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Home of the Week: Dowlings' ranch in Town of Tonawanda

Pat and Rich Dowling are planning for the future by making sure the home they bought in 2015 not only reflects their decorating tastes but also allows them to continue to live there as long as possible as they age.

In an email, here is how they described their updated ranch for our weekly feature on spotlighting local homes:

“As we approached age 60, we decided to move from our two-story home with upstairs bathroom and bedrooms to a one-story house in the Town of Tonawanda. In the past two years, we have slowly transformed our yellow brick ranch from an outdated, claustrophobic maze of small, dark rooms and narrow halls, to an open, age-friendly living space,” they wrote.

They made improvements both inside and out, including demolishing the garage and moving the new one 15 feet forward and 5 feet over, they explained in a followup phone call.

This enabled them to install a new large bedroom behind the garage and have access to the new bedroom and old part of the house through a wide hallway, explained Pat Dowling, who works at the Erie County Department of Senior Services and volunteers at the Darwin Martin House.

“Inspired by the horizontal lines and simplicity of Frank Lloyd Wright’s prairie-style houses, we ‘corrected’ the ugly attached collision-shop, flat-roof garage, with a complementary hip-roofed addition that gives the house the look it always was meant to have. The spacious two-car garage has enough room for a wheelchair ramp.

"We incorporated both mission style and accessible design elements into new and existing living spaces, including a 5-foot wide hallway, pocket doors, 36-inch doorways and walk-in shower with grab bars,” they wrote.

The Dowlings added a master bedroom behind the new garage.

“There are still things to be done, but for the most part it is an incredible living space,” said Rich Downing, who works for the federal government.

“We love our house because its style reflects our preference for an uncluttered environment. Now our beautiful home will fit our changing needs for years to come,” they wrote.

The Dowlings' back porch.

Do you love your house enough to show it off like the Dowlings did? This could be your chance.

The Buffalo News is looking for other beautiful local homes and the stories behind them and their décor. Those chosen will be displayed in a weekly feature at and could be chosen as Home of the Month with a three-page spread in a Sunday edition of The Buffalo News.

If you are interested, tell us about your home in 150 words or less, and email 10 images (sent as .jpg files) of the interior and exterior to Those chosen for will be contacted by Home and Style Editor Susan Martin. A phone number is helpful but not necessary. Single-family homes, condominiums, lofts and apartments are eligible.

The News will include your name and the city or town in which you reside but not your exact address.

Last week's Home of the Week:

Home of the Week Nov. 27: Welcome to Turtle Rocks


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