The Coziest Ranch Makeover We've Ever Seen

Outdoor room
A humdrum home with a location that's too good to leave gets a head-turning facelift.

Before: Humdrum Home

Quickly constructed housing was a hallmark of post World War II life, and subsequent housing booms have followed suit. Although the resulting homes were often boxy, they made up for deficits in personality with enviable locations.

This 1979 residence in sunny Southern California got an overhaul in function and style, thanks to an airy addition and a ranch-meets-casual aesthetic. The home -- bought in 2000 and added onto once previously by its current owners -- lacked both space-defining details and the square footage to accommodate a list of contemporary wants. The home's bland landscaping, repetitive vertical siding, and basic two-car garage needed upgrading to match its desirable lot. 

After: Striking Exterior

To allow for the lot’s setback and fulfill the owners’ desire for a three-car garage, designer Anne Sneed extended and stair-stepped the new stalls. New olive green cement board siding and cream trim around windows -- a color scheme inspired by the owners’ trip to Hawaii -- combines with barn-style lighting, copper gutters, and garage doors with “X” motifs.

Rustic Charms

Neutral hues and natural textures set the scene for a cozy, inviting space to dine. Sliding barn doors offer flexibility for entertaining; keep them open for a casual get-together, or close them for more intimate gatherings. In place of a chandelier, a cluster of glass pendants add interest overhead.

Open Addition

The remodel included adding this open living room-kitchen between bedrooms and the garage wing. The space offers access to patio spaces on either side. At the hearth, the couple chose a tumbled stone from Montana (where one of the owners is from) and a recycled wood mantel. 

Artful Accents

Reclaimed wood makes another appearance in the living room, highlighting the kitchen pass-through. A pair of plush pink upholstered chairs invite friends and family to take a seat and continue conversation.

Inspired Lighting

A lifelong love of horses inspired many of the home's details, including these rustic pendants that combine rope, iron hardware, and exposed bulbs.

Before: Kitchen

When they began the project, the owners had one major request for designer Anne Sneed -- incorporating their dream of a new red Viking range in the kitchen. The homeowners pushed the far interior wall just a few feet, gaining enough square footage to include the room’s signature item. 

After: Warmed Up

Sneed placed matching hutches on either side of the galley kitchen to mark the transition to the breakfast seating area. The homeowner figured out a stain combination -- warm wax honey finish over a dark stain -- to visually link the new built-ins to the flooring.

Tip: When remodeling a kitchen, plan specialty cabinets to accommodate often-used items in the same zone. Here, the hutch hides appliances within drawers and shows off dishes in a glass-front compartment, all within easy reach of the nearby dishwasher.

Strategic Placement

A second small sink looks out into the living room and makes use of a narrow stretch of unclaimed space in the kitchen. It's the perfect setup for mixing cocktails and prepping appetizers during parties.

Before: Uninviting Dining

The eating space off the kitchen felt confining. New French doors and shiplap walls introduced architectural interest. 

After: Come On In

Distinctive lighting was a key element of the upgrade, including the burnished metal fixtures that offer a modern-rustic touch over the breakfast table. “The breakfast table was always located at the end of the kitchen,” Sneed says. “But the best thing we did was put this bench in and move the table to the far wall. That gave us the room to air out the kitchen as much as possible.

Reclaimed Wood Headboard

Sneed repositioned the reclaimed wood headboard -- made from the shutters of an old barn in Pennsylvania -- and added a visually arresting mix of patterned pillows and bedding. The room reflects the homeowners’ desire to meld barn and modern elements into a comfortable, casual home.

Splurge-Worthy Features

Upgraded features in the master bath include shiplap siding and new lights. Initially, the couple wanted to do just a few small projects, but after Sneed smoothed the bath’s textured ceiling and installed pendants with 4-inch LED bulbs, they adjusted their budget to expand remodeling efforts to the rest of the house

Pattern Play

Combine styles and textures of tile in a shower for an impactful upgrade. Rich browns carry from room to room, including the geometric mosaic tile wall in the master shower stall.

Side Yard Solutions

Turn a narrow side yard into a meandering pathway. This gate, arbor, and fence offer definition and privacy while adding exterior style.

Refined Style

A patio space, just off the kitchen eating area, features a welcoming fireplace and sectional furniture that can be reconfigured as needed. Mini kumquat trees line a stone retaining wall. Reclaimed wood mantels inside and outside the home lend consistency.

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