Whilst trying not to get too distracted by the Tour de France, we’ve been looking at French farmhouse style. For us, the image of a French farmhouse-style kitchen means a comfortable and homely rustic look…perhaps with a old-fashioned range cooker, a chimney hood, tiled floor and an eclectic selection of patterned wall tiles. Paint finishes should be slightly distressed, not shiny and perfect. The aim is to create a gentle, olde-worlde ambience in the kitchen – the perfect place to display an eclectic range of brocante items picked up from Provencal village antique shops and market stalls. Here, we take a deep dive into this classic style and show you how you can achieve similar in your own home…
This gorgeous kitchen has all the key elements of country style – from both France and England. We love the rustic/country style accessories, and the classic cabinetry. For a French country flavour, a wide range cooker (try La Cornue for the ultimate French-made range-style cookers) and an angled chimney hood are de rigueur. Plentiful storage space is a must, of course, not only for all those ingredients, don’t forget plenty of fresh/chilled refrigeration space and useful open shelves to keep everyday utensils to hand. Our Modular Black Slate porcelain floor tiles look perfect in a rustic kitchen, and could be used throughout a whole ground-floor space to continue the farmhouse-style look.
Tip Top Taps
Nail that French country look with traditional taps and a very classic sink … these can be described as Belfast, butler, or French farmhouse. There are little differences, traditionally a Belfast sink has an overflow, a butler sink doesn’t, and a French farmhouse style sink is not as ‘tall’ and is larger, often with a divide in the middle. This is Salcombe cabinetry in Painted Chalk and Painted Lead, from the Burbidge kitchen collection. For a similar French-style tap, look at the Melford Bridge model in brushed nickel, by Abode – it also comes in a chrome finish. Of course, a natural-stone style floor is a must – our Senstone porcelain tiles are a perfectly faithful replica of natural brushed stone, and come in two formats – 300mm x 600mm and 600mm x 600mm.
French country-style furniture tends to be a little more ‘chunky’ than English styles, so if you’re on the hunt for antique pieces with an authentic hint of French style, keep an eye open for the more solid, heavier pieces. Surprisingly, these styles do turn up often in antique markets (look out for larger premises that host lots of individual sellers) as they’re an acquired taste- lots of homes these days can be too small for larger pieces. Anyway, if you’re not looking for old pieces, thankfully there are lots of new styles available, such as this Hampshire set from Furniture Choice, which is also available in plain natural oak. Needless to say, you could team this with our Atlantis porcelain planks for a great weathered, rustic look.
These accessories capture a sense of French farmhouse style … From left; for an eclectic look, track down a selection of bistro-style chairs – OK, so not quite ‘farmhouse’ style, but a worthy alternative. This one is the Harrington Black Bistro chair from Cult Furniture. Tinware is hugely popular and it’s easy to unearth some amazing pieces in antique markets and junk shops – but if you’re not touring rural France, try this Grey Metal Vintage Style Pitcher from Melody Maison. And for a perfectly atmospheric and attractive pendant over that chunky farmhouse table, try the Adeline Bar Pendant with brushed copper frame and pressed glass shades, from Dar Lighting, in various configurations.
Mix It Up
French interiors always seem to have a lovely mix of styles – old and new, rustic and sleek, textures and colours. There’s something about this kitchen which has a distinctly French flavour – perhaps it’s the way plain and patterned tiles are mixed for the flooring, which also, incidentally, is an excellent way of making a division between ‘kitchen’ and ‘dining’ spaces. The patterned tiles are our new Swing Decor in Beige & Blue, with matching plain Swing Grey, which also come in Ice and Beige.
Our Riga ceramic tiles are based on an authentic French design, and there are a grand total of 32 different surface pattern designs (you get a random selection in each box). We think that these are the perfect way of creating a French look in a country kitchen!
Finishing Touches a la Francoise
From left; this little Lyon wall cabinet has all the necessary French influences, and would work in a hallway, kitchen or bathroom. We rather like the idea of it as a kitchen accessory – room for spices, condiments and hooks for cloths and oven gloves…from a lovely range at Melody Maison; Consider basket ware as an absolute must-have in a French farmhouse scheme, so have a look at the great range available at Garden Trading. Find somewhere to store the logs, vegetables, table linen and anything else you can think of! And finally, we couldn’t sign off on French farmhouse and country style without mentioning The French Bedroom Company. Their armoires and wardrobes are, of course, perfect for the bedroom, but we also love them as a storage piece in a kitchen or bathroom – perfectly practical and absolutely spot-on as far as French country style is concerned.
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