Romance In The Kitchen: Color and Treatments

As we begin our journey of creating a French country kitchen, we'll talk about paint, wall treatments and decorating ideas that will help bring you within reach of your ideal kitchen. Also find out how such accessories like pottery and curtains will help your kitchen truly acquire that French country feel and about how just a simple lick of paint can help to enhance the  entire country-style atmosphere.

The Things of French Country Kitchens

Paint your cabinets and, if they are very plain, glue on some molding before you paint them. This will give them some depth and enhance the feel of France. Instead of handles, use knobs made of wood, porcelain or metal on the doors. Metal fittings in the lozenge shape are popular in France so replacing your fittings with this shape brings you closer to authenticity. If you can, get a new counter top. That may sound a bit much, but unless you have a tiled or stone counter top already, you'll find that including this feature adds a piece of color and texture which will make a big difference to the look and feel of your kitchen. You can create a faux-stone counter top yourself. Check out our direction for doing so.

Choosing the Right Colors

The last thing you'll find in a French country kitchen is plain white. Colors used in a French country kitchen include real wood, whether it is rough hewn and untreated, waxed, oiled, bleached or varnished, is normal fare. Yellow, in all of its warm shades, such as sunflower, butter, straw or pale yellow makes a great color for the walls. Green also works well in any French country kitchen. Whether you choose deep forest green, olive, lime or even grayish green, you'll find they work well - particularly on the cupboards. Use earth colors such as terracotta, amber, and coppery reds for flooring or splashbacks and worktops. Blues are good for antiqued surfaces, cupboards or even curtains, but not for the walls. Although ivory, cream and antique whites, with a slight gray hue or pale ecru, are not really country colors, they can also work. You could use a whitewash over the painted walls or on masonry, if you have some in the room.

Some Subtle and Effective Ideas

Modern buildings with perfectly straight walls and sharp corners cannot be made to look old and ‘totally country', but you can use some of these ideas to soften things somewhat. Colorwash the walls with several layers of subtle, mellow colors. This will give them life and reduce the flatness. Hang some of your pots and pans from hooks, a rack, or from a wall hanger. Install a rustic wood shelf above your work surface and stack some of your wonderful colored pottery on it. Rather than using perfectly shaped tiles, choose imperfect, irregular shapes in stone or glaze for your splashback.

Finally, the Floors and Tables

Finally, if your flooring will take it, use wrought iron chairs around the table. They are whimsical (albeit really heavy - kind of an oxymoron), and greatly lend to the atmosphere of a French country kitchen. If you don't have wrought iron, or can't use it, then choose some wooden garden furniture instead.

And, voila! Welcome to France in your own home.