How to Achieve a French Country Kitchen

July 6, 2018
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A country style kitchen is a great choice if you like traditional, cozy design. French country kitchens are bright, lived-in, and comfortable with rich tones and an air of elegance. Want to achieve a beautiful French country design with your Norwalk, CT kitchen remodeling project? Here’s how to do it.

Furniture-Look Cabinetry

The main hallmark of a French country kitchen is heavy, rich custom cabinetry with ornate details. French country kitchens usually exhibit heavy furniture with moldings, scrolls, and other fussy architectural details. Cabinets may have paneled doors with scrollwork and crown molding. Cabinets can also be carved with nature-inspired designs like ornate floral carvings and vines. Molding is typically carved with similar motifs.

The furniture look should be emphasized as much as possible. The center island will likely feature decorative legs that give it the look of free-standing furniture. Furniture toe kicks are also common in a French country kitchen. Rather than industry-standard toe kicks, a furniture toe kick adds more detail and gives the appearance of furniture legs to your lower cabinets. A handyman can also add decorative supports to put emphasis on your upper cabinets.

Earth Tone Color Palette

A French country kitchen typically has a rich earthy color palette that feels comfortable, warm, and inviting. You may incorporate warm reds, mustard yellows, mossy greens, sky blues, lavender, and other diluted pastel colors inspired by the provincial landscape.

Natural Materials

Country decor always focuses on the use of natural materials for cabinets, flooring, countertops, and more. Natural stone is preferred for the countertops, especially granite, although butcherblock countertops can also look at home in a French country kitchen. Exposed wood ceiling beams and rustic hardwood floors help complete the look of a country kitchen.

Toile Fabric, Florals, and Farm Animals

Your Norwalk, CT French country kitchen remodeling project will create an elegant kitchen design but it should be balanced with delicate and warm details. The classic French country kitchen uses toile fabric, floral patterns, and farm animal motifs to add life and color to the space. French toile fabrics are common in French kitchens and usually depict fountains, garden scenes, and other elegant images of French country life. Toile fabrics add formal elegance and may be used for window treatments or even kitchen skirts. For a more informal French country kitchen, consider having your handyman install a deep farmhouse sink with a toile sink skirt.

You can also evoke the right atmosphere by adding formal tapestries featuring elegant, colorful birds, floral patterns, and farm animal motifs.

French vs English Country

The French country style is one of two major styles of country kitchens and it differs from English country design in many ways. Both styles share similarities such as lived-in furniture, rustic charm, and an open design. French country has many design elements that separate it from English country design, however.

French country is unique in that it uses earthy tones whereas English country kitchens use pure color tones. French country is also more elegant with delicate French toile fabrics and fussier architectural elements like molding and scrolls rather than the straight lines of English design. You’ll also recognize a French country kitchen with its elegant birds and farm animal motifs.