Category Archives: Ranch

The Ranch House Revisited


Given the current downsizing and one level living trends the Ranch House finds itself looking a bit more appealing these days. Originally, created for its efficient scale, floorplans and ease of living it may have a brighter future stoked by this gloomy time. In the past decades we have seen homes grow in size to where a master bedroom has become the size of what once would be sufficient for a living room. Do we ever ask ourselves why we need all this size?  Is bigger always better?

You will find that we are fans of the Ranch Home.  I am not sure if it is due to the fact that we grew up in Ranch Homes in the 60’s and 70’s or that today I have learned to downsize and have a simple home that allows more freedom for the rest of my life.  Either way we urge you to take another look at that understated  house you drive by everyday and consider what it might do for you.

Renovating A Ranch Style House

Thinking about how to renovate ranch style houses leads to all kinds of possibilities if you have the foresight to see the potential. Ranch style houses are not always seen as a historic style home worthy of restoration, yet they are integral to mid-century American style. Often these homes are remodeled; stories added, and the unique look of the structure is muddled beyond recognition. While they did have some negative design characteristics, overall the homes illustrated the love of sleek modernism that was the byword of the 1950s and 1960s. The best renovations will honor the style of the original home.

History of the Ranch Style

Ranch style architecture was not born in the tract homes of the late 1950s. It began far earlier than that, in San Diego, California. The first ranch style home was built in 1932 by a California architect named Cliff May. Born in 1909, May was fascinated by the homes that were built by the early Mexican settlers in California. These homes were horizontal in nature and seemed to pull the landscape into the home to create and integrated living area.

Characteristics of a Ranch Style Home

The homes wer meant to be sleek, easy to clean, and leave time for the owners to pursue their interests. Materials were natural. Stone and brick were often brought into the home as design elements. Home interiors were open and included glass doors to patios which allowed the patio to be used as another room.
Other design elements are:

  • – Horizontal lines
  • – Living areas at the front of the house
  • – Smooth surfaces
  • – Paneling
  • – Picture windows
  • – Kitchen peninsulas
  • – Flat or low pitched roofs
  • – Smooth, hollow core doors
  • – Narrow layout
  • – Simple floor plans
  • – Attached garage

Good Bones

Before you begin to renovate, ranch style houses should be inspected carefully by a professional housing inspector.  It is very important that the foundation and the structure of the home be solid.  Other areas that should be brought up to date are:

  • – Plumbing
  • – Wiring
  • – Insulation
  • – Heating/Cooling System
  • – Drainage
  • – Roof

If all of these are in good condition, then you can move on to the renovation of your home.  Before you do, you might want to consider the neighborhood.  Is it one you want to live in or continue to live in?  This is something to decide before you invest a lot of money to renovate a ranch style house.

Steps to Renovate Ranch Style Houses

  • Make a list of the characteristics of your home that you love.  These are things you will want to keep.
  • Make a list of your current needs.  More space?  Bigger Kitchen?
  • Figure out how much you can afford to spend on a renovation.
  • Decide how much you can realistically do yourself.
  • If you will be making major changes in structure then talk to an architect about your plans.
  • Find a general contractor to handle the things you will not be doing yourself.
  • Check with your city about permist and licenses.

Tips for Ranch Style Renovation

  1. Try to use building materials similar in looks to those used to construct the existing home when any additions that are made.  This helps create continuity.  For example, Victorian style trim would look silly on a sleek ranch style home, while chunky Craftsman details would weigh it down.
  2. Think carefully before you decide to add a second story.  You will lose the look of the ranch and you will also lose some of the convenience of one floor living.
  3. Using natural finish wood on the floors is a wise investment and seems to be attractive to buyers.  Wood floors go well with this style of home.
  4. Don’t underestimate the ability of landscaping to improve the curb appeal of your home.  This is especially tru of Ranch style homes.
  5. Changes should fit into the style of the home.  Many architects believe that changing the exterior look of the home should be avoided if at all possible.
  6. If the home has a basement this can be the perfect place to pick up extra space.  Finishing it off and turning it into an office, den , or bedrrom will get the addition you need with out the expense of changing the exterior.
  7. A garage is oftern another area that can be finished and turned into a room.
  8. Renovating kitchends and bathrooms is always a good investment, and while your’re at it, replace appliances with Energy Star rated aplliances to save money and gree your home. Take a look at some of our other blog post on remodeling ranch homes in our area.

Much of this article provided by “About.com’s Home Improvement”.

Paint Colors for Staging

As real estate agents with a visual sense we are always being asked about what to do in preparing a home for sale. While we do love light and neutral paint choices we are, also, big fans of grays and well curated pops of color for accenting key walls. The below recent article on houzz seems to capture a clean aesthetic while giving it some personality. Check it out. Cheers!

Modern Fans

Ceiling fans are always a topic of discussion when we tour homes with clients and one of the first things, along with light fixtures, to get changed out of homes to add a more modern aesthetic. Finding affordable options wasn’t always easy, but finding options with clean lines is easier today. One of our modern news and shopping feeds sent us this link at 2Modern. We thought they pulled together a nice assortment of options. So, stay cool as you stay cool in your home. Cheers! Kelly and Troy

Little Ranch on a Hill

Yesterday, we toured our client’s updated and expanded little rancher just above Charlotte street and walkable to town. For years we have discussed ranch homes being a great resource for creating your ultimate modern nest and they very much proved us to be true. When it’s completed we will post a bit more on it, but for now we wanted to share a quick sneak peek, along with, our incredible excitement for our clients. Cheers! Kelly and Troy

Hands On Design + Build Remodeling

Introducing Patrick FarrarScreen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.36.07 PM

Kelly and I sat down for one of our portfolio lunches to chat with Patrick Farrar this past week. Patrick is a recent transplant from Palm Springs, otherwise known as Mid-Century Mecca in the states. Patrick has been renovating such homes for 23 years know. Prior to that he restored furniture for a retailer in Miami. Patrick - 02

As a designer Patrick’s aesthetic has been influenced by the design rich communities he has lived in; San Francisco, Miami and Palm Springs. He brings to his clients an ability to edit and simplify their environment while giving it an overall sophisticated and bold expression.Pat Comp 01

As a builder he prefers doing as much of his work hands-on as possible. “I tend to be an orderly guy,” says Patrick. He prefers to maintain some control of the process and end quality. His knowledge of cost-effective procedures and today’s materials adds great value to every project. Patrick -3

His overall portfolio includes many styles of both personal environments to commercial. While I chose to focus on some of his modern interpretations in these photos he enjoys bringing his vision to more traditional homes as well. He is looking forward to seeing how the more earthy aesthetic of Asheville will influence his work. And we look forward to watching. Want to see more of Patrick’s work? Visit either his HOUZZ page or his Website.Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 3.34.19 PM

And remember that the Modern Asheville Real Estate team can you find the resources for purchasing or selling your modern home, but the team to envision and create your new nest in the mountains.

 

SOLD | Country Club Ranch Home

Today, we closed on this clean and simple ranch home within walking distance to the North Asheville Country Club for our northern California buyers. This solid, well Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 6.58.07 AMbuilt home is open, one level and has tons of sun light. Having introduced them to one of our designer/builders they now get to have fun making it a cool and tailored pad for their retirement.

Kelly and I love ranch home remodels. Browse the archives of our blog for “ranch” and you will see some great examples of what can be done to make your modern here in Asheville starting with a ranch home, which is essentially a box, in a great location. Need help finding one for yourself? Give us call. It is one of the things we love to do. Cheers!

Brick | The Quiet Hero

Growing up in the Midwest in a town filled with modern architecture it was rare that a building did not make use of brick. From the churches by Eero and Eliel Sarrinen, the Robert Venturi fire station, I.M.Pei Library and our City Hall — Columbus Brick Compbrick was applied. No matter the building form, brick seemed to symbolize the solidity of earth, the steadiness of tradition and a quiet resilience over the effects of time. For me it is the “Steady Eddy” of architectural material and one that is often overlooked today. We accept it as a traditional material, but do we really understand its value? To dig deeper visit this page from the Brick Industry or watch this brief video.In contemporary Asheville we do have a few examples here on some of our latest hotels to blend contextually with some of our older buildings. Architect Larry Traber made use of it on his own home he built in 1965 on Horizon Hill.Horizon Hill

As real estate agents who specialize in ranch homes to remodel our clients always appreciate the constructions wrapped entirely in brick over the ones where the material was only applied to the front architectural facade. The warmth, the texture and low maintenance aspect is appealing. home-brick-ranch-plan-beautiful-and-stone-exterior-51706Though they require some extra effort to adapt in terms of punching in openings to let in more light, the long-term benefits out weigh the cost in labor. Think about it — how often do you have to repaint brick, replace dry rot or pest damage? Compare the insulating value of clay to wood. For us it is the king of sustainability and ambassador of comfort. For inspirational examples of brick used in modern design visit our pinterest page here. And for those of you who say, “Brick is boring”, I hope you’ll look at it just a bit differently from now on and consider it for your next project. I know I will. Cheers!

SALE PENDING | 6 Von Ruck Court

IMG_0979MLS#584256

Listed at $279,900

3 Bedrooms | 1586sqft

Take a look at our latest listing on MLS just today. This charming, split-level rancher is in a quiet, urban neighborhood and an easy walk to Gang Shan Station and other Charlotte St. venues. It has an open living space on the main level with a fireplace. 3 bedrooms and 1 bath are on the upper level. Lower level has a laundry, bathroom and a completely open space to use as you like. The home has a carport and winter mountain views. Modernize and make this into your efficient and urban nest.Von Ruck Comp Cheers! Kelly and Troy

A Modern Cottage Kitchen by Roost

IMG_7659Kelly and I are big fans of Roost made bathrooms and kitchens. We find each one, no matter the style, to have a refreshingly simple, clean and balanced aesthetic. David seems to know how to get the most out of minimal means. A modern mantra if there ever was one!

IMG_0269In this example, David was asked to redesign a kitchen for a fairly new {built in 2008} contemporary arts and crafts-ish, suburban home — the ones that seem to define new Asheville housing for the past decade. Loving the location, the clients called David to save them from the Home Depot styling they were immersed in.

David selected only three materials to create the palette for the kitchen: White Oak for the closet wall, cabinets, shelves and furniture, white subway tile for backsplash walls and white carerra marble for the counters and tabletop. Nothing new in materials, but it is that simple and sophisticated, Danish modern approach that makes it a home run. The kitchen perfectly blends retro cottage with urban industrial making it as historic and warm as it is clean and cool.Mardell Comp 1

The clients will now be able to walk into their kitchen via a small mudroom with places to lay down their bags, kick off their snow covered shoes and hang their parka. With the open shelving and flowing layout the Snowpocalpyse supplies can be stored in minutes. Gone is the dividing island from kitchen to living space replaced by a centralizing farmhouse table allowing more flow for living, working and gathering. Laundry and extra storage are tucked behind sliding barn doors to be opened or closed as needed.IMG_0266

Last, the ingenious and not readily apparent note about this kitchen is that David and his shop designed and built the kitchen elements so they could be flat packed and shipped. While it looks and sounds Ikea, in this case you receive quality, custom components that are solid wood through and through.IMG_0267

So, if you are looking to swap something sleepy and standard for something more life giving and “locally made” you may want to give Roost a call. I know we would. Cheers! Troy

Downtown Condo Remodel by Roost, Inc.

53c College St Asheville NC-small-005-Living RoomDining Room-666x443-72dpiTake a look at this finished downtown condo that was recently remodeled by David Way of Roost, Inc. Kelly and I have been touring the progress on this three bedroom residence. It was stripped down from top to bottom to make way for a smart urban meets rustic new look. Cool and clean lines embrace warm raw materials such as rough and quarter sawn woods, concrete and brick giving it the impression of bringing new life to a post war industrial facility. Roost’s own cabinet shop provided both cabinetry, shelving and many furnishings while concrete counters and sinks were fabricated by craftsman Bob Judy of ZepDesign. Want to see more? Go here!53c College St Asheville NC-small-011-Kitchen-666x445-72dpi

This condo is currently on the market. Kelly and I would be happy to provide you further info if interested. Contact us at hello@modernasheville.com. Cheers! Troy

Von Ruck | Mini Mid-Century Makeover

IMG_6176Kelly and I were touring one of our preferred mid-century neighborhoods in Asheville and saw one of my favorite little mid-century homes under renovation. Curious — we decided to find out more. We met David who purchased the home and is giving the mini mid-century a major makeover. As artists, both him and his partner Deb, will live and work there. I’ll report more on it when we come back for a tour as it nears completion, but they both promise to come tonight to the Cotton Mill Soiree to meet up with other modern enthusiasts. Cheers to them!

Ranch House Resurgence

I have been writing about ranch homes for over six years now given the benefits of these homes here in Asheville and their locations. They are a great resource for making your modern lifestyle for multiple reasons. Here is an article I came across this morning while researching. And if you want to know more about our local ranch homes type in “ranch” in the search line to the right. Or give Kelly and myself a call for further direction. Enjoy!f68e22d6638a090eb6a7078f52a6f55b

“Was the peak of American modernism the ranch-style house? Frank Lloyd Wright was one of the earliest adopters of the low-slung massing and clean, horizontal lines, and though seemingly traditional, the typology embodied much of the ethos of modernism. The ranch was mass-produced, housed huge amounts of middle-class workers, and offered clean, efficient spaces for living. Their horizontal nature made them not only accessible, but helped to blur the lines between interior and exterior both visually and spatially.” To read further click here.