Details make a difference By Design: The rustic Continental look is achieved through judicious use of color, furniture and accessories.

April 28, 1996|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE GR PHOTO

We need to choose flooring and cabinets for our large kitchen. We like French country style. How do we find the appropriate components?

A rustic-style floor, preferably made of planked wood or ceramic pavers, would be right for the French country design you admire. But that's pretty pricey, and you might want to consider a less expensive alternative -- something like a vinyl floor with a geometric pattern. The "Gabriel" model, from Mannington's Classic Renaissance Collection, is good enough to serve in a real French country kitchen.

I might combine that with paint-grade wood cabinets with a raised panel door design and paned glass on the upper cabinets. A bit of distressing would be appropriate, but I'd limit it to either the cabinets or the furniture finish. Doing both would probably be too much.

Darker counter tops are another of my favorites. Granite or slate-blue tile will look lovely, but plastic laminate can also do the trick.

Like jewelry on a dress, hardware and pulls serve to define a certain style. Pewter or black iron finish would be the right choices for your envisioned setting.

The kitchen's overall appearance will be more strongly determined, however, by the colors, furnishings and accessories you introduce. Flowers and a bit of personal clutter are practically mandatory for the charming Continental style you are striving to create.

Pub Date: 5/01/96

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