Accidental French Style and Plenty of Windows Create an Effortlessly Elegant Home

French-style living room with windows and a fireplace
Photography by John O’Hagan

When asked her favorite thing about the house, the homeowner replies, “The light. I could cook on a camp stove, but I need lots of windows.” So the light-filled living room with its walls of windows gracefully fulfills that desire. The painting above the limestone mantel adds a pop of color to the otherwise neutral design.

Photography by John O’Hagan

Just off the living room is the formal dining room, often used for entertaining. The room is filled with a combination of French pieces and American antiques, such as the Duncan Phyfe chairs that once belonged to the homeowner’s aunt.

white sun-lit kitchen
Photography by John O’Hagan

In the beautiful soft gray and white kitchen, the island takes center stage. A lower chest butts up to one side of the island to provide additional storage. The countertops on both pieces are Calacatta Gold marble. Stainless steel appliances and white-painted cabinets continue the color scheme.

French-inspired sitting room with yellow accents and window seat
Photography by John O’Hagan

At the opposite end of the room is a cozy sitting area where the couple spends time enjoying a garden view near the fireplace. The desk in the room has an interesting provenance. It is an American piece thought to be in the style of Louis-Philippe, king of the French. Family stories say the desk was rescued several generations ago as it was floating down the Ohio River.

French-inspired garden
Photography by John O’Hagan

Stepping through one of the French doors into the garden, you’ll find beds of hydrangeas, balloon flowers, and daisies. In early spring, peonies decorate one walkway. A variety of containers provide homes to other plants. A vitex tree exhibits perfect posture resting in an iron urn. Baskets overflow with purple Angelina and lantana, and an obelisk provides support for seasonal flowers. In the summer, the homeowner likes to plant mandevilla and white ‘Climbing Iceberg’ roses on the structure to enjoy in the evening light.

It took 18 months to build this French cottage and longer to establish the garden. That was nearly 10 years ago and the homeowners are still reveling in the delight of their home.

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