French Country Kitchen Furniture

French Country Kitchen furniture is made up of stand alone pieces as the concept of a totally fitted kitchen would not sit comfortably in the French Country house. It would be far too restraining, as the French like to have units which are not uniform, are able to have their contents viewed and can be mixed and matched with old an new.

Although open plan kitchen and dining areas with free standing kitchen units is still a fairly new concept in most English speaking countries - in France it has always been the norm.

When thinking of French Country kitchen furniture, the first piece that most often springs to mind is the ever-present farm table. Rightly so, for the kitchen is the hub of the home and the table is the centre piece - literally and figuratively.

As dining rooms are not common in the French country house, the kitchen table used for preparing food will serve a dual purpose.

Most often tables will have scrubbed pine tops and wooden or iron legs. The wooden legs could be left natural in color or there again, could be painted or limed.

In some French homes, if the kitchen is large enough there will be a table for preparing food and a separate table for dining.

Chairs could be wrought iron or more traditional ladderbacks with rush seating. Sometimes they will all match and then, typically French, sometimes they won't.

The armoire is another quintessential piece of French Country kitchen furniture. It would be very rare to find a French kitchen without this versatile storage cupboard, in one form or another.

If used as a larder or garde à manger, it will be in the form of a lower cupboard, surmounted by open shelves with doors, either fitted with chicken-wire or glazed.

There is also a cage-like smaller version of the garde à manger, customarily hung from the ceiling or mounted high on the wall, keeping food contents out of immediate sight.

Another use for the armoire is to house crockery, glasses, utensils etc. Its glazed or chicken-wire doors always allowing the contents to be viewed.

Dishes and utensils not housed in an armoire could be stored in a low side board or buffet.

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