French Country Kitchen Decor

If there’s one room of a home most suited to French country décor, it’s the kitchen. That’s because the design approach, which originated in the 18th century, emphasizes a warm, homey feel. And there’s no better room than the kitchen in which to feature a welcoming, rustic décor.

The overall appearance of a French country kitchen is elegant but comfortable, without the type of gaudy decoration seen in earlier French styles. Earth tones predominate in the furnishings, cabinetry, wall hangings and accessories, and intricate moldings and scrollwork are commonly seen.

The wood or wood finishes used in the décor are generally light in color, with natural grains (or simulated grains, in the case of finishes) prominent. An aged or weathered look is a plus, and reclaimed wood is always an excellent choice. Accompanying hardware is usually made from (or finished with) bronze, iron or brass, ideally with a dark patina. If accent colors are used, they are likely to be muted, warm colors such as scarlet, mustard or moss green.

French toile fabrics, defined less by their material and more by their distinct patterns or their depictions of bucolic scenes, farm animals or birds, are the best choice for upholstery, curtains and the like. Rich fabrics such as linen are often found in French country kitchen décors, and although they are not considered de rigueur, long drapes or tapestries are not uncommon.

Materials like brick, copper, stone and slate will bolster the kitchen’s authentic rustic look by creating the appearance that elements have been added over time. These can be utilized in various ways, from floors and walls to smaller accessories and knick-knacks. Possibilities include hanging copper pots and displaying antique stone vessels on countertops – and don’t forget the flowers, a stable of any country kitchen.

French country kitchens in the 1700s may not have had center islands like the modern ones we have come to expect, but installing an island gives the space a homey, airy feel and provides the opportunity to feature antiqued woods and hardware in the center of the kitchen. Wooden or slate floors are a wonderful design touch, and they can be simulated with engineered wood flooring or ceramic tile if desired.

Some homeowners favor ceiling-mounted chandeliers for their country kitchen lighting, although many of the glitzy pieces sold as “French country” are really too ornate for the label. Simpler wood-and-iron chandeliers or iron pendant lanterns, with candle-style incandescent bulbs, are more suitable. They can be supplemented with candle wall sconces, and mirrored sconces which reflect additional light are a popular choice.

Lauren Martinez Category Curator
Last update: 25 April 2018
French Country Kitchen Decor -

Vintage setup for a sophisticated kitchen with a dining room annex, furnished with a rectangular dining table made out of oak wood planks with a set of matching dining chairs covered with white cotton cloth.

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Contemporary setup for a spacious kitchen in an English country style. The kitchen is fitted with a set of cabinets made out of white painted wood with a matching kitchen island with a solid wood top to finish the room.

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A charming French country style decorative set for wooden kitchen tables. It consists of a roundish white crocheted napkin, 2 low brass candlesticks, a squat vase of white glazed ceramic with flowers and a rectangular box of wood in beige shades.

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French style for a country-like kitchen furnished with a set of counters and cabinets made out of yellow-painted wood which fits in nicely with the floral wallpaper, all finished off with a kitchen island with a stone, slate top.

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Traditional setup for a country-themed kitchen with a triangular shaped kitchen island made out of white oak wood with a stone top, nicely matching with the counters and cabinets and finished off by an elegant chandelier.

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Traditional setup for a French-styled country kitchen with a set of old-fashioned countertops and an old-fashioned stove, contrasted by a more contemporary kitchen island made out of dark oak wood with a marble top.

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Traditional setting for a light and bright kitchen with a kitchen island made out of oak wood with a white coat of paint and an unpainted, polished top, nicely matching with granite counters with a set of metal barstools.

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Old-fashioned composition of furniture in a grand, sophisticated kitchen with furniture made out of walnut wood and an elegant, tiered kitchen island made out of dark oak wood with a marble top surface.

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Rustic setup for a spacious kitchen with a long kitchen island made out of white-painted oak wood with an unpainted top and a built-in sink, all fitted with a set of four cross-back primitive barstools with seat cushions.

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A showy traditional French country style ceiling-mounted pot rack hanging on black metal chains. Its rectangular wooden frame (with a crown top adorned with black metal scrolls) is white. Black metal hooks hang on across arranged white wooden rods.

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An attractive French country style kitchen interior. It features beige walls, a light beige floor, a white split ceiling with timbering in cream and beige. Doors and kitchen units are of wooden materials finished in cream but have beige countertops.

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Pale and neutral colors such as white and cream will help you create a soft, warm appeal in your decor, ideal for a cosy kitchen. The one here represents well the alluring ambiance of French provincial style.

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Pretty French country style kitchen cabinets of wood in creams. They feature corner half-columns, crown tops, dark countertops. A centre-piece is a carved crown above windows. A greyish island has a top in browns. Ornate black pulls are of metal.

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Vintage setup for a spacious kitchen with a rectangular-shaped kitchen island in the middle with a frame made out of solid wood with a white coat of paint, paired with a marble top surface and three antique barstools.

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An antique-looking kitchen, furnished with a long kitchen island in the center made out of solid wood with a dark coat of brown paint and a granite top, paired with an old-fashioned display of pots and pans above.

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Cozy composition of furniture for a relaxation spot in a living room, furnished with a rock brick fireplace with a frame made out of light pine wood, paired with a simple chair made out of similar wood with a low profile.

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