Category Archives: 1940s

Style Trends Book – Wide-Lot Ranch

40s-house-styles-00740s-house-styles-008Another great 1940’s  houseplan from the Style Trends Book. The element that really sets this ranch apart are the large windows on both sides of the living room. I love our “wall of glass” windows in our living room, but I can’t imagine having them on both sides. How would that work out?  Ours is facing our back yard, but we have several houses on our street that have a large window in the front yard.  Some of them have solved the privacy issue by planting trees or hedges to seperate them from the road, and others have actually frosted the glass of the front window.  That makes me sad, since it would be a shame to lose the great view, but I wouldn’t want every person who drives down the street to see me watching television!


Filed under 1940s, Vintage Houses

True Ranch House – Style Trends Houseplan


The third house in the Style Plans book, the True Ranch House.  This house was designed to be low and open with lots and lots of light.

40s-house-styles-006As you can see from the plans, there is an amazing stone hearth in the living room, which they call a “studio” living room because it is open to the dining room.  A great design feature is the use of glass block.  There is an entire wall of it off of the hearth to separate the dining room and the living room. I would love to see that!  Another large glass block wall is put in the kitchen to let in tons of light.

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Filed under 1940s, Ideas, Vintage Houses

The Romantic Ranch House – 1940’s Common Sense

There is no reason that a small house, the Style Trends book states, architecturally and otherwise, should not be as attractive, as livable, and as interesting as one costing far more.

I can’t agree with this sentiment more, which was just as true in their frugal and uncertain time as it is in ours. There is definitely something to be said for a house that can be MORE with LESS.  As the saying goes, “More isn’t always better. Sometimes it’s just more.”

In that spirit, here is another compact and adorable house plan from the 1940s Style Trends Book.

Romantic Ranch

The illustrations for these houses are so idyllic!  Maybe that is why I love them so much.

Romantic Ranch Close-upThere are a couple of design details that really stand out in this plan.  The first is the kitchen, which has a cute and detailed layout.  The second is the great corner fireplace in the living room. I would love to see one of those!

The third element is one that may not be as obvious.

The description states: The dinette is separated from the living room by a wide dropped ceiling beam, and has perfect cross ventilation from front to rear. 

I bet that looked beautiful, and did a good job showing the separation of the two rooms!

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Filed under 1940s, Ideas, Vintage Houses

I See The Irony – Vintage House Plans

Style Trends BookYes, I see the irony in posting about vintage house plans on a site called “No Pattern Required”, but hey, you don’t have to use them. They are just suggestions. 🙂

My paternal granfather was a huge packrat. He must have kept every paper, mailing, gas bill and greeting card he ever received. But you don’t hear me complaining. It is that pack-ratish tendency that brings us this very post. Or, this series of posts.

 This great book was purchased from Edward Heines Lumber Co. in 1940 for 25 cents. It was probably about the time that Grandpa was trying to decide if he wanted to build or buy. As a side note, he ended up by a brick duplex on Chicago’s north side, but that is another post. Comfortable Ranch - Design V-5

The first plan in this book is a cute one called the Comfortable Ranch.  Some of the highlights mentioned are a large porch, a big fireplace with hearth in the living room, two large bedrooms and both horizontal and vertical siding on the outside. V-5 Close-up

So, why only two bedrooms? Besides the financial constraints of 1940’s, the book points out the advantages of only having two large bedrooms vs. more bedrooms. It is better to have two bedrooms of comfortable size, the book states, than to crowd too many rooms into a given floor space. Proper exposure of the rooms so that they secure the prevailing breeze is necessary, and cross-ventilation is very important.  I suppose I can see their point, but I feel sorry for all the kids in this house that were forced to share a bedroom!


Filed under 1940s, Vintage