I love my new house!!! And I especially love my French Country Kitchen. I don't just "love" it. I LUUUuuuvvvvv it! It is my happy place. We moved in the beginning of April, and it is home. There's no other way to explain it. Honestly, before we moved in, I was starting to think it wasn't ever going to happen--I mean, eight months of renovating? Seriously! Who does that??? But it was worth it, because it feels so good to finally be home.
Feeling at Home in my French Country Kitchen
|Our Breakfast Nook in the kitchen helped make our house feel like home.|
It didn't feel like home at first, but it didn't take long. For me, all it took was waking up to sound of dishes clanking in the kitchen and that wonderful smell of fresh brewed coffee. When I shuffled into the kitchen, I was thrilled Jim decided to stop what he was doing to sit down with me for a cup of coffee in our breakfast nook. We were still tired, and my muscles ached. Moving is a lot of work, and neither of us slept well that first night. It's hard to sleep some place you're not used to even if you are in your own bed. Anyway, somehow, sitting in our breakfast nook, drinking coffee together in our robes made our house feel like home. It felt right.
Of course, there was still a lot to do. Moving is a process. It isn't something you do one day and are done. Since we've moved in, I think I've rearranged things in the kitchen at least a half a dozen times. You know how it goes... You think you've found the perfect spot for something, then realize it really didn't work there, so you make adjustments. At least, that's what I do. Luckily, Jim has been through this before with me, because I did the same thing when I moved into his house. He knew what to expect, even if he did grumble a little. It's just part of settling in.
Anyway. I want to show you around. So let's grab a cup of coffee and get started.
French Country Kitchen Charm
If you have questions about ANYTHING, please put them in the comments. I'll respond to anyone who comments.
|My new French Country kitchen is joy to cook in!|
I bet you're surprised it isn't white, aren't you? Given how much I've talked about how great white kitchens are, even Jim was surprised I didn't do it in white. I wanted my kitchen to have a French Farmhouse vibe, and when you think of French Country, you automatically think of those gorgeous romantic white kitchens. At least you do if you spend any time on Pinterest. But I wanted one with color, specifically yellow, because my kitchen faces north. In north facing kitchens, white can feel cold, and I wanted my kitchen to feel like sunshine. So I took my inspiration from the colors of southern France, which are much warmer than the colors used in northern parts of France.
It makes me happy every time I look at it.
Improving the Work Triangle in my French Country Kitchen
Did you know that even though it seems simple, sometimes the hardest part of redesigning a kitchen is determining the best location for the appliances?
|How it looked when we first looked at the house.|
and How it looks now!
I started designing as soon as the decision was made to rip it all out. I knew it needed a better work triangle, but to keep costs down, I wanted to keep things like plumbing where they were. So, the first thing I did was determine the best work triangle. There are two entrances to the kitchen on the same wall, so traffic kind of sticks to one side. Moving all the appliances off that wall made the most sense. That way the work triangle was out of the flow of traffic, and people could come and go without getting in the way of the cook.
|Keeping the sink and stove basically where they were saved some money.|
I'll be sharing the details in another post, because there are a lot of them. I mean, we changed everything from top to bottom. We used our stove and refrigerator from our old house, but everything else was replaced.
Creating Storage in my French Country Kitchen
Some people think finding storage means hiding things away, because storage is ugly and utilitarian. Not true! Sometimes it means putting things on display and making them the show!
|Before: The awkwardly located refrigerator and oven|
After: A new home for the pegboard my dad made for me.
As you can see, we did move the refrigerator to the other side of the room, which made the room feel bigger. We eliminated the wall oven, removed the wallpaper and patched the wall where the oven had been. Keeping with the French Country design, I used free-standing pieces on this side of the kitchen instead of having cabinets installed.
|The pegboard pot rack my dad made for me.|
I put our old kitchen cart under the pegboard for a bit more work surface. Jim was going to build a rustic shelf to put there, but now I'm rethinking it. This cart just works so well, and leaves space for our small trash can and a much needed step stool. And, now that I've removed the drawer, a toaster oven will fit on the top shelf. I never thought I would use this very much, but I'm finding I use it all the time. I still might have him make something just because it would be extra special to have something he made.
Making my French Country Kitchen Pretty and Practical
Do you think art can't go in the kitchen? Think again! The kitchen is a perfect place to display treasured pieces, especially if the kitchen is a room you spend a lot of time in. Art should be hung where you'll enjoy it the most!
|A china cabinet and some art makes it look pretty.|
Check out the art on the wall. I love these two pieces. I've had them for years and never get tired of them. I was going to hang them in the living room until I saw how fantastic they go with the china cabinet. I wish the color of my china cabinet photographed better. It drives me nuts that it doesn't, because in person, you'd see how fantastic it looks with these two prints.
Finishing Touches to my French Country Kitchen
Little details like curtains and lighting make a room feel cozy and inviting. Instead of replacing everything, maybe they just need a little tweaking to make them work.
|Before the breakfast nook felt crowded,|
but after it felt very open and inviting.
It's a good thing I could look past all that furniture. I knew this corner could be a charming breakfast nook. It just needed a smaller table, banquette seating, some new curtains and a new chandelier.
I'm not sure Jim can see my vision for French banquette seats under the windows. So for now, we have a small round table and three chairs. There actually wasn't anything wrong with the curtains. They're simple white curtains. All I did was change the pinch pleats to French pleats and replaced the curtain rods. They're the only curtains I kept in the whole house.
|Spray paint and new globes equal a new chandelier.|
Looking at the chandelier now, I'm kind of glad I didn't find anything else, because I really it. I love the seeded glass globes. They tie in nicely with the pendants over the sink without being matchy-matchy.
Let's Sit and Chat in My French Country Kitchen
Comments! Please let me know what you think of my French Country Kitchen or ask questions? You can even tell you things you would have done differently!
|Let's sit down and drink our coffee.|
If you have questions about anything you see in the pictures, please post them in comments.
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