Once viewed as a pragmatic, simplistic home design lacking imagination and character, a mix of nostalgia, shifting lifestyle trends and modern spins on single-level living have propelled the ranch-style home back into national prominence. In fact, Trulia reports that the ranch is the most popular home style in 34 states, including Illinois.

“There’s no question we’ve seen rising interest in ranch homes like our Amberwood plan,” Gallagher and Henry principal John Gallagher says.

“Going back 10-15 years, we’d see scattered interest in our existing ranch plans, but when we released the Amberwood, a plan we specifically designed with the desires of today’s homebuyers top of mind, we could see there was a market for ranch homes, particularly those reflecting modern lifestyles in smart, innovative ways.”

Initially gaining popularity following World War II, construction of ranch homes accelerated throughout much of the 20th century’s second half before fizzling out in the 1990s. Ranch homes became increasingly associated with tract housing and careless suburban sprawl, while two-story homes with Craftsman, Victorian or Colonial spins surged in popularity.

Today, however, the ranch is enjoying a 21st century renaissance as homebuilders like Gallagher and Henry accommodate current lifestyle needs and tastes inside the ranch’s unpretentious, enduring style.

While there’s a degree of nostalgia fueling the ranch home’s return to prominence – a good number of contemporary buyers are quite comfortable with a ranch home having grown up in one themselves – the ranch resurrection is about more than wistfulness.

To many buyers, Gallagher says, ranches represent a practical housing option, especially for those buyers who see their home as a long-term housing solution. Yet more, ranches generally lend themselves to open layouts and more casual living, which complements society’s increasing movement away from formal structures.

Driven by young families as well as Boomers who reject the multi-family model, upgraded ranch plans that pair modern architecture and amenities with the ranch home’s long-held focus on functionality continue generating buzz.
Take Gallagher and Henry’s Amberwood plan, which characterizes the modern spin some of today’s forward-thinking homebuilders are putting on ranch homes.

The 2,243-square foot Amberwood features an open layout floor plan in which the kitchen and great room serve as the home’s core separating two distinct wings – one holding a luxurious master suite and another hosting two additional bedrooms, a full bathroom and dedicated laundry space. With a three-car garage, mudroom, blank-canvas basement, media room and covered rear patio, meanwhile, the all-brick Amberwood provides the functional, flexible spaces today’s buyers seek.

“With the Amberwood, we’ve hit on something very relevant for our buyers interested in single-story living, which is a home plan that is both remarkably straightforward and yet fully compatible with modern lifestyles,” Gallagher says.