While we can’t all have the good fortune of spending our mornings collecting lavender and herbs from the back garden and running to the boulangerie for fresh croissants, we can bring a bit of that signature Provençal style to our kitchen. You know what we’re talking about: that breezy, lived-in, vintage look—occasionally accented with a hint of Parisian glitz—that brings a certain je ne sais quois to every home it touches.
Ready to dive into the aesthetic? From small changes, like easy vintage décor accents, to major investments, like iconic French appliances, here are 22 French country kitchen ideas that will instantly transport you overseas.
Expose Those Beams
Allowing the original framework of a home to shine through is a wonderful way to showcase its character. Added bonus: in an open floor plan, beams can also allow for a sense of cohesion between different living spaces.
“They add definition without feeling heavy or bulky,” Pennsylvania designer Glenna Stone says, who created this kitchen. “They’re a natural and graceful part of the design.”
Add a Hint of Glitz
Blame it on centuries of royal reign—no matter how rustic a room might otherwise be, it often still incorporates a hint of Old-World opulence. An antique crystal-embellished chandelier adds that touch of fanciness, and the colors will play nicely with other patina-ed metals you incorporate into the rest of the space.
Incorporate Old Textiles
There’s no rule that says a French country kitchen can’t have a bit of color. But, the style is generally thought of as something that celebrates the old, and an easy way to do that is to use a patterned sheet or favorite piece of fabric as a tablecloth. It’ll give new life to something that’s otherwise just taking up space in your linen closet and make dinner clean-up a breeze—double victory.
Have a Place to Hang Your Market Haul
When a separate mudroom isn’t a possibility, a simple peg rack is the perfect place to drop off bags of fresh produce from the farmer’s market, or even to hang the apron and sun hat you wear outside to dig in your vegetable garden.
A shelf on top displays sentimental and decorative items, which can be changed out with the season.
Make Built-ins Feel Like Furniture
When done in natural shades of wood, craftsman details like the Square Island Post shown here will help the permanently placed elements of your kitchen feel like classically crafted furniture from another era—and give a homespun air to even the newest of new builds.
Use Vintage Furniture
Vintage and second-hand furniture are a key part of the country look—the more mismatched, the better. In lieu of a coordinated dining and shelving set, opt to collect pieces over time from flea markets, or in this day and age, Facebook Marketplace. The pieced-together look will help your kitchen feel like it has a story to tell.
Use Shiplap Strategically
Shiplap may feel more synonymous with Waco, Texas than the French countryside—thanks, Chip and Joanna—but it’s still a pretty way to add farmhouse texture to a white kitchen. For a more elegant take on the trend, install the boards vertically instead of horizontally.
Think Beyond White
Pure white isn’t the only true neutral out there, folks. For a country kitchen that feels a touch more contemporary and multi-dimensional, play with warm shades of tan and light gray.
Designate a Pantry Space
The French are all about good eats—and we want to bring that mantra to a French country kitchen for sure with designated pantry space. This rustic take by Milk and Honey Life features a reclaimed wood door that opens to reveal plenty of space for your cooking and baking essentials.
Showcase a Collection
Coziness is hard to conjure in a sparsely decorated room. To that end, don’t be shy about letting some of your favorite kitchen items and collectibles take up shelf space. After all, a kitchen is nothing if not a space for memories.
Build in a Plate Rack
Nooks and crannies in the cabinetry are an essential part of the charm of a country kitchen. For a dose of traditionalism, incorporate a plate rack. The old-school style will allow you to display your favorite everyday china, or, at the very least, make dishes easier to grab while you prep dinner.
Opt for Bistro Chairs
Nothing says French-style—or invites guests to sit and stay awhile—quite like a bistro chair. Serena & Lily is responsible for the beautiful style shown here, which can be ordered in six shades.
Go for the Apron-Front Sink
Does it get any more country classic than an apron-front sink? No, no it does not. But there is a reason beyond aesthetics why the style is so popular: the extra-wide, extra-deep size makes it easier to handle a haul of pots and pans all at once.
Pick Powder Blue Accents
Light blue is a signature component of Provençal style—probably because it matches the delightful hue of the sky in the French countryside. If you’re looking for a French-inspired way to add a little color to a kitchen, this is a wise choice.
Hang Copper Everywhere
Thanks to its brilliant sheen and impressive heat induction, copper cookware has been a staple of French country kitchens for centuries. For a luxe farmhouse touch, hang your best pieces on a pot rack right above your range.
Extend a Tile Backsplash
High-contrast color palettes work in a country-inspired design when there’s something to soften the edges. The rounded cross-inspired pattern in this tile does exactly that—and, because it’s spread throughout the space, you’re instantly cocooned in its homeyness.
Invest in a French Range
LaCornue and Lacanche, pictured here, are the creators of two of the most iconic styles of French cooking appliances. While installing a range from one of these brands in your kitchen won’t guarantee a Julia Child-worthy coq au vin, it can probably help you get pretty darn close.
Collect Ironstone Serveware
Diehard Francophiles know that French ironstone is the ultimate kitchen collectible. The unembellished, simple white design is beloved for its durability and timelessness.
Fun fact: ironstone is sometimes called stoneware, and doesn’t actually contain any iron.
Display Worn Cutting Boards
Layering a variety of vintage cutting boards in a kitchen is a go-to interior stylist trick for adding texture and warmth to an all-white space. Copy the move to bring an antique appeal to your own cooking quarters.
Let Lanterns Inspire Your Lighting
Is it just us, or do the beautiful pendant lights in this kitchen feel like something straight out of Belle’s provincial French village in Beauty & the Beast? But, while the lantern shape and heavy chain feel Old-World, the open siding is fresh and architectural. That fusion makes the design an ideal way to bring a hint of French country style into a more contemporary kitchen.
Sprinkle in Gingham
The bold check pattern brings cheeriness to any surface it graces and is typically available in a wide range of hues. For a sweeter take on the country look, go with something spring-y and pastel.
Pick a Patinaed Hood
Well-weathered metals are a lovely touch for any space as lived-in as a kitchen. To up the rustic quotient when picking out your hood, opt for a cooking vent with brass accents and a more traditional wide-to-skinny shape.