You can capture the beauty of Aix-en-Provence in a single room, feel connected to nature and civility all at once, and sense the nostalgia for the past that still lingers in France. But how can you really know where to begin when remodeling a kitchen to be French Country? I will aim to answer the question with pictures and examples, what is the essence of French Country?
To start, in that first picture you see a wrought iron chandelier. The Monteclaire chandelier is a rustic work of art. Combined with a pleasant country color scheme, it can look soft and airy.
Generally the motif is characterized by the provincial appearance of wheat colored finishes on the cabinets and chairs. The kitchen island by Lyn design has this countryside appeal. Often one will even see a depiction of wheat carved into the backs of chairs. The carvings are simple and never excessive like the fancier Parisian furniture from the city.
Lyn Designs builds islands in many styles, like the kitchen island above, many of them with European details.
Islands are best lit with pendant lighting, and the Highland pendant is perfect for French provincial.
As far as kitchen sinks go, you can get a Blanco diamond prep sink in the biscuit color for a French Country look.
The French Country kitchen is meant for freshly picked flowers on the breakfast nook, or a bundle of lavender poking out of an apron pocket. You expect to see a jar of honey from the farmer’s market.
For lighting, something like the Yorktown wall sconce with honey glass is very appropriate. It has the artistry of Old Europe and the earth tones of nature.
The Highlands collection is very similar to the lighting in the cream and white French Country example picture. It combines quaintness an wealth.
The rustic fixtures and appliances also suit the motif brilliantly. A copper farmhouse sink like the one from Artisan brings you to the country without forcing you to sacrifice any luxury of the city. The simple beauty of the country is accentuated by the artistic taste of the French. Nothing is ever plain.
Rohl is known for catering to the design standards of Europeans. The sink faucet from the Country Kitchen Collection also has the rustic beauty of the French countryside.
When I stayed in Aix-en-Provence for a summer, I stayed in a home on the outskirts of town surrounded by trees and gardens. The hostess kept her windows open and had no air conditioning. She always told me she planted all the trees around her house to shelter it from the heat. She said she kept the windows open at night to let the cold in, and then closed the drapes during the day to keep it in until the sun set.
Most places did not have air conditioning although the days were often 90 degrees and sunny. I spent a lot of time catching my breath in supermarkets and government buildings. A French ceiling fan like La Fleur is very authentic and will come in handy if you want to open your doors to the elements every now and then.
Finding the right interior design and standing by it is a difficult and personal human struggle. In Sex and the City, when Charlotte and her boyfriend can’t agree on the same dinnerware, “Charlotte broke it off then and there. It would never work. He was American Classic; she was French Country.”