Imagining, Then Choosing the Home for You
When warm summer breezes beckon you outside and bees lazily buzz from flower to flower, you might begin to think of where and when to build your next house. Then your thoughts may turn to design; which one fits my family without overbearing on resources? Which style should I choose? The French Country home is a desirable one. Also known as Country French, these houses are usually asymmetrical with varying roof lines and eaves with little or no overhang. Arched windows, stone and stucco for finishes help the home to blend in with the outside. This home plan, HPP 17371, by Frank Snodgrass of Living Concepts House Plans, uses those features to bring the homeowner a delightful forever home.
The three-car garage (room for his and her cars plus that boat trailer for weekends at the lake) has a door that leads you to your backyard. An interior door on the left takes you upstairs into the bonus room. A closet in the corner of the garage is one place you can store your Craftsman power tools; organizing your garage for the rest of your tools is a simple task when you use Gladiator wall shelving.
Walking from the loggia at the front of the home and into the foyer, you will find the formal dining room on the left. Turning to the right leads you to the study with a fireplace. A vaulted ceiling with exposed beams adds old world charm while the room maintains its function, whether for crunching numbers on your Dell or lounging in your easy chair with the hardback of Camino Winds you pulled from the gathering room. Another door from the study brings you to a powder room, a closet and then into the palatial master suite and master bath. The master suite, like the study, has a vaulted ceiling (slopes up to a peak like an upside-down V). There are two walk-in closets, one generous enough to eliminate storing seasonable clothing elsewhere. A linen closet in the corner provides room for extra towels and bed linens. A garden tub with window above, his and her sinks and a corner shower complete the master bath.
Entering the home from the garage, you will find a closet on the right and the laundry room on the left. The closet is strategically placed-your laundry supplies can be stored here with easy access to those necessary chores. In the laundry room, a laundry tub (also known as a utility sink) is helpful for washing your hands (20 seconds, please) before you move into the main areas of your home and for overnight soaking of work clothes. Home Depot has a variety of sinks that may be perfect for your home.
Back in the hallway, you will find a powder room on the left and stairs to the second floor on your right. Walking ahead, and towards the back of the house, you step into the kitchen, which shares a large open area with the morning room and gathering room. The kitchen has a coffered ceiling (coffers are sunken panels in a ceiling, drawing the eyes upward and making the room feel larger). To your immediate right is the pantry, where you can store extras of crackers, cereal and peanut butter as well as those ingredients needed for your next soupe a l’oignon. On your left is room for your Samsung Range; countertops extend along the walls on the left side, with kitchen’s double sink looking out over your backyard. A large kitchen island, across from the refrigerator, and perfect for prepping those vegetables for coq au vin (Julia Child’s recipes are the gold standard for French cooking), is in the center of the kitchen. Another island on the right side of the kitchen extends into morning room. A rustic dining table in the morning room means plenty of seating for all. Meander into the gathering room and you will discover a fireplace with shelving on both sides, perhaps a home for your favorite Book of the Month Club picks as well as old favorites. Imagine comfortable seating scattered throughout the room, and relaxation is imperative. The door to outside leads to the veranda, where you can stroll along the Martha Stewart-inspired French gardens you designed with your local landscape architect.
The bonus room is accessible either through the garage or from stairs by the gathering room. At 33 feet long, the bonus room provides room for a myriad of activities. Your rowing machine would fit nicely in here, as well as a niche for your crafting supplies. Perhaps a large screen television with beanbags for the kids is what you have in mind. A bathroom in the bonus room makes trips downstairs unnecessary. A few steps down and you will be beside another linen closet. The balcony extends to the back of the house and ends at a door which gives you attic access. It also leads you to the second bedroom suite with a bathroom and sink; this bathroom is shared with the third bedroom suite. However, a second sink is within easy reach of the third bedroom suite, where there is a walk-in closet.
This French Country home implores you to imagine the possibilities of design and comfort, to imagine it as your own. At less than 4000 square feet, the design is efficient and yet visionary. Coffered and vaulted ceilings add depth while the kitchen and gathering rooms add warmth. This can be your next home.
Imaginer c’est choisir. -Jean Giono