20 Ways to Create a French Country Kitchen

If you love style that is warm, comfortable, and beautiful all at the same time, you’re likely a fan of French country designs. A French country kitchen is no different – in a place that has historically been the working-horse of the home, the kitchen designed in a French country style evokes a familiar, friendly feeling of a traditional and somewhat simple life.

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Bonus: The design, ensconced in history and reminiscent of the past, doesn’t sacrifice the function of modern amenities. Here are 20 components of a French country kitchen:

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Soft, pale colors are typically used in a French country kitchen, largely because these are colors taken from a provincial landscape. Think warm, soft, muted hues in earthy tones.{found on suemurphydesigns}.

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The color palette of a French country kitchen tends to be soft and subdued. Because cabinetry tends to take up the most visual space in a kitchen, using warm surfaces and muted tones on the cabinets is a must for an authentic French country feel.

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Crown molding framing the top of the kitchen’s cabinetry is often a component of the French country kitchen, adding a beautiful traditional element.{found on canterburydesign}.

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Skirted cabinetry, particularly under the sink, is a traditional country- or farmhouse-style décor detail, and it can be found in French country kitchens as well.{found on faraboverubies}.

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It makes sense that a décor style that takes its cues from countrified natural scapes would incorporate natural materials into its design. Stone, brick, and wood surfaces are plentiful in the French country kitchen.

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Evocative of the times when large families and guests would gather around, French country kitchens will (whenever space permits) incorporate a large kitchen island. This not only aids in food preparation activities, but it also provides space for bringing lots of people together, guests and hosts alike.

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Furniture-type details on the kitchen cabinetry and/or island increase the warmth and comfort of the kitchen itself. Warmth and comfort. These are the essence of what a French country kitchen aspires to have.{found on reaumeconstruction}.

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An island is indeed an important component to the French country kitchen. One way to highlight the feature is to make it a different color than the rest of the kitchen. Keep the same warm, muted palette, just add a contrast for visual interest.

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Although the French country kitchen has few contemporary tendencies, as far as décor goes, there are still some subtle ways to introduce a more modern feel. For example, using darker woods or painted surfaces on, say, the island combines with the lighter surfaces of the rest of the kitchen in a more modern aesthetic.

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A French country kitchen will often, although not always, incorporate a farmhouse- (or apron-) style sink into its design. Even amidst other elegant touches, this simple sink form looks perfectly at ease.

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A luxurious detail but one that makes sense with the large-gathering focus of a French country kitchen is the wall-mounted pot filler faucet, installed above the stove. This is a traditional feature that has disappeared in standard kitchens, but it’s quite useful for the family chef!

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Traditionally, the hanging of cookware overhead was a purely functional decision. Today, the strategy of copper pots on display in the French country kitchen gets as much applause for its gorgeous form as for its function.{found on montanaaveinteriors}.

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Outdoor- or lantern-style lighting is used seamlessly in a French country kitchen, due largely to its rustic, organic, yet hard-working aesthetic.

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French country kitchens play upon the history of families gathering around the fireplace by designing stoves and/or other cooking spaces that are reminiscent of fireplaces. This is accomplished in a variety of ways, including the use of brick or stone around the stove, an archway, or decorative hood, for example.

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Unique, decorative (and functional!) hoods abound in the décor and design of a French country kitchen. And even if they didn’t…you couldn’t ever go wrong with a gorgeous copper number like this one.

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For an automatic warm, country feel, use beadboard (or tongue-and-groove) facings on vertical surfaces. Ideas for beadboard placement include cabinet doors, kitchen island walls, or even the backsplash.{found on deborahgordondesigns}.

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They don’t have to steal the show, but iron details (think cast iron or wrought iron touches) in a French country kitchen are a must. Iron appears to be used on much of the lighting here (the pendant lanterns and lighting flanking the kitchen sink), and it finishes off the whole look.

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Exposed ceiling beams are not always possible to incorporate into the kitchen decorated in French country style. They are not necessary for a successful warm, stylish look, either, but the exposed wooden ceiling beams are certainly icing on the French country cake!

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A warm and welcoming feel is one of the main components of a French country kitchen, although it is a harder one to quantify. Incorporating a variety of textures and textiles while keeping the color palette warm and light is a good rule of thumb.