This Ranch House Remodel Overflows with Cottage Charm

home exterior

A bland midcentury ranch house gains space, charm, and plentiful light thanks to a renovation cued by uniting indoors and out.

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Before: Plain Jane

home exterior

Common in many ranch homes, a tiny front stoop made the entrance seem like an insignificant side entry. But an exterior makeover gave the home prominence and elevated the simple design with practical, charming style. Inside, thoughtful architectural details and a revised, open floor plan transformed this once-ordinary midcentury home into an unforgettable retreat.

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After: Storybook Appeal

home exterior

A renovation inspired by English country house design graced this exterior with abundant charm. The addition of dormers and gables, chocolate-brown trim, a cedar-shingle roof, and painted brick distinguish the home with cottage-like character; even the granite cobbles edging the path to the columned front entry evoke storybook appeal.

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Elevated Entry

entry bench

A bright and elegant entry makeover eases the transition into the home. Elevate style and function with a landing spot near the front door. Here, an upholstered bench piled with pillows offers a simple perch to put on boots, and an oversize mirror flanked by sculptural sconces reflects light to make the entry appear spacious.

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Furniture with Flex

living room

The living room is filled with flexible furnishings that can be moved at whim to accommodate entertainment. Chaise lounges are used in place of sofas for their bench-like versatility and mobility, and an airy, glass-top coffee table can easily split into side tables.

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Open Invitation

living room

Let spectacular views take center stage in a window-wrapped living room with a fuss-free furniture arrangement. Chocolate-brown velvet sofas and subtly patterned chairs gather atop an off-white rug for year-round sophistication. Varying ceiling heights creates additional drama in the family room.

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Gather Around

dining room

Introduce style and function in a small room with pretty details that add design drama. A soaring plank ceiling and glass chandelier elongate the small breakfast room and keep the eye traveling. Maximize a small eating area with a round table design, which can comfortably seat more diners than square and rectangle tables.

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Clever Cabinetry

white kitchen

Custom kitchen cabinets are a beautiful way to add space, hide clutter, and impart architectural character. Storage cabinets surrounding the cooktop keep pots and pans within easy reach but tucked neatly out of sight. The sink wall is void of upper cabinets so the kitchen seems larger.

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Room for Two

white kitchen

An efficient layout is essential to any kitchen, especially if square footage is slim. Here, the prep sink, microwave, and wall oven form a secondary work space that allows two cooks to make meals without crossing paths.

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Paneled to Perfection

window bench

Green-gray hues, abundant paneling, and a low, coffered ceiling create a cozy, cottage-like appeal in the family den. Built-in shelving and cabinets offer both open and closed storage, and a window seat invites readers to sit and stay awhile.

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Classic Primary Bath


Create a natural focal point in a primary bathroom by placing a tub beneath a window. Repeating materials throughout the space elevates style and helps to move the eye throughout the space. Sophisticated soapstone dresses the countertop and borders the floor tile.

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Serene Retreat

living room

Outfitted for rest, relaxation, and connection to the outdoors, a neutral bedroom surrounded with windows is a soft, serene space to begin and end each day. French doors open to a balcony overlooking the backyard, and roomy chairs offer an inviting spot to survey views.

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Grand Approach

home exterior

A balcony and patio framed by two sets of stairs -- one leading to the family room, the other to the breakfast room -- soften the ties between the rear additions and the outdoor living spaces. Expanses of glass ensure the back of the house enjoys stunning views.

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