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Kitchen Makeover a la France: Five Elements for a French Country Look

by Susanne Clemenz

If you're a Francophile from clothing to la cuisine, consider a kitchen makeover scaled to today's American homes. A French country kitchen can inspire your culinary adventures and be warm and welcoming.

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French Country Kitchen Elements Adapted to Your Home on the Range

Your French country kitchen makeover can incorporate as many elements as fit your budget. Nothing says you have to do it all at once, but your master plan can aim for the following:

  1. Ceilings: If wood beams are in your budget, great! If not, build them by using three wood planks to create long, skinny troughs. Finish the outside as desired and install. Another surprising choice is faux beams made of Styrofoam, either homemade or ordered. Hey--no one's going to do close-up inspections! Spend the big savings elsewhere in your kitchen makeover.
  2. Lighting: French country kitchen lighting is very natural. Install a big multi-paned garden window. Hang a simple circular wrought iron faux candelabra over the sink. Use concealed under-cabinet lights for task areas, or install charming low voltage track or pendant lights with wrought ironwork.
  3. Cabinets: Cabinets are often painted cream or white, or are natural wood with a simple raised or recessed panel. Use glass doors here and there. A distressed look imparts a country feeling. Go ahead--use an old, dark armoir as an accent piece and pantry.
  4. Countertops: Look for big planks from a recycled wood supplier to make countertops. Add a big old farm sink for authenticity. Other options for countertops include granite, butcherblock, solid-surface faux granite, or laminate with a glossy granite appearance--you can achieve an authentic look with various budgets. Use a simple tile for backsplashes.
  5. Flooring: Forget the foot-killing, uneven cobblestone tiles. Go for a rough-sawn wide plank, natural wood, simple tile, flagstone or, brick look.

Accent your choices with wall-mounted or ceiling-hung wrought iron holders for displaying copper pans and keeping cooking utensils handy. Voila--your kitchen makeover takes you right back to delicious Provence!



About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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