The Key Characteristics That Define a French Country Kitchen
Locations from around the globe are often a source of inspiration for people when they are choosing an interior design style for their home. The design ideas of the French are one style that appeals to many people. For those who prefer a homely and comfortable look, then the French country style is definitely one that will suit you. This style works really well in kitchens, and it is easy to apply this style to this room in your home. Here are some of the key characteristics that define a French country kitchen.
What is a French Country Kitchen?
French country kitchens are those inspired by the kitchens of country homes of Provence in France. According to The Spruce, this is generally a rustic style that reflects the natural materials and the colors of the French countryside. It is a warm and welcoming style that many would describe as old-world due to the traditional nature of the style. It is almost the opposite of a minimalist style as this look has a lived-in feel. The style works just as well in a country cottage or farmhouse as it does a grand mansion or chateaux.
This style is all about the French countryside, so the materials that you choose for a French country kitchen should reflect this. Therefore, natural materials are the main choice for kitchens of this style. This includes materials such as wood and stone. Other materials that you may see in a French country kitchen include tiles and exposed brickwork.
Although most colors work for this interior design style, Freshome recommends using soft and subtle colors. Colors that are both subtle and warm include tans, creams, soft yellows, and pale pastel hues. For accent colors, choose warm shades of brown or green that reflect nature. The aim is to use colors to create a space that is warm and welcoming. You can also add accents of deeper colors and patterns on accessories and soft furnishings.
House Beautiful notes that wood ceiling beams are an important element of the rustic French country style. If your kitchen does not have these, it is worth considering adding them if you have the budget available to do so. Window seats are another feature you may see in a French country house, and these are usually created using the thick walls below the windows. If you are lucky enough to have deep walls, create a window seat and add lots of cushions for comfort. Another architectural feature seen in many French country kitchens is an open fire with an exposed brick or chimney breast.
French Country Kitchen Units
Rustic wooden units are the best option for a French country kitchen. In most instances, the wood is left in its natural state with the grain on display. However, painted wooden units in colors that complement the colors on the wall will also work well. While modern kitchens consist only of closed units that keep clutter hidden away, a French country kitchen may feature cabinets with glass doors, open shelves, and an integrated wine rack. This means that you can see many of the kitchen’s contents on display. Countertops are also typically wooden.
It is important that floors reflect the style of the country and that they are also practical. The most common material for a French country kitchen floor is stone flags. Other options include wooden flooring or tiles. If you have a large kitchen with a dining area, add a rug for warmth, texture, and visual interest.
Appliances and Fittings
If you have space and budget for a range or AGA, then these are the best options for French country kitchens. Modern appliances, such as washing machines and tumble dryers, should be hidden from view to maintain the rustic country feel of the kitchen. If you are having your kitchen designed from scratch, choose integrated appliances that are hidden behind cupboard doors. Alternatively, put them in a laundry room, pantry, basement, or garage so they are out of view. A ceramic sink, such as a double Belfast sink, works best with this style as it has a rustic look.
Furniture for a French Country Kitchen
A true French country kitchen is large enough to have a big farmhouse-style table. Choose a wooden table with smooth lines and matching wooden chairs. Add some detail to the chairs with seat cushions or chair back covers that are made out of patterned fabrics. Another piece of furniture that you can add to a French country kitchen is a butcher’s block. Not only is this a nice addition to the aesthetics of the room, but it is also a practical item of furniture that you can use as an extra food preparation area.
The accessories that you use can make a big difference in the overall look of this room. The French country interior design style is not a minimalist look, so this is a great style option for those who have lots of things they like to keep on display. Ceramics are one of the best accessory options for a French country kitchen, and you can add plates and jugs on the open shelving and a large, hand-painted vase to the table. As this style is all about the countryside, you can incorporate nature into your interior design by adding potted plants to the table and windowsill. Similarly, you can add pots of herbs as you can also use these in your cooking.
French Country Kitchens – The Final Verdict
French country kitchens are inspired by the French countryside and the homes in rural France. It is a warm and welcoming style that promotes comfortable living. Natural materials and subtle colors are key elements of this style. Stone floors, a large farmhouse table, wooden units, ceiling beams, and accessories on display are typical characteristics you would expect to see in a French country kitchen.
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