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French Country Kitchen on a Budget

Updated on March 13, 2017

French Country Kitchen

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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

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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.

French Impressions
French Impressions

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.

 
Bringing it Home - France : Creating the Feeling of France in Your Home Room by Room
Bringing it Home - France : Creating the Feeling of France in Your Home Room by Room

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.

Villeroy & Boch Audun Ferme Salad Plate
Villeroy & Boch Audun Ferme Salad Plate

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

That house had a great kitchen with lots of work space. I really miss that kitchen.
That house had a great kitchen with lots of work space. I really miss that kitchen. | Source

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.

Parlez-vous Francais?

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.

Source

These little curtains came with the house, and were sold with the house. The little teapot-shaped egg basket is from Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and the red and white rooster plate is from Home Goods. I have made new in pale yellow and French (Williamsburg) blue for our new kitchen.

Take This Poll About Home Decor

What is your preferred style of home decor?

See results

Great French Cookbooks

These are some great French cookbooks. I have both, and I love them.

Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home
Barefoot in Paris: Easy French Food You Can Make at Home

This is one of my favorite cookbooks. I think you'll like it, too.

 
My French Kitchen: A Book of 120 Treasured Recipes
My French Kitchen: A Book of 120 Treasured Recipes

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

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    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 21 months ago from Central Florida, USA

      Thank you. I love that fabric. I bet you love yours, too. Thanks for visiting.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 22 months ago from America

      Very nice French country kitchen. I have some of the fabric your curtains are made of.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @Meganhere: Thank you. And thank you for the squidlikes on my lenses.

    • Meganhere profile image

      Meganhere 3 years ago

      Your French kitchen is lovely!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @ChristyZ: Thank you, Christy, and thanks for the squidlike and for voting in my poll. All are appreciated.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 3 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @iamme89: Thank you, and thanks for the squidlike, too.

    • profile image

      iamme89 3 years ago

      I love your French Kitchen. It gives a cozy and warm feeling watching it., I would love to have one.

    • profile image

      ChristyZ 3 years ago

      Beautiful decorating ideas!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @SusanDeppner: Thanks, Susan, for such a nice comment. I really enjoyed reading about your roosters and your kitchen, too.

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Your kitchen is beautiful! I love the style and the pretty colors. And, as you already know, I truly love the roosters! Beautifully done - great resources here!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @flinnie lm: Thank you for the nice comment and for the squidlike. Both are appreciated.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 4 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I love this look for the kitchen, great ideas here.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @Wedding Mom: So glad you enjoyed it; and thank you for the squidlike and for voting in my polls.

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 4 years ago

      Great kitchen ideas. I enjoyed reading your lens. Thanks.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @dellgirl: Thank you, dellgirl. Visit anytime, and thanks for the nice comment.

    • profile image

      dellgirl 4 years ago

      You have a great collection of ideas for a Country French Kitchen on a Budget, I enjoyed it. Nice work.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @anonymous: Bonjour! Cava? Thank you so much for the angel blessing and the squidlike. They are both very much appreciated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Bonjour! Enjoyed the French décor selections!

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @delia-delia: I know that apartment in Paris must have been lovely, and I bet your kitchen now is beautiful, too. According to my polls, the Country French style is 2nd only to eclectic décor. Thank you so much for the squidlike, comment, and angel blessing.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 4 years ago

      Bonjour! Great lens! I love French Country and have my kitchen there halfway. We had just rented an apartment in Paris and it was an incredible elegant French Country décor, it was beautiful.. My house is eclectic but leans to the French or European décor.

      ~d-artist Squid Angel Blessing~

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 4 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @sheilamarie78: Hi, sheilamarie! Thank you for the squidlike and comment. And thanks for visiting my lens.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 4 years ago

      I love the French country style! I hope you get to paint your kitchen soon. Sounds lovely!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Like the ideas very much although my House is decorated with a bit of this and that at the moment.

    • MariaMontgomery profile image
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      MariaMontgomery 5 years ago from Central Florida, USA

      @sheriangell: Thank you for the comment and squidlike, and for the Angel Blessing. They are very much appreciated.

    • sheriangell profile image

      sheriangell 5 years ago

      Love the French Country theme. You did a great job on this lens and in your home. Angel blessed today!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

      I like French country décor you did a great job on the lens.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      The French Country theme is beautiful and I would love to use it in a different home in a different environment. Enjoy your decorating! Blessed.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      You have some excellent suggestions and the layout of this page is very pleasing too; Blessings to you!

    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 5 years ago

      I would like to recommend a cookbook by Ina Garten, Barefoot in Paris. It would look great on your kitchen counter. I have always loved the romantic look of French designs in the home.

    • CoeGurl profile image

      CoeGurl 5 years ago from USA

      I, too, love Country French Décor. Your kitchen looks wonderful.

    • tracy-arizmendi profile image

      Tracy Arizmendi 5 years ago from Northern Virginia

      Beautiful pics! I loved the part about not arriving early or late for dinner engagments & sending thank you notes.

    • Craftymarie profile image

      Marie 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens - I do like the French Country style and some of our home is decorated that way but other bits are more modern.