical for the exterior of ranches, although in recent years people have begun painting them bolder colors to make up for their plain appearance.


Understanding Architectural Design: Ranch Homes- Sina Architectural Design



Ranch homes are popular due to their simple and practical layouts. They usually feature open floor plans, which are one reason why they remain popular today. The living spaces flow into one another creating good sightlines and making the home feel larger. Due to ranches being single-story, they often have vaulted ceilings with exposed beams.


Understanding Architectural Design: Ranch Homes- Sina Architectural Design 

Key Elements

The key elements to creating a ranch style home are simplicity. Ranches have practical layouts and aren’t heavy on the details. Trim is kept basic, and decorative cutouts or arches are not common to the style. This style of home embraced informal and casual living.


Key Rooms

Ranch home’s emphasis on casual living is most evident in the open floor plan of the living spaces. In contrast to Victorian and Tudor homes, which featured closed off rooms, ranches have one large entertaining space. The living space often has the dining room, kitchen, and living room all flowing together.


Understanding Architectural Design: Ranch Homes- Sina Architectural Design



Although ranch styles are not as trendy as they were in the past, their influence can be felt in many new custom homes being built today. The casual vibe and open floor plan have made their way into many home styles. Ranch style homes may not be common to build today, but they’re still popular for first time home buyers, young families, and seniors. Ranch homes might not offer a lot in terms of architectural detail, but they do offer easy and practical living.