When you think of French Provincial architecture, symmetry and balance of the floor plan are the leading features that come to mind. This classic style of French architecture has roots in rural manor homes and chateau’s that were built in the middle of the 1600’s during the rule of Louis XIV. Formal and stately best describe the appearance as it is often seen with brick or stucco finish. The French Provincial house plan design was a popular style in America during the 1920’s and later in the 1960’s.
Distinctive characteristics are many for the French Provincial style of architecture. The most notable sign, especially in American French Provincial home designs, is the tall second story windows, often arched at the top, that break through the cornice and rise above the eaves. Roof pitches are steep and normally hipped, whereas gabled roofs are uncommon. Copper and slate are materials frequently used in accents, detailing, and roofing finishes. The front door is normally in the center of the homes design and the windows and chimneys are balanced in perfect symmetry on each side of the entrance. Other features include, balcony and porch balustrades, rectangle doors set in arched openings, and french casement windows with shutters.
The french provincial style and French Normandy architecture details are often combined to create a style that is simply called “French Country”.