Best-known for their luxurious, yet effortless stylings, natural stone facades, and chic, rustic interiors, French country homes—otherwise known as Provencal homes—have inspired homebuilders and decorators for centuries—and continue to inspire the modern farmhouse and shabby chic interior decorating trends that are extremely popular today.
Defined by natural finishes, simple, neutral color palettes, and some serious inspiration from their natural surroundings, French country homes stray from the gilding and molding found in luxurious Parisian homes.
French country architecture and design draws tons of inspiration from nature. Accordingly, French country homes tend to blend in with their surroundings. Some distinguishing characteristics of French country architecture and style include:
Natural Stone Facades
French country homes typically have a simple stone or brick facade. Because symmetry is a key element in many French styles.
A Tall, Sloping Roof
Many styles of French homes feature extremely tall, sloping roofs that are hipped—meaning, all four corners of the roof point towards the ground. French country roofs are tiled with clay, barrel-shaped tiles that are overlapped to create a tiered effect, and come in red, brown, or beige.
The tall, rectangular windows on French country homes not only add to the symmetry of the structures, but make them appear taller, too.
Although some French country homes may feature exposed wooden beams, many have wood-planked ceilings that are painted white to match the smooth, plaster interior walls.
Although some homes may use a vivid color as an accent, most French country homes are decorated with white, cream, pale yellow, pale blue, or gray finishes. Texture and warmth can be provided by wood, stone, and other natural accents in the house.