The History Of The Ranch Style Home

Real Estate Agent with The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty #311723

 History of the The Ranch Style Home

If you take a close look at the dark emblem on the front of this charming and modest home you will notice that it is an image of a guitar. Believe it or not, this is the recently sold home of the man who “Walked The Line” through a “Ring of Fire” while singing the “Folsom Prison Blues”. Yes, this is none other than Johnny Cash’s former home in Henderson, TN. One might think that a reigning Country King like Mr. Cash might have adorned himself in a cathedral-style mansion rather than in the architectural simplicity of a Ranch Style Home, proving to his fans in yet another way how he was never one to follow the masses. So with that being said, let us explore the background of the Ranch Style Home and how it came to be that legendary Johnny Cash and thousands of American families found solace within their own little regal Ranch Style palaces.


The Ranch Style Home originated in our great USA and first surfaced in the ealry 1930’s. Noted for its long and close-to-the-ground profile, the design spawned modernist styles fused with the American Western period of working ranches. The theme of the Ranch Style Home is intended to create a casual and untailored appeal with its minimal use of interior and exterior decoration. 


The Ranch Style became extremely popular in the booming post-war middle class of the 1940’s to 1970’s, associating itself amongst the same era of tract housing. This was a time when housing became in high demand due to an explosion in population, especially within the Western States.









The Prairie Style houses that were pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright along with the informal Bungalow styles of the early 20th century paved the way for the popular Ranch Style. Architect Cliff May is credited with building the first Ranch Style house in San Diego, California in 1932.


After World War II, real estate developers turned to the simple, economical Ranch Style to meet the housing needs of returning soldiers and their families. The briefly popular Lustron Homes were essentially Ranch houses made of metal. Real estate developers Abraham Levitt and Sons turned to the Ranch Style for their planned community, Levittown, Pennsylvania.


Because so many Ranch houses were built quickly according to a cookie-cutter formula, the Ranch Style later became known as ordinary. However, during the late 1950s and 1960s, a few real estate developers re-invented the style, giving the conventional one-story Ranch House a modernist and somewhat elegant flair. 




Common Features of the Ranch Style Home


·        Single story 

·        Long & low roof Lines

·        Asymmetrical rectangular, L-shaped/U-shaped design

·       Attached garages

·        Open, simple floor plans

·        Living areas separate from bedrooms

·        Sliding glass doors opening onto a patio area

·        Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams

·        Large windows often decorated with shutters

·        Wide overhanging eaves

·        Exteriors of stucco, brick, wood and glass


 Reference: Allen B. L. “Journal of Architectural Education”,





 If you or someone you know is interested in buying or selling

a Ranch Style Home in Nashville please contact:



Emily Lowe


The Lipman Group | Sotheby's International Realty 

Office: (615) 463-3333 / Cell: (615) 509-1753 


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Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

HI Emily,,thanks for the historhy lesson on Ranch Style Homes.  Love Johnny Cash...

Apr 23, 2013 04:20 AM #1
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Emily Lowe

Nashville TN Realtor
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