Talk to most people and house décor professionals about your new kitchen, and you’ll be first asked if you’re going for an American kitchen or a European one.
Unlike the larger, more storage oriented American kitchens, European style kitchens are geared towards efficiency. Subtle differences are seen in the style of cabinets as well, with European kitchen cabinets being frameless thus flush to the door.
But the conversation doesn’t end there. As far as European kitchen designs go, there is a flurry of options you can choose from. These include English Country, Tuscan, Belgian, and in the context of this piece, French Country.
So, what is the French Country European kitchen design? This is a European kitchen design that feels both elegant and homey. It is characterized by cabinetry that looks more like traditional furniture, fancy oven hoods, and rustic accents.
The fancy oven hoods have either scalloped edges or crown molding, which forms a key part of the design aesthetic of French country kitchens. Moreover, the accents are more Parisian chubby chic, and less rural compared to English country décor.
But that’s more of what traditionally, French country kitchens are.
Today, contemporary accents have made way into the design, making French Country kitchens desirable in this modern age. And in this piece, we’ll explore ideas that you can incorporate into your French country European kitchen design. So, read on.
1. French Styled Range Hoods
French-styled range hoods are a classic French country kitchen addition that make a chic statement to any French country kitchen design. This architectural feature can be used to add authenticity to your French country kitchen design.
But don’t have it as the only feature. For instance, you can have a contrasting color scheme of a sage kitchen island, coupled with cabinetry in crisp white. You can contrast these colors even further, by using a light jungle green backsplash.
Since this design is geared more towards authenticity, you can go all out with the addition of two other French country kitchen design features. These are the lantern-style lightings and a vintage wood box planter.
You can hang the lantern style lightings over the sage kitchen island. For the vintage wood box planter, you can get some herbs, and place it right at the window for that final touch of European flair.
2. Experiment with Stone Walls and Authentic Dishware
This is yet another kitchen design variation that strives to preserve most of the authenticity of French country European kitchen design.
The stone wall is the center stone in this design. It adds character to the kitchen while creating a rustic feel to the kitchen – something that was common in most French country kitchen designs back in the day.
These stone walls need to be coupled with authentic French country kitchen cabinets. You can make a china cabinet out of distressed wood. This will add even more European charm to the design.
To top it off, since you’ve taken a design route focused on authenticity, the china cabinet should be fitted with dishware, inspired by the French. White would be a perfect color choice for these dishes.
3. Get Rid of the Cabinet Doors
If you are remodeling your kitchen to a French country European design, stripping everything off, and putting them back together might not be necessary. Just getting rid of the cabinet doors might be all you need.
However, your china and Moscow mule glasses must have been bought already. The idea behind this design is to use the china and Moscow mule glasses as décor, instead of having them tucked in the cabinets for purely functional use.
If you are not a fan of completely open cabinets, you can alternatively opt for glass doors. As long as the china can be seen, the French Country authenticity of the design would be well represented.
Can you start afresh completely? Yes. The third option is to completely get rid of your old cabinets and have floating wood shelves installed instead. These shelves add a rustic element to the design, which makes it even the more French country authentic, compared to simply ripping the cabinet doors off the hinges.
4. Pendant Lighting
A predominant feature in most French country European kitchen designs is pendant lighting. Thus, if you want to quickly and easily remodel your existing kitchen into a French country design, this is among the first things you should be thinking of.
Which lamps should you go for? Ideally, industrial pendant lamps with classic French brass elements should be your go-to option. However, your exact pick will depend on your color choice. For instance, the brass element industrial pendant lamps will blend nicely with a neutral color palette, blended with natural, finished wood textures.
The choice of furniture should also be country, with finishing almost the same as the wood textures. For instance, wicker bar chairs might be a great addition to the kitchen island.
What if the industrial pendants don’t tickle your fancy? Chandeliers can work great as well. They not only add a great deal of French authenticity to your design but also add more depth and lighting to the kitchen.
5. Go with Eclectic Seating
In design, chaos at times births masterpieces. And as far as this French country European kitchen design is concerned, a mix and match of seats is the x-factor.
The mix and match, however, is not purely chaotic. For instance, one row of seats would consist of chairs, while the other row would be a bench, for the center table that sits in place of a kitchen island. The wood should not have shiny lacquer, since the goal here is to create a French country rustic feeling.
The seats themselves can have different colors. However, instead of a chaotic spatter of colors, you can have one row of seats in dark wood, which you’ll use in the antique tableware and cabinetry. For the bench, you can use a subtle lime green, which you would use in the cabinet doors, for instance.
Okay, the colors are getting quite dull. Well, if you love a bright kitchen, white subway tiles for the backsplash will never let you down.
6. Use Appliances Inspired by French Retro
Shifting from a completely modern kitchen to a French country kitchen might be an arduous task, especially if you have a strong affinity towards the modern flair.
So, how do you balance the two? By going for French retro-inspired appliances. You can use a trendy but timeless color predominantly in the kitchen (sky blue for instance). This can be combined with light touches of a more retro color, like the dark wood, which will be splashed more predominantly on your kitchen appliances, like the stove.
This provides a great way of balancing the modern with the retro, while still maintaining that French-countryside feeling.
7. Go all White
If the last French-retro and modern mashup didn’t sound good to you, then this might be the easiest way to get your modern kitchen looking all French country, without losing much of its modern flair.
Paint all kitchen cabinet finishes white.
This strategy results in a modern farmhouse look, coupled with a white monochromatic accent that rarely goes wrong.
A little bit of refurbishing might be needed before the kitchen cabinets are painted white. Plus, you can leave a bit of unfinished darker wood accents around and on the kitchen island. This will provide a modern French country rustic feeling to the entire design, ensuring you’re still as authentic as possible.
Are the counters all I need to take care of? Not really. If you have wooden elements on your window frame or floor, you can paint them white too.