The decorating aesthetic known in the English-speaking world as French country style is an homage to the charms of the French countryside. While it may be hard to replicate the beauty of the surrounding landscape or the aged patina of a Provençal farmhouse, a rustic thatched cottage in Normandy, or a provincial chateau, architects, interior designers, and home decorators around the world have long sought to transport a bit of the charm and elegance of the French countryside to their own backyards.
The resulting mashup known as French country decor emphasizes an easy take on rustic but refined aesthetics and natural materials, and an embrace of timeless everyday objects. Much of what we think of as traditional or farmhouse style interiors that are so ubiquitous today have roots in French country aesthetics, which can add character to a modern interior, easily translating to any room in the house from the living room to the bedroom or bathroom.
Adding some French country-inspired decor to your own kitchen can help you to add a sense of history, timelessness, and simple beauty to your home, no matter where you live. Check out these interiors that demonstrate how to borrow a bit of French style to make your own kitchen design into the warm, charming, effortlessly chic gathering space it was meant to be.
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Use Gilded Finishes
This French farmhouse-inspired kitchen from Mindy Laven Home is decorated with elegant details like lantern-style pendant lights and scattered paintings with gilded frames on the walls that contrast with the wood beams, cabinetry, and flooring.
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Add a Statement Oven Hood
This kitchen from Marie Flanigan Interiors has pale neutral tones, natural wood floors, and a monumental oven hood with classical curves that lends the space a French country-inspired vibe.
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Collect Copper Cookware
This all-white kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors has a black metal pot mounted to a painted brick wall that houses a collection of copper pots that are as pretty and shiny as they are useful, and will be the last pieces of cookware you will ever have to buy if cared for properly.
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Opt for a Butcher's Block
This kitchen from Marie Flanigan Interiors gets some French country street cred thanks to a French-style butcher block placed in the center of the room in lieu of an American-style kitchen island.
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Highlight Ceiling Beams
The vaulted ceilings in this spacious California kitchen from Anne Rae Design are highlighted by dark stained wood beams that add definition and a refined take on rustic style that adds character to the large, airy space.
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Swap the Island for a Farmhouse Table
An easy way to add a French country sensibility to your kitchen is to skip the kitchen island and install a farmhouse table instead. This 1920s Los Angeles hunting cabin from Leanne Ford Interiors has a laid back and unpretentious air, channeling French farmhouse spirit with a rustic medium-toned wood table surrounded by simple white chairs.
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Incorporate Patterned Tile
Adding pretty patterned tile in soft shades of blue, bentwood bar stools, and vintage-style pendant lights adds a little bit of French country flair to this kitchen from Charlie Coull Design.Continue to 9 of 28 below.
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Prioritize Natural Materials
This kitchen from Anne Rae Design highlights natural materials like wood and stone, with a rustic oven surround and wooden bar stools that add French country finesse.
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Use Mismatched Cabinets
This kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors channels French country spirit with its mismatched storage pieces including open wood and metal bracket shelving and stacked vintage cupboards with an aged painted patina that add interest and character while providing a place to store supplies and add clutter.
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Use Checkboard Flooring
This family style kitchen from Marie Flanigan Interiors has checkerboard flooring with an aged patina that looks like it wasn't installed yesterday, adding an aged patina to a new kitchen.
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Highlight Original Features
You might not live in a French country farmhouse, but embracing original features in your home is one way to channel some timeless Gallic charm no matter where you live. In this kitchen renovation, Jessica Nelson Interior Design turned a dark kitchen into an open and airy space, exposing the original brick chimney that adds character to the kitchen and the dining room on the other side of the wall.
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Keep It Rustic
Chunky wood ceiling beams, a stone-topped wood island, and a row of copper pots hung above the kitchen sink window add rustic charm to this kitchen from Marie Flanigan Interiors.
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Bring on the Bistro Bar Stools
A pair of classic French bistro bar stools sitting side-by-side at the end of a peninsula creates a cozy seating area in this kitchen from Marie Flanigan Interiors.
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Use Industrial Light Fixtures
Simple industrial-style pendants, a framed painting leaning casually against the backsplash, and an oversized vase filled with flowering branches adds some refined rustic charm to this timeless modern kitchen designed by Rashida Banks for Emily Henderson Design.Continue to 16 of 28 below.
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Use a Wooden Island
In this kitchen from Jessica Nelson Interior Design, a French-style wooden two-tiered work table with turned legs adds charm to the space while retaining the function of a modern kitchen island.
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Change the Conversation
This white, modern American kitchen from Jessica Nelson Interior Design serves as a neutral background that allows French-style details like cross-back wooden bar stools and a crystal chandelier to take center stage.
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Layer in Some Natural Elements
In this kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors, dark wood open shelving and vintage-style metal brackets provide a space to house everyday items, decorative objects, and flowers that bring the beauty of the outdoors inside. Add some lavender and you can pretend that you picked it from the field outside your window in the South of France.
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Mix Old and New
In this kitchen from Jessica Nelson Interior Design, original brick walls, an antique-style chandelier, and vintage-style French country bar stools add character to the all-white kitchen with its modern cabinetry and finishes.
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Try Herringbone Wood Floors
Rustic wood herringbone floors, white-washed brick walls, and a wood-based kitchen island are some of the details that preserve a sense of authenticity in this historic home renovation from Kate Marker Interiors.Continue to 23 of 28 below.
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Hang a Curtain Under the Sink
In this country cottage from Leanne Ford Interiors, a curtain casually hung beneath the vintage farmhouse sink hides clutter while adding an old world sense of charm and ease.Continue to 24 of 28 below.
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Use Brick Flooring
We Are True Home chose a thin brick floor tile that lends a new kitchen an old world European-style feel.Continue to 25 of 28 below.
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Texturize the Walls
While it's impossible to recreate the centuries-old patina of an old French farmhouse, you can help to create a time-worn feel by forgoing crisp white walls and adding texture to the wall using layers of chalk paint and wax or another perfectly imperfect finish like this homey kitchen from Lobster and Swan.Continue to 26 of 28 below.
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Install a French Range
Basic Projects turned a dark and cluttered kitchen in Charleston, South Carolina into a clean and classic oasis that mixes old and new. The designers replaced wood tops with marble, added a farm sink, and installed a classic Lacanche range in dark green that brings the classic Made in France vibes.
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This bright white kitchen from Brexton Cole Interiors has French touches like a farmhouse table with a matching bench and a midcentury modern chair on the end and French rattan bar stools that reflect the mix of styles and periods that embody the French country aesthetic.Continue to 28 of 28 below.
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This rustic kitchen from the UK's Lobster and Swan would look just as at home in the French countryside, with its mix of simple, natural materials, open shelving, mismatched tableware, simple industrial lighting, bentwood chairs, and lightly rumpled linen curtains that have an effortlessly chic appeal.