How to Decorate a 1950S Ranch Style Home

Are you wondering how to decorate a 1950s ranch style home? The unique characteristics of this architectural style, from its open floor plan to its emphasis on indoor-outdoor living, provide an ideal canvas for incorporating mid-century design elements. Preserving the original features of a 1950s ranch style home is essential for capturing the essence of this era and creating an authentic retro vibe.

The 1950s marked a period of vibrant colors, sleek lines, and functional design in home decor. From iconic furniture pieces to popular color schemes, the design elements of the era offer endless inspiration for bringing a nostalgic charm to your ranch-style home.

In this article, we will explore how to select colors that complement the architectural features, sourcing vintage furniture and decor, preserving original flooring and walls, selecting era-appropriate light fixtures, modernizing a 1950s kitchen while retaining its original charm, updating outdoor spaces with retro-inspired elements and adding finishing touches that maintain authenticity while reflecting personal style.

If you’re ready to step back in time and infuse your 1950s ranch style home with mid-century flair, read on for our expert tips and ideas on how to execute a timeless and authentic decor scheme that pays homage to this iconic architectural style.

Color Palette

When it comes to decorating a 1950s ranch style home, the color palette plays a crucial role in capturing the essence of this era. The 1950s were known for their vibrant and bold color choices, which reflected the optimism and exuberance of the post-war period.

Popular color schemes from this time include pastel hues like mint green, baby blue, and soft pink, as well as bolder shades such as turquoise, mustard yellow, and bright red. These colors can be incorporated into different rooms to evoke the spirit of the 1950s while maintaining a modern feel.

In the living room or common areas of a 1950s ranch-style home, consider using colors such as aqua and coral to create a lively and cheerful atmosphere. These shades can be paired with neutral tones like beige or gray for balance.

In bedrooms, pastel colors like lavender or pale yellow can add a soothing and nostalgic touch. When selecting colors for kitchen cabinets or appliances, shades like buttercup yellow or robin’s egg blue can bring a playful retro vibe to the space.

To incorporate these colors into the home without overwhelming the design, consider using them in smaller doses through accent pieces like throw pillows, area rugs, or wall art. Additionally, painting an accent wall in a bold shade or adding colorful drapes can infuse the space with character while keeping the overall aesthetic cohesive and balanced.

By carefully choosing and layering colors throughout the home, one can create an authentic homage to the 1950s while still allowing personal style to shine through.

Furniture and Decor

The 1950s era was a time of unique and iconic furniture designs, many of which have stood the test of time and remain popular today. When decorating a 1950s ranch style home, it is important to consider the era’s furniture and decor to truly capture the essence of the time period.

Identifying Iconic Furniture Pieces From the 1950s

During the 1950s, furniture design focused on functionality, clean lines, and simplicity. Iconic pieces such as Eames lounge chairs, tulip tables, and teak sideboards were all the rage. These timeless pieces are perfect for adding an authentic touch to a 1950s ranch style home.

Tips for Sourcing Vintage Furniture and Decor

For homeowners looking to infuse their 1950s ranch style home with authentic pieces from the era, sourcing vintage furniture and decor is essential. Thrift stores, estate sales, and online marketplaces are great places to find original mid-century modern furniture pieces. Keep an eye out for items in good condition that reflect the design aesthetic of the 1950s.

How to Mix Vintage and Modern Pieces for a Cohesive Look

While vintage furniture from the 1950s is key to capturing the essence of the era, it’s also important to balance these pieces with modern elements. Mixing vintage and modern items can create a more eclectic and personalized look while still preserving the original charm of a 1950s ranch style home.

For example, pairing a retro sofa with contemporary artwork or accessories can add visual interest and keep the space feeling current without losing its mid-century appeal. Balancing old and new elements will ensure a cohesive and stylish decor theme throughout the home.

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Flooring and Wall Treatments

The flooring and wall treatments of a 1950s ranch style home are essential elements in capturing the authentic feel of the era. When it comes to flooring options, original hardwood floors were commonly found in homes built during this time period.

Maintaining or restoring these hardwood floors can greatly contribute to the authenticity of a 1950s ranch style home. If the original floors are not salvageable, alternative options such as linoleum or vinyl tiles can also be considered as they were popular choices for kitchens and bathrooms in the 1950s.

In addition to flooring, wall treatments play a significant role in achieving an authentic look for a 1950s ranch style home. Wallpaper with bold patterns or geometric designs was commonly used during this era and can be incorporated into various rooms of the house.

Wood paneling is another popular wall treatment option that can add warmth and character to the interior spaces. Preserving or adding these types of wall treatments can enhance the overall aesthetic appeal of a 1950s ranch style home.

When it comes to maintaining the authenticity of a 1950s ranch style home through flooring and wall treatments, it is important to note that original elements should be preserved whenever possible. If restoration is necessary, efforts should be made to closely match the style and design of the era. By doing so, homeowners can create an inviting space that captures the essence of mid-century design while also paying homage to the history of their home.

Flooring OptionsWall Treatments
Original Hardwood FloorsWallpaper with Bold Patterns
Linoeum or Vinyl TilesWood Paneling


Some popular lighting options for 1950s ranch style homes include:

  • Sputnik chandeliers or pendant lights, which are iconic to the era and can make a bold statement in a living or dining room.
  • Atomic wall sconces or table lamps, which add a touch of retro flair to any space.
  • Cone-shaped or globe-shaped ceiling lights, which were common in kitchens and bathrooms during the 1950s.

To create a warm and inviting ambiance in a 1950s ranch style home, it’s essential to pay attention to the placement of lighting fixtures. Consider layering light sources by incorporating overhead lighting, task lighting, and accent lighting. This approach not only enhances the functionality of each room but also contributes to an inviting atmosphere.

When decorating outdoor areas such as patios or decks, consider using string lights or globe lights to create a retro-inspired outdoor entertainment area. Additionally, landscaping that incorporates subtle path lighting can enhance the curb appeal of a 1950s ranch style home while also providing safety and security during nighttime hours.

Kitchen and Dining Area

The 1950s are often considered the golden age of the American kitchen, with a focus on functionality and a sleek aesthetic. When decorating a 1950s ranch style home, it is important to pay special attention to the design and layout of the kitchen and dining area as they are central spaces in these homes.

Incorporating mid-century modern elements into the kitchen can be achieved through thoughtful design choices. Consider using retro-inspired color schemes such as pastel blues, mint greens, or sunny yellows for cabinetry or accent walls. To add authenticity, opt for vintage appliances or replicas that mimic the style of the era.

In terms of layout, open shelving and clean lines were popular in 1950s kitchens. Consider removing upper cabinets to create open shelves for displaying vintage dishware or glassware. Additionally, creating a built-in breakfast nook with booth seating can add a charming retro touch to the dining area.

When modernizing a 1950s kitchen while maintaining its original charm, it’s important to strike a balance between preserving vintage elements and incorporating contemporary conveniences. For example, keeping original cabinetry and hardware while updating appliances for efficiency can achieve this balance.

In the dining area, consider a mid-century modern dining set with clean lines and tapered legs. To complete the look, add a statement light fixture such as an iconic Sputnik chandelier or globe pendant lights to create an authentic 1950s ambiance during meal times. By paying attention to these details, you can create an inviting and stylish kitchen and dining area that is true to the era while still meeting modern needs.

Outdoor Spaces

When it comes to updating and decorating the outdoor areas of a 1950s ranch style home, there are several key considerations to keep in mind. The exterior of these homes often featured simple, clean lines and a connection to the surrounding landscape, so it is important to maintain that aesthetic while making updates. One approach is to create a retro-inspired outdoor entertainment area that reflects the style of the era.

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When updating outdoor spaces, landscaping plays a crucial role. Consider incorporating native plants and shrubs that were commonly used during the 1950s. This not only adds authenticity but also helps tie the outdoor area to the overall design of the home. Additionally, creating designated areas for different activities such as dining, lounging, and gardening can help make the space more functional while maintaining its original charm.

In terms of furniture choices for outdoor spaces, look for pieces that have a mid-century modern aesthetic. This could include lounge chairs with sleek lines, metal bistro sets, or retro-style patio umbrellas. When selecting outdoor accessories such as tableware and lighting, opt for designs that complement the overall look and feel of the era. By paying attention to these details, you can create an inviting outdoor space that seamlessly integrates with your 1950s ranch style home.

Considerations for Outdoor SpacesFeatures
Landscape DesignIncorporate native plants and shrubs
Functional AreasCreate designated areas for different activities
Furniture ChoicesSelect pieces with a mid-century modern aesthetic

Final Touches

In conclusion, decorating a 1950s ranch style home is all about embracing the unique characteristics and design elements of that era while adding personal touches to make it your own. It’s important to preserve the original aspects of the home, from color schemes and furniture to flooring and lighting, in order to truly capture the essence of the period.

By selecting appropriate colors, sourcing iconic furniture pieces, and choosing era-appropriate lighting and decor, you can create a cohesive and authentic retro look for your home.

When it comes to adding final touches to your 1950s ranch style home, it’s all about incorporating artwork, accessories, and textiles from the era while also adding your own personal flair. Whether it’s hanging retro-inspired art on the walls, displaying vintage accessories on shelves, or layering mid-century modern textiles throughout the space, these small details can really bring the whole look together.

Additionally, paying attention to landscaping and outdoor furniture choices can extend this vintage vibe into outdoor spaces, creating a cohesive and nostalgic atmosphere throughout your property.

Ultimately, decorating a 1950s ranch style home allows you to step back in time while still enjoying modern comforts. By carefully considering every aspect of interior design – from color palettes and furniture choices to lighting fixtures and final touches – you can create an inviting space that reflects the charm and character of this iconic era.

Whether you’re a fan of mid-century modern aesthetics or simply appreciate the nostalgia of the 1950s, there are endless opportunities to infuse this timeless style into your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Can I Make My Plain Ranch House Look Better?

Making your plain ranch house look better can be achieved in several ways. One option is to add some architectural details, such as shutters, trim, or molding, to make the exterior more visually appealing.

Another way is to update the landscaping by adding some colorful flowers, shrubs, and trees to enhance the curb appeal. Changing the color scheme of the exterior and updating the front door and garage door can also make a significant difference in improving the overall look of your ranch house.

How to Modernise a 1950s House?

Modernizing a 1950s house can be a fun and rewarding project. One way to achieve this is by updating the interior with contemporary finishes such as new flooring, modern appliances, and stylish fixtures.

Opening up the floor plan by removing some non-load-bearing walls can create a more spacious and airy feel. Additionally, incorporating smart home technology and energy-efficient features can bring a 1950s house into the modern era while still preserving its character.

How Do You Add Characters to a Ranch House?

Adding character to a ranch house can be done through various renovations and enhancements that respect its architectural style. One approach is to introduce rustic elements such as exposed wood beams or reclaimed materials for interior finishes like flooring or accent walls.

Adding unique lighting fixtures, vintage furniture pieces, and eclectic artwork can also infuse personality into a ranch house while reflecting your personal style. Lastly, creating outdoor living spaces such as a cozy patio or deck with comfortable seating and decorative accessories can enhance the charm of your ranch house.

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