French Country Kitchens
A Symbol of Family Values
Perhaps the French country style kitchen has become so popular due to it being a symbol of everything we hold dear.
Why...? Because of its natural and down to earth simplicity which has not changed over time, plus the family values associated with it, evoking warmth, comfort and security.
Totally opposite to our present uncertain world and our everyday environment of harsh lighting, plastic and shiny metal.
Create the same ambience found in French Country kitchens through choice of furniture, storage spaces, kitchenware, color scheme, lighting and a few simple ideas.
French kitchens can be large or small. Preferably as large as possible, as it often doubles as kitchen and living room to accommodate most of the daily family activities, like preparing food, supervising children's homework, cooking, eating meals and gathering around the table at the end of the day.
Country French kitchen walls are usually white, cream or a buttery yellow. There is also a preference for wood throughout the kitchen which is often painted. Floors are either terracotta tiles or stone.
Natural light is important and windows and doorways are designed to maximize morning and afternoon light. Window dressings are not common in the kitchen, but if so, French country curtains are light and simple.
At night time a wrought iron chandelier hung over the dining table is all the light needed for normal activities.
Equipment is the essence of a Country French kitchen. Cooking utensils and crockery are mostly in view and easily reached for quick access. Much of this equipment has been handed down, and items are displayed not only for ease of access but for aesthetic appeal as well.
The hearth usually provides storage space for hanging copper pans and housing jars and containers, filled with cooking oils and spices within easy reach of the cook. Baskets and open shelves are also used for storage.
The French love food...period. The quality, the preparation and the eating of it, are all important. In a true French Country kitchen, ninety nine percent of the time, you will notice food openly displayed somewhere, from fruit and vegetables to bread and wine, either on the table or in baskets or other suitable containers.
As so much activity revolves around food, the kitchen is almost the command module of the house where everything starts - no wonder it is the heart and hub of the home.
Creating the Look
Because the French love cooking, entertaining and eating plus the enjoyment of having everyone involved in the preparation of the meal, a large, well scrubbed farm table takes center stage and is the focal point, doubling as a preparation area and dining table.
The concept of fitted kitchen units are not common in Country French kitchens, therefore units are ususally free-standing... and not every unit will be uniform either. Follow the link above to get more of an idea on furniture.
Kitchen Decor and Kitchenware
Almost everything used in the kitchen is aesthetically displayed and most often items are housed in an armoire with wire-mesh or glass covered doors. Wooden shelving and wrought iron racks also hold various objects.
Old and new happily rub shoulders, as much crockery, utensils and furniture has been handed down through the family, and displayed proudly amongst the modern pieces.
Everyday objects and accessories are made out of natural materials, like stoneware, earthenware, terracotta, wood, iron and copper, which harmonize and blend in a way man-made materials do not.
Follow the link above to get more of an idea.
French Country Kitchen Ideas Gallery
Click on the link above and take a look at a few images in the ideas gallery for some inspiration and to see how French kitchen decor can be incorporated into various kitchens.
We don't all live in homes that can accommodate a large country kitchen, but the basic principles are still desirable. If you have a fitted kitchen, don't despair, you can still create the mood and evoke the warmth and comfort of a French kitchen through:
- Painting and distressing fitted cabinets.
- Adding a free standing piece of furniture like a small kitchen island, or a display dresser if you have the space.
- Installing an overhead wrought iron pot rack or some wrought iron display hooks and racks on the walls.
- Keeping accessories simple, rustic and made out of natural materials
- Using baskets for storage
- Attach some open shelving for display if you can
- Potted herbs in the window sills and fresh flowers in teapots, jugs or perhaps an attractive drinking glass
Need A Few Extra Accessories?
How about this little French wire basket which can either hold cutlery, napkins, fruit or anything else you choose to display in the kitchen?
Find it here among a few more selected country kitchen accessories.