9 Simple Updates Take a Ranch-Style Home from Drab to Dramatic

Modern Ranch Makeover

Is your exterior a little bland? Basic cosmetic changes and clever use of plants offered a sunny outlook for this drab, low-slung ranch. See how to create your home's best-ever exterior with these inviting curb appeal ideas.

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Before: Dated 1990s Ranch-Style Home

Modern Ranch Makeover

A sand-color stucco exterior and some lofty palm trees rooted this southern California 1990s ranch-style home. But, beyond the drab appearance, the house was structurally sound and simply needed an inspiring exterior makeover.

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After: Updated 1990s Ranch-Style Home

Exterior Color Dos and Don’ts

Bright white wood siding, whimsical boxwood orbs, and a splashy yellow front door give this once-dated home fresh appeal. Although the new exterior is vastly improved, the transformation was relatively simple. Read on for the small-but-mighty updates that make this exterior sing!

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Update: Friendly Front Door

Exterior Color Dos and Don’ts

Use color to bring it forward if your front door hides in the shadows. Bold, look-at-me yellow instantly grabs attention and signals the point of entry on this refreshed ranch home.

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Update: New Hardware

door hardware

New hardware can dramatically change the style and function of a front door—and if you find yourself wrestling with your lock every time you use the door, it's time to update. This lockset's sleek, simple shape lends fresh appeal to the yellow Dutch door. Coordinate front door hardware and lighting finishes for a polished look.

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Update: Stylish Lighting

outdoor light fixture

Use oversize light fixtures to make an impact. This crackled glass and burnished bronze sconce enhances the home's modern-cottage impression while providing light around the home's front entrance.

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Update: Clear Walkway

Front of home

Make it easy for guests to find their way to your front door by designing a wide path that is clearly visible from the time they approach your home. Wide steps with integrated lighting improve safety.

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Update: Mod House Numbers

Exterior Color Dos and Don’ts

A playful mix of modern and cottage elements keeps the home's exterior looking fresh and welcoming. These handsome house numbers pop against white-painted brick and are easy to spot from the street.

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Update: Quirky Character

Exterior Color Dos and Don’ts

A home isn't a home without a gnome! The front door or the surrounding area is the perfect place to add character, whether it's a garden gnome, an attractive wreath, or a vintage sign.

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Update: Simple Comfort


Soften a modern exterior with a bench and patterned pillows near the front door. A mix of small cushions covered in bright outdoor fabric gives the entrance comfort and stay-awhile personality.

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Update: Easy-Care Containers

Exterior Color Dos and Don’ts

Ceramic pots are available in many colors. Choose your favorite and fill it with plants with flowers and foliage in complementary colors for a restful combination. Or up the energy with a contrasting color combo. Contrast is the winner here.

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Update: Better Greenery

Modern Ranch Makeover

Less is more regarding types of plants in a front-yard landscape. Choose three to five plant species and repeat them throughout the space.

Slow-growing evergreen boxwood can be sheared into nearly any shape. Here it's sculpted into round orbs surrounded by succulent and drought-tolerant echeveria.

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