French country style

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow once wrote that the French routinely mixed masculine rhymes with feminine rhymes, creating a certain amount of poetic intrigue.

Perhaps it is that ability to mix the masculine with the feminine that also makes French country such an intriguing architectural and design style.

A modern version of the French country style is found at 470 Saddlebrooke Ridge in Jackson. This home has many of the hallmarks of French country design, including the steeply pitched roofline and combination of brick and stone exterior. It effectively blends the masculine and feminine through a combination of sturdy building materials and quaint touches, like the French inspired black wrought iron flowerboxes found at the windows' exterior.

Inside, that blend of masculinity and femininity continues, with hardwood floors with a distressed, dark stain. Greeting visitors is a 9-foot tall mahogany arched front door. The focal point of the living room is a reaching stone wood burning fireplace, that climbs towards a 15-foot ceiling. Hanging from the center of the room is a ceiling fan with carved blades taking the shape of tropical leaves, also in dark wood. Anderson casement windows are found throughout the house.

The openness of the house draws the eyes upward. One window is large and arched so that it opens to the rolling hills and sky at the rear of the house. Another architectural feature is the sturdy beam that supports the cathedral ceiling in the kitchen. Encased in oak, it is another one of those masculine touches that balances the home's softer touches.

The kitchen features Silestone kitchen countertops and lovely dark oak cabinetry. The kitchen combines the charm of a French country kitchen with modern amenities, such as a smooth top range and stainless steel refrigerator.

The large kitchen also includes room for an eat-in kitchen and sitting room, all bathed in sunlight through the floor-to-ceiling cottage style windows that abound. Through double French doors is a large patio, creating a wonderful place for warm weather entertaining. The large yard has plenty of space for a swimming pool.

This home has four bedrooms and three and a half baths, along with a large basement, which is in the process of being finished.

The large master bedroom suite features plush eggshell and pepper carpeting, complete with a large walk-in closet and master bath with a two-sink vanity, antique style copper hardware, dark oak cabinetry, ceramic tile floor, and a large corner whirlpool tub encased in dark oak. There is also a step-in shower with built-in seat.

Each of the home's other bedrooms are generously sized and blessed with natural light and large closets. The home also features a main level laundry room and two-car garage. The partially finished walk-out basement could be an additional family room, already wired for a large screen or flat-screen television and surround sound. The downstairs also has plenty of space for an office or bedroom and has a bathroom. Double French doors lead to a downstairs backyard patio.

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