50+ Parisian Kitchen Decor Small Spaces
The atmosphere I was trying to achieve in this traditional kitchen was that of a 1915 Parisian Candy Shop. When I walked into the existing kitchen I was thrilled to find the basics would easily transition to the candy shop look. The wonderful “bones” of the kitchen included cream cabinetry with stainless classic handles and pulls, solid black granite countertops, deep crown moldings and finally excellent windows including a floor to ceiling bay window.
I must stress the importance of using classic styling, stone and high-end appliances in a traditional kitchen. These rarely date and can easily be “freshened” up. In the case of this kitchen, I took several steps to maximize the candy-shop kitchen while still adhering to a strict budget. I knew immediately I wanted the colors to be black, cream and musky rose. The walls received a new slightly pink based cream by Benjamin Moore called Butter Pecan. The trim painted in White Dove (always a favorite). The too modern stainless pulls and handles were removed and spray-painted matte black – voila – instant iron pulls!! This step alone saved thousands of dollars.
A trademark of my kitchen designs has always been the use of open shelves. Whether Modern, Traditional, Tuscan, Asian or French I feel that upper cabinets tend to create a claustrophobic environment. A more European approach is to replace a few upper cabinets with shelves. These particular shelves were made with Asian-inspired wrought iron brackets, unfinished store-bought pine shelves that were painted deep red, antiqued and finished off with velvet pom-pom curtain fringe attached with upholstery tacks. The red shelves were antiqued by rubbing in and then wiping off a black stain to give them the aged finished I was looking for. With open shelves, I could now casually display a faux Degas’s painting (found in a discount store for $19.99) behind the antique dishes now displayed proudly on the open shelves.
I now turned my attention to the lighting. I replaced the two recess lights above the island with large drop lights from Home Depot. The problem was these steel lights looked too modern – so once again black spray paint was used to transform the stainless steel store-bought lamps into in a matt black iron look that complimented and connected with the matt black pulls on the cabinets.
Perhaps the trickiest aspect of the redecoration was finding the antique opal-rose chandelier that was installed over the kitchen table and the petite version that was placed over the sink. I was very lucky on eBay finding them three-months apart and from separate sellers. Other possibilities are Craig’s list, estate sales, and antique stores. My advice is when you are visiting a small town, discover their local antique shops and if you see a chandelier that makes your heart race and is not too hard on your wallet – splurge!!! A reputable electrician can rewire and hang it for you. My husband often jokes that “My wife does not have diamonds she has chandeliers”. This is a bit obsessive but in my opinion, nothing gives more style to a room than lighting and artwork.
I moved on to the glass cabinets and searched for fabric that could be hung on the inside to disguise any mess. I settled on a pattern of Heraldic cream-colored lions on dusky pink background. I choose this over the obvious French toile, as I feel too much of one style can create a theme park environment, not the eclectic warm look I was aiming for.
My final step in creating the ultimate candy shop kitchen was the most costly and boldest. The main kitchen wall was covered in ARTWORK. Some of the artwork was placed on ornate black brackets to add dimension, some encased in gold chunky frames, and others were more modern black and white photos. I wanted this wall with all its individual art that when hung in such a massive grouping would itself become one giant work of art. More IS more when it comes to groupings. Ornate antique silver candelabras on a large black table complete the gracious feel of a bygone era.
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