From Beth on October 21st, 2009 in Kitchen Remodel
The French spend plenty of time in their kitchens, as they take cooking and eating very seriously. The French kitchen must be comfortable and contain the proper food prep areas to throw together classic bistro dishes like coq au vin and croque monsieur, not to mention ample counter space for rolling dough for those tartes aux pommes. The French country kitchen design is also rich with beauty and rustic Old World charm. Once you’ve got the basics down, you’ll be able to create the look and atmosphere of a true French country kitchen.
French country style home by Leo Dowell Interiors, Inc.
French wooden cabinets feature simple detailing, though some can be found with more ornate designs. The wood or paint is often distressed, giving it a weathered look. Some under-counter cupboards are left wide open with gorgeous French fabric curtains running along the front. You’ll commonly find some overhead cupboards left open for showing off your plate ware, and a combination of wood or glass cabinet doors throughout. Handles are simple porcelain, wooden or metal knobs.
Limestone, slate, granite, and even polished colored concrete all look beautiful in French country kitchens.
Terra cotta, natural stone and brick are very common flooring choices. They’re durable and provide texture. Another great option is black-and-white checkerboard floor tiles.
Kitchen islands are either mobile or built-in. They can be painted a different color than the cabinets and feature a different counter surface, such as dark wood. Kitchen islands can also be more or less ornate than the rest of the kitchen.
Freestanding gas ranges with stainless steel fronts are the most common. Other types are freestanding gas ranges in matte black, dark green or grey with decorative antiqued brass details for a more ornate look. Refrigerators and other appliances are stainless steel or camouflaged to look like the cabinetry. Bistro ovens made of brick or stone are also very common.
Tile looks best, especially if slightly irregular for a handmade appearance. Earth tones give the kitchen a more rustic look. The backsplash behind your oven can be simple or ornate like the picture shown above.
Cupboards look beautiful in hues of yellow from buttery-cream to golden sunflower, hues of green from olive or sage to deep fir green, and pale to medium blues in the distressed style. Walls can be pale mint green, warm yellow, creamy white, soft grey, and earthy terracotta, or you can color-wash and glaze multiple mellow earthy tones for a real Old World glow.
Other items worth considering:
- Semi-ornate stove surround or range hood
- Shiny brass pots and pans hanging from a rack above the kitchen island
- Shabby-chic crystal chandelier over the kitchen table
- Display a vase or two of lavender
Whether you want a sophisticated, rustic or simple French country kitchen, you’ll enjoy it for years to come. Now that you know the basics, you can begin collecting ideas for your kitchen remodel and when your kitchen project is all done, be prepared to hear your friends say,
“Oui, votre cuisine de campagne française est trés belle!”