Tag Archives: modern

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”.

Modern Monday

How about this bit of inspiration from the west to start off your week? 

Teton Valley Residence | American studio Ro Rockett Design has completed a family retreat in the wilderness of Idaho, which sits on a stone base to avoid flooding and provide the best views of the surrounding landscape. See the rest here and have a great week. Cheers!

Brady Bunch House Restoration

As you probably have already heard the Brady Bunch home in California has been purchased by HGTV where they will fully restore the home to its 70’s glory. Having both grown up with this show prominent in our lives and both having lived in the San Fernando Valley at different times it does our own hearts some good today. Read more about it here. Cheers!

FOR SALE | Urban North Asheville Bungalow

3 Bedrooms | 1 Bath | 1,438 SQFT | Porch with Views

Today, we are pleased to bring you this cool, convenient and charming bungalow with mountain views walkable to many North Asheville amenities or UNCA. This sweet home flows from the kitchen, dining to interior living room before opening to the outside taking full advantage of our mountain seasons and indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Watch the sunrise over Sunset mountain from your wrap-around front porch or end the day entertaining around your conversation fire pit. Cool updated kitchen and bathroom highlight this home. Also, a newer roof and tankless water heater make this home ready to go. Various off street parking off either Larchmont near carriage style storage or shared drive to 1 car tandem garage.

Want to see more? Kindly visit here. Or call Kelly and Troy for a personal tour. Cheers!

SUNDAY | Flea 4 Y’all

Yeah! This Sunday, July 29th is the Flea 4 Ya”ll. Make room for some new vintage and mid-century treasures. Need to know more? Get the skinny here. Cheers! Troy and Kelly

Sunday Morning Modern

Iceland’s Blue Lagoon | How about this place for a dreamy escape? Basalt Architects recently completed this cool hotel at Iceland’s Blue Lagoon resort. Check out the full article from dezeen daily here and have a sweet Sunday. Cheers!

FOR SALE | Town Mountain Mid-Century

4 Bedrooms | 2 Baths | 2,932 sqft | .52 acre mountain view lot

This is the quintessential mid-century modern masterpiece you’ve been waiting for. The J. Bertram King designed home {original architectural drawings included} was built in 1963 and sits gently perched in the mountains above Asheville. The home has dramatic views while remaining highly accessible. Experience the unique architectural entry sequence from exterior walkway in thru the cool interior entry vestibule with stone flooring, custom stair rail and original light fixtures. The vaulted and light filled main level flows easily from living room to the master suite. 3 Bedrooms and Family Room on Lower Level for family, guest rooms, offices or studios — the ultimate in versatility! On top of being everything you need it is inspired living by design. And the coolest!

Give the Modern Asheville Real Estate Team {Kelly, Troy or Amanda} a call for more information and a tour today. Until then enjoy the full photo tour here. Cheers!

KW Kudos

Yeah! It was a busy spring this year for Modern Asheville Real Estate and we are ever so grateful. Cheers to all those who helps us from all sides. Kelly and Troy

FOR SALE | Lakeview Park Mid-Century Home

4 Bedrooms | 3 Baths | 2,815 SQFT | 1.28 Acre City View Lot

Kelly and I are excited to bring this cool home to the real estate marketplace today. This mid-century, mountain home has both mountain and city views. Clean, architectural lines frame a dramatic vaulted California Eichler style interior trimmed in exotic woods typical of the prized period “Deck” home. High quality features include complete European custom kitchen, spa bath, towel heaters, heated floors, mini-splits, active and passive solar, 3 fireplaces and a fire pit. The location above the Asheville Country Club offers both convenience and privacy 1.28 acre street to street lot offers guaranteed privacy and views. The home blends vintage mid-century with quality updates for today’s modern lifestyle.

Reach out to us for more information or a private tour. In the meantime explore the virtual tour here and a past article on the Deck home here. Cheers!

Happy Birthday Frank Lloyd Wright

In honor of one of our most celebrated architects we thought it would be worthwhile sharing, once again, one of our favorite posts on the man himself.  Cheers!

1953 Frank Lloyd Wright interview by Mike Wallace | I scoured the internet for something of interest to watch last night. It is not always very fruitful, but this time I found something “fantastic” — at least from my viewpoint. If you’ve never seen this before I’m happy to share this treasure with you today. His belief in individualism and his views on the lack of intellectualism and “mobocracy” hit home today. I won’t say more, but simply encourage you to spend 50 minutes to watch this interview with a true visionary who is, obviously, very comfortable in his own skin. Enjoy the segment here . Cheers!

Top Review for Modern Asheville Real Estate

More than anything we love it when our clients are pleased. We were especially honored to hear the following words. Thank you so much Kristin. We are so happy for you! Kelly and Troy

“Kelly and Troy are a seller’s dream team. The whole process of listing my home with Troy and Kelly could not have been better. They had beautiful, professional photographs done for the listing, listed my house at just the right price point, and offered great advice throughout the process. My  house was under contract at ‘asking price’ within 36 hours of hitting the MLS.

And they are also a buyer’s dream team, too. They found me a wonderful MCM house in the neighborhood I wanted to live in, at a price I could afford and negotiated everything beautifully. From listing day, to the subsequent sale of my house, to closing day on my new house took exactly 50 days. There were no hitches and I always had the feeling Kelly and Troy were completely on top of everything in each step of the process. They communicated well and clearly. I even left the country for a week (a pre-planned trip) in the midst of everything and felt absolutely relaxed doing that, knowing that both of my house deals were in the hands of this super competent team. Throughout the process, I always felt they had my back.

They are smart, extremely professional, enthusiastic, knowledgable, classy — and fun! I was proud to be represented by Modern Asheville and would use them again in a heartbeat.”

2018 Matsumoto Prize | Time to Vote!

Good Morning Folks! Voting is open for the 2018 George Matsumoto Prize with North Carolina Modernist Houses. A few of our local architects and designers have entries this year including; Russ Nicholson, Retro+Fit Design and Siegman Associates. Check out all the entries here and vote for your favorite. Cheers!