How to Decorate a 1950’S Ranch Style Home

Are you wondering how to decorate a 1950’s ranch style home? This iconic architectural style, popularized in the post-war era, offers a unique canvas for interior and exterior design.

With its low profile, open floor plan, and emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, the 1950’s ranch style home presents an opportunity to embrace mid-century modern design while adding your own personal flair. In this article, we will explore various ways to enhance and personalize your 1950’s ranch style home to create a stylish and nostalgic living space.

The 1950’s ranch style home emerged as a popular housing option for American families seeking practical and comfortable living spaces. Featuring long, low-slung profiles with simple and functional designs, these homes became synonymous with suburban living in the post-war years. With an emphasis on casual indoor-outdoor living and a connection to nature, these homes offer a timeless charm that can be updated while still honoring their original design elements.

To infuse your 1950’s ranch style home with authentic mid-century modern vibes, consider incorporating furniture and decor from that era. From iconic pieces like Eames chairs to sleek Scandinavian-inspired furnishings, there are plenty of options for embracing the clean lines and organic forms that define mid-century modern design. By paying homage to this influential design period, you can bring a sense of nostalgia and sophistication to your home.

Embracing Mid-Century Modern Design

When it comes to decorating a 1950’s ranch style home, embracing mid-century modern design is key to preserving the authenticity and charm of the era. This iconic design style became popular during the post-war period and continues to be celebrated for its clean lines, organic forms, and timeless appeal. To bring this design aesthetic into your home, there are several key elements to consider.

Tips for Incorporating Mid-Century Modern Furniture and Decor

One of the easiest ways to infuse mid-century modern design into your 1950’s ranch style home is through furniture and decor. Look for pieces that boast sleek, minimalist designs with geometric shapes and tapered legs. Iconic items such as Eames lounge chairs, Noguchi tables, and Nelson pendants are classic examples of mid-century modern furniture that can add authentic retro flair to your space.

Discussing the Iconic Elements of Mid-Century Modern Design

In addition to furniture, consider incorporating other iconic elements of mid-century modern design into your home decor. This may include bold patterns, vibrant colors, and organic textures that reflect the optimism and creativity of the era. From shag rugs to atomic-inspired art prints, there are countless ways to celebrate the unique aesthetics of mid-century modern design.

Remember that when decorating a 1950’s ranch style home with mid-century modern influences, it’s important to strike a balance between nostalgia and contemporary relevance. By carefully selecting period-appropriate furnishings and decor items while also making room for personal touches, you can create a living space that seamlessly blends past and present in an authentic and stylish way.

Color Palette and Materials

When it comes to decorating a 1950’s ranch style home, selecting the right color palette and materials is essential to capturing the authentic retro feel of the era. The 1950s were known for their vibrant and pastel hues, so when choosing a color scheme for your ranch style home, consider incorporating shades like mint green, pale pink, buttery yellow, and turquoise. These colors were commonly used in both exterior and interior spaces of ranch homes during that time period.

Recommended Color Palettes

To achieve an authentic 1950s look, consider using a combination of soft pastels and bold, vibrant colors. For the exterior of your ranch style home, opt for cheerful shades like aqua blue or sunny yellow to give it a retro curb appeal.

As for interior spaces, you can mix and match pale pinks with mint greens or incorporate a pop of bold turquoise as an accent color against neutral walls. These color schemes will help bring the playful and optimistic vibe of the 1950s into your home.

Suggestions for Materials

In addition to choosing the right color palette, selecting appropriate materials that reflect the aesthetics of the 1950s is also crucial. When it comes to flooring, linoleum was a popular choice in 1950s ranch homes due to its affordability and durability. You can consider using linoleum flooring in your kitchen or bathroom to add a touch of authenticity.

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Additionally, wood paneling was widely used in family rooms and dens during this era. If you’re looking to add some classic mid-century charm to your space, consider incorporating wood paneling as an accent wall or feature element.

By carefully selecting a fitting color palette and using period-appropriate materials such as linoleum and wood paneling, you can effectively capture the essence of a 1950’s ranch style home in your decor. These design choices will transport you back in time while adding character and charm to your modern living space.

Furniture and Layout

When it comes to decorating a 1950’s ranch style home, selecting the right furniture and creating a functional layout are essential for achieving an authentic mid-century look. To truly capture the essence of this period, it’s important to embrace the clean lines and sleek forms that define mid-century modern design.

When choosing furniture for your ranch style home, look for pieces that feature tapered legs, geometric shapes, and minimal ornamentation. Consider iconic mid-century modern items such as Eames lounge chairs, Noguchi coffee tables, and modular shelving units to infuse your space with retro flair.

In terms of layout, aim to maximize the open floor plan that is characteristic of ranch style homes. Keep spaces uncluttered and use furniture strategically to delineate different areas while maintaining a sense of flow throughout the home. Look for multifunctional pieces that serve more than one purpose, as versatility was highly valued in 1950s design. For example, consider a credenza that can be used for storage in the living room or as a sideboard in the dining area.

Creating a well-planned layout will also involve considering traffic flow within the home. Ensure that there is enough space for movement between furniture pieces and maintain clear pathways from one room to another. By thoughtfully arranging your furniture, you can enhance the functionality of your 1950’s ranch style home while authentically capturing the spirit of mid-century modern design.

Mid-Century Modern FurnitureFunctional Layout
Embrace clean lines and sleek formsMaximize open floor plan
Incorporate iconic mid-century modern piecesUse multifunctional furniture
Look for tapered legs and geometric shapesCreate clear pathways between rooms

Vintage Accents and Décor



When decorating a 1950’s ranch style home, incorporating vintage accents and decor is essential to capturing the authentic retro aesthetic of the era. From furniture to accessories, there are several ways to infuse your home with mid-century charm. Here are some suggestions for embracing vintage accents and decor in your 1950’s ranch style home:

  • Mid-Century Furniture: Look for iconic mid-century modern furniture pieces, such as a sleek Danish teak sideboard or a colorful Eames lounge chair. These timeless pieces can serve as focal points in your home while also adding a touch of nostalgia.
  • Retro Wall Art: Adorn your walls with vintage artwork or prints from the 1950s. Bold abstract paintings, kitschy advertisements, and atomic-inspired designs are all quintessential elements of mid-century wall art.
  • Vintage Accessories: Add personality to your home with vintage accessories like glassware, ceramics, and lighting fixtures from the 1950s. Scour antique shops, flea markets, and online marketplaces to find unique pieces that reflect the era’s design sensibilities.

Incorporating vintage accents and decor into your 1950’s ranch style home allows you to pay homage to the design trends of the era while infusing your living space with character and personality. By carefully selecting authentic vintage items or high-quality reproductions, you can create a stylish and nostalgic atmosphere that celebrates the timeless appeal of mid-century design.

Remember that attention to detail is key when decorating with vintage accents and decor in a 1950’s ranch style home. From period-appropriate textiles to retro kitchenware, each element should contribute to an overall cohesive aesthetic that transports you back in time while still feeling contemporary and welcoming.

Updating Fixtures and Finishes

When updating a 1950’s ranch style home, it’s essential to pay attention to the fixtures and finishes to maintain the home’s original charm while bringing it into the modern era. Here are some tips on how to update these elements in a way that complements the retro aesthetic of a ranch style home.

First, consider updating outdated fixtures such as light fixtures, bathroom hardware, and cabinet handles. Look for options that have a mid-century modern feel, with clean lines and minimalist design. Many manufacturers offer modern reproductions of classic 1950s fixtures, making it easier than ever to find period-appropriate pieces for your home.

Another important consideration is choosing finishes that align with the 1950s aesthetic. For example, when selecting new cabinet hardware or door handles, look for options in brass or chrome finishes, which were popular during that era. Additionally, consider incorporating other materials commonly used in the 1950s, such as linoleum flooring or wood paneling on accent walls.

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By paying attention to these details and staying true to the era of your home, you can update fixtures and finishes in a way that honors the original design while giving your space a fresh and modern look.

FixturesFinishes
Light fixturesBrass or chrome finishes
Cabinet hardwareWood paneling on accent walls

Outdoor Spaces and Landscaping

When it comes to decorating a 1950’s ranch style home, don’t forget about the outdoor spaces and landscaping. The exterior of these homes typically features a low-pitched roof, simple and functional design, and an open layout – all of which should be complemented by the landscaping.

Here are some suggestions for enhancing the curb appeal of your 1950’s ranch style home:

  • Plant native shrubs and flowers: Choose plants that were commonly used in landscaping during the 1950s, such as hydrangeas, azaleas, or rose bushes. These will not only add color and visual interest to your yard but also maintain the retro feel of the home.
  • Add a pop of color with a front door makeover: Consider painting your front door a bold and vibrant color to make a statement. Red, turquoise, or mustard yellow are popular choices for 1950s ranch style homes.
  • Create an inviting outdoor living space: Incorporate vintage or mid-century modern patio furniture to create a comfortable outdoor space that complements the architecture of your home. Consider adding a porch swing or a retro-style bistro set to complete the look.

Additionally, if your budget allows for it, consider adding elements such as gravel pathways, decorative rock gardens, or even a small pond or water feature to enhance the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. By embracing elements from the 1950s era while incorporating modern touches, you can create an inviting and stylish exterior that perfectly complements your ranch style home.

Personalizing Your Space

In conclusion, decorating a 1950’s ranch style home offers a unique opportunity to embrace the mid-century modern design aesthetic while adding personal touches that reflect your individual style. By incorporating iconic mid-century modern furniture and decor, selecting a retro-appropriate color palette and materials, and sourcing vintage accents and decor, you can create a space that pays homage to the era while still feeling fresh and inviting.

One of the key aspects of personalizing a 1950’s ranch style home is to strike a balance between honoring its historical charm and infusing it with your own personality. This can be achieved by updating fixtures and finishes while maintaining the home’s original character, as well as creating functional yet stylish layouts that maximize space. Additionally, enhancing outdoor spaces and landscaping can further complement the home’s design and provide opportunities for personalization.

Ultimately, decorating a 1950’s ranch style home is about embracing its vintage appeal while making it your own. By following the tips and recommendations for incorporating mid-century modern design elements, vintage accents, and personalized touches, you can create a home that feels like a time capsule from the past while still being relevant to contemporary living.

With some creativity and attention to detail, you can transform your 1950’s ranch style home into a stylish and personalized haven that celebrates both nostalgia and individuality.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make My 1950s House Look Good?

To make your 1950s house look good, consider updating the exterior with a fresh coat of paint and modern landscaping. Inside, focus on preserving retro features while adding contemporary touches like new light fixtures and updated appliances.

How Can I Make My Plain Ranch House Look Better?

To enhance the appearance of your plain ranch house, try adding architectural interest through elements like decorative shutters, a pop of color on the front door, and landscaping features like flower beds or a stone pathway. Updating the windows and exterior lighting can also make a significant difference.

How Do You Update an Old Ranch Style House?

Updating an old ranch style house can be achieved by opening up the floor plan for a more modern layout. Consider incorporating modern materials like glass and steel, as well as updating the kitchen and bathrooms to provide a fresh, contemporary feel. Additionally, improving the curb appeal with landscaping updates can give the entire property a more current appearance.



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