French country design for your kitchen

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French country kitchen
Hanging copper pots and distressed wood furniture are classic elements of French country style
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French country design for the kitchen starts with nature

French country design gives the most popular room in the home a welcoming, cozy feeling. Creating this look is a fun project for homeowners on a budget as the materials and furniture do not have to be high end.

The rustic elegance of a French country kitchen is the result of using colors and materials from nature to maximize every nook and cranny of your space.

Kitchen Materials for a French Country Design

When country cottages were first built in the south of France, natural materials were basically the only option. Floors were laid with brick, terra cotta or stone, while weathered wood cabinets provided ample storage for dry goods, liquids and herbs.

Distressing wood cabinets or other furniture is a relatively simple project you can do yourself. Use sandpaper or a chain to scratch or scuff the wood and use a dark stain to emphasize the markings.


Wrought iron hooks and racks were used to keep hanging copper pots, pans and spices within armís reach of the chef. Terra cotta tiles and woven bowls with fruit and bread added color and texture to a space. Wood furniture was often stained dark; simple furniture complimented the rich textures of the walls and flooring, and preventing French kitchen design from looking too busy. For fabrics, consider thick stripes, solids or patterns of fruit, flowers or plants.

French Country Colors

When in doubt about which colors to choose for your French country design, let nature be your guide once again. For an authentic look, keep in mind that white stucco walls were often left bare or painted mustard yellow, and dark wood beams were usually left exposed.

For a more colorful take, consider striking red walls with pale yellow accents to evoke Provincial-style French country design. Soft blue and white are a classic French country combination: white enhances natural lighting and a feeling of spaciousness and blue gives kitchens a calming, clean finish.


Use racks whenever possible for open storage, and plenty of wood cabinets and shelves. Many French country kitchens place a large, distressed wooden table at the center of the kitchen for both food preparation and socializing before and after meals. Chairs were a mix of different styles as they werenít mass produced at the time. Tuck a wine rack beneath the chopping island or mount a floating rack to a wall to display your favorite wines.

Finally, let no surface area or corner go to waste. French country kitchens are elegant because they are organized. Give yourself more storage space than you think youíll need.


Natural lighting brings out the warmth of a French country style kitchen and ought to be utilized as much as possible. Large windows and skylights help illuminate dark furniture and nooks during the day. At night, wrought iron chandeliers and candle gave the room a soft glow. If youíre interested on more modern lighting, look for a fixture that offers dimming capabilities and even coverage.

Enjoy designing your French country style kitchen. May your food be as tasty as your home is inviting.

House Beautiful: French Country Kitchen
Kitchen Designer Ideas: French Country

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