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April 2018

The Ranch is King: A Return to Clean Straightforward Design

18th Apr, 2018 | Filed under Articles, Blog
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When someone says, “ranch,” the first thing you think of is a large farm with a bunch of cattle and horses. But when you hear the phrase “ranch living,” you probably think of open spaces, comfortable rooms, and just the right amount of privacy.

Ranch-style home designs are convenient, economical to build and maintain, and particularly friendly to both young families and empty-nesters. But over the years, these classic designs have evolved and blended with other styles. From modestly-sized simple living to big layouts with a lot of space and flexibility, ranch-style homes are a popular plan at Associated Designs, Inc.

“It’s one of our top-selling plans because the options and the layouts are limitless,” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs. “They are designed to be about comfort, with a living wing and a sleeping wing, plenty of space, flexible rooms, and simple elegance.”

Ranch-style homes also can be influenced by other styles such as colonial and contemporary. In other words, these homes can be as unique as they are spacious. Associated Designs has a variety of ranch-style homes, but here we list the best of the best. What do these three top ranch-style home designs have in common? They are all variations on a classic.

The Ottawa: Embracing Natural Light

For this ranch-style home, abundant natural light is the theme. Windows and atrium doors fill most of the ground level front wall, bringing ample sunlight to the vaulted great room of the Ottawa (30-601).

“The high ceilings, large windows, and open floor plan certainly catch the eye,” said McAlexander. “It’s hard not to be in awe of this home’s brilliance. The poorly lit, low-ceilinged ranch homes of the past are a distant memory with the Ottawa.”

The simple rectangular layout means everything flows easily, one room to the next. The lofty and majestic great room connects to the vaulted kitchen, but not before you see the covered back patio accessible via a windowed door. A large fireplace nestles into one corner of the great room, but again.

Around the corner from the kitchen is a large walk-in pantry, small powder room, and good-sized utility room. There’s also direct access to the two-car garage. To the left of the great room are three bedrooms including a spacious owners’ suite with private bathroom and walk-in closet. This is typical of ranch-style living: separating the living are from the sleeping area for true comfort.

With all that light, this ranch-style home is perfect for both young families who need space or the retired couple who wants to relax or entertain, all while enjoying the sunlight.

The Manor Heart: Blending Traditional and Contemporary

This 2,283-square-foot home has a traditional exterior with keystone-accented stone lintels that inspired the name for this ranch-style home. Manor Heart’s (10-590) stone veneer makes it a dramatic eye-catcher. The front facade includes a porch with wrought-iron railing and stone caps on the column supports.

But let’s stop there before you start thinking this ranch-style home design is overly traditional. The exterior is a blend of both classic ranch and contemporary craftsman. And the interior is anything but traditional ranch-style living. Large gathering spaces fill its core, and private rooms are off to the right and left. The little touches inside make the Manor Heart a winner.

“The Manor Heart has this amazing bright and spacious gathering space,” said McAlexander. “Everything is in its place, and yet everything is not what it seems.”

For example, to the right of the front door is a spacious den. Its ideal as a small entertaining area, or as a home office where you can easily meet with clients and not disturb family privacy.

The rest of the home is all about space and easy living. A large U-shaped kitchen is chock full of cupboards and countertops that circle a center island. A walk-in pantry just means easier storage. The dining room opens up into a covered patio so you can entertain in the great room, dining room, kitchen and backyard, all without having to walk through a maze of walls. A bonus room above the garage is a flex space for whatever suits your fancy: playroom, craft room, storage room… the options are endless.

The Manor Heart breaks with the traditional ranch-style home once again by separating the owners’ suite to one side of the house and putting the other two bedrooms on the other side of the house, making this home ideal for anyone who likes traditional style and contemporary living blended with plenty of beauty and comfort.

The Barnhart: Simply Elegant Ranch-Style Living

The Barnhart (30-946), by far the largest of our three top ranch-style home designs at 3,815 square feet, is meant for the family that loves to entertain. It’s clean lines and uncomplicated exterior are just the icing on the cake to this well-designed home.

Instantly welcoming, the Barnhart opens up into a vaulted gathering space filled with natural light that flow effortlessly with the outdoors using a grand vaulted patio and outdoor fireplace. In fact, covered walkways and patios wrap around three sides of the home, adding even more space for outdoor living.

Like the two previous ranch-style homes, the Barnhart keeps sleeping spaces separate from the great room. The expansive owners’ suite, for example, is tucked away on one side of the house. It features two large walk-in closets with built-in dressers and a bathroom that boasts a heated tile floor, deep soaking tub, and walk-in shower. Upstairs is a bunk room, bedroom suite, and a TV loft area.

The hallway to the owners’ suite is lined with storage cabinets and runs past a small bathroom and extra large utility room before connecting with the garage. The garage also breaks a bit with the typical ranch-style home by being both large and roomy as well as additional living space. How, you ask? Walk up a flight of stairs and a vaulted bonus room or storage area is available, complete with an upper terrace for soaking in the sunshine.

“Ranch-style living is for anybody because these home designs can be as unique and various as you want them to be,” said McAlexander. “It’s our top-selling plan for a reason."

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