From its French Country exterior and varied, sloping rooflines, to the rich plaster walls throughout, this home exudes Old-World charm. But a closer look reveals modern, energy-efficient enhancements that prove efficient living can also be luxurious. The walkway and outer courtyard are paved with permeable pavers, which work in harmony with nature, both aesthetically and practically. The pavers allow water to filter naturally into the ground, reducing runoff and erosion tracks and replenishing Once in the entryway, the warmth of authentic plaster walls greets you. Despite their beauty, these walls conceal a wealth of cost-effective, environmentally friendly qualities. Among other things, plaster is more durable, fire-retardant and resistant to mold. It can also cut your heating and cooling costs by its ability to retain and release heat more effectively than traditional sheetrock. Overhead, the rough-hewn beams in the kitchen complete the impression of a rustic, richly appointed villa. But there is less to these beams than meets the eye. They are formed from individual reclaimed wooden planks, leaving them hollow inside, and more importantly, leaving timber from old-growth forests untouched. The kitchen's appliances all meet energy-efficient standards, saving precious resources while saving you money.
Architectural Styles Associated with this design
Some of the features of this home are 'European'. European homes come in many guises, since the term reflects homes styled after those in many countries; English Tudor, French Country, and Dutch Gable, to name a few. Beyond the country of origin, there's also the period of history from which the style emerged; Georgian, Victorian, Greek Revival; the list is almost endless. The homes shown in the collection below feature elements inspired by those found in countries across the Atlantic.
French country homes often use brick, stone, or stucco exteriors and large roof lines, (sometimes with balconies) to create a French 'chateau' feel. With its delicate masonry designs, the French country house is reminiscent of the rural French countryside.
The storybook style is a whimsical nod toward Hollywood design technically called Provincial Revivalism, and embodies much of what we see in fairy-tale storybooks, stage plays and in our favorite dreams.
Common Features of our Storybook Homes:
- The exterior finish is predominately stucco, often rough troweled, and frequently with half-timbering. Exteriors also feature rubble stone, crazed brick, or clinker brick; all-stone, all-brick, and all-wood construction are sometimes used. Turrets with conical roofs are a common feature, as are faux dovecotes.
- Walls can be sloped or curving, hand made or organic looking; wing walls are not uncommon.
- Rooflines are usually curved in some way—swaybacked, sagged, concave, undulating or sharply pointed; gables are usually jerkinhead or very sharply pointed; eaves are often rolled; use of catslides is common. Roofs are commonly finished with wooden shingles, wooden shakes, or slate laid down in a seawave or other intentionally irregular pattern; though the original materials have frequently been replaced over time, the irregular pattern is sometimes imitated in the more modern material.
- Round-topped or batten, often with a speakeasy - doors are frequently set in an arched frame lined with stone; when a turret is present, the building's front door typically opens into this. Windows are usually wood-framed with leaded or wavy glass installed; figural insets of stained glass are not uncommon. Wrought iron door hinges, handles, knockers, and locksets are common, as are other wrought iron embellishments.
- Most storybook homes are fairly small and are based upon a fanciful interpretation of medieval European homes, or traditional English cottage style. Larger storybook homes are often constructed to appear as though built up gradually over time, one addition at a time, or built primarily out of stone with battlements and turrets to resemble a castle.
- As befits their faux-rural heritage, many storybook homes are surrounded by trees and shrubbery. The greenery can conceal many homes from the casual observer, and reflect the 'cottage in the woods' setting of many homes in storybooks.