7 French kitchen ideas we adore — and how to get the gorgeous look in yours

We've officially fallen in love with these dreamy French kitchen ideas

We love how gorgeous French kitchen ideas are. Here one with three iron pendant lights, a stone countertop with a sink integrated in it and a wine fridge, with an oven with a black studded hood to the back of it
(Image credit: Tosti Design Inc / Brady Architectural Photography)

French kitchen ideas are perfect for creating sophisticated yet inviting spaces to cook up a storm in. 

We've asked interior designers who are big fans of the European decor style how they use this in kitchens. They go for simple yet sophisticated touches, such as layering organic touches and subtle colors to create charm and comfort.

If you're looking for kitchen ideas that are traditional yet transformative, going French-inspired is an oh-so-chic choice.

French kitchen ideas to style up your space with

Both small kitchen ideas and larger ones can look their very best with the help of French-inspired design.

We've shopped useful buys to help you get the look throughout, which are très magnifique if we do say so ourselves.

The prices below were correct at the time of publishing this article. 

1. Embrace natural materials

A French kitchen with a gray kitchen countertop with two dark wooden chairs underneath it with, with a silver oven with a white pot and a beige stone wall in front of it

(Image credit: Anne Rae Design / Jenny Siegwart)

Instead of going for modern kitchen ideas like marble, French kitchens often feature classic materials instead.

“This kitchen gives all the essence of a French country house with its natural stone-clad range alcove, adorned with a vintage reclaimed beam and accented with the delicate blooming floral pattern on the handmade tile backsplash,” explains Kristin Kostamo-McNeil, principal interior designer and founder of Anne Rae Design."

In a rental, try channeling the vibe instead with a wall hanging of the Boho Tile IV On Canvas by June Erica Vess Painting from Wayfair.

“You can also infuse a rustic charm reminiscent by incorporating exposed wooden beams and stone elements,” says Nina Lichtenstein, principal designer and founder of Nina’s Home Design.

These architectural features create an inviting atmosphere, transporting you to the heart of a charming French cottage. 

2. Choose neutral colors

A kitchen with a light gray brick wall with a silver bread oven, a dark brown countertop with a tub of champagne bottles, glasses, and plates and cake stands with pastries, plus two dark wooden chairs in front

(Image credit: Anne Rae Design / Jenny Siegwart)

While we do love colorful kitchen ideas, you’ll want to reach for paired-back, neutral ones if French decor is your vibe.

Nina explains, “Set the stage for an elegant French kitchen by embracing a neutral color palette with subtle Provencal accents, such as for soft, muted tones like creamy whites, pale blues, or gentle grays.”

Along with kitchen paint colors, you can also incorporate these in via materials.

“We layered neutrals from the cream-colored cabinetry, the earthy stone wall treatments and soft-colored natural stone countertops,” Kristin adds.

3. Add a butcher-block countertop

A French kitchen with a light brick wall with a bread and pizza oven, white walls, a dark brown countertop with a whitevase, tub with champagne, and a cake stand with a white panelled base, with dark brown beams above

(Image credit: Anne Rae Design / Jenny Siegwart)

Of course, you’ve got to channel your inner Remy from Ratatouille in your French kitchen. That starts with having a countertop fit for prepping.

Nina says, “Elevate your kitchen surfaces with the warmth and functionality of butcher block countertops.”

“The versatile and timeless appeal of these surfaces adds a touch of authenticity to your French-inspired culinary haven,” she adds.

Pair them with classic subway tiles (these Dicofun Subway Tiles on Amazon are peel-and-stick) for a clean and sophisticated finish.

4. Try dramatic lighting

A French kitchen with three iron pendant lights, a stone countertop with a sink integrated in it and a wine fridge, with an oven with a black studded hood to the back of it and two light wooden chairs in front of it

(Image credit: Tosti Design Inc / Brady Architectural Photography)

The French are known for loving a little glamor, which you can bring in with beautiful kitchen lighting ideas.

“Ambient lighting is important to include, as it gives you the ability to create a cozy atmosphere for entertaining,” says Samantha Tosti, principal designer and co-founder of Tosti Design Inc.

Nina agrees, adding, “Chandeliers, pendant lights, or even wall sconces can be selected to complement the overall aesthetic.”

She says to opt for intricate designs, perhaps with crystal or wrought iron elements, to add a touch of grandeur to your culinary space.

5. Add pops of color

A white kitchen with a silver metallic splashback, white cabinets, a silver oven and hood, and a white countertop with a white plate of artichokes and a metal stand with limes and lemons, with navy blue seats in front

(Image credit: i-Ten Designs / Amber Robinson)

While we do recommend going for a lighter base for French kitchen ideas, having a few touches of color will allow you to bring character into the space.

“To infuse a touch of French charm, consider adding colorful dishes and decor for that perfect pop of vibrancy,” says Ayten Nadeau, principal designer and founder of i-Ten Designs.

You could do this with dinnerware (this Bistro Garden Tile Dinner Plate from Anthropologie wouldn't look amiss in a French café) or even with bowls of fresh fruits and vegetables, like Ayten has in the kitchen she designed.

The beautiful new Anthropologie x Alexandra Farmer dinnerware collection has left us swooning, too.

6. Opt for silver and copper accents

A kitchen with dark wooden beams on the ceiling, a metal chandelier with two candlesticks, a gray countertop with a silver tap and a chopping board on it and three brown wooden seats underneath

(Image credit: Anne Rae Design / Jenny Siegwart)

One of the best ways to brighten a small kitchen and even a lighter one is by bringing in metallic pieces.

Nina says, “I like to enhance the French aesthetic with copper accents like cookware. The warm tones of copper provide a subtle glow, creating an inviting and luxurious atmosphere.”

We also like bringing these in with the best coffee makers, electric kettles, and fittings such as faucets (we love this brushed brass Kraus Oletto Faucet on Amazon), as these add both functionality as well as style.

7. Create a seating nook

A white kitchen with a corner seating area with green seat cushions, gray and green throw pillows, a wooden table with two white chairs tucked underneath it, and three windows on the white walls

(Image credit: Higham Furniture)

Create your own chef’s table in your kitchen, so you can chat while you cook and guests can feel part of the action.

“Transform a corner of your kitchen into a bistro-style dining nook, complete with a petite table and charming chairs,” Nina says.

Adorn the area with fresh flowers and soft linens (this Everly Linen Tablecloth from Amazon is made of French flax) to enhance the overall French allure.

You can create a French-style space to wine and dine in with just a couple of these elements. 

“By embracing the timeless elegance of French design, you can transform your kitchen into a haven that provides a backdrop for creating delectable masterpieces,” Nina finishes by saying.

Once you’ve finished designing your kitchen, you might want to peep at farmhouse dining room ideas, as these will complement your European-inspired space perfectly.

Eve Smallman
Staff Writer

Hi there! I’m a staff writer at Real Homes. I've been a lifestyle journalist for over five years, previously working as an editor across regional magazines. Before this, I graduated from Nottingham Trent University a degree in journalism, along with an NCTJ gold diploma. I love running, decorating my rented Victorian home, and discovering new cheeses.