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French Country house plans are simple, yet artfully, designed for maximum comfort and stylish living. Effortlessly elegant, these homes offer an approach to earthy and chic living with a focus on Old World charm that blends beautifully with today’s modern amenities and conveniences. The architectural beauty of the French Country home lies in its simple lines, its stone or stucco façade, its charming window designs, tiled roofs and oftentimes, stone chimneys situated on the exterior of the home. The interior of the home typically features natural, organic materials as well; wood beams, wood or stone floors, tall windows and some use of limestone, either on a mantel or fireplace. Interior walls are often painted in soft muted colors, such as antique whites, soft beiges, light grays and/or pale yellows or blues. This relaxing color scheme is highlighted with a mix of antique and modern furniture pieces that have either been handed-down or bought with a careful eye towards sophisticated, elegant lines and warm, simple finishes or patterns.

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For centuries, France was a kingdom of many provinces which resulted in varying types of architecture, most which now fall under the all-encompassing umbrella of French Country design. Rooted in the rural landscape of Europe, these homes can incorporate a wide range of styles from modest Farmhouses, country Cottage designs to magnificent villas and chateaus. Many of today’s French Country house plans continue to incorporate similar characteristics including medieval English design features such as turrets, quoins and keystones. Oftentimes, a porte cochere is incorporated into the architecture of French Country plans; popular during the Renaissance, this was originally designed as an entrance or gateway allowing a coach or carriage to be driven through it while providing shelter for the occupants during inclement weather. Many of today’s homes that feature this design element continue to use it as a shelter point but occasionally they are attached to large outdoor spaces in which to entertain family and friends. Not all French Country homes are highlighted with such unique styling and distinctive characteristics; many are simple designs that offer warm, rustic design elements featuring comfortable and humble roots for the homeowner’s pleasure.

While there is great variance in their styles, many French Country plans offer:

  • Stucco, brick and/or stone exteriors · Steep roof pitches        
  • Hipped roofs · Flared eaves · Red clay or simulated roof tiles       
  • Turrets or rounded towers       
  • One or two stories       
  • Exterior chimneys       
  • Tall, thin or multi-paned windows       
  • Slat board shutters       
  • Multiple gables       
  • Highlighted brickwork atop door and windows

Single and Two Storied House Plans

The French Country style combines the best of Old World elegance with comfortable interiors and while the large majority feature two stories of family style living there are plenty of single story homes to choose from. These storybook homes typically offer large well-appointed rooms for entertaining, perhaps a keeping or hearth room directly located off the kitchen, spacious sleeping quarters and outdoor space for entertaining large gatherings of family and friends. One story French Country plans may incorporate an open floor plan with a split bedroom plan while two storied homes may feature main level living space and second story bedrooms. A study, library or perhaps overhead bonus space may be included in the floor plan for easily accessible conversion space designed for relaxing or intimate entertaining.

Porches

Outdoor space has always been reflected in the French Country house style whether a courtyard entry, which are often large square forecourts, or some type of porch. Today’s French Country homes, unlike their previous counterparts which were largely free of front porches and contained little ornamentation, can now boast of front covered porches along with rear porches or patios that provide casual romantic elegance when entertaining. A well-designed house plan extends and blends the indoor and outdoor living space and the classic French door is often the focal point for this design concept. Elegantly and stately, with a hint of sophistication, this can be just the inspiration needed to incorporate artistic flair into the home’s interior and exterior.

Luxury, Small and/or Narrow Lots

Suitable for both city and country living, French Country homes can be found in nearly every genre of lifestyle housing markets from the gentle, rolling hills of the countryside to manor homes situated in suburbia and even urban, in-town living. This style of home incorporates an endless supply of what homeowner’s value in housing and lifestyle choices and America’s Best House Plans has committed to offer a compelling and diversified collection of French Country homes. We have a nice assortment of magnificent homes that top 15,000 square feet of living space to humble homes with just over 1,000 square feet of space so living this lifestyle does not necessarily require an enormous plot of rural land; even city dwellers who are committed to this lifestyle are readily able to indulge their dreams.

Side Loading and Detached Garages

While many French Country plans feature porte-cocheres and front courtyard entry garages, quite a few are highlighted with side loading and detached garages. As a means to connect the detached garage and offer shelter from the weather, breezeways are often included in the plans as well. In addition to the often included front covered entry, there may be a smaller side covered porch connecting the garage with the home; this is ideal for maintaining a tidy home environment while slogging off muddy shoes and clothing before entering the home. These garages are designed to match modern life in all its complexity while providing a means to store your vehicles and assorted lawn equipment and other storage items easily while traveling between the garage and house.

French Country homes are one of the oldest and most beloved architectural design representations in the housing market. They convey a sense of timeless luxury without being pretentious or garish; just a classic and timeless sense of art revered by many for their natural Old World charm and character.