French Country Kitchen Cabinets

French country décor is meant to evoke a sense of rustic comfort. Furniture and accessories are elegant, yet they are designed with a refined approach which avoids ostentatious design flourishes.

Cabinets selected or built for a French country kitchen should fit with this mindset. In high-end kitchens they will be manufactured from lighter-colored hardwoods with a distinct grain, creating a warm and welcoming feeling which doesn’t overwhelm the centerpieces of the décor. Some homeowners choose to distress or antique the wood finish for a more-authentic country look, or to paint the cabinets in muted shades of cream or beige. Light glazing for the cabinet doors is also a possibility.

Less-expensive stock cabinetry is often made from MDF or similar pressed-wood products, and finished or painted in subdued earth tones. With the current popularity of French country design, these cabinets are easy to find in a number of appropriate finishes at prices which won’t bust the budget.

French country kitchen cabinets are likely to have grooved facings, and may feature sedate yet intricately-created scrolls, carvings and moldings (which would be simulated on MDF cabinetry) in order to replicate the feel of Louis XIV design sensibilities. Crown molding is a good choice to frame the top of the cabinets, and while these approaches may not be fully authentic, some choose to use beadboard facings or place skirts at the bottom of their cabinetry to add to the warm appearance of the room.

Hardware on the cabinets in a French country kitchen will most often be made of wrought (or antiqued) iron, bronze or brass. They may be moderately ornamented, but these fixtures should blend with the overall light and airy feel of the kitchen, rather than add a sense of heaviness.

A final touch would be to hang copper pots next to the French country kitchen cabinetry, completing the rustic 18th century look.

Jessica Zernike Category Curator
Last update: 25 April 2018
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