Designed for the heat and humidity of the deep South, raised plantation cottages date to the early 18th century, when French colonists settled in the Mississippi River Valley. Elevated on sturdy pier foundations, the style is ideally suited to staying dry in a landscape plagued by frequent flooding. The four sloped sides of a hipped roof extend far past the exterior walls, creating a wraparound porch that's accessible via French doors from nearly every room in the house. Protected by the porch overhang, doors and floor-to-ceiling double-hung windows can be opened wide, even in a rainstorm, to cool off interior rooms. But if the wind blows too hard, as it often does in this hurricane zone, full-height shutters can be closed and latched. Raised plantation cottages are typically sided in either cypress clapboard, a native swamp wood that resists warping and rot, or stucco over brick. Walls are then painted white, to deflect heat.