Californians have accepted and grown to love the single level ranch style. In fact, we are embracing this more than ever as Mid Century Modern continues its resurgence. What was once considered a an ugly house is now seen for the great design and lifestyle it provides. Yet, there are ways to make your rancher special. First of all, be realistic. Your home is never going to be an Italian villa or an English Tudor. You have to be true to the bones and architectural style that makes it what it is. But don’t fall into the cliché and follow the pack. Mid Century Modern homes embraced many eras and decades. You can mix the comforts and trends of today with the cool factor of the ’50s and ’60s without losing character. When you think of the history of your home, remember that in the days before “house flipping” was a thing, families lived in these houses for 20 or 30 years. The space evolved and contained the furnishings and accessories of a lifetime, not just a decade frozen in time.


Classic MCM home featuring walls of glass and beams  and furnishings.

Use colors and tones that evoke a rich and warm palette with accents of colors like lime green, orange and pink. Give the rooms an identity by texturing the walls with striated patterns or glazing. Replace carpet with hardwood, rough stone or large porcelain tile, even breaking up the standard living/dining room area with a curved hard surface walkway.

When it comes to furnishings, use a few large pieces that make the rooms look bigger and more important. Off white sofas with industrial chic is a hip look right now. Throw in an antique chair covered in rich velvet and you’ll end up with a room that looks sophisticated, modern and very architectural. Discard heavy draperies for roller shades and wood blinds.

Keep kitchens and bathrooms minimal and functional. Less is really more when renovating your classic MCM house. It’s all about the materials – think glass tiles and slick, low counters. Polished surfaces shine and reflect light.

Embrace the mid-century aura of your home and be proud of what it represents – a time and place that can never be replaced but can be your take on a classic architectural residence.


Awesome original 1961 home. Notice how the floor becomes the focal point.

To learn more check out the vast inventory of homes in Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Beverly Hills …  houses built between 1945 and 1975. There are still some great bargains out there and even a few untouched by time, time capsules that you can learn so much from!