Filed Under Kitchen Cabinet, Kitchen Pictures | Posted on January 20, 2008
The French Country Kitchen design is one of many classic kitchen design themes that you could consider. It can provide your kitchen with a traditional look that has its roots in the hillsides of rural France.
The beautiful colors of the French countryside are the inspiration of the French Country decorator’s palette. Color is an important place to start the design process. You can draw inspiration from some of the principle French impressionists like Monet and Renoir, Van Gogh. Colors that are used in the French country kitchen style can include sunny yellow or soft gold, bright red and rust, grass green, cobalt blue and soft ocean tones.
Keep in mind that if you are making a dramatic color transition that you may not like the color change initially. For example, even after testing multiple variations of a french butter hue, when I watched my entrance hallway change from Victorian brick red to French Country Butter Yellow I spent the first two days thinking I had selected the wrong color. I told the painter I was unhappy with my choice. However, as the color enveloped the entire room and the second coat was applied, the room took on the traditional French attributes of warmness and welcome; acceptance and sophistication.
Traditional Yellows kitchen
Vibrant, buttery yellow is a signature color of the style, but the yellow must be rich and deep to maintain its vigor. The overall lighting of the room has a considerable impact on the impression of french country yellow so we recommend that any color be tested with a color sample applied to the wall. Most repuable paint stores offer sample size containers of their most popular paint colors at very resonable prices. Many decorators test over twenty colors before chosing the shade that best captures the country french energy, richness, and tradition given a specific room’s dimensions, lighting and furniture. Take the time to test multiple variations.
French Country decorating color style comes from the full spectrum of the color wheel. The specific color is secondary to its affect on the room, given the room’s lighting, furniture and functional requirements. Sunny yellow and warm gold, firey red and burnt rust, light grass green and dark hunter green, vibrant cobalt blue and soft sky blue tones — all these colors are found in this wonderful decorating style. More than the particular color, the effect of the color on the room defines the French Country style. The room must capture the warmth of the french countryside, the richness of the country’s heritage and the sophistication of its people to truly capture this decorating style.
Toile is a very popular design for French Country fabrics. Traditionally, the toille scene is printed on a white, cream, or yellow background with large motifs in a single contrasting color, such as black, blue, red, or green. Toile themes include country life, farm animals, countryside children at play, monkeys and Chinese patterns, or courting scenes of the 18th century.
Traditional French country products and motifs include roosters, grapes, olives, sunflowers, and lavendar. The designs are often arranged in regular intervals, bordered by a wide panel of the motifs in different scale. This is typical for textile products such as tablecloths or table runners, placemats and curtain panels.
Generous baskets woven of tree branches or wire, colorful ceramics and exquisite hand-painted tiles, carved wood pieces, and natural grasses are as accessories in a room decorated in the French Country style. Paintings may be old, dark or colorful. Lush natural flowers are everywhere! Lavendar and heather are signature pieces and may be held in baskets, an old pitcher, copper pot, or clear glass vases. The aim is to bring the wonderful colors and textures of nature into the home, adding warmth while maitaining the connection to the countryside. Window boxes outside shout with the colors of whatever will grow. Geraniums are also especially popular. Both colorful and muted pottery in thick, sturdy textures adorn a French Country table. The same themes of roosters, olives, and vivid flowers are found on tableware. Wrought iron candle holders, wire baskets, heavy pottery water pitchers, and colorful tablecloths are also signature accents.
Natural materials are an important element in walls, cabinetry and furniture that is used in the design of French country kitchens. The materials used in creating a rustic French country kitchen look include natural stone floors, granite counter tops and tumbled marble back splashes. These natural materials can be used on walls and beamed ceilings, and can be rough stained or painted plaster, or wood painted in natural colors. Floors can be made of stone or brick and covered with wool or cotton rugs, a fireplace made of stone with a heavy beam that can serve as a mantel, and wooden shutters as window coverings. Furniture and cabinets can have a rustic or even a distressed look. Countertops can be done in ceramic tile with tile back splashes.