True ranch-style homes first made their appearance during the 1920s and 1930s and were originally based on Spanish Colonial architecture found in the American Southwest. When ranch-style homes were fused with a more modern style of architecture, it created the California-style of ranch homes. Their open, flexible floor plans created easy livability. The floor plan made the style popular in the post-World War II boom in American housing in American suburbs.
The casual living style in ranch-style homes is embraced in open floor plans that create a natural flow from room to room and also connect indoor and outdoor living. These long, low-profile homes feature low rooflines, uncomplicated exteriors and are almost always single-story in character. Here are some other common characteristics of ranch-style homes:
Single-floor layout. Ranch-style homes are predominantly one level, which comes from the fact they were working ranch homes. Some split-level ranch styles became popular in the 1950s.
Sliding glass doors. It’s common that sliding glass doors open to a patio and link the indoor and outdoor living areas, while letting in a maximum level of light. Large windows are also common.
Emphasis on patios and yards. These homes were designed to feature the back yard and patio, linking indoor and outdoor living through sliding glass doors and large windows in the common areas of the home.
Natural physical features. Ranch-style homes are commonly made of stucco or brick, and many feature vaulted ceilings with exposed wood beams.
Asymmetrical design. These homes are often rectangular, L-shaped or U-shaped in design.
Attached garage. As large suburban homes, they predominantly had attached, two-car garages.