“A ranch house, because of its name alone, borrows friendliness, simplicity, informality, and gaiety from the men and women who, in the past, found those pleasures in ranch-house living” – Sunset Magazine Ranch Houses

I’ve been struck recently by the number of lovely remodeled California Ranch homes currently on the market. Open houses are teeming with potential buyers drawn to their timeless trademark features that clearly remain on trend! Living is calm and breezy in a ranch with vaulted ceilings, sunny loggias, functional fireplaces and one story floorpans centered around private outdoor patio spaces. Inviting curb appeal and proportionately sized lots make idyllic homesteads. What’s not to love? 

High end ranch renovation on large corner lot in Studio City, CA. 4450 Gentry Ave, 4 bed / 3 bath, size 2,788 sq ft, lot size 13,794 sq ft.  Listed by Dennis Chernov $2,398,000.00

Various ranch styles have evolved and morphed over the years from adobe to mid-century modern aesthetics. Builders like Cliff May wholly embraced the advancement of the ranch into mid-century modern. The common denominator is their straight forward, practical approach to living. The classic ranches I’m seeing have been brilliantly restored and will hopefully remain loved for many more years to come. Note to builders please! Hands off the original built-ins! 

View from the loggia to the inner courtyard patio and pool. Master bedroom wing & patio doors in background. 4460 Gentry Ave.  

Flourishes evolved over the years such as lattice windows which are predominant throughout valley ranch homes. This whimsy was taken to the extreme with the design of Cinderella Homes in the 50’s. 

Our dear sweet ranch, the au courant hipster, whose eccentricities never go out of style. A great example is the intentional indoor/outdoor flow which later on became a bellwether of mid-century modern residential architecture. The original ranch courtyard patios were the setting for social gatherings or afternoon siestas. In some cases they were a necessity to keep out livestock! 

Vaulted ceilings and open kitchen tastefully updated. 4460 Gentry, Studio City, CA

During the 30’s to early 50’s when a majority of the SF Valley ranch homes I’m referring to were built, the geography was a mix of orchards, farmland and new housing tracts. A sense of abundant open range supported the notion of rambling one-story homes nestled into the landscape. They were a natural choice for developers as the idea of “ranch living” harmonized with the surrounding agricultural trade. Buyers showed up and the rest is history. 

Bright, airy loggia with original built-ins connect the bedroom wing to the main living space. 4450 Gentry Ave, Studio City CA

I’m always heartened to see older homes restored to their original glory whenever possible. Natural gentrification of a neighborhood through preservation is something history will smile kindly at – and so will long time residents! Viva La Rancho!

Pretty blue ranch with garage conversion to master bedroom en suite. Separate garage was built behind the house. 6600 Noble Ave, Van Nuys CA. 3bd / 2 bath, size 1,842 sq ft, lot size 8.063 sq ft. Listed by Dennis Chernov $779,000.00


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