Tiki Lisa photographs 57 ranch home exteriors in her neighborhood

Reader Tiki Lisa did major retro reconnaissance in her neighborhood — and photographed these 57 midcentury exteriors. She’s sharing via this slide show linked to her flickr photostream. Great exterior details here — wood trim, shutters, brick work, roof slopes, paint colors, window boxes, and more. And,  I’m particularly in love with all the Cinderella ranch homes, also known as Storybook ranch homes. You live in a retro-wonderland, TL! Many thanks!


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  1. Femme1 says

    Wow, Tiki Lisa, those photos are wonderful! I assume you live either in Florida or California. (Are there palm trees anywhere else?)

    I’ve been wanting to take some photos in my neighborhood, too, but one thing I noticed that is different about the houses in your photos. They are SO well kept up and those mid-century details haven’t been “modernized.” In the college town where I live, most of these small ranches have become student rentals, and they are slowly falling apart. And if they are owner-occupied, often the houses have been renovated to get rid of all those great details. It’s a shame, and I almost feel that I have to document those ranch houses before they are gone.

  2. Maggie says

    Wow, that station wagon in the driveway of House 25 is *so* appropriate — it looks like it could be an actual photo from the period!

  3. says

    I love these, Lisa! You beat me to the punch on this one – have been waiting for spring so I can take pics of the houses in my neighborhood. But yours are fantastic, and so sweet. Pam is right, the Storybook Ranches are amazing!

  4. Elvis (aka) Jane says

    Thanks, Tiki Lisa! That’s a great overview of your neighborhood. We lived in one like #17 when I was young. I love that Asian flare at the peaks and lower corners of the roof. My aunt and uncle had a Storybook Ranch in another town close by, and I always loved the little sheltering porch created by the extended roofline.

  5. says

    I can’t believe it! I’ve been featured on Retro Renovation! Any of you who are loyal followers know what I mean when I say it’s an honor.

    I’m so happy that Pam decided to use my photos, and that people are enjoying them. This blog has been so important to me to let me know that there ARE others out there who find this stuff interesting, and worthy of our attention.

    A few of the houses I photographed specifically because they had been updated, or “remuddled” (love that term). I tried to put as much info in the descriptions on Flickr. I’d love to see anyone else’s opinions, additional info or comments. I have totally fallen in love with Flickr! (Thanks, Pam, for that additional addiction!)

    If anyone wants to see my house, which isn’t in this set, you can check out my blog (click on my name), because I just did a post on what it would look like if we got a Crestview door! I’m wanting to check out Google Sketch, which I just heard of, to try my hand at altering other features on photos to get a preview.

    Enough for now…I hope to contribute more photos in the future!

  6. Sara in AZ says

    It seems like we have a lot of those ‘Storybook’ type houses here in AZ too. They are very cute. Great job with all the photos Tikimama Lisa!

  7. Amy says

    These are awesome! Thanks for sharing them, it’s good to see that the now owners have pretty much kept to the original styles.

  8. St. Christopher says

    That is an amazing collection of photos, especially considering all the homes are in the same neighborhood. There is truely a ton of inspiration in that set. Thanks Tiki Lisa for putting that together.

    One other thing, does anyone else feel a little “Stepford wives” vibe when paging through the photos? I grew up in a time, place and culture where the scariest things were always hiding behind the well manicured lawn. Of course now I envy and try to emulate those perfect “putting green” lawns!


  9. says

    Femme 1 – So. California, *just* over the border of L.A. county (so we’re in one of the thousands of L.A. suburbs).

    St. Christopher – actually, the only ones that give me that Stepford Wives vibe are the too-perfect McMansions and the older homes that have been updated and lost their charm. Most of the time, you can see quite a bit of activity in these neighborhoods, but I was purposely going at a time in the morning when most people would either still be in bed (if they’re lucky!) or off to the morning commute.

    loumeigs – a Nomad? I can go back and check for you!

  10. frankieswife says

    This neighborhood reminds me of “Bixby Knolls” in Long Beach, CA where I grew up. My favorite movie Corrina, Corrina was filmed there. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth checking out. The set designer and location scout did an awesome job at re-creating our favorite time in history. The house used for the story is actually across the street from my best friend’s grandmother. She had the most amazing 1950’s pool, tiki lanai and combination bathroom/dressing rooms in the backyard. It was a circular building with bamboo siding and a thatched roof that overhung the patio area. There was a “boys” side and a “girls” side and they were each exactly the same inside…tiled walls with little fishies, aqua sinks and toilets and the light above the tiled shower was a puffer fish, kinda scary when you are a kid…but I loved to go swimming at that Tiki Wonderland of my childhood.

  11. alaina says

    I live near Tikimama (just a few towns closer to L.A., west on the 10) and I just bought a house built in 1957 that I refer to as the “Swiss Chalet”…glad to know that there’s a real name for it. There’s several different styles in my neighborhood that are very similar to those in the photos. Thanks!!

    • pam kueber says

      Hi Alaina, I think I also HAVE seen them referred to as Swiss Chalet in “the literature.” I’m telling you, these things can be sliced and diced a zillion ways! Welcome.

  12. says

    frankieswife – How I would love to see photos of that Tiki Wonderland! Do you think that it still survives?

    alaina – Hi, neighbor! Let us see some photos of your new beauty! Hmmm, Montclair, Pomona, La Verne…?

    • Flaca says

      Tikimama what great fotos! I am late to this post – we actually just bought our first home, a ranch built in 1960, in Diamond Bar in Dec. 2009. We are your LA County border neighbors too! We’re looking for some inspiration on house color (ours is a dingy white… boring!) and wanted some true to its original look. You’re fotos look a lot like my neighborhood… older Diamond Bar. I am going to follow your blog for sure! Our home is nearly original in the way we purchased it (fully furnished from the original owners) but it does need an update (its just not functional in a modern family sense) so I hope to find some neighborly advice!

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