Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Tiny French Country Kitchen

My tiny galley kitchen is only eight by ten feet with three doors and one window. 
So, there's not a lot of usable space. I have to make the most of what I have. 
And that means adding French Country charm with light, height and nostalgia.

For some reason (probably plumbing related) a previous owner had installed a false ceiling, 
complete with two unflattering flourescent lights.
The ceiling used to stop just above the window frame.
The stock cabinets were stained dark and the countertop 
was muddy brown to match the ugly coppertone fridge.
 It was depressing. Did I mention it was dark? I wish I had a "before" picture.

(Imagine really dark, ugly kitchen here.)

I couldn't do much about the tiny space but I could demo that awful ceiling and raise the ceiling to match the other rooms in the house to ten feet! It instantly felt bigger, or at least more spacious.
With that extra two feet of ceiling space, I now had a new spot for vintage collectibles.

The top of the fridge suddenly had room for a flower bucket of sunflowers,
a large vineyard basket, and a wire container of green apples. 
I'm still not sold on stainless steel everywhere and may stick with my white appliances.

French kitchens usually don't have built-in cabinets 
but rather use separate furniture pieces such as armoires and open shelves. 
A free-standing island now provides extra work space 
and holds lavender in a flower bucket and a white marble slab for baking.

I ripped out the nasty old lighting and added a vintage schoolhouse chandelier; 
later I had my electrician install four pot lights, making the space much brighter. 
I also removed the heavy Roman shades and hung vintage lace curtains. 
I installed lighter Corian countertops and painted the cabinets creamy white. 

Ahhh. Much better.

The shelf above the sink holds some of my ironstone collection.

Soft yellow walls feature some French Country artwork and a yard-sale chippy mirror 
while pots hang on a black iron rack.

Sure, I wish I had a farmhouse sink and French doors with a view of the garden
but this kitchen reminds me that this house was built more than a hundred years ago, 
before there were double ovens and dishwashers.

And it's that sense of history that French Country is all about.

Sharing With:  DwellingsRustic & RefinedCedar Hill Farmhouse,
Knick of TimeSavvy Southern StyleVintage Nest


  1. I have a little galley kitchen too! As in, as small as yours. LOL it's hard to get good photos, isn't it? You did a wonderful job / it looks great :)

  2. Your kitchen is so charming. I love the way you have it decorated. Very pretty!

  3. Your kitchen is so warm and welcoming! Thank you for sharing it!

  4. You have a beautiful kitchen with a warm country French style. love it. will be back soon.

  5. I love your kitchen it is a nice cozy place to cook in and that is what is important. Mine is alittle bigger but not much but i love to cook in it.

  6. Hi...I am visiting from Amazing Monday and I just love your sweet little kitchen! French country is my theme as well and I just finished painting my cabinets white. I also have a very small L-shaped kitchen and the lighter color makes it look much bigger..what an amazing difference it makes, doesn't it? You have turned your kitchen into a comfy, cozy space!

  7. You have done a lot to a adorable and cozy space! It looks great.

  8. Such a cute little kitchen! I love your french country touches. French country has been my favorite style forever! It's so pretty but welcoming.

  9. I am crushing on your kitchen style! Love the bead board back splash, the cinnamon sticks in a vase, and the Corian countertops (an over-budget item on my kitchen wishlist). Enjoy your beautiful kitchen!

  10. Charming!
    Thanks for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  11. You have captured the heart of French Country kitchens. It's amazing what "head room" will do for adding space. Your lace curtains are so pretty and so is that lovely old chippy mirror. I have stainless steel appliances and WOULD NEVER do that again...just give me plain old durable white!!! Mickie

  12. I just found your blog and I am in love with your kitchen....
    Thank you so much for inviting me in...I feel special and warmly welcomed!!
    Blessings to you,

  13. Very cute kitchen. It makes me happy.

  14. Small kitchen's can be nice too. Yours definitely is.

  15. Great job with your kitchen! I think it's much harder to do a great job in a small space, but you pulled it off! Gave me some more ideas for mine. I have a smaller kitchen too, so it can be a challenge. I also agree that stainless steel might really kill the look. We stayed with white when we did a rehab on our kitchen, and it goes with my french country as well, lighter feel. Really enjoying your blog!!! Nancy