Imitation, Flattery and the Ooh La La Elements of French Kitchen Design

F is for3rench kitchen design speaks fluent style to legions of Francophile obsessed decoristas.  Does French kitchen design speak your language?

Oscar Wilde tells us imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Imitating the distinctive European elegance vis-à-vis design and decor pays a compliment to the classic French kitchen.

Classic French design marries formality with rustic finesse juxtaposed against a weathered patina.  Rustic refinement coupled with old-world charm personifies the characteristics of the country French kitchen.

country-french-kitchen-copper Traditional Style of the Country French Kitchen 

Some say country French while others say French country.

A tomayto, tomahto point perhaps, but Country French is the term used most often in the antiques world so country French it is.

Inspiration is everywhere, and listening to French music is an excellent source of inspiration.

It’s my definition of French immersion.

French inspired flooring

  French Pattern Ivory Swirl ® Tumbled Travertine Tiles  || French Reclaimed Terra Cotta Tile    ||  Allure Chateau Parquet  ||  Cabot Slate Autumn French


It is said that kitchen design starts from the ground up.

Flooring serves as a principal foundation piece in terms of the overall balance of kitchen design.

country-French-kitchen-blue-whiteCountry French Refined

The above image from Traditional Home is a marvelous example of country French refined.

The very right of the white kitchen is in the complementing presence of provincial color, texture and pattern design greatness.


Antique French Pine Cabinet Doors

Subtle drama, a decorating oxymoron if there ever was one, engages my eye past the toile on steroids of the traditional country French kitchen to the accents in the not trying so hard to exemplify the look category.

tole-light-fixtueTole Gilt and Paint Light Fixture

Ralph-Lauren-gold-Windsor-pendantRalph Lauren Windsor Hanging Shade

Cabinet hardware as a focal point?


French style cabinet hardware

Never underestimate the small details and the ability they have to make a visually grand statement.


Accenting with as opposed to a total immersion in is the key to alleviating the risk of a dated look.

country French traditional kitchen

Lubbock WTBHA 2015 Parade of Homes

Sourcing home decor items is routine, but never mundane.

Safavieh Rural Woven Dining Katell Grey Rattan Side Chairs

Safavieh Rural Woven Dining Katell Grey Rattan Side Chairs

GuildMaster Caned New Signature Stain Wing Back Chairs- Set of 2

GuildMaster Caned New Signature Stain Wing Back Chairs- Set of 2

Fortunat Upholstered Dining Chair

Fortunat Upholstered Dining Chair

Grand style is present and accounted for in this excellent option for captain’s chairs.

French kitchen design

I believe my love of the well appointed French kitchen began when I was in junior high.

My best friend’s mother had impeccable taste in home furnishing and home decor accessories, and their home was and continues to be one of the premier homes in our area.

The entire home was gracefully designed and decorated, but the traditional kitchen, appointed with classic French flair, was indeed the design pièce de résistance.


A delicate mix of French blues with cream white accents served as both color palette and focal point.

Less is more echoed throughout the design and decor, and the style statement being made was more ethereal than overt.

pic-frenchTraditional Home

Accents in ç’est vraiment magnifique detail translates to it’s really beautiful- the quintessential design element of the curated French kitchen.


The French Country kitchen faucet by Kingston Brass represents the detail of vintage French country design, bringing elegance of old to the contemporary kitchen.


Antique Stone Sink


Carrara White Marble, Allstone Group Farmhouse Sink, w/Floral Carving
Rounded Apron Front Farmhouse Kitchen Double Bowl Copper Sink
Farmhouse Quartet Kitchen Reversible Sink Pearl


Wonderful option for a prep sink.


Antique 18th Century French Apothecary Stone Sink 

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet

Marielle 1-Handle Bar And Prep Faucet




a small, decorative ornament or trinket.


 Antique French Blue Transferware Bowl 1878 Earthenware


 Country French Cupboard

French-white-blue-kitchen-cabinetOoh La La Love this Belgian Kitchen Cabinet  

Distinctive European elegance is the standard of style and signature component of French kitchen design.

love your style

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse Kitchen

As I perused the Places In The Home Facebook page this week an image posted by Traditional Home magazine immediately caught my eye.  The Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse kitchen designed by Charlotte, North Carolina Interior Designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design is visually captivating.

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse KitchenLisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

Older homes have a history, a story to tell. Lisa Mende tapped into the home’s history as inspiration for her thoroughly modern interior design concept and execution. Distinctive details reminiscent of the emerging Art Deco times of the 19oos when the house was built, world events of the early 20th century and the sinking of the Titanic all played a large role in the kitchen design inspiration and influence.  Inspiration truly is everywhere!  Click on the link below the images to read the full story and view the gallery of images from the showhouse.

Lisa_Mende_Design_Showhouse_kitchen_1Lisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

You never know when or where inspiration will strike or what home decor item will excite the eye.  Below is the swoonworthy beauty that did just that.


The Pimlico Double Swing Arm Plug In  has found a place on my gotta have it list.


Being the fan of art as a kitchen decor choice that I am, the above image speaks modern elegance to me.

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure: As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page.


Abstract by Mayberry

The framed art piece and the swing arm lamp combination works, and works beautifully.


I love keeping an eye out for designs, decorating applications and home decor that raises the bar, races the heart and inspires.

Love your style!

Sink Oh D (as in Design) My Oh: Kitchen Sink Styles

In interior design and decorating celebration of Cinco de Mayo on this 5th day of May, I am featuring a collection of stunning sink oh d (as in design) my oh kitchen sink styles.

marble-kitchen-sink Remodelista

First up we take a look at the kitchen sink styles house favorites- marble and natural stone.

stone-sink-butlerHouse Beautiful 

Marble and natural stone sinks impress the eye with a timeless and tasteful touch of luxury balanced with performance capability.



The porosity of natural stone makes this material easily susceptible to stain which gives pause to some when considering the use of these types of sinks.


Vintage Compass Stone Kitchen Sink ~ House Beautiful

Acidic and oily substances will penetrate the surface of the natural stone leaving a stain to deal with.


 SHM Architects

Over time the patina of these sinks rests and becomes a perfectly imperfect design feature, one that accentuates the natural beauty of the stone.

sink-metalJohn Derian’s Collected East Village Apartment

Everything old is new again chic is in with kitchen sink styles.

antique-sideboard-turned-kitchen-sink-unitDesign Sponge

These sink options show what one person considers functional obsolescence another considers a distinct design feature.


Salisbury Artisans

Vintage beauty merges with modern function in the home of Braxton Dixon, the master builder behind the iconic homes of country music legends Johnny Cash and Tammy Wynette.

Braxton-Dixon-home-photo- Hollis-BennettGarden & Gun Magazine

Implementing one-of-a-kind architectural elements into the design of his houses sets these works of building and designing art apart from other exterior and interior standard house designs.

This is most prevalent in Mr. Dixon’s choice of a kitchen sink in his Tennessee home.


A vintage copper candy kettle becomes an architectural showpiece, kitchen sink and unique focal point all-in-one while remaining true to the original integrity, storied provenance and design style of the home.


Better Homes and Gardens

What do real estate and sink placement have in common?

Location, location, location!

The optimum placement for a prep sink is adjacent to or across from the stove and refrigerator and for good reason- that’s the area of the kitchen where the prep magic happens.

The prep sink is the single most helpful kitchen design feature I have ever become dependent upon in the context of cooking, baking and recipe creating.


Home Bunch

The look, the style and the focal point fabulousness of metal.

The big brass band makes a beautiful case for kitchen sink styles.


Convenience and usefulness alone make it easy to understand why I am a huge fan of the prep sink and consider it a kitchen design necessity.

I look forward to the addition of a prep sink coming back into my kitchen culinary life sooner than later.


Better Homes and Gardens

Apron-front sinks combine utilitarian practicality with decorative adaptability.

stacked-kitchen-cabinets-brass-dual-apron-sink (1)


The look is yesteryear traditional, but the appeal is all modern day kitchen sink styles must have.

farmhouse-sink-push-out-casement-windows DecorPad

Although these sinks come in both single and double bowl models, the features of the single bowl model seems to make it the most preferred, especially when it comes to the ever popular farmhouse design style.


 OXA Architecture

Sink size does matter in the day-to-day KP duty routine we all endure, and the width of the farmhouse sink is a natural fit feature able to hold dishwashing court with pots, pans and bake ware of varied sizes.


Marble Apron-Front Sink

Let me also clue you in on another well known design advantage of the farmhouse sink.


Farmhouse Kitchen of R&B gospel singer Dianne Palmer – Country Living

When there’s too much dish at the end of your I’m pooped out day, the depth of the apron-front sink works fabulously to your advantage as it conceals many a dirty dish.

That’s my kind of sink oh d (as in design) my oh kitchen sink styles celebration!

Love your style!

Suite Dreams: My Dream Kitchen Design Ideas

What comes to mind when you dream kitchen design ideas?  My dream big and go home dream kitchen design want it, need it, and must have it wish list is headed in the right direction to becoming a reality.

  • Unique design features that capture the personality of the Places In The Home house crowd
  • A rich and welcoming color palette
  • Great natural, ambient, and prep lighting
  • Accents big on vintage love
  •  5 star professional quality appliances with at home affordability and function

Inspiration is a beautiful thing!

black and white kitchenTraditional Home

Design and decorative must haves vary from tastes to tastes and from decor to decor, but one consistent current that runs through the must haves of design is function.  A cook, baker, or family meal maker  is only as good as the functionality and quality of the appliances he or she has to work with.

Electrolux Suite Design Kitchen

Some people can tell you about the quality of a product line from first hand experience.  I can tell you about the quality of Electrolux from three generations of first hand experience.  Dave the Builder’s mother and sister swore by the power and durability of Electrolux.


When Dave the Builder and I discovered original hardwood floors in pristine condition beneath the original carpet in not so pristine condition in our first home,  it was time to find out what all the Electrolux buzz was about.  Forget a cup of sugar, may I borrow your Electrolux floor polisher? Owning an Electrolux appliance soon became a family affair.  That was 20+ years and quite a few Electrolux products ago.

French Door refrigerator

Kitchen design has come a long way.  Today’s kitchen is the epicenter of the home, and the life lived within our homes requires more than a basic utilitarian space. Design, style, and size do matter.  A proven design testimonial to that is the Electrolux matching suites of appliances.  Kitchen form and function will beautifully co-exist with appliances that complement the design, style, and size requirements of the space. Electrolux offers matching suites of refrigerators, induction cooktops and dishwashers that are sleek, stylish, and designed to help you achieve professional results.

Electrolux French Door refrigerator

One of the biggest trends in kitchen remodeling is the “built-in” look. Electrolux offers a collection of counter-depth refrigerators designed to achieve that look. Electrolux French Door Bottom Mount refrigerators feature a versatile Perfect Temp drawer that allows you to store and serve items at their ideal temperature. The chill and the Ooh La La factor is at work to guarantee cool temps and a hot look.

Electrolux hybrid induction cooktop

Electrolux Cooktops have a clean, sleek look that features induction technology. Professional capabilities are a seasoning, sauté, or simmer away with an Electrolux Induction Hybrid Cooktop.  Professional quality paired with at home convenience makes getting in touch with your inner chef a delicious combination.

chef hat

Electrolux invites you to explore and discover the Electrolux “Suite Design” approach to kitchen design. Inspiring design is the key to your suite dream kitchen becoming a stylish and functional reality.






I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Discovering Interior Design and Interior Decorating Similarities

My late night SS (sourcing and surfing) sessions go well with an excellent cup of coffee and great music. Feeding my love of the music of The Eagles, and realizing just how good their album Hotel California really is set the tone and the mood for an extended evening of discovering interior design and interior decorating similarities .  This was no wasted time.  Wasted Time.  The Eagles.  Get it?

Editing and refreshing design options is necessary to stay current with accessory and accent selections.  Color and accessory choices may shift, but the foundation of our tastes tend to stay solid.  Not all design and decorating moodboards are created equal nor immediately put into project action.  I distinctly remember an episode of a since canceled reality television show that featured the architecture and interior design process. When the couple, who were deep into the interior design process, met with interior designers, architects and contractors, they produced a large look book full of images, articles and clippings detailing the furnishings, accents and accessories of preference.  This was way before the days of Pinterest, folks.

Working on the moodboard for our master bedroom remodel afforded me the opportunity to discover the gorgeous interior design work of Linda McDougald from Linda McDougald Design and Postcards from Paris.   The private South Carolina residence at The Cliffs at Keowee Springs is breathtakingly beautiful, as is the magnificent and impeccable interior design work of Linda McDougald.  Photography by Rachael Boling Photography.

The master bedroom images immediately captured my attention.  I noted the similarities in color, furnishings and accessory choices between her design and my selections and choices in my master bedroom moodboard. The upholstered headboard with nailheads and the mirrored nightstands especially reflect my tastes.

Lake Residence

Master Bedroom

Architectural elements and spot antique pieces complement the contemporary spacing.  The make no mistake strength of a soft color palette is this- it envelopes the space in a subtle yet strong whisper, that when paired with optimum furnishings, accessories and accents, becomes a decorative roar.

Lake Residence

Lake Residence

Empire Chandelier

Empire Chandelier

This kitchen knocks my socks off!  From the exposed brick ceiling, pewter and Carrara marble countertops and dual toned stainless steel French Lacanche range to the custom designed cabinetry crafted by Jose’ Florez, no culinary or decorative detail has been overlooked or left undone.

Linda McDougald Designs

Features such as the pot filler and antique iron fire back lend charm, unique form and elegance to the function at hand.

Lake Residence

I like a good surprise, but I love a great surprise!  Linda McDougald’s design work is no Johnny-come-lately or new kid in town ( I could not resist).  Between the coffee, the tunes and the gorgeous images,  it turned out to be a very good sourcing and surfing session.  You never know what you’ll find on the internet!

Love your style!






images via  Houzz,  Rachael Boling Photography

Kitchen Color On The Rise

Are you an early riser who springs right out of bed full of energy and ready to take on the world?  Well, I’m not. Yes, the jig is up and the secret is out.

I am an early riser, but one not so full of energy or immediately ready to take on the world. My morning involves a strong cup or two (or three) of coffee, a Visine moment for my computer weary eyes, and five minutes of peaceful meditation and prayer. The enthusiastic voice of an exercise routine weighs in, so I pick up the coffee creamer container and use it for a quick strength training session. That’s about as good as it gets most mornings.

Morning routines are the pace car of our day.  A peaceful environment is a plus, hopefully setting the tone for the rest of our day. Unfortunately, it appears fast, faster, fastest is the morning mantra of the masses(number one reason I drink instant coffee).  Accept it, we go-getters are a hurried group. This is the reason I embrace the first few moments of my morning routine. As I sketched out the design for our kitchen and breakfast area, the main goal was to create a visually pleasing space.

Enjoying coffee time, mealtime, or downtime in a kitchen designed and decorated with color, comfort, and convenience in mind is a plus in the slow it down column of life.

Some of us need all the help we can get to get our mornings started.

Colorful kitchen elements and accents add the pop o’ the morning to the space.

Cheerful colors evoke a feeling of warmth and coziness. Good morning, this is color calling with your wake up call.

Love your style!




images: Erdreich Architecture, P.C., Better Homes and Gardens, Southern Accents, HGTV, Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery/Steven Long Photography, Sroka Design, Traditional Home, A CASA Design, J. Stephens Interiors

Kitchen Styles Now Being Served

The kitchen has become the place to be in most homes.

I can’t tell you how many cocktail parties I have hosted for business, birthdays, holidays, and just for the pure fun of it over the years.

Some are more memorable than others, but they all have one thing in common.

No matter how fantastic the rest of the house or outdoor space is, everyone gathers and remains in the kitchen.

The same is true for everyday life lived in our homes.

The kitchen is so much more than the space for cooking, dining, and cleaning.

Better Homes and Gardens

I’ve been participating in design chats on twitter lately, and the dream kitchen and what defines that term was the topic of an informative chat hosted by #kbtribechat.

Appliances, flooring, color scheme, cabinetry, and countertops are just a few of the design elements that factor in to complete the dream.

The industry has so many unique ideas and user friendly ways to implement them into real kitchens.

Country Living

Gone are the days of a small space with simply a stove, refrigerator, sink, and an exhausted cook going through the motions of getting the food to the table.

Whatever your personal style may be, I say express it through food and the kitchen it is prepared in.

photo cabinets

I’m am so impressed with this expression of individuality in a kitchen. The Georgia lake house of Leo and Kay Berard featured in the August issue of Southern Living  is my idea of how to camp.

Framed family photos serve as the cabinet doors in their sophisticated camp kitchen.

The photos are backed with thin plywood and hinged. Genius!  And is that copper I see?

Speaking of copper


House Beautiful’s 2011 Kitchen of the Year is a good one!

Tyler Florence delivered on many levels and the industry is buzzing.

Can you guess what caught my attention and held it?

The copper accessories compliment the ebony fixtures and countertops beautifully.

I love the copper “vase” on the island.


Hands down, the most popular kitchen design element is function.

It’s nothing out of the norm for fifteen different tasks, jobs, and conversations to be going on at one time in our kitchen.

Our kitchen is comfortable, multi-functional, and the space where everyone wants to be.

Today’s kitchens serve a stylish purpose.