Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The French Modern Kitchen

Kitchens done in the French country style are very popular, but for those of us looking for something a little different and a little more "now" while still retaining that great French aesthetic, we have the style known as French modern.

The French modern design style incorporates classic French elements like blue walls and white accents with modern details like stainless steel appliances. A thoroughly French kitchen will have wide open surfaces, such as a long and uninterrupted counter or table, that can be used for food preparation and serving. French style kitchens also often include a center island - with or without built in sink - to provide more space to work.

The French style of kitchen design also focuses on visibility and openness. Cupboards and cabinets are often left open so that the contents can be see by anyone in the room. By "open," we do not mean the doors are left hanging open - rather, the doors are left of entirely or made of glass. If you want to try this approach for your cabinetry, leave the lower cabinets with their doors intact, and keep the upper cabinets designated as those to be left open. Paint the cabinets white to contrast with your blue walls, and choose kitchen cabinet knobs and drawer handles that blend in with the design idea - perhaps white fleur de lis shaped knobs and pulls.

The other home hardware need not match exactly with your cabinet hardware, but try to keep a similar look and feel for things like your door handles. For the rest of the room, flowers in eclectic little vases, more white accents like picture frames, and wine bottles with beautiful and unique labels are great ideas. If you are uncomfortable with having all of your upper cabinets left open, then perhaps you would prefer to keep only a certain section, such as those over the sink, open, and keep the rest with their traditional doors. You can put the wine bottles in the open ones for a lovely display.

While it is not always feasible to redo the whole kitchen to fit the French style, by ripping out current cabinets and installing all new long and wide open work surfaces, you can still get the French modern style for your home with decorative accents and a new coat or two of paint. Aim for the feel of a funky yet quaint little cafe and you won't go wrong.

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