French Country Kitchen on a Budget
French Country Kitchen
Creating a Country French Kitchen in an English Tudor Home
Love the French Country style? Can't afford to redo your home all at once? Don't worry, there are many little things you can do to bring a French feel into your humble abode. In other words, create your own French Country kitchen on a budget. This photo shows the kitchen of our former home in Alabama. Below, I will share with you how I gradually gave that home a Country French feel.
I love anything French, particularly the French Country style of home decorating. This home is an English Tudor-style home, but I was determined to give the inside a Country French look. This is how the kitchen looked the day we first saw the house -- it was decorated for Christmas. We bought those bar stools from the previous owners, so they stayed with the house. We later sold them to the woman who bought the house from us.
One change we made that fits beautifully with French Country décor, without harming the integrity of this Old English home, is to replace both the vinyl kitchen floor and carpeted living room floor with wide-plank distressed hardwood floors. It's amazing how much larger the areas appear when not visually divided by carpet meeting vinyl. We also replaced the sunroom doors with beautiful French doors.
I had planned to paint the large country kitchen a pale buttery yellow. Before I got around to doing that, we decided to build our dream retirement home in a better climate. So, my pale buttery yellow paint will go into our new home.
Toile Plate Vignette
Easy and Inexpensive French Touches
These small decorating touches kept me satisfied until I could do more extensive decorating. This photo is of a small vignette I set up on top of some of the kitchen cabinets. It was simple and inexpensive to put together, and my grandmother's Blue Willow plate seems to fit nicely with the toile plates and the wine box. The toile plate on the left is Villeroy & Boch, but the one on the right is from TJ Maxx. The wine box (seen in the upper right corner of the photo) was left behind by the previous owners of this home.
These are two of my favorite books on the subject. I refer to them frequently, as I go about planning my designs. Both are loaded with gorgeous photos, and descriptions of French style and customs.
A couple of Christmases ago, my daughter gave me a Barnes & Noble gift card. I had been looking at this book, and used the gift card to get it. It has given me some wonderful decorating ideas.
This is a book I found in a little French shoppe in Paris, Las Vegas. It has been very helpful in planning my home decor.
No-cost Things You Can Do to Give Your Home a French Touch
And they won't cost you a penny:
- Instead of making your bed in the traditional American way, turn down the covers with the pretty side of the sheet showing. Simply put the flat sheet right side down, so that, when folded back, the right side is up. Then pile on lots of fluffy pillows.
- Use lots of fresh flowers in your home. If you must, use silk-flower arrangements.
- Remember that the bath is to soothe and relax. Put your bath beads and body wash, etc., in a little basket and leave it beside your bathtub. If space allows, put out some thick, fluffy towels.
Gorgeous French Dinnerware and Teapots
These are some of the easy decorating touches that will give a French feeling until I have time to do more extensive re-decorating, such as painting. The first plate below is the one used in the photo above.
This salad plate is one of those shown in the above photo of a vignette on top of my kitchen cabinets.
Another View of That Kitchen
French Country Kitchens Often Include Roosters, Fruit, French Hydrangea, and Sunflowers
This photo is of another of the vignettes atop the cabinets in my former kitchen that included all of these: roosters, hydrangea, fruit, and sunflowers. I have collected these items gradually over many years. Also included are some dried hydrangea blossoms from the garden, and a beautiful rooster from Home Goods.
Want to add a bit of French culture to your life?
Here are some common French practices that will give you that touch of elegance so often lacking in our casual and hurried lifestyles:
- When invited to someone's home for dinner, DO NOT arrive early. Ever. Also, never arrive more than 15 minutes past the stated time. To do either is considered extremely rude.
- Never, ever apply lipstick, or powder your face in public. This is considered to be part of your "toilette" and is done only in private.
- If asking for a recipe, do it after the meal, not at the table.
- Always taste each food item at a dinner party. It is rude not to do so, unless of course, you are allergic to a particular food.
- Always, always send a thank-you note after spending an evening at someone else's home, or being invited out with others.
There Are Many Color Schemes in French Country Decor
Country French decor makes good use of the vibrant primary colors of red, yellow, and blue, as well as pastel yellow & light blue, and black & white, but is not limited to these. They are simply the most common.
Learn a Language with Rosetta Stone - French is the most beautiful language in the world; it's also the language of international treaty negotiations.
I've studied French off and on since high school. More off than on, though. I'm far from fluent, but love the language. I still have a lot to learn, and will be returning to my studies of French, Spanish, and Italian with Rosetta Stone in hopes of someday visiting those countries.
Another small vingette.
Take This Poll About Home Decor
What is your preferred style of home decor?
Great French Cookbooks
These are some great French cookbooks. I have both, and I love them.
This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I think you'll like it, too.
This is another treasured cookbook of mine. I have a different version though; mine has a blue cover.
Bonjour! Thank you for visiting. I hope I gave you an idea of how inexpensive it is to add some lovely Country French touches to your home. Please leave a comment and let me know you dropped by.
© 2011 MariaMontgomery