Rancho Not-So-Rugged

When you think of a ranch in Arizona, perhaps you envision this:

This is fine and good if you’re thinking modest rugged fantasies.  Fact is, many of us can’t afford even this…

But why not dream BIG?  Why not 5,000 square feet of big?  That’s the average size of several properties in our region that have been trending in sales.

But who buys these big houses today?  We talked with a local realtor who confirmed that indeed there has been a surge of interest in what are called “Gentleman Ranches”, or properties that are very private, beautifully-sited, with views, of course, with all the city comforts, and much more, all requiring minimal callous-inducing work  (that’s why it’s called a Gentleman’s Ranch,  but it could be a Diva Ranch, too!)

Buyers are normally retired captains of industry, movie and creative folks (writers, especially) who long for the vistas, peace and the quiet these multi-acre properties provide.

This is more in line with what these buyers like:

Designing and decorating these Arizona No-Rugged Ranchos, however,  are  different propositions than doing typical home in this area or, in fact, anywhere else.

First of all, they are likely to be located far away from main roads and general civilization.  This means self-sufficiency in terms of food storage, sheds for tools (to fix the inevitable breakdowns), water, waste etc.

Then, there is the show factor, as many of these buyers entertain and invite their city friends for weekend parties or longer stays.  This means several bedrooms and a well-stocked cellar, but it also means the ranch must LOOK the part.

As much as you may love Mid-Century Mod (as we do) or Shabby Chic (which we don’t), these styles seldom make the grade.  Most of these homes are massive, as fitting the rugged, mountainous terrain.  Twee furniture and city-friendly themes just don’t work with the style and scale.

To do Rancho right you’d want to think large wood pieces and antiques, preferably with a Mexican Hacienda provenance.  You can find some of these great pieces at reasonable prices, such as this robust sofa table (right) on HOUZZ, or the decidedly decadent chaise on EBay.  Local estate sales also yield bonanzas in this style as there are so many ranches for sale in this region.

If you dream about privacy and adventure in the beautiful terrain of Arizona but are no cowboy or girl, then a Not-So-Rugged Rancho just may be your next frontier!

(staging by CV & Associates; photos by ListerAssister, courtesy Sothebys/Russ Lyon-Tubac Realty)






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