Ranch Homes are in Arizona’s DNA

Even if you don’t think you live in a ranch-style home, it probably has at least some elements of this classic design.

Much of Arizona’s residential landscape is dominated by this category of housing, which was born in San Diego and Los Angeles in the 1920s and exploded across the rest of the country after World War II.

It took on regional flavors but retained such hallmarks as the sprawling footprint, attached garage and sliding glass door opening to a defined backyard patio.

Designed for comfortable family living and that integration of the outdoors we’re still trying to perfect today, ranch homes’ flexible, open floor plans are ideal for showcasing the individuality of its inhabitants and the quality of the materials they choose to use. 

As the “father” of the American ranch-style home Cliff May said, “The early Californians had the right idea. They built for the seclusion and comfort of their families, for the enjoyment of relaxation in their homes. We want to perpetuate these ideas of home building.”

Inspired by the haciendas and western ranch houses of the Southwest and fused with the philosophy of midcentury modernism, these houses are at home in Arizona whether they’re tucked away in the mountains or basking in the desert sun. 

Here are some interior design tricks that can emphasize the “ranchiness” of your home! 


Scattering too much furniture, display cases or décor throughout the house distracts from the clean lines and open feel of a ranch-style home with its minimalist inspirations. See how much you can delete from your floorplan without reducing the functionality of your space; look into creative storage solutions to retain the convenience you’re used to in places like the kitchen and living room.


Use one color scheme to unify the unfolding floor plan and airy feel created by the various rooms of your home. Disrupting the flow with too many color changes will seem jarring for many people, though a subtle change can sometimes be used to define an area with a particular purpose. 

Walls and moldings 

Removing frames and other adornment around windows can make them appear larger, letting them look more like the panoramic picture windows characteristic of the ranch-style home. 

Long, broad dining room and coffee tables 

Well-maintained wood, glass, granite, laminate or any other type of surface can reinforce the rectangular angles and spaciousness of any home, especially a ranch (sometimes known as a rambler) home. 

Pendant lighting 

If your ceilings are high enough, pendants and simple chandeliers accentuate the space above and around it, while bringing light closer to the floor. These are an easy way to define the tone and style for the rest of the room.

Indoors out 

The core idea of ranch homes is to dissolve boundaries between inside and outdoor spaces, so you should consider your yard an extension of your home. Comfort and functionality are just as important there and should be considered in the materials, furniture and lighting on your patio and beyond. 

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