French Country Kitchen Design Ideas
If you value elegant and classy interior design, you’ll love the French country kitchen ideas we’re about to explore. The style relies on smooth lines, detailed woodworking, and elegant stonework, all of which are timeless design cues.
In this post, we’ll explore the different ways to go about designing a French country kitchen. We’ll explore the many different sub-disciplines that inform French kitchen design to give you a clear picture of the style’s origins and how you can adapt it to suit your home.
French Country Kitchen: 6 Design Ideas
Because the term “French-style kitchen” is so diverse, we’ll break this section up into categories discussing specific variants and their defining characteristics. All have a common theme but involve subtle twists.
French Provincial Kitchen
The French provincial kitchen style takes inspiration from the cozy designs found in Provence, France during the 17th and 18th centuries. People living in Provence at the time were not particularly wealthy but they still had fine taste. As such, designs were on the simpler side but still retained a high degree of elegance.
When designing a French provincial kitchen, use lots of mirrors framed in either carved wood or gold. Your color scheme should be earthy and any photos in the kitchen should feature nature. Freestanding furniture should also be of the antique variety.
French Farmhouse Kitchen
You can’t get any more “country” than a French farmhouse kitchen. Wood flooring is a very popular choice for this aesthetic, as are French-styled range hoods and shabby chic decor such as lighting fixtures.
Be resourceful with your material choice by mixing and matching stainless steel, copper, and stone (natural and engineered). The trick is to be careful enough with these materials so as to not overpower your kitchen. Choose one or two dominant materials and then speckle the others throughout your kitchen.
By creating a thinner mix of steel, copper, and stone so that it’s speckled throughout the design, you’ll be better able to keep up with the French look than if these materials were to be used less creatively and therefore blended less seamlessly.
Woven baskets containing fruit or flowers can also add to your kitchen’s rustic appearance if you’re going for an old-style French farmhouse kitchen.
French Country Kitchen Cabinets
French country kitchen cabinets are typically lighter and brighter than those found in other types of kitchens. They also tend to feature more ornate, furniture-like stylings such as moldings, arches, and other forms of woodworking.
Hardware tends to be brass, bronze, or iron. Use distressed, antique versions of these to enhance your kitchen’s rustic nature. Many designers also use beadboard on French country kitchen cabinet doors to spruce them up.
French Bistro Kitchen
A French bistro kitchen is a great way to impart some 19th-century charm on your home. Almost invariably, these kitchens feature subway tiles throughout, such as on the backsplash. You’ll also see a more esoteric art and decor selection than you might find in other types of French style kitchens.
Lastly, pay attention to the flooring. Mosaic and chevron tiles are a hallmark of French bistro kitchen design. If you’re keeping the floor itself on the simpler side, use woven rugs to add some intrigue.
French Chateau Kitchen
A French chateau (which is a luxurious and often fortified manor that houses nobility) is the height of elegance. A French chateau kitchen still retains some of the country charms we mentioned in previous tips but on a much grander scale and using more luxurious materials.
Lighting fixtures tend to be quite ornate, as are the island’s base cabinets. The entire space should suggest that no costs were spared in the pursuit of luxury.
French Cottage Kitchen
If you’re looking for a humbler design, the French cottage kitchen style is for you. This style tends to be light and breezy, evocative of the summers that many who own actual French cottages in the countryside enjoy. Use a soft color palette accentuated by white quartz countertops.
Bonus Tip: Use Lots of Antiques
Whether it’s a classy chandelier or a pair of matching vases, antiques can help add old world flavor to a modern kitchen. This is especially true when it comes to a rustic French kitchen. Antiques help to give the French kitchen the old world patina that makes it feel like you’ve stepped back in time.
Artificially-distressed decor can do the trick but go authentic if you can by shopping at antique stores.
Quartz Surfaces: Perfect for French Country Kitchen Design
Regardless of what style of kitchen you choose, quartz countertops by Caesarstone are a perfect fit. For a French-inspired kitchen, styles like 5131 Calacatta Nuvo offer an unparalleled level of elegance while being highly durable and resistant to modern life’s knocks and spills.
We invite you to visit our kitchen visualizer to experiment with our various countertop options.
To learn more about why quartz is currently the countertop material of choice for designers and homeowners, check out our quartz countertop benefits article.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between French country and English country decor?
While both styles are, of course, very European, French country tends to involve a greater mix of materials. French country design also tends to be more ornate and elegant. English country decor, on the other hand, is simpler. The imagery depicted in English decor tends to be centered around hunting whereas French decor displays more serene depictions of nature.
What colors are French country?
The French country color palette consists primarily of earthy hues found in nature. These include browns, greens, and even floral colors like blue, red, and pink. Gold is also a popular choice for accent pieces because it helps to create the juxtaposition of luxury and coziness that is characteristic of the French country style.
What is the French Farmhouse style?
The French farmhouse style typically involves what many people refer to as “shabby chic design.” Decor in this style can be found in varying degrees of distress with wood being a common theme.