Pigtown Design: Faux Châteaux (in Baltimo’?)

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While I was out taking the pictures the other day, I took some time to drive through one of Baltimore’s prettiest neighborhoods and take some pictures of houses that caught my eye.

But before I could start shooting, and this being Baltimore, aka Small-timore, I ran into my friend Tracey!I am pretty sure she’s saying, “Get outta here and put that damn camera away!”  Or not.

One of the things I noticed about this area is the preponderance of houses that were built to mimic French chateaux.This area is about to celebrate its 100th birthday next year, so these houses are beautifully crafted, with details that make them special.If you compare and contrast a house built in 1912 and a similar one built today, the new ones just look flat. The details on this front entrance are gorgeous… the ironwork on the canopy, the grill over the small window, the dentil work on the canopy, the windows on the door… So many elements that just give it a charming look.

More than anything, it’s the colours in this house that evoke France to me.The stucco, the blue shutters, the French balcony above the front door, the lantern hung with an iron rod, the slate roof and the iron-work all combine to say France!faux chateaux1 (26)And again, the decorative grills over the window.

This house fits the classic French country  model: Brick or stucco, stately and formal. They have steep hipped roofs and a square, symmetrical shape with windows balanced on each side of the entrance. The tall second story windows add to the sense of height.

Instead of the grilled windows like the other two houses, this one appears to have louvered shutters. I like the little brick wall and the boxwood in front of this house.

Another French look is from the Normandy region, and these houses are sided with brick or stone, have Tudor-influenced details, and sometimes have a tower with a cone-shaped roof.This house ticks those boxes, although I always think that this house might be dark inside because of the size and lack of windows.I also think that this house needs more foundation plantings to soften it a bit.Here’s another house with a central tower with a cone-shaped roof. Both houses have a distinctive oriel window. I have a suspicion that they were designed by the same architect.

This house is similar, but the tower is a bit more flattened, and the roof isn’t exactly conical, but it retains the profile.I like that you can see through to the other side of the house via the French windows on the right, and also in the windows above them.

I hope you enjoyed our little trip to France via the houses of Baltimore. Next, we’ll visit the English countryside in Baltimore. Stay tuned.


Meg Fielding

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.


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