Love French country Style? The French Country style is a gorgeous combination of elegance, sophistication and casual earthiness. It’s one of the reasons that this style is so popular with all of us!
The French seem to be born with style, they effortlessly combine their eye for beauty with elegance and comfort. They find old, quirky antique pieces to add charm to their cuisines, they have a knack for being able to “re-purpose” something from a century ago, or to simply display it as a work of art.
The French antique scale, copper pans and fish steamer used as a planter in the next photo are a perfect example of this. While the pans are no doubt still very usable, in this home, they are kept pristine to be a work of art on display! The large stoneware calvados jugs add another layer of “interesting” don’t you think?
The heart of French country decorating is based on what pleases your eye, not decorating rules. As long as the room – in this case your kitchen – is warm, comfortable and makes you want to spend time in there, it’s a room that is perfect.
Fashion trends may come and go, but especially in their kitchens, the French decorate using their five senses and if they like it, and it feels right, they call it good.
Here are a few easy ways to add some of that French Country charm to your own kitchen at home to inspire you to whip up cassoulet, French Country Soup and crusty French breads for family and friends this season.
CREATE A PLEASING DISPLAY.
Remember harmony, scale and balance are the basic principles of French Country décor.
The French add well-designed and interesting items to their kitchens, purely because they appreciate the craftsmanship, beauty and charm of the item.
One of the most charming aspects of decorating in the French Country style for me personally is that this decor style embraces imperfection like no other. Europeans in general actually LOOK for antiques with imperfections. The jars, pots, wooden boards and jugs with a chip or a place where it was “fixed” long ago actually add value to an antique piece in their eyes.
As long as a piece has character, visual appeal and is pleasing in some way, it’s loved! This acceptance of flaws is what embracing the French Country style is all about.
BRING IN COLOR.
In a true French Country kitchen, you’ll find the warm, rich colors of the French countryside reflected in the colors used. Warm Provence mustard yellow, rich red, brown wood tones, these colors of the surrounding country side are what makes the kitchen feel intimate and make it a place everyone wants to spend time in.
Aside from earthy faience pottery, wood and fabrics that are hand woven, the French Country kitchen features lots of shiny antique enamelware and glass.
An enamelware canister set like this is a wonderful way to add French Country charm to your kitchen counter top!
This large coffee maker is called a “biggin” and has a filter inside to hold the coffee grounds. Today, most French Country aficionados use these for display only. This one is particularly rare because of its size, it was most likely used in a restaurant or bistro.
The canister sets come in all colors, to find sets with all the pieces is getting rare these days! Red is an especially collectable color.
PATINA, PATINA, PATINA!
Well worn decor or useful pieces are a large part of the French Country style. The scuffed, chipped, or worn pieces are what provide visual interest and warmth to the kitchen. Scratches and dents are accepted, and actually wanted, they add that charming lived-in feeling! I collect all sorts of French antiques, the ones with patina, chips and a little wear tug at my heart a little more than their “up-city” cousins who tend to be a little bit more perfect.
These country pieces have a history, and stories. They were used and loved by French families. Now if they could only talk!!
French country wares make a beautiful display here at FrenchGardenHouse. I never tire of looking at them.
French wine measures, their color, texture and wear make them wonderful for display, or to actually use for guest, or just the two of you!
No matter what you display in your French Country kitchen, the most important thing about your kitchen is that YOU love it. That you make wonderful memories there with your family and friends.
I just unpacked some French Country antiques from a recent buying trip to warm up your fall kitchen at home.