For anyone who has ever visited Provence, you know there is simply something special about these French country kitchens. Whether it is the mix of patterns and colors, dried flowers and plants, or well loved pots, pans, and utensils, it’s hard to tell what makes them so perfect. But you find yourself wanting to fall into one of the padded chairs and spend the afternoon sipping coffee and smelling the scent of dinner cooking.
Although not in France, I have a close second to the experience right here in America. And the owner graciously allowed me to share it with you. What makes this kitchen so notable, is that it is so personalized, reflecting all of her favorite things. By simply walking in the room, you feel that you have gotten to know her. She has also been kind enough to share the sources of many of her treasures.
The first choice in decorating a kitchen is perhaps the most important. The color selection will set the tone of the space and all other elements will derive from it. For this owner, the choice was clear and specific. She wanted her cabinets to be done in Farrow & Ball Light Blue.
So light that the paint looks almost silvery, this blue was paired with Pierre Deux French Country Wallpaper to further bring out the blue tones. The paint was applied by hand, revealing the faint remnants of brush strokes.
The second must-have element for the owner were the Delft Tiles. Rich with history, these blue and white tiles are handcrafted and painted with various life scenes, such as children at play and farm animals in fields. They have graced the walls of the finest European and Early American homes.
Like many modern kitchens, this country kitchen incorporates well distributed recessed lighting for a bright and evenly lit work space. That said, the owner also wanted her kitchen to have the warmth of table lamps and pendants. She makes use of these when she is hosting casual dinner gatherings. A small Pierre Deux pewter lamp sits in a corner by the coffee pot. Over the island hang two barrel lights custom made in a fabric similar to the curtains.
Lastly, came the owner’s collection of prized objects with special meaning. In the eating nook, the owner hung a collection of Flow Blue platters, one of which her grandmother had carefully carried with her from Ireland.
Three paintings of pumpkins subtly bring the spirit of the season into the kitchen. A narrow row of bookshelves, hosts a collection of family cookbooks. And a hanging trio of potted plants brings the garden indoors just like the French country kitchens of Provence.
I hope this kitchen brought its spirit of warmth and togetherness to you and inspired ideas for your own homes. Be sure to check out last week’s post A Fall Family Dinner, for our Sherried Beef recipe which would be just as tasty in your kitchen as this one.