Tuesday, August 20, 2013

French Kitchens....... Keep Them Authenic

From Provence to Paris, the french kitchen displays traditional charm and character that casts a spell the instant you enter one.While not as detailed as the English Country style, the French kitchen has a more elegance and a less cluttered look. Also unlike the American kitchen, the French kitchen exudes a touch of romance. Who doesn't want to feel sensual and romantic in their kitchen.

The French kitchen is probably not for someone who has very little time because this kitchen, when done right, will make you want to cook all day!! 

Americans have always been fascinated with the French culinary arts, French design, and indeed, the French art of living. But try as we may, the average American just can't come to grips with the authentic French kitchen. While American homeowners want the French look, their desire to have their kitchens showy and magazine-quality seem to thwart their attempts. The French don't buy into the notion that homes should be ostentatious displays of wealth, especially when it comes to the kitchen. Americans want everything in the kitchen well hidden behind matched and pristine cabinetry while the French love open shelves, hanging pots and pans at arms length, and the charm of aged and imperfect kitchen furniture.

The purpose of this post is to show you some beautiful French kitchens and help you can make yours more authentic and not so Americanized.


Accents may consist of wooden ceiling supports, plastered painted wall space, worn  window frames and darkish unfinished wooden flooring to mention a few.

Most of the French kitchens, similar to the Italian kitchens, have one thing in common and that is the chopping table as a center piece of the kitchen. They feel that the chopping table if the most important part of the kitchen and hence it should be right in the center. 

Natural and handmade accents are essential when decorating your own kitchen. This helps provide the kitchen a genuine and worn appear, which is characteristic of the country French design. 


Furniture would be handcrafted, made of wood with simple details, and might even be a bit chippy. Lighting fixtures are typically brass, iron, or even crystal.

If you're a lover of color, have no fear. While the majority of French kitchens are neutral, some rooms are colorful and far from boring. Accent colors range from bright yellows and blazing reds to cobalt blues, bright greens and deep purples.

The French Country kitchen runs on the distinct palette associated with warm and awesome colors. The colors include soft yellow, cheerful greens and cool blues.

I adore this French kitchen!!

Period copper cookware and kerosene lamps.

And who doesn't love  La Cornue ranges.

This kitchen definitely has a touch of joie de vivre

Baskets, copper pots and a crystal chandelier. All elements of a French kitchen.

Floors are rustic and aged, created with materials like ceramic tiles or flagstone. Wood floors are also common, and parquet patterns give it an Old World look.

A table might be used as work space in a French kitchen. The height of the table might not be in complete harmony with that of the nearby range or countertop to which it abuts. Yet the French will prefer it to something newly constructed and with perfect alignment.

The dining table with creative and elegant chairs is another important aspect when French people select kitchen furniture.


Grey and white is a favorite color combination for the French kitchen.

The French homeowner would happily place a solid antique table with perfect functionality in the kitchen and leave it that way. It would remain an empty work surface because it is needed for just that: work.

Antique beams and white plaster walls are definitely French!

French kitchens are not all about matching cabinetry. In fact the beauty of these kitchens are the different pieces of furniture used alongside the cabinets. 

Another example of how a variety of kitchen furniture (even if painted all white) makes the room so much more charming and interesting.


Walls are often neutral colors (think off-whites or beiges and taupes) because the typical French country kitchen would have walls made of stone and clay.


Americans love brand new cabinetry in abundance and think of it as luxury. But authentic Country French cooks prefer the accessibility that comes with open shelving. They prefer things in full view and within arm’s reach. 

It doesn't have to be a country kitchen. Even the small kitchens in Paris apartments hold so much charm


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This blog post was published by
Lisa Farmer

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