The best way I’ve found to alter the ranch style house that was so prolific for decades is to OPEN that space up.
The key to updating and opening that place up is to find a ranch with the right bones. The right bones is a house that has the living area and ideally the kitchen along the back of the house. Why? So you can open up the back wall and be in harmony with your backyard and flood the place with light and fresh air.
You can open the house up in a more extreme way with accordion doors or even a garage style door that lifts.
Or on a smaller scale with a bank or banks of full view french doors.
Later we can talk about things like double-sided fireplaces, beams, board and batten ceilings and additions all healers for the rancher.