It’s no secret today what a French Country kitchen looks like. You don’t have to look any further than Pinterest, Houzz, interior design trade magazines, etc. plus special interest publications from BH&G and most of our personal bookshelves containing works by Charles Faudree and Betty Lou Phillips amongst others.
Let’s face it….French Country is HOT again! The reason? It’s warm and inviting with a comfortable lived-in elegance. It’s never stuffy or pretentious. Basically it says, “Come on in”.
These are some images that I snapped at the famous La Mirande hotel in Avignon. This incredible historic basement kitchen is where we had our cooking class and contained tons of French cooking essentials. More on the cooking class in a later post!
It was hard for me to focus on the class with all the great “stuff” around. I couldn’t keep my eyes from roaming.
But even if you don’t have a French Country style kitchen, you can add French flair with just a few accessories.
When I was shopping at the brocantes, I was drawn to the myriad of kitchen items. What I love about the French is their ease in décor and importance placed on everyday objects. They elevate useful items into something beautiful and decorative in their own right.
Just a few touches can speak volumes. And I love the stories they have to tell.
Like this set of pre-WWI BAKELITE NAPKIN RINGS. They are numbered 5-10 and were probably used in a religious school or orphanage where each child had their assigned number.
And here is the French dealer that I purchased them from in Avignon. We were actually on our way to the market to buy fresh ingredients for our cooking class when low and behold there was an unexpected pop-up brocante in the town center. Of course, I didn’t have food on my mind after that!
Yep, that’s me…wheelin’ and dealin’ in the best French that I could muster! Do you see the napkin rings on the table? I had walked away twice and had to come back.
Two days later I saw this same dealer in a market in St. Remy. Of course, we recognized each other and she actually gave me a hug! (probably because she felt sorry for me for my bad attempt at speaking French with a hillbilly accent….but I think she was happy I tried!)
She had a couple more things I was interested in like this roll of vintage Soleiado Provençal fabric trim, but we couldn’t strike a deal! She was one tough cookie!
Do you love baskets as much as I do? Check out this great smaller-sized CHERRY BASKET. I know you’ve seen this shape for apple baskets.
Need something “egg/chicken” related? I gotcha covered!
I found a wire egg basket, wire egg holder, pair of cobalt egg cups, and a whimsical chocolate mold featuring roosters, no doubt!
The large CUTTING/BREAD BOARD is one of my favorite finds at L’Isle Sur la Sorgue. Unused and made of a single piece of oak, it came from a boulangerie that was closing and dates to the 1950s.
I ended up with a good selection of café au lait bowls and I’ll be listing more in the next couple weeks. The hard part? I’m finding it difficult to part with these things because I love all of it!
BTW…if you’re wondering about French Country kitchens and need a review of the big picture, here are some elements to consider:
Incoporate furniture pieces such as plate racks and vasseliers
Utilize upper cabinet space for open shelving
Marble top bistro and patisserie tables are killer items
Dress the windows in linen
Bring the outdoors in with flowers and herbs
Signature materials…wicker, zinc, and copper for sure!
Say it with words—anything typography
Villa photos below:
Of course, it’s a La Cornue!
I’ve got my mind set on finding a smaller version of this butcher’s table.
My next obsession: Patisserie and butcher’s tables.