Ranch houses are disappearing at a rapid clip these days. In Lexington, those forlorn hold-outs seem to be awaiting their inevitable demise – replaced by chock-full-of –space, multi-storied homes. It seems somewhat ironic that as the baby-boomer generation looks to retirement and “aging-in-place” life styles are becoming popular and desirable (as an alternative to assisted care settings), the building type that so well suits this population, the ranch house with its open plan, typical one-level living space and modest footprint is departing the scene in neighborhoods such as ours.
We’ve renovated a number of such homes, and it was instructive to find how readily they lent themselves to “updating” and how compatible they were with modern living. The projects illustrated here required no structural changes or major dislocations to walls or spaces to achieve a compelling contemporary living environment. Their concept of free-flowing spaces are inherently more in line with what today’s homeowners are seeking than are the more formal spaces of the traditional colonial house, so common and so sought after. Those homes typically require more heroic efforts (structurally) to create the same desired flowing connected spaces.
So, as you pass by one of those hold-outs, don’t be too quick to dismiss them as irrelevant relics of a bygone era.