Decorating & Design

December 3, 2008

French Country Kitchen

Q. I purchased a condominium with a long, narrow, galley-style kitchen. I had my heart set on buttercream yellow cabinets and a French country decor, but the builder is only offering cabinets in white or a light, medium or dark wood. I want a solid, aged, warm feel to my kitchen. If I went with the medium wood in a solid panelled door, how can I get the warm, old, European country feeling in my countertop and backsplash?

A. Your dream of having buttercream yellow in your kitchen can still come true. Try using it on the walls instead of your cabinets. Medium wood cabinets would be beautiful, but to achieve a warm, inviting look, we think white wood cabinets paired with a dark wood countertop, and a stone tile backsplash would be a stunning galley-style French country kitchen. A textured white ceramic tile backsplash would also provide a beautiful backdrop for Provencal colours of blue, white and yellow. Specify with your contractor some “glazed” or glass paned cabinet doors instead of going with all solid panelled doors. This will bring a cozy, country feel to the room, and will give you the opportunity to show off pretty dishes in French country colours. If you do decide to go with a wood butcher-block countertop, make sure your contractor finishes the countertop accordingly, so that it withstands everyday use and frequent contact with water and food. Add some touches of blue and tie in your buttercream yellow with accessories such as utensil holders and hand towels, and your kitchen will be a stunning success.