As someone who sells a number of ranch homes in Louisville, I was interested in a recent article in Realtor® Magazine that discusses the "return of the ranch." This classic American style home may have fallen out of vogue with buyers and builders for time, but ranches have served many families for years. Now they are more sought after than ever before.
The History of The Ranch Home
Ranches, which became popular in the 50s 60s and 70s, took their design clues from American Spanish architecture in the 17th to 19th century. Often characterized by one-story construction with low roofs, wide eaves, interior courtyards, and large front porches, ranches were very common in southwestern states. After World War II, they lost their rustic styling and became the classic tract home - the very "little boxes on the hillside" memorialized in folk music.
The styling of the ranch house changed a bit region to region. In California, ranches accounted for 90% of new homes in the 50s and often reflected latest building trends to give them a modern look. Famous architect such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Joseph Eckler, and Robert and George Alexander put their touch on the style. In the Midwest and East Coast, the ranch acquired colonial trim to reflect regional tastes.
Characteristics of Ranch Styling
What united most ranch homes in style were certain characteristics:
- Single-story construction with a long, low roofline
- Rectangular, L-shaped or U-shaped designs
- Simple, open floor plans
- Attached garages
- Living area separate from the bedrooms