Mastering different architectural styles as a builder is an incredibly rewarding pursuit. Of the many styles we build in at Corinthian, French country house plans are a pretty frequent request.

So, What is French Country Style?

French country style actually extends beyond architecture. For instance, French country decor is a BIG deal right now. Ideas for this type of interior decor include softer pastel colors, matching drapes and walls, and plenty of antiques. When it comes to the exterior, we see some aesthetic similarities. Four characteristics help to define your average French country style home.

4 Facts About French Country House Plans

Tradition & Nostalgia

The French country style, much like Mediterranean or colonial style, has a way of evoking a pleasant mental image. Honestly, even when folks aren’t entirely sure what it entails, they tend to love the invocation of pastoral bliss — the mental transport to a rolling countryside somewhere in Normandy or Picardy. Nice, right?

There’s a European nostalgia and emotional component to the French countryside that is actually quite indicative of the architectural style itself. Common components of the style include arched and shuttered windows, French doors, and a variety of other features that hint at the stylistic tastes of Western Europe.

One of the Oldest Styles

Hand in hand with tradition and nostalgia is the fact that French country house plans are one of the oldest popular architectural styles. The story goes that American soldiers fighting in Europe during WWI took notice of the homes along the French countryside. These chateaus and manors would have been originally built way back in the 17th and 18th centuries. When our WWI vets returned home, they basically spread the word about what they’d seen, and the rest is history.

A large French country house with an asphalt driveway.

Rustic Yet Refined

One of our favorite elements of French country style homes is the balance they strike between aristocratic sophistication and rural charm. The exterior tends to be a welcoming one that carries into the interior. Metal roofing combines with real slate and hand-crafted stone cut from quarries at the homesite for an authentic, elegant feel. As we touched on above, French country decor is steeped in rich tradition. It’s usually divided between cottage rustic and château, bringing the best of both worlds in (to taste) while coordinating all design decisions with the practical and aesthetic needs of the future homeowner.

Borrowing from the Past

Today’s modern French style build typically doesn’t restrict itself to an era. These homes will often borrow prominent features from their historical context, but they don’t necessarily go for an entire reproduction.

That said, one of our French country house plans that is currently in the architectural stage along the Scioto River does fit the traditional mold. The future homeowners leaned toward the historical look, so we are implementing features like large timber for the beams, carvings and fireplace details that replicate traditional European architecture, and wine cavern tasting areas that lend themselves to an atmosphere of old world charm.

Which brings us to the most important point of all.

A French country home with a wraparound driveway.

Build a Home That Reflects You

Architectural styles are a great guide for understanding what you do and don’t like when you’re building or buying a home. If you look through French country house plans and know that’s exactly what you want, great! But it’s also okay to mix and match features to create something unique to you. That’s the beauty of custom home building — there aren’t too many things that are truly off limits. The freedom to collaborate and imagine up dream homes with folks is a large part of why we got into this business in the first place.

For example, we recently scouted out a site for a total rebuild. The owner of the home actually transported a nine-ton boulder from Lake Michigan to Ohio so that he could have it installed in his living room as a giant fountain with water supplied from the lake outside. Other features of the original, one-of-a-kind home include a tree growing out of the living room and a hammock in a bedroom. Point being that if you think this home adhered to a single, established style… well let’s just say we certainly don’t know what it would be called. But we love it.