Colorful Ranch-Style Homes

Known for their long and low architectural style, Ranch homes can be sprawling masterpieces just waiting for the right colors to showcase their design. Kate Smith, chief color maven with Sensational Color, recommends starting with the roof tiles to add color to these sometimes rectangular-shaped homes.

“The roofing systems really dominate most L-, U- or asymmetrical Ranch-style homes,” says Smith. “That means a homeowner has a large palette just waiting for color. Multiple colors combined in a composite slate or synthetic shake roofing blend, like those I’ve seen from DaVinci Roofscapes, can help set the overall color tone for a Ranch home.”

Because many older Ranch homes are made of brick, Smith recommends identifying the colorcast of a brick exterior before deciding on the color for the roof. (See Try “Top Down” Approach to Unify a Home’s Exterior for more hints!)

Fake Slate
“If a home has brick siding, that’s really a fixed feature to play off of,” says Smith. “A classic red brick works well with Black simulated slate roofing, while bricks with brown tones can be accented strongly by Brownstone blend of imitation slate tiles. For bricks that have a more grayish tint, a Slate Gray blend composite shake roof would be ideal. The same considerations should be taken if you have a walkway or pavement in these colors.”

Working down from the top of the home, Smith suggests that, since there are usually an abundance of windows in one-level Ranch homes, that trim around the windows and shutters are the opportunity to add color to the exterior. “A mid-tone from the main color, like a deep green or harbor brown, can help windows pop,” says Smith. “Generally shutters that are as dark (or darker) than the roof color will also move the eye vertically upward, making a single-story home feel taller.”

Smith notes that for many Ranch-style homes the front door does not really stand out. To draw attention to the door, consider adding a contrasting color that fits with the overall color scheme. “This is a great time to paint a door burnt orange or red velvet,” says Smith. “That type of subtle bright color will catch the eye.”