20 French Country-Style Homes with European Elegance

large home exterior wood doors
Photo: Brie Williams

Brilliantly combining rustic and refined, French country homes bring classic European architecture into the present day. They range from quaint farmhouses to impressive chateaus, but all exude a sense of history and charm. Find inspiration from these French country-style houses to create your own stately retreat.

01 of 20

French Country Home Design

country style tan home exterior
Emily Followill

Many French country-style homes are defined by stone, brick, or stucco exteriors. These sturdy, long-lasting siding materials offer a refined appearance and a sense of timelessness. The windows of French country houses often feature multiple panes and are sometimes accented by iron balconies.

02 of 20

French Country Home Roof Styles

country home facade
Brie Williams

French country houses are often clearly identifiable by the style of the roof. One of the most common is the hip roof design. Typically a prominent part of the exterior's design, this style features four sloping sides that meet in a ridge along the top.

03 of 20

Modern French Country Homes

two story family home exterior
Tria Giovan

Modern French country homes apply the traditional elements of European architecture in fresh ways. This elegant multi-level house, for example, features the stone and stucco facade, sloped roof, and ornate details that are classic of the style. But black trim, windows, and doors give the home a crisp, modern edge.

04 of 20

New French Country Home

large home exterior wood doors
Brie Williams

Aged materials and antique-inspired details combine to give this new French country home old-world style. The stucco siding features a weathered finish, and white shutters quaintly accent multi-paned windows. Copper lanterns and fittings finish off the look of an old French manor.

05 of 20

French Country Exterior Details

home front exterior white pillars

Subtle details hint at the French country influences in this home's design. Stately white columns add prominence below a hip roof that's broken up by three dormers. Sets of French doors across the front are painted in a soft blue-gray, which is set off beautifully by the antique brick porch floor.

06 of 20

French Mediterranean-Style Homes

tuscan home style front exterior
Edmund Barr

French-inspired homes share many notable characteristics with Mediterranean-style houses. Elaborate stonework, stucco siding, and intricately carved doors are common across the two aesthetics. An ornate iron balcony draws extra attention to the front entrance of this French country home.

07 of 20

French-American Country Home

stone and timber style home
Michael Garland

Encased with a mix of stone and stucco, this rambling chateau speaks loudly of the country French homes that inspired it. The steep mansard roofline and charming shutters are rooted in European style. But an inviting porch nods to classic American ranch homes, creating a unique marriage architectural influences.

08 of 20

French Country Manor House

european manor house style
Laurie Black

Although built in the 21st century, this home looks as authentic as the 18th-century European manor house it was modeled after. Built in the courtyard vernacular, the home, like many others in the French countryside, contains a large square gravel forecourt. Its warm, honey-hued limestone ranges from white to caramel in color; a mixture of smooth and rough-cut pieces were used to create a traditional look. Rustic details, such as a simple portico and wrought-iron flourishes, add old-world panache.

09 of 20

Country French Outdoor Living Spaces

country french entertaining style home
Ron Blunt

A tonnelle, or pergola, attached to the side of a stone facade provides the perfect venue for casual alfresco dining and relaxing sans sun overhead. Made of black hammered iron and topped with a bamboo roof, this tonnelle exudes French country style thanks to its pairing with French doors framed by blue-gray shutters. Climbing vines trained onto arched iron support poles further soften the view. A pea-gravel patio lends authentic crunch underfoot.

10 of 20

French Country-Style Home Entrance

stone front door country french style home
Michael Garland

This Southern California showcases French country style starting with a circa-1670 stone front door surround. The grounds are overflowing with espaliered apple trees, olive groves, and drifts of lavender, and the exterior's low and rambling roofline is capped with 100-year-old red clay tiles. The gate and finials are 18th-century French antiques, but the French limestone pillars are new.

11 of 20

French Country Cottage Home

country french style cottage
Hedrich-Blessing Studio

This new French country home is roofed with 100-year-old slate and designed without gutters, soffits, or moldings for a more historically accurate cottage appearance. Leaded-glass windows with beveled, diagonal panes to the left of the front door flood the interior entry with light. The quintessentially French rounded front door features a custom-designed and hand-cast bronze doorknob. Cement-color stucco walls and hand-carved wood shutters complete the look.

12 of 20

French Country Home Exterior

multi building country french style home
Claudio Santini

The exterior of this French country home was fashioned from plaster mixed with pale sienna pigment, while the roof tiles were made by hand and shaped over the craftsman's thigh. The tiles were placed in the same angular way they are in France. They were left unglazed to allow moss to grow, another detail that adds to the overall pastoral look. The main house, guest cottage, and garage are all clustered around a courtyard and garden.

13 of 20

Colorful French Country Home

mediterranean color country french style home
Michael Partenio

Categorized as a muted terra-cotta or burnt peach, this home's exterior color changes with the sun and the rain, much as a Provencal sunset would. The color was chosen to give the petite French country chateau a gentle patina to disguise its newness. Traditional French architectural hallmarks, such as a stucco exterior, tall arched windows, and a Juliet balcony, further the historic illusion.

14 of 20

French Country-Style Backyard

greenery surrounded country french style home
Michael Garland

Located in California, this home could easily be mistaken for one situated in the French countryside. Like a typical French country house, it exudes village warmth without giving up any city sophistication. Surrounded by plants and edged in rocks, the pool takes on the look of a free-form pond. A stately cypress tree introduces quintessential European charm.

15 of 20

French Country Exterior Design

front french doors country french style home
Jenifer Jordan

The goal of capturing maximum light guided the design of this French country-style home inside and out. On the front of the house, tall, shuttered windows with 20 and 24 panes recall French doors. A majestic pecan tree and leafy pergola filter the light and soften high-summer harshness.

16 of 20

French Country Home Landscaping

mediterranean country french style home
Kim Cornelison

A forecourt of large-pebble chert and a zigzag of stepping stones lead guests to the charming facade of this country French-style house. Lush vines climb up the stucco walls, and upstairs window boxes brim with geraniums and petunias. The red brick accents pleasantly contrast with the home's honey-drenched walls and mossy-colored shutters, imbuing the exterior with an old-world ambience.

17 of 20

Country French-Style Front Porch

colonial country french style home
Anthony Masterson

This remodeled 1920s Colonial received a country French makeover. A barrel roof now crowns the home's new porch, and French blue shutters pop against the pale yellow exterior. The mahogany front door is capped with a Napoleon-hat detail.

18 of 20

Timeless Country French Home

iron railings country french style home
Bob Greenspan

Fitted with iron railings, this home's shutter-flanked windows pay homage to the charming balconies found in many French apartment buildings. The late-1800s bluestone door surround was treated with a slush-and-brush technique to mimic repaired stone. Round windows from a French chateau help instill the distinguished character of a century-old villa in the new home.

19 of 20

Federal French-Style Home

federal country french style home
Gordon Beall

Built in Federal style in the 19th century, this early American home was heavily influenced by French architecture. The home boasts French blue shutters, tall windows capped with window lintels, and cozy dormers on its uppermost level. The mansard roof, which features four double-sloped sides, is characteristic of country French-style homes.

20 of 20

Stone French Country-Style Home

stone features country french style home
Helen Norman

Stone is cleverly used as an accent to add distinction to this French country-style home's interesting architectural features. A large chimney, turret, front patio, and foundation all pop thanks to a medley of warm stonework. Romantic arched windows, French doors, and shutters carry out the home's French-inspired theme, lending this home a patina well beyond its true years.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the key differences between French country- and farmhouse-style homes?

    Though they share some similarities, French country style and farmhouse style are rather different. French country style is decidedly more refined, with romantic European details like pitched slate roofs, arches, and stately landscaping. Farmhouse-style homes are generally more casual and feature vintage-inspired accents like shiplap and raw wood.

  • What are traditional French country colors?

    While there are a wide variety of colors that work with French country style, there are a few hues that remain constant. You'll often notice French country homes incorporate nature-inspired palettes, with shades of soft blue, grey, green, and yellow making frequent appearances.

  • What materials are commonly used in French country design?

    French country design relies heavily on natural materials that will patina beautifully over time, lending an effortless and timeless appeal to the look. Popular exterior options include slate roofs and stone or stucco facades, with materials like iron, brass, marble, and wood appearing indoors.

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