French Country House Plans - French Country House Floor Plans
A Guide to French Country House Plans

The French countryside brings to mind romantic images of rolling hills and cozy chalet homes, so it’s no surprise that Americans have been imitating that concept in French country house plans. Though French country homes have evolved over the centuries, especially when they made their way to the Americas, they maintain the rustic charm and eternal elegance that many people associate with rural France.

What Is a French Country House

What Is a French Country House?

The southern French region of Provence is the birthplace of the French country house, which is also known as French provincial. Unlike most French architecture and decor, which is heavily ornamental, French country architecture is more subdued and favors function over aesthetics. Whether it’s a modest rural farmhouse or a lavish chateau, French country home plans emphasize warmth and comfort above all else.

Gentle, curled arches and stonework are trademark characteristics of French country house exteriors with exposed beams and plaster walls common for the interior. Stucco, brick and stone are common materials for exterior walls, and steep roofs and symmetrical, multi-pane windows give the house a neat, clean look that recalls a casual elegance.

French country houses aim to marry the traditional elements of nature and elegance. Rustic, distressed furniture and subdued color palettes are, therefore, very common. Symmetry is another important facet of French country house floor plans, with the windows designed to be perfectly in line with each other. Deliberate lines and a pair of symmetrical chimneys are also common, giving off an inarguable air of refinement, comfort and luxury.

The interiors are traditionally less cluttered and furnished with simple yet sturdy items — a throwback to the original 18th-century country houses in Provence, which were sparsely decorated because the homeowners couldn’t afford ornate furniture. However, modern French country-style homes can vary in decor, and many mix the coziness of cottage living with country living.

What Is a French Country-Style House?

Often interchangeable with French country houses and French provincial houses, a French country-style house is one whose architecture and decor is inspired by the old farmhouses and chateaux in rural France.

The exterior is made from stone or brick and there is an emphasis on symmetry, just like traditional French country houses. However, modern French country-style houses don’t necessarily need to have multiple stories and can range from small, modest homes to sprawling luxury homes.

5 Benefits of Living in a French Country House

You may not be able to embrace the glory of pastoral living in the French countryside, but there are many advantages to building your own French country-style house, especially if you use pre-existing house plans to do it.

Here are five more benefits of living in a French country house:

  • Location: Since modern French country homes are aesthetically neat, they can easily adapt to any location. If you’re looking to build a new home in a narrow urban space or the quiet countryside, a French country house will seamlessly blend in with the surroundings and be a welcome treat for eyes. Similarly, you can choose between sprawling chateau-like houses or small bungalows built with French country house characteristics as well.
  • Aesthetic: There’s no denying that French country houses are eyecatching without being overbearing thanks to the gentle and calculated mix of old-world and contemporary features. The unique choice of brick or stone exteriors, tall windows and arched entryways coupled with modern color palettes and additional amenities, like porches or porte-cochere, create a unique look that almost ensures that no two houses will be the same.
  • Elegance: We’ve mentioned elegance several times already since it’s one of the main reasons why French country house plans are so popular today. In contrast to most other rustic or minimalist architectural styles, French country houses provide a sense of refinement with their rounded lines and softer colors. The style is a classic, and its timelessness means you can enjoy it for decades.
  • Versatility: Modern French country house plans are customizable, so you can take advantage of this peerless architectural style no matter your living situation. Whether you want a small, two-bedroom bungalow or a 2,000-square-foot mansion, this design can be applied to a variety of homes. This versatility also makes the style great for growing or multigenerational families.
  • Simplicity: The point of the provincial country houses in rural France was to have sturdy dwellings that were functional and comfortable. The functional simplicity of French country houses is emphasized in modern French country homes, as well. They’re designed to give off the image of luxury and elegance while still being very simple and modest —and they may even be much larger and spacious inside than the exterior suggests. When paired with French country decor, the interior and exterior of the house offer a clean, spacious look that’s easy to maintain.
Types of French Country House Plans

Types of French Country House Plans

Since there are several types of French country house floor plans from which you can choose, it may help to get a better understanding of the options available. Here are four common types of French country house floor plans that you can choose for your new house:

  • Petite French country house plans: As its name suggests, these houses are on the smaller end with some small enough to be considered tiny houses. Often just one level with one or two bedrooms, these houses are designed for narrower spaces and may be ideal for densely populated areas. They’re also a good option for anyone who’s looking to downsize or age in place.
  • French country house plans with wrap-around porch: Ideal for anyone who enjoys relaxing outside without leaving their property, French country houses with wrap-around porches vary in the length of the porch itself. Most have a front or back porch that wraps around one or both sides of the house. However, you can also have a home built with a fully wrapped porch or even an upper-level porch. The possibilities are endless and the versatility of French country-style houses leave you with many options.
  • French country house plans with porte-cochere: A porte-cochere adds a hint of romance and luxury to your home, and when coupled with the elegant French country house design, it can elevate your home’s appearance and increase the curb appeal. A porte-cochere also has functional advantages, such as acting as a covered space that protects from rain or shine or as a connector from the main residence to a carriage house or detached garage.
  • 2,000-square-foot French country house plans: The regal palaces of the French monarchy are likely your inspiration when you opt for large French country house plans. In direct contrast to the petite French country house plans, these homes are sprawling, luxurious buildings that more closely resemble the elegant chateaux and villas rather than the functional farmhouses of Provence.

3 Examples of French Country House Plans

Having a general idea of what a French country house plan consists of is one thing, but seeing real examples of floor plans is another. Here are three examples of different types of French country house plans:

Southern-Style House Plan

Sprawling an impressive 2,854 square feet, this Southern-style French country home features three bedrooms, two bathrooms, an attached three-car garage and an optional bonus room on an upper half-level. It contains a front and back porch as well as a screened porch at the rear. The garage connects to the house through a spacious mudroom and also has designated space for extra storage if needed.

The main suite is as elaborate as the house itself, featuring his-and-hers en suite bathrooms with attached walk-in closets. A custom shower links the two bathrooms together, which is accessed through the single bathroom entrance in the bedroom. One side of the bathroom also comes with a luxurious tub for those who prefer the occasional relaxing bath.

The second bathroom sits on the opposite side of the house, ensuring optimal privacy in the main suite. Walk-in closets furnish both additional bedrooms, and there is a spacious great room with high ceilings off the hallway. The dining area and kitchen take up the open space in the middle of the home, and there is even an office with a separate entrance. One of the bedrooms also has its own entrance, making it perfect for guests.

True to the French country house style, the exterior looks unassuming and deceives passersby about the size of the home itself. Steep roofs and symmetrical lines give the home the quintessential French country look of neatness and sturdiness. Window shutters recall storybook homes while matching dormer windows inspire romance.

Traditional French Country House Plan

Traditional-Style House Plan

Also a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home, this French cottage-style house sits on one level and measures a modest 1,817 square feet. A two-car garage is attached, from which there is access to the attic.

The interior can be accessed through the garage or through the main entryway, which features a cute stooped porch. The great room — which comes with rustic decorative beams — dining area and kitchen share one large open-concept space, great for entertaining of all kinds. There is also a pantry through the kitchen. The great room and dining area are settled in between the main suite and the additional bedrooms, allowing for ample privacy for everyone.

The main suite is spacious and comfortable, with an en suite bathroom and shared walk-in closet. The second and third bedrooms share the second bathroom, and the spacious rear porch is perfect for enjoying pleasant weather.

The exterior of the home is elegant, with neat gabled roofs that rise and dip in symmetry. Rustic shutters border the windows, giving the home a quiet and refined dignity as well as a timeless style.

French Country-Style House Plan

You can enjoy true luxury and live like royalty in this massive 3,302-square-foot house that recalls the days of the French monarchy’s infamous extravagance. Containing four bedrooms, four full bathrooms and a half bath, this luxury home has two levels as well as an unfinished basement, making it ideal for multigenerational families.

Featuring a ground-level main suite, with an en suite bathroom that has his and hers sinks, a walk-in closet equipped with a packing table and both tub and shower. Also on the main floor is a spacious library with built-in bookshelves. Across the foyer from the library is the dining room, where you can enjoy a two-story ceiling. Past the stairs to the second floor is the great room, which opens out to the rear porch. The porch allows you to seamlessly join indoor and outdoor entertaining and has the option for a built-in grill and fireplace.

Three more bedrooms, each with their own en suite bathroom, and a desk nook make up the second level. Two more bedrooms with bathrooms and a second half bath can easily be built into the basement if needed.

The home’s exterior is the real eye-catcher thanks to its large porte-cochere that joins a three-car garage to the two-car garage.

FAQ About French Country Houses

When you’re in the process of researching house styles, you’ll inevitably have several questions. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about French country houses and their answers:

What’s the Difference Between French Country and Farmhouse Style?

Often thought to be interchangeable, there is a distinct difference between French country houses and farmhouse-style houses. The key characteristics of French country houses denote soft, gentle elegance. Simplicity, comfort and function are the key components of this style. In contrast, farmhouse-style homes are inspired by the rustic and elaborate homes that dot the countryside coupled with the colloquial feel of Americana.

Where Are French Country Houses Popular?

French country houses continue to be popular across rural France, where they’re focused more on functionality. In the United States, modern French country houses are popular in both urban and rural areas and favor comfort and aesthetics over anything else.

What Are Common Ways to Decorate French Country Houses?

The key to decorating a home to mimic the French country house style is to select your furniture in a way that lets the rooms flow seamlessly. Choose curved lines and natural materials — antique or distressed is best — and soften any stark lines with fabrics and upholstery.

The color palette remains mostly neutral, but patterns are a great way to bring pops of color into any room with linens, area rugs, drapery or wall art.

Accessories are also welcomed in modern French country decor, and quirky ways to repurpose items are especially encouraged. This could be as simple as setting some wildflowers in a mason jar or using woven baskets to store throws and extra pillows.

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French country house plans are one of the rare styles where there is likely something for every taste. Whether you’re looking for a modest, two-bedroom to retire to or a luxurious, sprawling home with ample room for friends and family to stay over, you can find the home you’re looking for in our large selection of French country house plans. Instead of hiring a house designer to create plans from scratch, you can save money and use prefabricated plans and customize them to your wants and needs.

Browse through the selection today and get started building your dream house.