My French Country Kitchen: Dare to Be Spare

Sharing glimpses of my very ‘dare to be spare’ kitchen and yet to be styled kitchen today.

This not a styled photo shoot, btw.

(Notice there are no bowls

of fruit or of anything on the island?)

I snapped these quickly this morning.

Highlighting in bold

some of my favorite aspects of the space,

but my all-time favorite part:


If it’s sparkling, I’m one happy mama.

We were going for timeless,

simple, and uncluttered.

(Reality check: I live with 3 men,

and this kitchen is

always cluttered with


*white oak hardwood flooring (fruitwood stain)

*solid maple cabinets (custom color)

*quartz countertops (ivory coast)

*stainless appliances

*pewter hardware (Thomasville)

*antiqued silver and crystal chandeliers

*paint colors:

walls, White Sand by Benjamin Moore

trim, Dove Wing by Benjamin Moore

the table was ugly and less than $100 new…

i painted it and topped it with glass and now love it.

I have plans to add linen panels,

a rug, and slipcovers for the chairs.

And texture (a metal sculpture?).

It will never be ‘done.’

I opted to spend part of my kitchen budget on:

A screen porch…we use this space and adore it.

Thanks so much for stopping.

I hope you’ll click follow, and please

leave a comment so I can follow you back!

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. June 23, 2011 / 6:35 pm

    Love your kitchen. It's so open and airy. My kitchen is a galley kitchen at the back of the house and is closed off from the rest of the house. I'd love to have an open kitchen like your's. I love that staircase too.

  2. June 23, 2011 / 8:27 pm

    wow! I think you may freak out in my house… haha! I would say it is clean… but it has stuff everywhere and full of random colors! I love your style of simplicity though… just not sure how to get there!

  3. June 23, 2011 / 8:42 pm

    Wow! I love your kitchen!

  4. June 23, 2011 / 9:19 pm

    My first time visiting… and I must say~ Gorgeous. Super clean.Light and spacious.
    Are you sure this isn't a MODEL home and YOU'RE NOT a sales rep?…LOL.

    on the inside, I'm a minimalist crying to get out!
    love your kitchen.

  5. June 23, 2011 / 9:39 pm

    WOW! Everything is stunning! A job well done. I wouldn't want to change a thing either. Just lovely!!

  6. June 23, 2011 / 9:52 pm

    Your kitchen is so beautiful and so clean!!! I love it!! I love all the open space and all that wonderful light shinning through, just gorgeous!! Thank you so much for sharing my dear. πŸ™‚

  7. June 23, 2011 / 9:52 pm

    lovely, lovely, lovely Michele – warm, inviting and swoon worthy. Enjoy!

  8. June 23, 2011 / 10:09 pm

    Gorgeous design & colours, clever girl! Well done to design it yourself! I love your blog, I am so glad we met via Sarah's Kitchen Party! Oh & your dress is divine!!!
    xox Kerry

  9. June 23, 2011 / 10:20 pm

    Michele, I found you during Sarah's LAST linky party, and I've been following you since. Your kitchen is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! So different from mine (which I will put up at Sarah's place tomorrow–no time today), but one in which I could live very happily. Love it!

  10. June 23, 2011 / 11:31 pm

    I can't believe you get to live, cook and eat in that kitchen! So jealous, you lucky girl! πŸ™‚ It's so fresh and clean and, yes, uncluttered. All the exact opposite of mine, *sigh*.

  11. June 24, 2011 / 1:53 am

    Wow…..Your house is magazine worthy!! I adore the uncluttered look. Neat. Clean. Airy. You are so blessed to have such nice big rooms and tall ceilings! Adore your house!!!! πŸ™‚

    xoox laurie

  12. June 24, 2011 / 2:19 am

    Your kitchen/dining room is lovely and spacious. I love your screen porch off the kitchen and also the butler's pantry. Very nice!

  13. June 24, 2011 / 3:43 am

    Hi Michele!

    Your kitchen is so bright and airy and it sparkles too.
    Love the room for "dancing" around the table….your chalkware… and your porch and screened in porch too!

    Beautiful…. simply lovely.

  14. June 24, 2011 / 9:13 am

    Oh Michele,

    Your kitchen is so big and spacious and airy and beautiful. I love all your photos. And the colours. So restful and caloming. I LOVE it!


  15. June 24, 2011 / 11:55 am

    I love your kitchen. I also love that even though it quite minimalistic you haven't compromised on style and personality. Good on you!

    Thanks so much for dropping by and visiting my blog. It's lovely to meet you.

    Best wishes,

  16. June 24, 2011 / 7:03 pm

    Your kitchen is AMAZING. So gorgeous and calming and serene. I'm in love with your beautiful chandeliers too! Definitely swoon worthy my dear!

    And the dungeon dust will all be worth it if you have a hand in the design, your taste is impeccable!


  17. June 24, 2011 / 11:04 pm

    It's P E R F E C T I O N !!
    I like stuff, but I like
    spare, as well. Recently
    I read about an artist that
    I love, who furnished her
    studio with "tastefully
    edited" furnishings. Loved
    that phrase, and your home
    reminds me of it. SO glad
    you stopped by today. I'll
    be back!
    xx Suzanne

  18. June 25, 2011 / 5:31 am

    New to your place!!!
    This is a kitchen to love!!
    Its my kind of simplicity !!



  19. June 25, 2011 / 9:20 am

    i love the colours!!! {especially dove wing as my name means white dove πŸ™‚ }

    such a gorgeous home!!!

    lots of lovely thoughts

  20. June 25, 2011 / 12:31 pm

    Timeless, simple and uncluttered — it certainly is! Lovely!
    (visiting via Modern Country Style's link party)

  21. June 25, 2011 / 2:02 pm

    OK, so whered u hid all the stuff when u took the photos? LOL, i much admire ur self control, i tend to constantly bring things in, til the whole house is cluttered……..LOL, Bonnie

  22. June 26, 2011 / 1:19 am

    You have a gorgeous, open and airy kitchen. I really admire those hardwood floors and the generous size of the eating area. A great overall look.

  23. June 27, 2011 / 7:05 am

    You have a wonderful space and your style epitomizes serenity, so chic and beautiful! Ah, and gorgeous outfit!

    Meera xx

  24. June 27, 2011 / 8:08 am

    Well, I'm not telling you what I wore to the party…cause it wasn' as glamorous as that…in fact I think there may have been Ugg boots involved!! Gorgeous kitchen, gorgeous house…it is fun designing and building your own…we have built 2 in Aust. and of course recently renovated the kitchen…and I'm hoping I've still got at least one more new build in me…Robx

  25. June 27, 2011 / 2:05 pm

    Oh my…what a beautful home you have! I can see why you would do a lot of entertaining there…and if I could fold laundry in such a pretty space, I'm sure I would enjoy every minute of it πŸ˜‰ Thanks for visiting…and I am definitely going to follow along! Laurel@chippingwithcharm

  26. June 27, 2011 / 3:20 pm

    Oh my I love love love this!! I just found your blog I envy that kitchen!! I wish mine were that clean. Also that the fact that your pointe shoes are that worn. I couldn't handle it but I love to watch it. I opted for contemporary and HIP HOP! Love the blog! I'm new to this blogging thing come check me out.

  27. June 27, 2011 / 3:47 pm

    Your home is lovely! Very dreamy and peaceful. I'm sure that is needed with 3 boys πŸ™‚

    By the way, what are the potted plants next to your kitchen sink? I love them!

  28. June 28, 2011 / 4:11 am

    You have just a beautiful home! Thanx for sharinG!

  29. June 28, 2011 / 2:43 pm

    Hi Dear,

    Back from Portland – but how on Earth did I miss this feature!?

    I have always loved your home! So calm, serene and beautiful. And clutter free! I can never have you over to my home…

    The porch is wonderful – I would hang out there too!

    But tell us more about the large painting next to the tall windows in the family room. Whatever it is, I like it!

    Warm hugs, Mon

  30. June 29, 2011 / 4:02 am

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! I love the bright clean look. Dove Wing huh? I will have to check that color. I just picked up a sample of cloud white to test out on ours. The tall skinny topiaries are so cute. I love your round table too.

  31. June 30, 2011 / 6:34 pm

    The kitchen is so pretty! I love how fresh and bright it looks!

  32. July 1, 2011 / 8:11 am

    First material that we are going to discuss is granite. This is a very durable material that looks like new even after years of service in your kitchen countertops. It is not porous and does not get affected by stains and other stuff.

  33. July 2, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    Your kitchen is gorgeous! We are the middle of a serious decluttering/purging project at my home and it started with the kitchen cabinets, pantry and coat closet. I also took down blinds in the kitchen window to allow more light. Our next goal is to paint the entire inside of our home Benjamin Moore's Navajo White. I just need a white kitchen like yours next! Thanks for sharing!

  34. July 3, 2011 / 7:03 pm

    As I am reading your post, I'm glancing at my kitchen and thinking how I would *never* dare to show it on my blog….it's such a MESS!!!! I love how white and clean and uncluttered your space is….congrats on having such a nice space to share with family and friends.

  35. July 7, 2011 / 12:06 am

    Michele I love your kitchen! Is that an Aidan Grey lamp I see in your kitchen? Love it! I'm with you hate clutter on the counters and you so spent your money wisely I would have taken the porch too…great job! I'm already following you becaause I love your blog! Enjoy your evening!

    Hugs! Debra

  36. July 7, 2011 / 4:35 am

    Wow!! What a BEAUTIFUL space!! If I had a kitchen like that I would never leave!! Seriously GORGEOUS!

  37. July 7, 2011 / 5:32 am

    Just beautiful! I love the simplicity of everything and that patio looks heavenly!

  38. July 7, 2011 / 10:59 am

    What a beautiful space, so relaxing & lovely.

  39. July 7, 2011 / 7:56 pm

    adore your light and airy spaces…and wanted to let you know that i'm featuring this post on fridays unfolded this week…have a lovely weekend.

    stuff and nonsense

  40. July 8, 2011 / 6:26 pm

    I LOVE your house and the way you decorated it. And that dining room table is gorgeous! The white is so soothing and peaceful.

  41. July 10, 2011 / 3:10 pm

    Even though my style could not be more opposite, I truly appreciate the beauty of your beautifully clean & simplistic look. Your kitchen is gorgeous! I'm a new follower.

  42. September 10, 2011 / 1:05 am

    I would love to be able to pull this off in my home. It's absolutely beautiful!

    I'm a new follower.


  43. September 10, 2011 / 5:56 am

    This is so beautiful! I also light bright kitchens and simplicity (which doesn't happen often with three little ones). I'm your newest follower! Thank you for sharing – I found you through Miss Mustard Seed!!! Also, if you are interested, I am currently hosting a photography giveaway on my blog. I can't wait to see more! πŸ™‚

  44. November 23, 2011 / 1:31 am

    Love the kitchen, in fact, I love the entire house. I so remember thinking as I was watching, that I could definitely live there!

  45. January 23, 2012 / 1:49 am

    Your kitchen is so beautiful! I love white and clean kitchens!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia πŸ˜‰

  46. January 23, 2012 / 2:53 am

    Gorgeous!! Looks warm and inviting!

    I'm a new follower. Please come by for a visit.

  47. myrna
    September 7, 2012 / 2:15 am

    very beautiful!! what is the colour called on the walls?

  48. September 7, 2012 / 6:35 pm

    the wall color is benjamin moore white sand. but we have changed it since then!


  49. Toni
    February 13, 2019 / 9:27 am

    Can you tell me if you liked your trim that was painted in Dove Wing? Did you find it too creamy looking? Did you see any yellow?
    I am building and I am using Taj Mahal quartzite and I’m trying to select a color for my kitchen cabinets and trim. My thought was dove wing might look good with my countertop because it’s not so stark white. How did you feel about dove wing? Thank you!

    • michele
      February 13, 2019 / 9:51 am

      Hi there! We weren’t crazy about Dove Wing because of the undertones – it was a mistake by our contractor who had the painters do this color instead of what we wanted: WHITE DOVE. White Dove is a safer, more pure white that changes minimally throughout the day. I have used it with much more success. That said, if you’re going for an aged look and live with lots of antiques, you might be more drawn to Dove Wing. I actually like the contrast of white cabinets and warm counters – a lot of people aren’t aware of how beautiful pure whites and beigey sand whites can be together. An artist friend taught me this lesson with fashion. Hope this helps. πŸ™‚

  50. Vanessa
    November 6, 2023 / 3:55 pm

    What paint color is on your walls I love it

    • Michele
      November 6, 2023 / 6:56 pm

      When it was a warm white: Benjamin Moore White Sand; When it was gray: Benjamin Moore Ashley Gray. Thanks for reading!

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