Bring a touch of effortlessly chic Provence in your cooking space with this ultimate guide to French country kitchen style
Beloved worldwide for their ability to bring old and new word charms together with effortless elegance, French country kitchen style epitomises timeless elegance at its finest.
Contemporary, vintage, and antique pieces elevate rustic materials, organic textures, and soft hues that lend a relaxing yet sophisticated atmosphere to the very heart of your home.
As the most celebrated iteration of country kitchen styles, French country kitchens have seduced many homeowners and designers alike who have found many creative ways to pay homage to French country living and superb landscapes in their own kitchens.
Whilst you may not live in a gorgeous chateau in the South of France, a Provençal farmhouse, or a chic cottage in Normandy, you can draw inspiration from the provincial gallic kitchen style to add versatility and classic elegance to a modern farmhouse kitchen decor.
Farmhouse style interiors that are so trendy today have roots in French country design aesthetics, history, and timeless beauty.
Below are key features that define a French country kitchen you may want to consider to successfully embrace its enduring appeal alongside new kitchen trends and tastes.
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What are the Characteristics of a French Country Kitchen?
French country kitchens have a few distinguishing elements that make them hugely attractive. Below are some of them:
Designed with family in mind: a French country kitchen’s relaxed and sophisticated style lends a welcoming family tone to your space.
A huge farmhouse table for gathering around, an armoire for storing china and glassware, unpretentious bistro style chairs, natural stone or wood flooring are some elements that help set a family-friendly vibe to this kitchen style.
Nature inspired colour palette and patterns: from soft whites and neutral wall shades to vibrant terracotta and warm wood flooring, mixed with rich tones of copper pots and pans, and antique brass found in faucets all enrich French country kitchens.
Rustic elements: French country kitchens have a rustic edge that adds depth and texture to their interiors. Exposed beams, rough plastered walls, reclaimed wood furniture, textured wood or stone flooring, and vintage finds in distressed finishes all add charm to the space.
A mixture of organic materials: clay potteries, cotton, wood, seagrass, hemp, leather, small jute rugs, wicker, rattan furniture, and a few plants, all help to create a serene French country kitchen style and connect your cooking hub to nature in a soothing way.
Exposed stone or brick walls: exposed bricks and texture rich stone walls with breathable lime mortar are typical features of French country kitchens.
To mimic this kitchen style, some people build a veneer wall, a type of mortared stone wall in which the face stones are applied to a structural concrete base or a lime base. Stone walls act as accent walls to create visual interest to a French country kitchen style, helping to bring the outdoors indoors.
Old and new furniture and appliances: French made or inspired appliances like a home cooker from La Cornue or Lacanche are a must for many homes attempting to replicate the French country kitchen style.
Pair them with fancy looking hoods, modern and classic furniture, vintage accessories, quirky lighting options, open shelves showcasing canisters and stoneware, and a beautiful display of shining copper pans hung above a stove.
Round architectural arches: arched doors and wrought iron window frames with matching pendants are common features found in French country kitchens.
Their curved symmetrical structure adds softness to and helps open up the space, easing the flow of light and air.
So, if you want to juju up your kitchen the French country way without having to tear down your whole space, steal a few ideas below to creatively infuse French country kitchen vibes into your home.
Celebrate Architectural Details
Breathe character and authenticity in your French country kitchen style by showcasing the beauty of original architectural details that come with your space.
If you don’t have any, fake it! An exposed brick or stone feature wall, a beautiful brick chimney, arched doors or windows are a few ways in which you can bring a unique dimension to your French country kitchen.
Add Refined Rusticism
Rustic features are a must in a French country kitchen. Chunky wood ceiling beams, a stone-topped wood island, a repurposed French armoire or dresser in a shabby chic finish for tucking away dinnerware and cutlery, and natural stone or reclaimed wood flooring are a few ideas to explore to add a French provincial touch in your kitchen.
Consider a Farmhouse Table
Add warm French country style in your kitchen with a farmhouse table. Use it to either replace a standard kitchen island, or add it as your breakfast nook table, depending on the table design and your kitchen square footage.
Infuse Natural Materials
Chanel French farmhouse style in your kitchen by bringing the outdoors inside with natural materials. Rattan chairs designed in a laid back and unpretentious style, textured clay potteries, handcrafted storage baskets in jute or hemp, napkins and aprons in cotton, and wooden bar stools, and a kitchen countertop in natural stone are practical ways to ground your space.
Decorative objects, plants and flowers that bring the beautiful landscape of the outdoors inside are very much welcome in a French country kitchen style.
Draw inspiration from Provençal houses in the South of France to infuse a touch of lavender and evergreens in your kitchen.
Make a Statement with an Oven Hood
Elevate your French country kitchen style with an oven hood with classical curvy details and old stone texture that will add a focal point, warmth, and tactility to your cooking area.
Pick an oven hood design that will work well with both vintage and contemporary furniture pieces and decor accessories to convey a timeless appeal to your kitchen.
Go for a Butcher’s Block
Forget about the traditional kitchen island, and go for a French-style butcher block instead. This will double-up as your meal prep surface and your dining table when you have family and loved ones around.
Decorate with Vintage
Decorating with vintage or antique is very much part of a French country kitchen style.
Add wall paintings with gilded frames to contrast with cabinetry, old stone walls, and wood beams. Upcycled French dressers, distressed armoires, and traditional wall sconces and chandeliers are creative ways in which you can infuse vintage decor into your kitchen.
Throw in a collection of functional copper pots, dinnerware, and cooking utensils that have been in your family for a few generations, and you are all set for your perfect gallic inspired kitchen style.
Add Checkerboard Flooring
A checkerboard flooring or a patterned tile with an aged patina finish is a great way to dress up a French country kitchen style. The importance of picking a patterned tile with vintage vibes is to help bring a feeling of a well-lived in and loved space into your cooking interiors.
Integrate Antique-style Brassware
Add warmth to your French inspired country kitchen with brass (or copper) faucets. As they age well, this will bring beautiful patinas into your cooking space and convey a refined heritage touch and old school glamour in your kitchen decor scheme.
Mix and Match your Cabinets
The beauty of designing your kitchen in a gallic provincial way is that you can be playful with your kitchen cabinet types, styles, and finishes.
So, be a little adventurous by mixing open shelves with shaker style lower kitchen cabinets, stacked vintage cupboards, and upcycled dressers in different paint colours and textures, and see what comes out of your kaleidoscopic experiment.
Invest in French Made Appliances and Utensils
No French country inspired kitchen is complete without some “made in France” appliances, and cooking utensils. Invest in a range cooker from La Cornue or Lacanche, budget permitting. Try more affordable lookalike versions if money is tight.
Remember that a farmhouse sink and a classic range hood to elevate your culinary hub are de rigueur in a country-style kitchen.
Buy a few French cookware from Le Creuset and Tefal amongst others to complete your kitchen look, and you are good to go!
Hang a Curtain Beneath the Sink
Hanging a curtain under a farmhouse sink to hide away clutter remains very popular amongst homeowners and upscale designers who want to infuse old school charm into their kitchen interiors.
Choose a water and grease resistant fabric that will effortlessly blend well with your eclectic French inspired kitchen furniture, appliances, and accessories.
Add French Bistro Furniture
There is something very Parisian decor chic about French bistro chairs and tables that make them very fitting in a French provincial kitchen; it will be a shame not to give them a go.
Alternatively, invest in French bistro bar stools to elevate your marble or quartz kitchen countertop.
If your French inspired kitchen decor veers more towards industrial design, consider French metal tolix-style chairs that will work beautifully with an industrial design aesthetics.
Use Industrial Lighting
Add a touch of contemporary design into your French country inspired rustic kitchen with unfussy industrial-style pendants or wall sconces that will add contrast to beautiful vintage copper pots and gilded framed paintings, beautiful old stones, and reclaimed wood furniture.
Choose Herringbone Wood Floors
Rustic herringbone wood flooring works beautifully in a French country kitchen when paired with a superb wood-based kitchen farmhouse table, stone or brick walls, and lots of natural materials such as rattan, hemp storage baskets, cotton, and jute to help soften the space.
Try Natural Stone or Brick Flooring
If wood flooring is too-high maintenance for your French country kitchen style, try natural stone or terracotta- looking brick floor tiles that are best suited for high-traffic cooking homes. They will also lend a distinctively Mediterranean feel to your kitchen.
Like with traditional Japanese design aesthetics, wabi-sabi, choose to see beauty in imperfections. An eclectic mix of organic materials, mismatched tableware, reclaimed wood furnishings, open shelves, linen curtains, vintage accessories, and industrial lighting all together can deliver the most enchanting, laid-back French country kitchen of your dream.