Romance in the Kitchen - The Basics

You Can Create Your Own French Countryside

There really is something very romantic about the thought of a French country home. Visions of lavender, fluttering curtains, wicker baskets and humble pottery, all mix together to form the ideal kitchen in the countryside of France. Truth be told, French country kitchens are more about the cook than the environment, but it is possible to create the atmosphere and look of a French country kitchen in your home, no matter where it is located.

To create the French accent in your kitchen, you'll need a few main elements. They're readily available, and with a little guidance and creativity, your kitchen will be transformed before your eyes. Before we discuss the elements, let's talk about what a French country kitchen portrays.

French Country Kitchen - The Basics

French country kitchens are warm, welcoming and informal places, where family and friends are found gathered together around a rough hewn table, enjoying a long, leisurely meal. Since the French take eating, and the preparation of what they eat, very seriously (having perfected the art of cooking), the kitchen is usually filled with fresh produce and fragrant herbs. You will be able to create this atmosphere, without taking out walls or rebuilding cupboards, by following these few basic guidelines. Choose simple shapes made of humble materials. Pottery and wooden bowls and wicker baskets fill the bill nicely. Fill your kitchen with things you actually use rather than eye-catching doodads. The only "frill" would be patina, but that just comes with the territory.

The Color Palette and The Dishes

The meals are prepared and served in earthenware pots, plates and bowls, which are a staple in country kitchens in France. Earthy tones of yellow ochre, green, brown, earthy red, and blue, glaze these items you will be using for food preparation and to store ingredients that are safely kept outside of the fridge - like garlic, onions and some fruits. You can also serve food from them and eat from them, if you like. If you find they aren't quite to your liking for eating, then choose simple, heavy porcelain dinnerware instead for that purpose.

Fluttering Fabrics From France

The magic of fabric is the key to the success of your French country kitchen atmosphere. Curtains are used to not only to cover windows, but to create hidden spaces for appliances and dry foods. You can create slip covers for chairs, make some cushions and - if you don't have a heavy wooden table - you can hide your current table until a generous size tablecloth. Choose fabrics that are found in France, perhaps from Provence.

And, the Accessories

You can soften the high-tech of your kitchen, and add instant country appeal, with wooden chopping boards in different shapes and sizes, a large straw bag for grocery shopping, some wooden bowls and a wicker basket for holding fruit or vegetables. You can use wicker, straw or wooden containers to store cooking utensils, napkins or whatever you like. If you're doing a Provence style kitchen, then straw seats on your chairs is almost mandatory.

These changes will go a long way to creating the French country kitchen you desire.