Home Decor Ideas for Ranch Style Houses


Ranch Style Houses

Ranch style homes first became popular in the 1950s and 1960s. These homes accounted for 9 out of every 10 homes built in that time period. Additionally, a lot of them were built with similar characteristics and were typically only one story with low pitch roofs These houses were often U-shaped, instead of built straight across too. Some of the characteristics common among ranch style houses are:

8-foot ceilings,

small windows

a bay window wall-to-wall,


stone fireplaces,

pastel colored bathrooms (often only one in a three-bedroom house),

Interesting architectural elements (like wrought iron embellishments).

Nowadays these homes can be a little dated, however you can use some modern ranch style home decor that will update it without losing that vintage mid-century feel. However, we need to discuss some tips for how to make a small room look bigger.

How to Make a Small Space Look Bigger

Home decor ideas for ranch style house should keep things traditional, but you will need to capitalize on your space because typically this style of home was three bedrooms but didn’t boast a lot of square footage.

Some tips to make a small room appear bigger by:

Using very light or very dark colors when painting – this will create the illusion of a larger space because they can give a room depth.

Medium shades should be avoided because they can make a room look even smaller.

Hanging ceiling to floor curtains – these will draw the eye up and down and give the appears of higher ceilings, a necessity because of those terrible 8-foot ceilings.

Picking out a few large decorative accents instead of a lot of smaller decorative pieces – the more cluttered the room is the smaller it will look. You should limit your decor groupings to 3 to 5 items and try to use symmetry in your styling.Displaying larger art pieces – Again, to avoid a cluttered look, you should display large scale art pieces.

Opt to hang one large wall accent rather than a gallery of smaller pieces. If you really feel the need to have a wall gallery composed of smaller pieces, limit it to only one wall and choose to leave the other walls bare.

Avoiding overhead lighting – add a few lamps across the room to distribute light evenly throughout this space. This can make a room feel more expansive than just having one overhead light. Using rugs – rugs can serve two purposes, they help a room feel pulled together and complete, and they also can help define spaces creating and illusion of more square footage.

Opting for larger furniture pieces – Having one statement piece is better than just having accent pieces. For example, one large sofa would be better than four accent chairs. You can add one accent chair with your sofa if you need the extra seating but limiting your furniture to statement pieces can avoid a cluttered look and allow the room ‘to breath.’

Opting for furniture with exposed legs – furniture that has exposed legs can create the illusion of a more open space with extra room. Avoid furniture that is flush with the ground, it looks boxy.Hanging mirrors on your dark walls – This will allow light from windows to reflect off and can create the look of extra square footage.Decluttering – Seriously, this is the number one time to helping you optimize your space. Even houses with thousands of square feet can look small if there is stuff everywhere.

Using some or all of these tips can help your modern ranch style home decor look more visually appearing. Ranch style homes tend to be on the smaller side so you must make the most of the space you have.

Some Home Decor Ideas for Ranch Style

House Mid-Century Modern


Personally, I love all things vintage so when it comes to picking your home decor for your ranch style house, I’d go mid-century modern. Why buck tradition? A mid-century modern design bodes well for a ranch style home because the style fits the home, after all they originated in the same era.

Suitable mid-century modern ranch style home decor will offer clean, simple lines that will help the space feel bigger. You should pick a sofa and chairs with legs made from a sleek wood that has a vintage feel to it. You can look for furniture that’s fabric is patterned. Complete the look with a large piece of vintage art (something with visual interest like geometric shapes) and a few accessories (like bright colored vases in varying sizes).

Craftsman Style

Some ranch style homes were built with architectural elements rafters and wood paneled walls so opting to pick home decor that is wood based with a strong grain pattern can play up the craftsman style. If you were considering a total remodel, you can take a craftsman style home to the next level by adding hardwood floors, stone flooring in the bathroom, and building a little reading under a window with a neutral colored cushion that you can decorate with a couple statement patterned throw pillows.

However, if a full remodel is not in the budget, you can simply add some wood trim around your windows and doors, pick a simple sofa with wooden legs in a neutral color (you can still add the patterned throw pillows), and adding in an oak coffee table and perhaps a wooden shelf for extra storage. You still get achieve that beautiful craftsman style, but for less than a quarter of the cost of a total remodel.


If you would like to stay on the more traditional side, but are a bit edgy, an industrial look is right for you. The ‘machine look’ was popular in the 50s, it just didn’t exactly always translate into ranch style homes. However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid this look because it was still a prevalent style of the time and will be a good design option for smaller spaces. You can utilize materials like leather, steel and brick. Bright colors should be avoided, instead opt for color with a rustic vibe such as brown and muted blue or green. Pick dark furniture for your staple pieces, for example a large worn-looking dark brown leather sofa with wooden legs would be perfect. Another key in achieving this look are design elements that offer metal finishings and geometric patterns.

Nautical Theme

If you are a little less of a traditionalist, a nautical theme could be good option. A staple of nautical styles are white and neutral colors accompanied by a navy-blue accent color.

This is a great color scheme for optimizing a small space like a ranch style house. Choose furniture in a vintage style that has an unfinished look to it.

The goal is to create the illusion that it came from an old wooden boat. Light colored sofas are a good idea and can open the room. You can look for throw pillows with pops of blue as well. Create a unique look by using nautical rope to hang lamp or mirrors, or you can wrap it around furniture like bed posts. Furthermore, seashells, maps and sails can help round out the nautical look of your modern ranch style home decor.

Final Thoughts

Very early in the 1950s the ranch architectural style originated, and we saw an influx of ranch style homes being built. Nearly 9 out of 10 houses was in this ranch style.

However, it wasn’t the most ideal style for a home, often they are very simple looking and are only one story. The offer low pitch roofs and typically only have 8-foot ceilings. Plus, they usually squeezed three bedrooms and one bathroom into an underwhelming amount of square footage and space.

Conversely, these homes are basically historical at this point as they are almost 70 years old, but they don’t have to look dated. If you are living in a ranch style home built in the 1950s, I recommend staying a little more traditional with your design approach.

Using modern ranch style home decor like furniture with various wood finishes can complement any style option and can bring the look up-to-date.

Additionally, you can add in pieces that have a vintage feel, like patterned throw pillows, geometric art and some multi-colored vases. If your home was built after the 1950s, or you’re just not a fan of traditional, a unique design like a nautical style could be quite interesting. The color scheme, a mix of neutrals and navy blue, can be used to optimize the space in a small ranch style home.

Also, using rope to hang mirrors will complement the theme while allowing the mirror to reflect light creating the illusion of more square footage. Some designs are easier to execute than others, but you do not have to limit yourself to these four style options. Due to its simple look, you can pick any style home decor you’d like and make a ranch style house the home of your dreams.

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