• Consider swapping spaces; if the kitchen is between your family room and a (too small) formal dining room, think about switching the family room and dining room uses while opening the new dining room and kitchen into one room; the old formal dining room is perfect for a cozy TV den.• Add skylights to baths and halls on the north side of the roof to capture ambient light.
• Create a welcoming entry by adding graceful curves to your driveway, walkway and landscape.• Provide an intimate sheltered entry in an inset porch.Q My husband and I have been living in our ranch home since the 1970s, and we are finally ready to do some upgrading to make it a little more current. The earth-hugging prairie-style houses pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright and the popular California bungalow styles paved the way for the ranch. The informal ranch style evolved from several 20th century styles.Architect Cliff May is credited with building the first ranch-style home in San Diego in 1932, followed by California real estate developer Joseph Eichler’s mass-produced version that become so popular in the 1950s.
After World War II, simple and economical ranch-style homes were mass-produced to meet the housing needs of returning soldiers and their families.Because so many ranch-style houses were built quickly and with a cookie-cutter formula, the ranch is dismissed by some as simple, ordinary and without style.But there is more than meets the eye to the classic suburban ranch.Note that the stove is not a period piece—no avocado or goldenrod appliances in sight. Heather’s been knitting for years—these yarn bowls belonged to her grandmother. “I don’t care if you break anything,” Heather adds.