No other part of a home enjoys so much family occupation and attention; your kitchen is the most heavily used part of your house and is also the room which forms the heart of any home. The French-style country kitchen is warm and inviting with a Gallic twist which is unique, stylish and functional.
While you are encouraged to consider how your finished kitchen is going to look, you should also maintain in the forefront of your mind the fact that you need to place a very high priority on functionality and practicality too.
There is also a cost issue to consider. There is a popular perception that remodelling your kitchen has to cost a small fortune, however this is not necessarily the case. What is more important is that you exercise as much creativity and design imagination as you can muster.
A good tip is to look at as many kitchen installations as you can; this will provide you with practical ideas as you can take what you like from each installation and incorporate them into your own design scheme. Pay particular attention to the color themes and the use of accentuating items which can lend the finishing touches which really make the look you are after really work.
A French-style kitchen will impart rusticity: they are “old” yet highly functional (remember the French style is based on rural, working kitchen designs which tend to be robust and highly practical). They exude warmth with earthy tones and a heavy use of natural materials and tones. Old or distressed looking wood for the cabinetry and furniture form the foundation of the kitchen design with dark flooring, typically using wood, stone or slate. Natural lighting should be utilized wherever possible to highlight the overall ambience and feel.
This style of kitchen is eminently suitable for large kitchen rooms, though it is also a very simple style to emulate in a smaller kitchen too. It is also a style which invites family dining and entertaining, so if you are looking to encourage your family to eat together or like inviting guests around frequently, this is one of the top styles to choose.
If you are able to perform the work, fitting “faux” beams or exposing woodwork is ideal to create an authentic look. You are not looking for smooth or glossy finishes here, but rather you are looking for a lived in, well-used appearance. This does not belie the functionality of this style of kitchen: practicality is highly desired and they are typically very easy to clean and maintain. They are also highly functional when it comes to food preparation; plenty of work surfaces and storage space which uses the wood worked cabinetry and drawers to best effect.
For a really Gallic feel, use iron pans and skillets hanging from the wall or ceiling together with wrought iron wine racks. Complement these with terracotta or earthenware bowls, jugs and storage containers to add some finishing touches. The French style kitchen does not need to cost the earth, because you can source many items in thrift stores to provide that aged appearance you are looking for.