French Provencial Style Homes

    Balance and Symmetry are
    the Ruling Characteristics

    Homes are often brick with detailing in copper or slate. Windows and chimneys are symmetrical and perfectly balanced, at least in original versions of the style. Defining features include a steep, high, hip roof; balcony and porch balustrades; rectangle doors set in arched openings; and double French windows with shutters. Second-story windows usually have a curved head that breaks through the cornice.

    The design had its origins in the style of rural manor homes, or chateaus, built by the French nobles during the reign of Louis XIV in the mid-1600s. The French Provincial design was a popular Revival style in the 1920s and again in the 1960s.

    In the book, 'French Country Living' by Caroline Clifton-Mogg. - There are literally hundreds of color photos in this book all illustrating the real meaning of the countryside in France. The book is made up of two sections, the first emphasizing the soft, monochrome colors with the natural textures and materials which are distinctly French. The second portions takes a look at the overall style and commemorate the unique decorative style enthused over many centuries by the countryside of France, and illustrates ways to translate these elements and styles into your home, both urban and rustic. Over 30,000 copies have been sold. The beautiful photography is by Christopher Drake.

    One of the most distinctive characteristics of many French buildings is the tall second story windows, often arched at the top, that break through the cornice and rise above the eaves. This unusual window design is especially noticeable on America’s French provincial homes. Modeled after country manors in the French provinces, these brick or stucco homes are stately and formal. They have steep hipped roofs and a square, symmetrical shape with windows balanced on each side of the entrance. The tall second story windows add to the sense of height.

    French Normandy

    In Normandy and the Loire Valley of France, farm silos were often attached to the main living quarters instead of a separate barn. After World War I, Americans romanticized the traditional French farmhouse, creating a style known as French Normandy. Sided with stone, stucco, or brick, these homes may suggest the Tudor style with decorative half timbering (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal strips of wood set in masonry). The French Normandy style is distinguished by a round stone tower topped by a cone-shaped roof. The tower is usually placed near the centre, serving as the entrance to the home. French Normandy and French provincial details are often combined to create a style simply called French Country or French Rural carved or embossed on mouldings, sconce's, and banisters.

    Suggested Home Styles Books

    See also