A neutral-rich color scheme, reclaimed wood details, and linen textiles are just a few of the hallmark characteristics of French country style. But there is a lot more to the aesthetic than meets the eye, especially when it comes to your culinary headquarters. Namely, it invites a dose of elegance and flair to the standard farmhouse kitchen look and inspires old-world charm with a statement-worthy twist. Consider this theme the precursor to the modern country trend that has swept the interior design world.
Curious for more? Read on for eight kitchen ideas that are sure to inspire and transport you straight to the French countryside.
1. Go for the farmhouse sink.
Stainless steel sinks are no match for a French country-style kitchen. Instead, lean into the aesthetic with a farmhouse sink, just as the creatives of Jersey Ice Cream Co. did in this stunning space. Elevate the design by pairing it with a brushed-brass, double-handle faucet for a chic contrast.
2. Paint the cabinets.
We love an all-white kitchen just as much as the next person, but there's something to be said of a high-contrast scheme with cabinetry painted in a moody paint color. Spotted on deVOL, this French country design beautifully captures the balance between modern and Provençal style.
3. Show off wood beams.
Walk into a French country kitchen and chances are, you'll spot exposed beams in one form or another. We're particularly fond of the variety found on the ceiling, which offers a dose of texture and color to an otherwise empty space. Take note from this light-filled Airbnb, where the stain of the wood beautifully complements the countertops and matching island and balances out the white cabinets.
4. Skip the kitchen island.
A rustic wood dining table set in the center of the kitchen (in lieu of an island) is a telltale sign of French country kitchens. This Provence-based home, captured by Julia Berolzheimer, proves how versatile and design-forward the swap can be, by providing a workspace that can easily transition into a dining spot when needed. Illuminate with a traditional crystal chandelier for added flair.
5. Bring on the copper cookware.
Whether they're meant for decorative purposes or cooking, copper pots are a mainstay of French country kitchens — one wouldn't be complete without a set hanging above the kitchen island or the stove. This French country kitchen spotted on McGee and Co. has the right idea. Pair with a retro stove and herringbone wood floors to complete the picture-perfect scene
6. Put dishware on display.
Take advantage of open shelves by allowing them to double as a display space for an array of design-forward dishware. Enamel pitchers, stoneware dishes, and ceramic bowls all fit in with a cottage kitchen theme. Take things a step further, like this striking setup from Dreamy Whites, and bring in fresh flowers (lilacs and lavender are a shoo-in for the look) and a marble subway tile backsplash to complete the scene.
7. Allow the stove to play its part.
French country style is all about artfully combining the old with the new, and when it comes to the appliances, taking the retro route is definitely the way to go. La Cornue's ranges have quickly become hallmarks of the aesthetic, thanks to their beautifully detailed ovens that fit right in with the theme.
8. Go for butcher block countertops.
When it comes to selecting the material for your work surface, pass on the marble countertops and go for an alternative that's a touch more versatile (not to mention forgiving). Aside from fitting right in with the whole French country kitchen aesthetic, butcher block countertops can be an affordable way to bring in a dose of warmth and color to your space. Pair with pastel green cabinetry and a vintage-inspired pendant light to complete the country cottage look.