Design Trend: French Country
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|Wed, 03-05-2008 - 7:44am|
What's the French Country Kitchen Look?
The French Country design is a warm, relaxed look that combines colorful painted kitchen cabinets with brightly patterned fabrics. In the French country kitchen you’ll see well-worn pine furniture and wrought iron accessories. When you walk into the kitchen, you should almost be able to envision the casual lifestyle of the French countryside.
Before starting this home improvement project, look around your existing kitchen. Depending on its age and condition, you may be ready to start from scratch to add the French country look. If you decide to scrap everything to start your home improvement project, you may want to hire a contractor. Or, if your kitchen cabinets are in good shape, you can find ways to work around them to make the change to a French kitchen.
French Country Kitchen Cabinet Designs
The French Country kitchen is defined by its painted wood cabinets. The kitchen cabinets often are painted blue or green to bring in color while still adding a relaxed feel. If you plan to spruce up your kitchen, and are handy and patient, you can do this project yourself. While the work is not exceptionally difficult, it is time consuming and involves plenty of detail work to paint around hinges, hardware, and other kitchen cabinet features. You may find it easier to remove the hinges and hardware, but be sure to keep track of where it all goes when you finish painting your kitchen cabinets and want to put it all together.
Another option is to find a painting contractor to do this part of the home improvement project. A contractor might have two or three workers painting at once, which can make the project go much quicker. Also you can simply buy new kitchen cabinets. Plenty of options are available in painted cabinets as most manufacturers have painted designs to accommodate their popularity in many parts of the country.
Don’t Want to Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets, Paint the Walls!
The paint for the kitchen cabinets, or any color that coordinates with your kitchen, can be used on the walls too. Many French Country kitchens are painted in bright yellows or cornflower blue. These colors are suitable for the cabinets as well as the walls. Again, this is a home improvement project you can do yourself or by hiring a contractor if time is an issue.
You can pull the look together with toile or canvas fabric on the windows. Roman shades are a good choice because they are casual while still adding some order to the space and have a simple vertical design.
Functional Issues in a French Country Kitchen
Many true French Country kitchens are small, forcing home owners to make good use of kitchen cabinet storage and vertical space. Pot racks that hang from the ceiling are popular because they add a decorative flair while creating a handy storage space. When buying new kitchen cabinets, consider adding a few interior shelving units such as a spice rack or roll out drawers for added functionality.
You can add the warm French Country style in many ways during a home improvement project. All it takes is a little creativity and a willingness to think outside of traditional kitchen cabinets.
Co-CL for "The Stitcher's Niche" and "Remodel & Renovate" and CL for "Antiques and Collectibles"
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Stitchery WIPs: "Bath 5¢", "Walking to Town", a selection of 8 San Man snowman charts, "Millenium Sampler", 2 sets of curtain tie-backs using a DMC freebie chart and the DMC linen threads, a Kooler Design Studio chart form JanLynn called "Needlework Shop", "Tsunami Charity Sampler" from the fall 2007 Sampler & Needlework Quarterly, and "Autumn Leaves" from the December 2006 New Stitches