Updating a ranch home

I’m not looking at the “should do” or the “have to do” list.

I’m enjoying the list of small things that I am fortunate enough to enjoy each and every day — chatting with my kids on the car ride home from school, lacing up their soccer cleats for practice (even when we’re running late), and eavesdropping on their conversations as they construct Lego cities together.

Because that phone call can wait, the dish can soak, and the crumbs can be wiped up later.

But the hug, the kiss on the boo-boo, and the bedtime story definitely perfect parents because we’re doing the best that we can.

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.A feature as seemingly insignificant as the front door can improve a ranch home’s curb appeal; swap out a retro-red door for a modern black or white one.Then cover a bare porch or front steps with a portico that gives presence to a plain entry point.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.Invest in natural slate flooring, ceramic tile, hardwood -- or quality vinyl with the look of tile or hardwood -- right through to make a narrow design appear wider.

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