French kitchen style runs the gamut from distinctively traditional and quite formal to playful and a bit rustic, but it is always characterized by natural materials, color, function and a mood that invites family togetherness. It is a wonderful, comfortable style for a Chicagoland remodel.
French influence on kitchen design is hard to mistake and impossible to ignore. There is a distinctive charm and informality inherent in French design that is never contrived, but is also singularly logical and functional. French cuisine, at its best, is simple rather than fussy, elegant without being stuffy, beautiful to look at and even better to consume. That’s the way a French kitchen should be — comfortable and easy on the eyes, but with all the necessary gear and implements close at hand and ready to use.
It’s a tall order, but if you dream of incorporating that French aesthetic into your own kitchen, here are some ways to do it right.
Wood is the material of choice for cabinets in a French-style kitchen, although they may be painted, stained light or dark, or sport an antique finish. Maple and cherry have a high-end appeal, while oak may be either formal in design or tend toward country casual. French-style cabinets tend to have curves and raised panels, and may sport custom details like legs and curved drawer fronts. Free-standing armoires designed for custom storage are popular; and upper cabinets often feature lighted interiors with glass-paneled doors.
French provincial is more playful, often with painted finishes, and country French sometimes features open shelving, cabinet doors with fabric or or chicken wire inserts, and distressed weather finishes. Even this informal version of French, however, relies on details to make a statement. Crown moulding is common and is sometimes in a contrasting color or finish. Hardware is also an important element, frequently with scrolled backplates or elaborate escutcheons rather than simple knobs and pulls.
Countertops and flooring in French style kitchens are also typically natural materials, either wood or stone. Countertops can be granite, marble, travertine or wood, and are often used to provide distinctive contrast. Dark or black granite counters and a dark wood floor, for example, would pair beautifully with light-toned maple or white-painted cabinets. Classic grey-veined Carrara marble is quintessentially French when paired with elegant dark cherry cabinets, a terrazzo floor and brass hardware.
At The Kitchen Master, we’ve helped hundreds of clients create custom kitchens to make their homes more attractive, functional and inviting. Consider some of the following ideas as you plan your renovation to create the kitchen you’ve always imagined. 1. Practical and stylish cabinetry can enhance any kitchen. Kitchens with… Read moreView latest blog posts