French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles

French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles is for admirers of French country, Swedish, Scandinavian, European country, and farmhouse design ideas. If you love an airy white, vintage inspired, authentic, collected, rustic, imperfect, wabi sabi, weathered and barefoot elegant look…get ready for your joy ride, kittycats!

Antique floral platter with shabby chic French Nordic style from My Petite Maison on Etsy.
Antique Floral Platter – My Petite Maison on Etsy. French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

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French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles by Hello Lovely Studio explores the design style, underpinnings, and expression of this beautiful blend of French Country and Scandinavian country style. #hellolovelystudio #frenchnordic #frenchfarmhouse #swedishstyle #kitchendesign #europeancountry #interiordesign
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French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles

Authentique

Just how does one bring a French Nordic kitchen design to life with objects that are functional and beautiful? Surely authenticity plays a primary role in successfully achieving a pleasing look. But authentic doesn’t have to mean you must take out a second mortgage though! While the authenticity of French antiques and ancient European stoneware will do the trick nicely, you can also arrive at authenticity by incorporating elements from: nature, handmade items, handpainted finishes, and simple lovely elements celebrating Nordic French influence. To create an airy, natural, and ethereal Nordic French mood, consider these decorating ideas I have collected from years of studying and living with the French Nordic country style.

Handmade Love Sign – BurlapLuxe on Etsy
Bevis 4-Light Lantern Pendant
Bevis 4-Light Pendant.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?
Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.

More Purposeful Curation

It is easy to see how Americans vary in their accessorizing and country decor from their European counterparts. The European country approach typically reveres function and purpose. Will the kitchen decor accessory prove useful? Will the accessory be regularly pulled into service? Is it able to store essentials? Is it timeless? Is it high quality and multi-functional?

'Market' Textual Art on Wood
Rustic Market Textual Wood Sign.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space
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Saying No to Mediocrity & Filler

It does seem as though a great number of country kitchen decorators feel compelled to add interest to the decor by crowding shelves and surfaces with objects. It makes sense if the pottery or decorative urns are used daily, but if they are simply there for “interest,” than perhaps they should be re-thought to save hours of dusting!

A potential issue with massing decor is the effect can result in a watered-down, mediocre look which lacks quality and character. Without a doubt, massed collections can make a lovely impact as a vignette in a room. Collections can certainly be arranged successfully to read as an engaging art installation does. But overwrought accessorizing can also be disastrous. Over-styled vignettes can easily begin to look like a cluttered, dust-gathering antique mall booth rather than a place for the eye to pleasingly rest.

Ironstone Jam pot from My Petite Maison on Etsy.
Ironstone Jam Pot – My Petite Maison on Etsy.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space
?

A Nordic French country approach is less concerned with creating eye candy as it is orchestrating an overall mood. A serene design should evoke a peaceful mood which nourishes the soul. The effect looks effortless and light rather than contrived or over-thought.

Antique French ironstone berry drainer from My Petite Maison on Etsy.
Antique French Ironstone Berry Drainer – My Petite Maison on Etsy.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

Nordic French Style Principles

Are there secrets to achieving a timeless, Nordic French inspired decor look in your kitchen? 

First things first. If you get to googling, I’ll warn you right now you are going to land on way too many poorly written posts online which reduce a complex and multifaceted design style to a handful of steps or secrets. As a blogger, it is all too easy to see why such articles exist. The folks who are truly experts at the design style are creative types living the lifestyle and not those geeky types trying to translate the magic into words.

Antique French faience bowl from My Petite Maison on Etsy.
Antique French Faience Bowl – My Petite Maison on Etsy.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

Decor Ideas to Guide You

1. BEGIN BY ADDRESSING THE BONES…Beautiful bones and architecture may be the steepest challenge depending upon your kitchen’s age and style (unless you happen to be a gazillionaire, building new, or are lucky enough to live in a farmhouse in Scandinavia). Are there architectural elements you may be able to add which the rest of the decor will build upon? Ideas are: shiplap, beadboard paneling on walls and ceiling, upgrading doors and trim, plastering walls, removing or adding cabinetry, adding built-ins, and structural changes in the space

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

2. DON’T FILL YOUR KITCHEN WITH ALL NEW; ADD NORDIC FRENCH AND EUROPEAN VINTAGE & ANTIQUE DECOR…Over time, you can collect pieces for your kitchen that have all the qualities we have been discussing: age, authenticity, purpose, function, and beauty. Hunting for them takes time and is fun! It isn’t something you get done in a weekend

Raabe Kitchen Cart with Wood Top
Rustic Wood Mobile Work Island With Butcher Block Top.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

3. ADOPT A PEACEFUL PROCESS TO ARRIVE AT A PEACEFUL INTERIOR… Timeless style and layering takes time and may require help from a designer or shop owner. So much in American life involves hustling and bustling, and if it’s a peaceful, calm, Nordic French inspired look you’re after, it’s not the time to rush.

Warden Donalt Crowned 3-Light Lantern Pendant
Distressed 3-Light Pendant.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

Go Deeper to Discover

A French Nordic Country look is well established and has enduring appeal for good reason. Its beauty and timelessness derive from its natural connection to the culture and character of France and Scandinavia. No wonder it is not so easily emulated, “scored,” or created outside of those regions. Most of us haven’t the patience, ma cherie!

Lockeport Farmhouse Console Table
French Pastry Style Console Table
Set of 6 Fluted Mugs.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Nordic French decor and lifestyle reflects an effortless, unhurried, and nostalgic body of cultural ideals and sensibilities. To understand the “why” of this approach, delve deeper into European culture and history to discern what it is that draws you to the aesthetic in the first place.

My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni.
My French Country Home by Sharon Santoni

Timelessness Over Trends

Rather than redecorating every decade (or season if you glance at influencers on Instagram!) as Americans often do, traditionalists in the French or Nordic countryside favor a timeworn look. If it’s your desire to create a similar look at home, antiques and reclaimed authentic materials are your friend! High quality, rugged, longwearing pieces which increase in value over time can become heirlooms. “Buy better and buy less” is in order when you’re after rustic elegance, sophisticated simplicity, and timeless design that feels as though it evolved over years.

The Masterful Mix

You cannot miss the refinement in traditional European country or French Nordic designed homes where a masterful mix of old and newo feel both soulful and interesting. Vintage pottery shares space with a modern light fixture with clean lines over a weathered old farm table set with new linens. Slim steel windows contrast with snowy white painted chairs and cupboards. It’s not easy to score this mix when beginning with a newer kitchen where everything installed is sparkling new. But you can still work at adding cozy, aged, authentic, and natural elements to heighten the character and add charm.

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.

Nordic French Design Essentials

Evolved Elegance

An evolved Nordic French Country look demands restraint and patience.

'Grocery' Textual Art on Manufactured Wood
40″ Rustic Grocery Sign.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Let’s face it. In most cases, patina takes time (although we are getting better at faking it, yes?). Collecting takes time. And certainly inheriting treasures takes time. Hunting down the just right piece is easier now thanks to the internet, but choosing the proper mix of pieces to create a cohesive, timeless design STILL takes time.

Rae Dunn Canister Set.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Thoughts on Refreshing

Rooms develop character over time as the owner progressively collects, upgrades, and thoughtfully edits. Sometimes, when I feel ready for a kitchen refresh, it helps to clear the decks. I can stand back and layer in my favorite items, storing away (or giving away!) what no longer serves. You can’t easily “see” where you are going without doing the subtraction first.

Multipurpose & Flexible

Since most Nordic French and European country kitchens are smallish and cozy, traditional and timeless country style leans more toward practicality. Without spacious pantries, decor pieces must work in a variety of rooms. Out of necessity, they may be moved around to function in various spaces.

Bell Pitcher, Natural/White
Farmhouse Pottery Bell Pitcher.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light
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It’s easy to see the beauty of investing in fewer yet higher quality pieces which will work hard no matter the room in which they live.

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French Vintage Yogurt Pots – SouvenirsDeVoyages on Etsy.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Organic Elements

The French love their gardens and bringing fresh flowers inside to decorate the home, arranging blooms quite casually. Just like fresh ingredients for cooking and tasteful decor, fresh flowers have a way of elevating the “everyday.” Europeans are so inspiring in their approach to beautiful daily living, love of food, and regard for fine art.

French Market Basket
French Market Basket.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.
Vanguilder Wall Hook
Rustic Vanguilder Wall Hooks.
French Nordic Kitchen Decorating Ideas & Principles: Interior Design Inspiration & Resources. What is French Nordic design style and how can you bring this flavor of European country decor to your own space?

Weathered Patina

French Nordic style celebrates: age and tradition, scratches, rust, and signs of wear! Shiny new, stained, or lacquered finishes frequently fall flat when paired with antiques and vintage pieces which have patina-ed beautifully. Even aged rugs work better in such settings.

Romantic Lighting

French country chandeliers can add a layer of feminine romance to French Nordic decor. White fairy lights can even be effective when done right. The finishes of light fixtures tends to be weathered wood or aged metals so antiques always look more beautiful than new examples. The sparkle of crystal from a chandelier can juxtapose beautifully with more rustic and rugged furniture.

French Nordic Wall Sconce.
French Nordic Wall Sconce – LeLightFantastique on Etsy

Pale & Lovely Palette

I love the pale palette often employed in Nordic French and European country kitchens. Bright whites, faded creams, putty greys, and quiet blues tell a story about: limited natural light, the countryside, understated beauty, and tranquility.

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.

A Light Touch

What does it mean to style effortlessly or with a light hand? I have already discussed over-cluttering shelves with filler, but there is certainly more to it. Nordic French Country style celebrates wrinkles in fabrics, flaws in objects of all varieties, and imperfections related to furniture and finishes. A country house lends itself to more casual living than a house in the city where more formal living occurs.

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.

French Nordic Decor Elements

Cultivate & Garden Candle, Lavender
Cultivate & Garden Candle

Yes, Pillows Can Sometimes Belong in the Kitchen! I have a bunch in mine!

20 x 20 Maison d’Hermine Toile Pillow Cover in Paloma Gray.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Doubles as a wonderful farmhouse Christmas tree decoration!

It Only Looks Old and Expensive!

Grange Bottle Free-Standing Drying Rack
French Drying Rack.
French, Swedish, and Scandinavian inspired country kitchen and farmhouse kitchen ideas. Kitchen design inspiration in case you are a fan of Nordic French living and white, ethereal, serene, airy spaces that feel romantic and light.

Beautiful Crocks Old & New

French antique mustard pots on Etsy.
Antique French Mustard Pots – maintenant on Etsy.
White kitchen design elements, French antiques, ironstone, weathered finishes, spare decor, and wabi sabi imperfection round out a lovely Nordic French kitchen. Hot to get the Scandinavian French design look in your own kitchen…lots of hints right here!

I Adore How Tracie of My Petite Maison Uses Old Food Covers in Her Lovely Kitchen!

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.

She has a special one for sale in her shop!

French Nordic Food Cover from My Petite Maison on Etsy.
French Nordic Food Cover – MyPetiteMaison on Etsy

Simplicity, Clean Lines, and Purpose!

Farmhouse kitchen decor idea: black metal wall mounted rack for mugs!
Wall Mounted Metal Rack for Mugs.
White kitchen design elements, French antiques, ironstone, weathered finishes, spare decor, and wabi sabi imperfection round out a lovely Nordic French kitchen. Hot to get the Scandinavian French design look in your own kitchen…lots of hints right here!

Sometimes in an all-white space, you need something with warmth…

Wood 6 Bottle Tabletop Wine Bottle Rack
Rustic Wood Wine Storage.
White kitchen design elements, French antiques, ironstone, weathered finishes, spare decor, and wabi sabi imperfection round out a lovely Nordic French kitchen. Hot to get the Scandinavian French design look in your own kitchen…lots of hints right here
!

French Nordic Light & Airy Lovely!

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.
White kitchen design elements, French antiques, ironstone, weathered finishes, spare decor, and wabi sabi imperfection round out a lovely Nordic French kitchen. Hot to get the Scandinavian French design look in your own kitchen…lots of hints right here!
Shumway 1-Light Cone Glass Mini Pendant
Shumway 1-Light Glass Mini Pendant.
White kitchen design elements, French antiques, ironstone, weathered finishes, spare decor, and wabi sabi imperfection round out a lovely Nordic French kitchen. Hot to get the Scandinavian French design look in your own kitchen…lots of hints right here!

Does “Swedish Farmhouse” Tickle Your Ears Like it Does Mine?

2" Bistro Match Striker, White/Natural
Bistro Match Striker.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!
Allred Flip-Top Sideboard
Rustic Flip Top Sideboard
S/4 Washed Dinner Napkins, Pearl
Farmhouse Pottery Dinner Napkins.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness
!
Lafontaine 3-Light Lantern Pendant
Lafontaine 3-Light Lantern Pendant

Serene White & Nordic French

Photo & Design: My Petite Maison.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!

This lamp caught my eye for its elegance, and it could be incredible on the right kitchen counter…

Ceramic Artichoke Table Lamp, White
Ceramic Artichoke Lamp.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!

For a window seat or bench…

Windrow Colander, White
Farmhouse Pottery Window Colander.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!

Nubby Beautiful Linens That Become Better With Age…

Agrarian Apron, White/Blue
Farmhouse Pottery Agrarian Apron.
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!

Functional Beauty

Vintage style French cafe pillow cover for adding French Country, Farmhouse French, or French Nordic style to your home.
Vintage Style French Cafe Pillow Cover (20 x 20).
Light fixtures, work tables, kitchen decor accessories, antiques, pottery, linens, and the unexpected in this collection of French Nordic kitchen design goodness!

Thanks for exploring this style of design so close to my heart. Visit THIS COLLECTION of Nordic French style posts to enjoy more Nordic French inspiration!

Round Bronze Accent Table
French Country Lamp
White Ruffle Spread + Shams
French Laundry Basket
Metal Martini Table
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Farmhouse Dining Table
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Turkish Cotton Blanket
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Weathered 4-Door French Cabinet – 71″
Upholstered Dining Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Linen Slipcovered Dining Chair, Set of 2
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Loveseat
Pamela Arm Chair
Weathered Arm Chair
Rustic Wood Candleholders
Aged Terracotta Pots
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Galvanized Console Table
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Cafe Chair (Set of 2)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Linen Curved Loveseat
White Farmhouse Lantern Pendant Light
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
French Country Loveseat
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Oak Accent Stool
French Upholstered Gray Bench
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Reclaimed Wood 3 Leg Stool
French Linen Sofa
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Parisian Glass Bottle Vase
Magnus Table Lamp
Spindle Leg Upholstered Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
French Country Wood Mirror
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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2 Comments

  1. Amy
    January 29, 2019 / 1:33 am

    Have just read this post TWICE as it is full of such helpful decorating principles that I desire to incorporate, over time & with patience, in the house we are building now…purposeful curation and function, timelessness over trends, masterful mix, evolved elegance, multi-purpose, organic, weathered patina, light & airy. Thanks for sharing your knowledge…I always enjoy reading!

    • michele
      Author
      January 29, 2019 / 12:29 pm

      I’m so happy you stopped to stay so! Thanks so much for your kind words – and how exciting to be building something special! Peace to you as you enjoy the process and interpret this design style for yourselves! xox

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