French Provincial architecture is one of the most charming styles that you can try if you love a welcoming countryside home. It’s not surprising to see the immense popularity of the aesthetic considering its casually elegant vibe. Ever since the 17th Century, French Provincial architecture became a dominant style when it comes to lots of buildings found in famous French areas such as Provence and Normandy.
The style is traditionally defined by stately, manor-like homes but the architecture went through multiple transformations so the term “French Provincial” is actually very broad. Its main idea refers to balancing traditional and some rustic elements with a good dose of sophistication to make the design feel more elegant.
There are some fundamental features that all French Provincial homes share, whether we’re talking about original rural buildings in France or revival versions in the United States. Traditional designs include sloping roofs and arched windows while typical materials used for the facades are brick or stone. French Provincial homes tend to be quite large rural houses with uniquely designed second stories. The interiors designed in this style seem to transmit a sense of effortless elegance and timeless beauty. There’s a strong focus on texture while the colors are chosen carefully to be harmonious with the natural surroundings.
If you’re looking for French Provincial architecture inspiration, take a look at these stunning examples of the style. You’ll be able to get a proper understanding of some key aspects of French Provincial and gain a better appreciation of this stylish aesthetic.
1. Durable Materials
French Provincial is characterized by the use of more durable materials such as stone and brick to provide the home with a long-lasting impression.
Sturdy material choices are preferred for various elements of the building including the windows that can sometimes have iron balconies. There’s a feeling of timelessness created by durable siding materials as well.
2. Dormer Windows
A traditional home designed using French Provincial architecture relies on dormer windows. Check out this classic building from Provence that shows off this notable architectural detail.
The dormer window forms a beautiful pairing together with the gambrel roof drawing more attention to the distinctive roof style. It’s not a particularly functional approach as the dormer window covers a more decorative purpose.
3. Manor Style
Some French Provincial homes can be more compact and modest but others will feature a manor-style appearance. This is a modern manor house built in the French Provincial style to resemble an authentic 18th century home.
One of the most elegant elements of this building is the presence of a gravel forecourt that makes a more traditional entryway together with the rustic portico. The use of varied limestone creates a more interesting visual effect by blending different neutral shades for a beautiful facade.
4. Mediterranean Inspiration
French Provincial has a fairly strong connection to the typical architecture found in Mediterranean regions. There are many common elements for both styles and this rustic home boasts some solid Mediterranean inspiration.
Notice details such as the ornate iron balcony that makes the front entrance stand out more effectively or the beautiful stonework that adds a stunning decorative touch to the entire home.
5. Elegant Shutters
Although the window shutters on French Provincial homes are no longer used much for a functional purpose, they still have an important place in the architecture. This is thanks to the reliable visual interest added by their stylish colors.
A classic French Provincial home that features a natural stone facade tends to look more attractive with slightly contrasting colors for the window shutters. It’s recommended to opt for blue or gray shades to create a pleasant visual effect together with the warmer color scheme of limestone.
6. Backyard Pool
When it comes to extra additions for the backyard of a French Provincial home, many homeowners can choose a rustic-style pool. This is a very charming solution when paired with the surrounding vegetation while also providing great enjoyment in a warm climate.
A backyard pool may not be a typical French countryside feature but it can be easily incorporated for the modern convenience of a city home. It’s important to give the pool a free-form shape to make it resemble a natural formation instead of an artificial structure.
7. Abundant Greenery
Any authentic French Provincial exterior will most likely feature an abundance of greenery. The connection to the surrounding landscape is important for this aesthetic and there’s a lot of liberty when it comes to choosing the right decorative plants.
Some classic options include creeping ivy along the walls for a vintage effect or carefully maintained shrubs to frame some of the home’s exterior architecture. Another excellent choice is the use of flowers for a casually elegant look that offers a balanced dose of rustic flair and playful colors.
8. Modern French Provincial Home
Although traditional details are still retained in modern renditions of the French Provincial style, there are a few design updates to make these homes more distinctive. For example, this stylish home appears more elegant by incorporating touches of black on the typical French Provincial warm color scheme.
Classic architecture aspects such as the use of stone and stucco or the ornate iron balcony above the arched front door will still make an appearance. The traditional French Provincial core isn’t sacrificed but simply modernized with subtle details. The result is a multi-level home that feels based on the countryside and updated for crisp urban aesthetics.
9. Outdoor Entertaining Area
Because French Provincial homes are designed to be warm and inviting, you can typically expect the presence of a dedicated area outdoors that serves to entertain guests.
As opposed to other architecture styles, a French country home doesn’t show a clear distinction between indoor and outdoor spaces. A stylish patio with slender furnishings and copious amounts of vegetation will set the right mood for conversation and relaxation.
10. French Provincial Cottage
Lacking modern architectural elements such as gutters, this French Provincial home has been carefully designed to resemble the look of an old cottage. The builders paid a lot of attention to classic details of the style to ensure historical accuracy.
Some notable features include the rounded front door and stucco facade. There are various decorative accents that contribute to a successful French Provincial cottage. A good example is the addition of hand-carved shutters made of wood as well as leaded-glass windows.