Creole Style Homes

The Creole Style, Mostly Found
Throughout the Southern U.S.

Originated in New Orleans during the 1700s. The homes are recognized by a front receding wall which forms a porch for the first-story along with a second-story balcony which stretches across the whole front of the home. There are full-length windows opening up to the balconies, while characteristically lacy ironwork stretches across the upper-story balcony. The design of these two or three-story houses is symmetrical with front entry's located at their centers.

"Creole French," a variant of the typical Creole architecture, came into it's own in the southern states during the 1940s through the 1950s. Although the phrase "French" Creole is used, the mixture includes Native American, Spanish, African,, and other heritage styles. The French Creole architectural style is actually American Colonial style which developed during the early 1700s throughout the Mississippi Valley, particularly in Louisiana. French Creole buildings adapt their traditions from the Caribbean, France, and numerous other places throughout the world. French Creole style homes built during the Colonial era were expressly developed for the wet, hot climate of the region.

A pair of books which are good reading, New Orleans Houses: A House-Watcher's Guide - One of Pelican Publishing Company's most successful and popular authors, Lloyd Vogt's New Orleans Houses: A House-Watcher's Guide, has gone into its sixth printing, has become the go to reference guide of the Crescent City. building styles He also is the author Historic Buildings of the French Quarter, which won the 2002 book of the year award for the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities. And  Creole Houses - Not one other photography book eloquently analyzes the occurrence of this sole American architecture style, which embraces exterior and interior decor, which blossomed from the early part of the eighteenth through the middle of the nineteenth century. Creole Houses gives an appreciation and insight of Creole culture which can be viewed through its historic houses and celebrates not just a memorable life style, but also the history, and unique sensibility, which created it.

Southern Living is a widely-published lifestyle magazine targeted at Southern United States readers. It features house plans, recipes, and information about culture and travel in the South. A major topic within Southern Living is about food, and beginning in 1979, it has been publishing a well received Annual Recipes book. Southern Living consistently features floor plans, and during the history of the magazine, many of them have become very popular home styles within the Southeast. A great deal of these plans can be purchased as construction blueprints by going to the company's website. Subscribe to Southern Living

Traditional French Creole homes had some or all of these features:

  • Timber frame with brick or "Bousillage" (mud combined with moss and animal hair)
  • Wide hipped roof extends over porches
  • Thin wooden columns
  • Living quarters raised above ground level
  • Wide porches, called "galleries"
  • No interior hallways
  • Porches used as passageway between rooms
  • French doors (doors with many small panes of glass)

Suggested Home Styles Books