The most captivating room in a French country home is often the kitchen because it serves as the social gathering point for good food and conversation with friends and family. You can add this rustic charm to your kitchen by focusing on the colors, fabrics, furniture and decor. Bringing these characteristics into the design of your French country kitchen is easier than you may think. Many hillside houses in the southern region of France are fairly small and so are their kitchens. Their French owners focus on warm colors and maximizing available space with functional earthy furniture and old-age accessories.
Warm Colors – Almost all rural French kitchens have warm appealing colors. Sunny yellows, gold, rustic red, azure blue and dark hunter green create that warm and elegant French country hillside feeling. Walls are often painted a buttery yellow or light cream color to accentuate the natural light. Creamy stucco walls with dark olive green and rich burgundy accents will immerse your senses in the ambiance of a quaint vineyard home in the south of France. Tuscan sun-drenched color can be emphasized with terra cotta tiles or a worn wooden floor.
Cabinets and Furniture – Cabinets and furniture in a French country kitchen design should utilize indigenous woods like cherry, walnut and pine. Kitchen cabinets should be light or moderately colored and can be painted or stained. The kitchen table can be square or round but much of its appeal should come from the rough and natural tone of the wood. Imprefections in the cabinets or furniture wood are desirable and add character. If you plan to replace kitchen furniture, focus on large pieces with clean curves with natural or lightly painted surfaces. Simplistic and elegant furniture made of rustic hardwoods should be complimented with accent pieces of wrought iron, marble and terra cotta to create that old world south of France charm.
Decor and Accessories – Search for items made of natural materials when choosing of accents and accessories for your French country kitchen. Hanging pots, often made of copper, add functionality and give that vintage feeling. Wrought iron and ceramic are typical old world Tuscany kitchen classics. Provencal fabrics are normally straight or plaid patterns with matching or contrasting colors. You can choose bold yellow or reds to brighten the room or light blue or cream to soften the look. Toile is common in the region with blue, red or black patterns offset on a white or cream background. Just be sure the fabrics blend with the walls, artwork and decor. Focus your accents, pictures, fabric and accessories on traditional French motifs including roosters, olives, vineyards, grapes and lavender flowers.
Finishing Touches – Since gardens are a natural extension of almost all houses in the south of France, liberal placement of flowers will add the finishing touch to your French country kitchen design. Hang dried, silk or fresh flowers from wrought iron fixtures and add them to pots, window boxes and vases. Hydrangea and geraniums are plentiful in the south of France and commonly visible within French country houses.
Whether you decide to go all out or prefer a lower budget approach focusing on furniture, decor and accessories that are aged, comfortable and earthy will bring the quaint elegance of the French country hillside into your home.