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French Country vs. English Country architecture

shutterstock_44928763-resized-2Architectural styles are the exterior characteristics of a home that are influenced by the area in the world in which the design originated. These styles are then brought all over the world where people try to re-create and copy the designs in new homes.

Some of the popular designs we see in country estates are English Country and French Country styles. But how can you differentiate between the two?

Perhaps the most distinctive characteristic of French architecture is the tall second story windows. Often arched at the top, the windows rise above the eaves, breaking through the cornice and opening both inside and outside to provide a welcoming, casual feeling. Normally brick or stucco, the homes offer a stately and formal appearance that blend with the countryside, with those second story windows giving the appearance of height. French Country house plans are often asymmetrical in design with floor plans that wander and featuring varying roof lines.

English Country house styles are very similar to French Country styles, but don’t have the rafter tail kick that French designs feature. Another distinguishing difference is that English Country homes feature more squared off windows, diamond shaped window panes and squared off openings. These homes tend to feature timbers, stone and stucco elements, with the timbers featuring prominently on the exterior walls.

With all of these beautiful details it’s no wonder French Country and English Country home styles are so often reproduced in luxury estates. Hopefully now you’ll know the difference between the two the next time you stumble across one.


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