There has always been an old-world glamour to European architecture, so it’s no surprise that it’s become a common umbrella term for a large variety of architectural styles in the United States and Canada.
European house plans are popular with everyone from first-time homebuyers to empty-nesters looking to downsize. The range in styles, and their versatility and timeless elegance make European-style houses a long-standing favorite.
European houses take the refined style of old-world Europe and update it to satisfy the requirements of modern American and Canadian families. The style is usually a broader term that includes specific styles, such as Italianate, Mediterranean, English or French country and Tudor. The results are unique creations that are eye-catching and functional.
European homes can be small cottage-like houses inspired by the English countryside or vast mansions inspired by the villas of Tuscany. These houses are full of character and class, both on the exterior and interior.
Trademark European characteristics are the basis for this architectural style, with steep roofs, numerous gables and stone, stucco or brick â€” or a mixture of the three â€” covering the exterior walls. Bay windows, dormer windows, porticos and arched entrances are also common. These features blend seamlessly with the modern amenities of American life, including attached or detached garages, wrap-around porches and rear patios or decks.
On the exterior, there is usually a clean symmetry, reminiscent of French country houses or chateaux, but it’s not uncommon for European home plans to play with the asymmetry that’s popular in English cottages and Mediterranean homes. Ornate accents are typical, especially for larger, luxury estates, but they’re also found in Victorian-inspired homes. The extreme angle of the roof often hides a second half-story inside. This attic-like space is great for storage or even as an additional room.
The interiors of European home plans are visually striking as their exteriors. The smaller European-style homes often feature an open-concept area that joins the kitchen, dining and living areas. Larger plans may have a more traditional layout, with designated rooms instead. However, all types of European homes tend to boast high ceilings and modern additions, like second-story decks, porte-cochere and carriage houses.
When using floor plans to build your new European house, you can take advantage of several benefits. Of their many advantages, European houses offer:
Because so many different types of architectural styles fall under European house floor plans, you can rest assured that your home will fit in at any location, be it a dense urban neighborhood, a spacious suburban street or the sprawling countryside. Despite being an eclectic mix of several types of styles, European houses never stick out unnecessarily â€” the architecture is timeless yet innovative, making it easy to craft the perfect home for you and your family.
European houses are also more common than you may believe and can be found across the United States and Canada, so they will never be out of place.
While European homes suit anyone, they are especially great for families, whether they’re growing or multigenerational. European home floor plans, though inspired by European houses, are often updated to suit American and Canadian families instead. This means extras such as basements, covered porches, fireplaces and verandahs are extremely popular.
These areas offer additional space, allowing families to spread out even under the same roof. They’re also great if you have a lot of things to store, need to make space for your in-laws or enjoy hosting barbecues.
There’s a reason why European architecture is so popular across the Atlantic, and aesthetic charm is a big part of it. The old-world gentility and unique design possibilities ensure that European-style homes are going to turn heads.
You can opt for a small, asymmetrical cottage that looks like it was pulled out of a fairy tale or indulge in a massive luxury home inspired by the royal palaces of France. You can mix and match to create a new style that reflects your own personality. Whatever combination of aesthetics you choose for your European home, you don’t have to worry about it going out of style.
European houses often have an open-concept floor plan, which can make the interior of a home feel much more spacious than the exterior suggests. This also means you have more freedom when it comes to decorating without worrying about making the space look cluttered.
European home interiors frequently use clean, simple lines and few doorways to make the most of the space, especially when it’s a smaller home. Spaciousness is a perk in smaller homes for people who enjoy entertaining or just like to have room to spread out.
Regardless of where your home is situated, the exterior architectural characteristics of European-style homes make it easy to expand, even if you don’t have a lot of acreage. Usually, European houses are typically one-and-a-half or two stories high, and their steep roofline makes it easier to build additional rooms into that space, whether you’re adding gables or expanding attics.
Europe is a very large continent, so it’s no surprise that you can choose from several types of European house plans. Here are some of the most popular options:
The best way to understand an architectural style is to see real examples of it. Here are three unique examples of European house plans.
A quintessential European house design, this 2,470-square-foot home blends several stones to create an eye-catching exterior that recalls the days of yore. Featuring a covered front porch, a rear outdoor grilling porch and a formal dining room, this luxurious home will have you planning parties all year round.
The exterior is modest in comparison to the lavish interior, which consists of four bedrooms, three full bathrooms and one half-bathroom. The great room greets you as you enter and shares an open space with the kitchen, which features a large center island with bar seating for casual dining. The four bedrooms surround the corners of the house, with three rooms set on one side and the main suite settled on the other side to ensure privacy for all. The main bedroom also features an en suite bathroom with dual sinks, as well as a shower and a corner whirlpool tub.
There is also an attached two-car garage and an attached one-car garage. True to European house style, a recessed bonus room is nestled in the gabled roof above the garage, providing extra storage or living space.
Touching on the luxury of French chateaux and the simple designs of Spanish houses, this contemporary European-style house covers 3,193-square-feet and looks regal yet approachable. Steep roofs and multiple gables dot the top while the exterior walls are reminiscent of old-world Europe with their stonework. A breezeway connects the single-car garage with a built-in shop area to the attached three-car garage. A spacious parking court is an added plus.
The interior features four bedrooms and three and a half baths. On one side, two bedrooms share a jack-and-jill bath with double sinks. The other side has another bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, making it perfect for guests, and an expansive master suite. The master offers two walk-in closets and an ensuite bathroom with two sinks, a garden tub and a custom shower.
A second story, hidden from the exterior, offers both a bonus room and attic space. If you love to entertain, indoors you have the formal dining room, the combined kitchen and breakfast area or the great room. The breakfast area opens on to a rear covered porch for backyard barbecues, and a covered front porch is perfect for casual get-togethers.
American and European traditions come together to create this quaint 1,496-square-foot house. This small country cottage looks cozy from the outside and provides ample space on the inside, with large open rooms that seamlessly flow throughout the home.
Featuring three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, this comfortable cottage is designed for growing families with a casual breakfast area and a formal dining room. The rear features a screened porch and a back deck. A cobbled porch welcomes visitors.
An attached two-car garage comes with a built-in workshop area and an optional bonus room upstairs, which can be accessed through the garage. The privacy of this bonus room makes it perfect as a guest suite, an in-law suite, a home office or a hobby room.
The master suite has an en suite bathroom with dual sinks and both a tub and shower. The bedroom features a luxurious sitting nook with access to the screened porch, which encourages you to use the space as more than just a sleeping area.
The two most common questions people have about European-style homes are where to find them and how to decorate them.
Since so many styles fall under the umbrella of European houses, these homes can be found all over the United States and Canada. Certain styles are more popular in some areas â€” for example, the southwest is known for Spanish-style homes while French- and English-style cottages are more common around the Great Lakes on both sides of the border.
The timeless design of these homes also means you’ll see them pop up everywhere, from major cities to small towns.
The best way to decorate a European-style house is by decorating it in a European style. Here are four popular European decor styles to consider for your home:
If you’re in the market for a new home, consider building it using pre-fabricated floor plans. You’ll save money by not having to hire an architect, and you’ll still have the freedom to customize your home to meet your needs.
At COOL House Plans, we offer several different types of European house plans, so there’s bound to be something for every taste available. Browse through our selection today. For more information, feel free to call us toll-free at 1-800-482-0464.