Front Doors for Ranch Style Homes

single story ranch house

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There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…remember that old nursery rhyme? Perhaps it was a bit of make-believe, but there are plenty of people across the country who feel as though they live in a shoebox.

When the suburban housing boom of the 1950s and 1960s hit, builders sought to find a simple, single story house plan that could be easily reproduced. They needed to house lots of families, quickly. Thus, the “shoebox” of the suburban ranch style house was born. The front doors of these ranch style homes were equally simple and plain…but is that still the case today?

What are the Characteristics of the Ranch Style Home?

Simple, boxy, with uncomplicated single floor layouts and attached garages, these ranch homes can be found in suburbs and towns in every state. They were designed to be functional homes for families – in many ways, the 20th century version of a Cape Cod home. Often, entire neighborhoods were constructed with just one or two different models, all in red or tan brick, white siding, and black shutters. We often think of these homes as “cookie cutter” because of their unexceptional appearance and humdrum similarities.

A modern tan and white ranch house has details from the craftsman style home.
A modern ranch style home is anything but “cookie cutter”, and takes its design cues from many other home styles to create a unique and welcoming facade.

Ranch Style Exteriors

Ranch style homes have come in and out of popularity since the mid 20th century, primarily because they have very livable floor plans that work for families, singles, seniors, and young couples. Compact, one-story design is efficient for so many.

Ranch homes generally have a simple facade, with a clean front appearance and functional windows. The front door may sit on a small porch, and isn’t necessarily a prominent feature. In fact, in some L-shaped ranch homes, the door is nestled into a corner so that it may be barely visible from the street.

Exterior designs have improved tremendously in recent years, and more and more ranch homes sport a unique look all their own. They may be sided in brick, stone, vinyl, wood, or stucco or any combination of these materials. It’s easy to incorporate elements of other home styles into ranch homes, such as the open beams of a craftsman, or the stately entry of a colonial home.

Ultimately, the “cookie cutter” nature of the original ranch homes has created an opportunity to add almost any design to these houses, and they have the potential to be just as unique and extraordinary as the people who live in them.

a deep green ranch house with tan and white trim, two white cars out front, and piles of snow
Clad in deep, warm colors, this ranch style home looks like a cozy escape from the cold outside.

Ranch Style Front Doors

Originally very plain, and often hidden from the street, front doors were once no more notable than the houses they belonged to. This is not the case any longer.

As with the home as a whole, ranch front doors can take on the detailing of many different styles of home. You can commonly spot almost any style door for traditional colonial to ultra modern, and they will all look good. Ranch front doors can be solid, include glass panels and elaborate decor, and work with or without sidelights and transoms. Flexibility is the name of the game if you are fortunate to own a ranch style home.

blue door with large glass panel and black hardware beside white door with geometric and curved glass panels and matching white hardware, both front doors for ranch style homes
Modern ranch homes look good with almost any style front door, from traditional to modern. Here we see two versions that make fantastic use of glass panels and impactful color. Doors like these make a statement.

Ranch front doors are color chameleons. As long as a color works with the siding and trim, they respond beautifully to a host of different shades. Let the color of the door take its cues from your personality. Go for rich traditional colors of black, blue, and white if that’s what you prefer. Or, show off some pizzazz with less common brights and pastels like lipstick pink, sunshine yellow, or fire engine red. Then add some fabulous hardware – either new or vintage – and let your front door take center stage.

Nothing says, “Welcome home” like a well-lit and stately front door. Unfortunately, because of the rectangular or L-shaped design of many ranch-style homes, the front door can appear like a dark nook. Inspire… by choosing a door color that makes a statement.

5 colors for front doors of ranch style homes:  blue, wine, yellow, grey, and mint green.

Key Takeaways of Front Doors for Ranch Style Homes

Ranch style homes are simple, boxy, single-story homes built virtually everywhere across the country in the mid 20th century.

Because of their simple design nature, they are able to incorporate elements of almost any other home style. Now the old image of a “cookie cutter” home offers the chance to put the homeowner’s unique stamp on it.

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front door for ranch style homes

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