French Provincial Architecture in Phoenix, Arizona
French Provincial Architecture homes in Phoenix do exist. If your favorite fantasy involves a roaring hearth, a bottle of French wine and a comfy sofa, you may find yourself drawn to homes in the French Provincial style.
French Provincial Architecture Style Homes Became Popular Post WW I
American soldiers returning from World War I admired similar houses in the French countryside when they were serving in Europe. Subsequently, French Provincial-style homes became popular in the postwar housing boom. Many were built in the tonier suburbs in the Unites States.
Key Features In French Provincial Homes
- Inspired by the rural manor homes of the 1600’s, French provincial homes are characterized by:
- Balanced, symmetrical proportions
- Brick exterior
- Steep roofs
- Tall second-story windows (often with arched tops)
- Porches with substantial balustrades
Famous Examples of French Provincial
New York’s Plaza Hotel. Featured in movies like Plaza Suite, North by Northwest, ‘The Great Gatsby’ and ‘The Way We Were’, not to mention the nod to, ‘The Way We Were on Sex and the City.’ The hotel is a fine example of French style. It boasts a steep roof, arched windows and patinaed copper trim.
The French Provincial McMansion
And don’t forget the French Provincial McMansion that Tony and Carmella Soprano occupied: a nouveau-rich version, to be sure. Nevertheless. many of the classic French Provincial details were in evidence.
Because the roofs on French provincial homes are so steeply pitched, their beautiful slate is a large part of the homes’ curb appeal. But after 80-some years, many of the original roofs are breathing their last.
Replacing the Roof Could Be Costly, but Worth it
Replacing any damaged portions of the roof with slate tile can be costly, but would you rather look at 10 soaring feet of asbestos shingle? The copper trim that is so much a part of French provincial style can also be costly to maintain or replace. And, older French provincial homes have the same drawbacks as any other 50-year-old structure.
Plumbing and Wiring
And, if plumbing and wiring have not been replaced since the home was built, there is always the likelihood of an unpleasant and expensive surprise.
House Hunting For French Provincial Homes In Phoenix
French Provincial housing is common throughout the U.S., particularly in areas where the suburbs were built between the two World Wars. Phoenix has many. The style is also popular in new housing developments across the country, typically in those in the higher-priced echelons. Because most French Provincial homes are built on a grand scale, you’re not likely to find a starter home in this style. And, as with any large house, be sure to take the cost of furnishing and heating a larger home into account when you’re crunching your budget numbers.
Finessing French Provincial
French provincial homes tend to be rather grand: theirs is a country elegance, not a city-slick hauteur.
Decorating a French Provincial Home
To best complement the architecture of a French Provincial house you can choose French country furniture and toile fabrics, but it’s also tres bien to take a less literal approach. English Estate style, American Farmhouse and even transitional decorating styles can all work very well in a French Provincial home. Just stay away from super-minimalist schemes and very slick furnishings, as they’re likely to look out of place.