Give Your Kitchen a French Country Makeover for $500 or Less

If a trip to France isn't in your budget, don't despair. You can still enjoy the sights, sounds, and smells of the French countryside by giving your kitchen a makeover. The French country style is both elegant and cozy, as it was inspired by the charming homes located in Provence, the region of France that borders Italy. Provence also lies along the Mediterranean, making blue hues and other natural colors a must for any French country decorating scheme. With these simple changes, it's possible to transform your kitchen from bland and boring to chic and elegant for less than $500.

Furniture Upgrades

Unless you have ultra-modern furniture in your kitchen, you don't need to replace your existing tables and chairs. Instead, give them a fresh look with a coat of paint. For the non-adventurous among you, a few coats of cream-colored paint are ideal for creating a chic look without going outside your comfort zone. If you are up for a little more excitement, try painting the table pale blue or light purple. The colorful table will pop against muted wall colors, turning your kitchen furniture into a conversation piece.

Paint and Wallpaper

If your current wallpaper doesn't exactly scream "French country elegance," take it down and replace it with a new pattern. Replacing the wallpaper is a great opportunity to show off your creative side, as this style of decorating lends itself well to mixing vibrant colors with busy patterns. To emphasize the French country theme, choose wallpaper with a fleur-de-lis pattern or a pattern featuring sprigs of lavender. The right paint color depends on your goal in making over your kitchen: do you want to use a neutral paint color with colorful decorative accents, or would you rather choose a bold paint color and make it the focus of the room? If neutral is your pick, you can't go wrong with creamy white or a custom color mixed by blending beige and gray paints. Pale pink, pale blue, lavender, and even mustard yellow are ideal for decorators who love to make bold choices.

Kitchen Accessories

The right accessories can bring the whole French country theme together for very little money. To make the table the focus of the kitchen, buy a set of French tablecloths in your favorite color combination. These tablecloths come in a variety of styles, from dark blue paired with mustard yellow to bright red with a floral print. Throw pillows with a blue floral pattern are the perfect accent for a window seat, while candlesticks, artificial flowers, and baskets can help you tie the whole room together. Provence is known for its lavender fields, so finish off your kitchen makeover by placing some fresh-cut lavender in the middle of the table or hanging wall art featuring lavender bouquets.

Not everyone can afford a trip to Provence, but that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the French country style whenever you want. With the right paint colors, furniture, and decorative accessories, you can turn your kitchen into a cozy retreat that makes it easy to enjoy the relaxed way of life that comes with living in the French countryside.