French Country Kitchen Furniture
French country kitchen furniture іѕ mаdе uр оf stand аlоnе pieces аѕ thе concept оf a totally fitted kitchen wоuld nоt sit easily іn thе French Country house. It wоuld bе far tоо restraining, аѕ thе French like tо hаvе units whісh аrе nоt uniform, аrе able tо hаvе thеіr contents viewed аnd саn bе mixed аnd matched wіth old аn new.
Although open plan kitchen and dining areas with free standing kitchen units is still a fairly new concept in most English speaking countries – in France it has always been the norm.
When thinking of French Country kitchen furniture, the first piece that most often springs to mind is the ever-present farm table. Rightly so, for the kitchen is the hub of the home and the table is the centre piece – literally and figuratively.
As dining rooms are not common in the French country house, the kitchen table used for preparing food will serve a dual purpose.
Most often tables will have scrubbed pine tops and wooden or iron legs. The wooden legs could be left natural in color or there again could be painted or limed.
In some French homes, if the kitchen is large enough there will be a table for preparing food and a separate table for dining.
Chairs could be wrought iron or more traditional ladderbacks with rush seating. Sometimes they will all match and then, typically French, sometimes they won’t.
The armoire is another ubiquitous piece of French Country kitchen furniture. It would be very rare to find a French kitchen without this versatile storage cupboard, in one form or another.
If used as a larder or garde à manger, it will be in the form of a lower cupboard, surmounted by open shelves with doors, either fitted with chicken-wire or glazed.
There is also a cage-like smaller version of the garde à manger, customarily hung from the ceiling or mounted high on the wall, keeping food contents out of immediate sight.
Another use for the armoire is to house crockery, glasses, utensils etc. Its glazed or chicken-wire doors always allowing the contents to be viewed.
Dishes and utensils not housed in an armoire could be stored in a low side board or buffet.
Another practical free standing unit is the butcher’s block, which often is an inherited treasure.
The kitchen sink (or sinks), which is normally made of stone or ceramic in the shape of a Butler’s sink, is usually set into a wooden or stone unit with open shelves beneath it, to store dishes and utensils.
It is not uncommon to find other pieces not designed for the kitchen to be pressed into use as French Country kitchen furniture. As you know with the French, they do things differently. So, for example, if a chest of drawers can be used to store table linen and it is aesthetically pleasing to look at… into the kitchen it will go.
- The French love to bring the outside in and take the inside out, therefore try using your patio wrought iron chairs as dining chairs, topping them with some squab cushions in a pretty print or toile cotton fabric.
- If you’re thinking of renovating your kitchen, opt for free standing units and instead of a built-in island, rather go for a large, old farm table for food preparation as well as dining.