Ferme, Dordogne

Home comforts: style matters

Becoming an expert on French architecture seems easy. Thirty minutes of a programme such as A Place in the Sun and Escape to the Continent is enough to give you an insight into French house styles.

At the top end of the scale, there are castles and manor houses, or châteaux. Although France is famous the world over for its châteaux, you don’t see many cropping up on TV relocation shows. With moats and turrets, these dream homes are beyond the budget of all but the most well-off.

A more affordable alternative is a maison de maître, although these are also at the pricier end of the market. A master’s house benefits from large rooms with high ceilings, and they are often pleasingly symmetrical.

What seem to attract British buyers in France most, however, are farms and longères.

Farms – or fermes, in French – tend to be smaller than those in England but are just as rustic. Appealingly, they generally have plenty of outbuildings ripe for renovation into gîtes too. The prospect of running a holiday home complex seems perennially popular with Britons moving abroad – myself included – so farms remain in demand among foreign buyers.

“For buyers looking to their retirement, longères offer all the convenience of a bungalow but with considerably more charm”

Longères are long, rectangular, single-storey buildings that are particularly common in Brittany and Normandy. For British buyers who are looking to their retirement, they offer all the convenience of a bungalow but with considerably more charm.

Much further south, in Provence, you can also find the traditional mas home – a stone house, similar in style to a ferme but smaller. There are, of course, the tardis-like terraced village houses too.

If you don’t believe me, just tune into an episode of one of the relocation programmes set in France and you’ll soon see what I mean.

This entry was published on Thu, 16 Oct 2014 at 07:02. It’s filed under Film and music and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

3 thoughts on “Home comforts: style matters

  1. Speaking a expert on tardis style sort-of terraced village houses I can reveal that eventually these take up the same amount of materials, work, time and angst as any b****y farmhouse or maison de maitre!!!!


  2. Sorry , lost the ability to type, that should read “speaking AS an expert”
    In my defence I am writing this whilst wrestling with my French tenses homework


Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: