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In the ranch with low ceilings, check that a dropped ceiling isn't hiding an 8-foot-high-or-so ceiling, or visually "lift the roof" with floor-to-ceiling drapery.

The lightness and depth provided by clear or translucent-glass upper cabinets make a small kitchen appear more open.

You can improve off-white or oak cupboards with a high-gloss aqua, black, red or pure-white lacquer, or simply remove gaudy hardware for newer, sleeker brushed-nickel drawer pulls and cupboard-door knobs.

Matching gables on either side of the front door would make the entry more prominent and appealing, while also taking away the house's flattop look.

Wider front steps, a curved walkway, and low-maintenance, drought-tolerant foundation plantings extend a warmer welcome to guests.

"Additions that modify its form will give it a lot more character," he says.

Front and side porches do the trick nicely, without altering the home's brick shell.Your rancher likely has a straight, no-frills hip or gable roof, but neither design gives it stature.Front-facing gables, however, can change its appearance tremendously.She writes friendly, conversational business, home and lifestyle articles for Buzfluent, Daltile, Marazzi, Lowes, Philips Lighting, Word and numerous other publications."The outside of our house is just not pretty," declares Marco Leal, who has lived in this Idaho ranch with his partner, Eric Wride, for about a year, focusing on interior upgrades.Give your squat space a lift with options as inexpensive as a coat of paint.If bricks along the bottom half or under the windows of your ranch’s exterior chop it even shorter, update -- and stretch -- the exterior with paint.To help them reimagine their home's plain exterior, we asked designer Richard O'Leary for some curb appeal suggestions.The big challenge, points out O'Leary, is the house's shoebox-like shape."Leah wanted to push the house away from what it was: a modern house that didn't want to accept the fact that it was modern," says Sullivan.New decorative steel screens separate rooms without sacrificing openness, while 65 feet of folding Nana Wall doors inspire the easy indoor/outdoor flow Simon enjoyed back in L. Built in 1959 but flanked by homes that are significantly older, Simon's place has an Alice-in-Wonderland quality that's underscored by the interiors.

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