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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Cliff May's modern ranch house

Cliff May (1908-1989) studied at San Diego State but left school in 1929. While he was a student, he created furniture, which he sold for use in model homes. Using that experience with the industry, he designed and built his first house when he was only 23.

He pioneered the California ranch style house with an emphasis on designing homes with interiors that were in harmony with the way people wanted to live. He watched people use his homes, and when he found a design concept that pleased his clients, the idea was worked over and improved in the next house. He also made an effort to connect every room with the outdoors, so it is not uncommon to find floor-to-ceiling glass in the place of walls in his homes.

During his career, he designed more than 18,000 tract homes and more than 1,000 custom homes across the country, many of which are listed in the Cliff May Registry.

One of my Christmas gifts from my daughter and SIL was the book Cliff May and the Modern Ranch House by Daniel P. Gregory. It's a gorgeous book with beautiful photography that any Cliff May fan would enjoy.


Cliff May home in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Cliff May home in  Long Beach, CA

Cliff May home in Long Beach, CA
Cliff May interior in Long Beach, CA


  1. Hmmm, there's one listed right here in my city. I'll have to check it out!

  2. I was surprised to find out how many of the houses on the list are in Dallas. I thought there were only a couple, but there are 11 on the list. I'm going to have to go on a little sightseeing jaunt too.

  3. They don't get better than this. Love the 60's homes!!

  4. The timeline of the Cliff May homes is very interesting to me. I thought the houses in Dallas were built in the 60s, but I found that most of them were actually built in 1955. Most of the Long Beach, CA, homes were built in 1953. Houses in other parts of California (and across the country) were built in the mid-to-late 50s, 60s and even the 70s. I found it amazing that his first home was built in 1931 when he was 23 years old, so some of the houses on the registry were built in the 1930s and 1940s. He had a long and productive career.