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Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes Hardcover – August 29, 2006


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Frequently Bought Together

Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes + Atomic Ranch Midcentury Interiors + Mid-Century Modern: Interiors, Furniture, Design Details (Conran Octopus Interiors)
Price for all three: $68.79

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gibbs Smith; 1 edition (August 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423600029
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423600022
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 0.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,475 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Atomic Ranch

At the close of World War II, during a time when the United States was suffused with optimism about the future, America began a love affair with the ranch house that lasted for the next twenty-five years. From the decidedly modern gable-roofed Joseph Eichler tracts in the San Francisco Bay area and butterfly wing houses in Palm Springs and Sarasota, Florida, to the unassuming brick or stucco L-shaped ranches and split-levels we see every day, midcentury ranches can be found all over the country.

Today there is a growing new enthusiasm for ranch houses and the midcentury furnishings that go with them. Atomic Ranch illustrates in stunning color photography the virtues of the ranch house, often decried as "cookie cutter," and shows why these homes worked so well for their first residents and still function beautifully today. With private front facades, open floor plans, secluded bedroom wings, and walls of glass that bring the outside in, midcentury ranches mix function, comfort, and style with ease. Instead of trying to turn your ranch house into a bungalow, Spanish adobe or two-story Tuscan villa, why not let it be what it was meant to be-a modest one-story house with a casual, comfortable lifestyle.

From updated homes with high-end Italian kitchens, terrazzo floors, and modern furniture to affordable homeowner renovations with eclectic thrift-store furnishings, Atomic Ranch presents plenty of inspiring examples of stylish living in America's favorite house.

About the Author

Writer Michelle Gringeri-Brown and photographer Jim Brown publish the quarterly magazine Atomic Ranch, which features ranch homes built all across America. Their first book, Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes, was published by Gibbs Smith in 2006. They live in Portland, Oregon, in a 1952 brick ranch.



Michelle Gringeri-Brown and Jim Brown publish Atomic Ranch magazine, a quarterly devoted to mid-century homes. Gringeri-Brown was the editor of American Bungalow magazine for nine years, and her freelance work has been published in Westways, the Los Angeles Times, Photographers' Forum, and Sunset magazine's View. Jim Brown is an editorial photographer with degrees in photography and English literature. His photo-graphy has been published numerous times in Motor Trend, Sunset, Motorcyclist, American Bungalow, Westways, Car & Driver, and Hot Rod. They both grew up in postwar ranch houses and strongly support the preservation of this overlooked architectural style.

More About the Author

I'm the editor of Atomic Ranch magazine, a shelter publication focusing on postwar ranch homes, primarily built in the '50s and '60s. With my photographer husband, Jim Brown, we write about and photograph inspiring homes from coast to coast. We both grew up in Southern California but now live in Portland, Ore.

Our first book, "Atomic Ranch: Design Ideas for Stylish Ranch Homes," focuses on both modernist and transitional ranch houses, from the exteriors and landscaping to the furnishings and decorative details. Think your aunt's ranch house but with really cool furniture and fresh modern finishes. What most interests me are the homeowners' stories, not hipper-than-thou coverage of celebrity pads or the latest starchitect of the moment. The homes in the book (and magazine) are inspiring yet attainable--interior design for the rest of us if you will.

"Atomic Ranch: Midcentury Interiors," is our March 2012 coffee-table volume published by Gibbs Smith. In it we share eight fantastic homes located all across the U.S. and discuss what works best about their interiors. Styles range from a split-level and several modernist customs to California tract homes and a traditional ranch in Tulsa. There's even an aluminum prefab house in New York state with amazing details. The homeowners' stories of their renovations and remodels contain lots of tips that you can translate to your own ranch. Get ideas on flooring, appliances, window coverings, affordable finishes and furniture you can live with and enjoy without needing to be a design fanatic. Whether your taste runs to vintage furniture and retro kitchens or you're a clean-lined modernist collector, "Atomic Ranch: Midcentury Interiors" delivers lots of eye candy.

Customer Reviews

The photos are great and the book is very informative.
Amazon Customer
The collection of Fiestaware pitchers and colorful housewares adds nostalgia and a longing for the serene simplicity of the past.
Rebecca of Amazon
Atomic ranch is a joy to any fan of serious modern, mid century, googie, or boom generation cold war living and style!!
Ard A. Michaels

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Rob Keil on October 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book that finally gives America's "average" midcentury tract houses their due. The photos are beautiful and the information is great. Eichler, Levittown, Westlake, and other midcentury neighborhoods are pictured along with detailed information on remodeling, restoring, and preserving these underappreciated little gems of modernism. It's a nice coffee-table presentation of the subject that is pleasing to just flip through for the sake of the photos, but also informative enough to spend some real time with.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Ard A. Michaels on January 25, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have purchased many books on mid century modern style to get ideas for my remodeling project and while they were full of excellant examples of the style the biggest part of them only showed examples of high dollar showcase homes. (example: Frank lloyd Wright's creations) While they are beautiful they are far beyond my means and impractical for my life style. Atomic ranch fills the gap of real world affordable design and livablity that I was seeking. I have gotten many great ideas from Atomic ranch that I will likely use in my own home remodel. The book is excellant to browse, to read, or to use as an example when conveying your ideas to contractors or builders. Atomic ranch is a joy to any fan of serious modern, mid century, googie, or boom generation cold war living and style!! I can't recommend it more. Nuff said.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
"These modest homes were the fulfillment of the American middle-class dream, bringing a higher standard of living to average people, and giving birth to a whole new way of life. There is a type of beauty in their simplicity, their efficient use of space, and the creativity with which they employed inexpensive materials to deliver a modern look." ~Rob Keil

Twenty-five inspiring homes are showcased in Atomic Ranch. Outdoor red walls are gorgeous with greenery and stone fountains while indoors we find warm sunny rooms with fireplaces and stylish comfy shag carpets.

The beautiful windows of walls on the exterior of the houses allows an open expression and brings nature indoors. The front of the houses retains privacy while the backyards open up into landscapes filled with unique rock pools and lush foliage.

"Escape to the Islands" is one room filled with rattan furniture, tiki mugs, island art and sea grass mats. The collection of Fiestaware pitchers and colorful housewares adds nostalgia and a longing for the serene simplicity of the past.

I'm always intrigued by the Eero Saarinen Womb Chairs (Shown temptingly throughout the entire book numerous times!) and there is a beautiful red chair in a cozy corner beneath a wall lamp which can I say costs about three thousand dollars for the chair and ottoman. It is on my eternal wish list! Rarely has any piece of furniture so captured my attention.

The kitchens all have a classic streamlined appeal and it makes you want to go look for your Betty Crocker Cooky Book (ISBN 0764566377) and bake up something with vanilla frosting and coconut like Bonbon Cookies.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Willard H. Dobrzensky on November 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having owned two Eichlers in the Bay area, and currently live in a Craig Ellwood mid-century home in the Palms Springs area. I have about 30 hard backs on Mid-Century Archtecture, furnishings and style variation. This by far is the best of all. Great photography, lots of color plates, and detailed stories on the various homes. Simply put.......... Eye Candy for the purist.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Darknell on November 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a really nicely put together book, tons of great photos, mostly interiors and interesting text. However, I've just purchased a traditional Ranch home and was hoping for some remodeling inspiration, of which there is very little in this book. I do love Eichlers, having practically grown up in one, but that doesn't help me for what I was looking for. I never really thought of Eichlers as being 'Ranch' houses anyways, so I think the book is incorrectly named, since its really about Eichler homes exclusively. Still, the pictures do bring back some nice memories so I'm going to keep it, just wish it would've been more helpful to my current situation.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A. Berry on December 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you're familiar with the magazine Atomimc Ranch and like it, you'll enjoy this book as well. Great photos and stories from owners of mid-century ranch and modern houses. Lots of ideas, as others have said. I wish they showed more bathrooms because we are desperate to update ours while maintaining the spirit of the era. I have nearly read our copy cover to cover.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By R. Wiese on January 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Atomic Ranch is a book that I would recommend. What is nice about the book is that it includes design ideas for ranch houses that are within the realm of financial possibility of "average" people. Often, it seems like architecture books only showcase the high budget projects which are spectacular eye candy. After reading the book, I found myself wishing that there were some more exterior pictures of some of the houses although there may not have been good angles from which to take them. Some plan diagrams of the projects would also help orient the reader to the photos taken in the book and get an idea of room layout. Overall, this book would make a great addition to the library of someone who is interested in ranch houses, or just house design in general.

Another positive note: the pages didn't come out of the binding the first time I opened it, which I can't say for some of my more expensive architecture books.
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