Real-Home Makeover: Ranch Home Redo

A California family makes the most of their ranch home with a remodel that opens the space without losing the original footprint.

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Ranch-Home Style

ranch home exterior

Reclaimed bricks laid in herringbone and basket-weave patterns cover the driveway and lead the way into the 1956 three-bedroom ranch house in Corona del Mar, California. To give the home's exterior a fresh look, the yellow front door stands out against the gray shingles.

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Old, Dated Floor Plan

ranch plan before

Before, the wall between the kitchen and dining room closed off the kitchen. Having the space divided into two separate rooms created an enclosed kitchen that made the house feel smaller.

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A New Floor Plan

ranch plan after

In order to make the 1,800-square-foot-house functional for a family of five, the homeowners had the structural wall between the kitchen and dining room removed. The new floor plan opens the space without changing the home's footprint.

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Cozy Living

living room overall

The homeowners' plan to open up the home included replacing and adding windows throughout the house. In the living room, they replaced a series of metal-clad casement windows with picture windows. Windows integrate the yard into the house, which makes the room seem much bigger.

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Simply Floored

wood floor to carpet

Mixing floor surfaces throughout the home adds interest. Dark-stained walnut floors in the kitchen draw attention and are easy to clean. In the living room, the homeowners placed jute carpeting over the finished wood floor to protect the floor.

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Uber-Functional Island

kitchen island

Removing the interior wall not only opened the kitchen, it also allowed the homeowners to add a kitchen island. The island serves many purposes. During the afternoon, it's a homework station. Around dinnertime, the sink and faucet help with food preparation. When the homeowners' entertain, the island becomes a buffet.

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Smart Surfaces

kitchen countertop

Black granite countertops add a level of luxury to a functional kitchen. The lack of upper cabinets keeps the space airy, but limits the kitchen's storage capabilities. Adding a metal shelf above the counter keeps the kitchen open without losing storage space.

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Breezy Dining

dining area open to outdoor

An advantage of a ranch house is the ability to connect the indoors and the outdoors. The homeowners used this design principle in their dining room. Sliding glass doors with a 6-foot-wide opening connects the dining room to the patio. Both spaces can function as one room, which keeps the dining room from feeling cramped when entertaining.

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Storage Solvers

dining room to hutch

In a small space, limiting moving pieces is the key to keeping the area from feeling cramped. Bench seating keeps multiple chairs from cluttering the floor. A freestanding hutch adds storage to the room and keeps items from gathering on the table or in the adjacent kitchen.

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Groovy Display

detail of hutch

The homeowners store and display dishes and dining room essentials in the freestanding hutch. Adjustable shelves make the hutch a smart storage solution. Homeowners can adjust the shelves to fit their collectibles, rather than choosing items to fit the hutch. Versatilty is important in small spaces.

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Bedroom Basics


In the master suite, contractors took a few feet from the bedroom by moving a wall, which allowed space for a larger bathroom and closet.

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