With highly-refined, sophisticated aesthetics and an abundance of natural elements throughout, it’s easy to see why French Provincial kitchens and Hamptons style kitchens are often considered quite similar. But with a well-trained eye, distinguishing a spot of French Provincial oo la la from a splash of coastal-loving Hamptons is a lot simpler that you might think.

If you are looking for a kitchen style that epitomises elegance with plenty of character, then there’s a good chance that French Provincial style will tick a lot of boxes. But on the other hand, Hamptons style is not to be overlooked, with its fair share of refined features and subtly sophisticated touches too.

For an untrained eye, it can be a little challenging determining the differences between these two kitchen styles. Yes, from an origin point of view, one reflects the charm and rustic appeal of French quarters, while the other mimics an area set along the coastline of houses of Hollywood stars. But what exactly sets French Provincial kitchens and Hamptons style apart?

After we walk you through some of the feature aspects of the iconic French Provincial kitchen and Hamptons style kitchen, your once “untrained” eye will be more finely tuned and you’ll be easily able to identify what makes these classic styles so popular. It might even help you to better understand where your personal style preferences lie too.

Unique elements of a French Provincial kitchen

French Provincial kitchen style is suave and sophisticated with a warm, welcoming vibe. Here’s what you can expect to find in a typical, traditionally styled French Provincial kitchen.

#1 Texture

With a luxurious, rustic appeal, texture plays an important role in French Provincial kitchens. You will see plenty of natural fibres and elements like wood, stone and cane.

#2 Feature architecture

The use of feature architecture is prominent in French Provincial kitchens. You may see detailed lead lights, oversized archways or exposed timber beams heralded as the hero in this distinct provincial style.

#3 Cabinetry

Cabinetry is a class above the rest in French Provincial kitchens. Favouring ornate and detailed style, cabinets feature carved designs, typically hand painted then sanded back or rubbed back to achieve a rustic look.

#4 Flooring

Timber is a main feature material is most French Provincial kitchens. This includes, in particular, timber flooring. Generally, the wood used in French Provincial kitchens is mid-toned in colour. Typically, floors may also be decked in natural stone.

#5 Cooking

Traditionally, French Provincial kitchens were donned with large fireplaces and a chimney. As technology has advanced, we now see French Provincial kitchens mimicking their origins with stylised, oversized rangehoods and ovens. This allows kitchen owners to maintain the traditional aesthetics of the French Provincial cooking area whilst enjoying the conveniences of modern day cooking appliances and technology.

#6 Splashbacks

Splashbacks in a French Provincial kitchen are typically tiled. They often make use of either stone or matt ceramic materials but can also be seen with a touch of gloss in order to add subtle contrast and a feature focus with a personalised touch. Tiles may even be hand-cut to reflect the imperfect, rustic charm of French Provincial style.

#7 Lighting

Feature lighting found in French Provincial kitchens is often comprised of ornate and sophisticated metal, glass or cane pendant lights and shades.

#8 Tapware

As can be found in the other elements of a French Provincial kitchen, French Provincial tapware is equally impressive and often a small feature piece on its own. If its design is intricate and ornate with large levers and spouts, you can almost be sure that it is French Provincial style.

#9 Colours

French Provincial colours are typically white, cream and shades of grey. It’s common in French Provincial kitchens that all colours and tones are kept quite simple, subtle and paired back. You won’t see any bright or contrasting colours here. This allows the natural features to be the real design highlight.

#10 Kitchen décor

Popular French Provincial kitchen furniture and décor includes antique rugs, wrought iron, cane and mid-toned timber pieces.

How is Hamptons kitchens style different?

Hamptons style is coastal cool. Casual, yet with a class beyond “just beach”. While both styles exude an air of sophistication, you can distinguish a Hamptons kitchen from its French Provincial kitchen counterpart, through a few main elements.

#1 Light and airy

A main feature of Hamptons style is its light and airy space. Kitchens are open, inviting and fresh, in contrast to the warmer, cosy feel of French Provincial kitchen spaces.

#2 Feature architecture

Hamptons kitchens also feature impressive architecture. But instead of the popular curved architecture that we see in French Provincial kitchens, Hamptons is typically more pitched with sharp angles and straight edges.

#3 Cabinetry

Shaker-style cabinetry is an iconic feature of the Hamptons style. Strong, robust and clean lines are the backbone of this classic style. You won’t find any ornate detailing here.

#4 Colours

Hamptons colouring is usually comprised of cooler and paler in tones when compared to the warm mid-tones of French Provincial kitchen style. Hamptons kitchens are predominately based on simple white tones, including beige and ivory, with hints of fresh coastal charm added through the use of textiles in soft blue and green hues. White cabinetry, benchtops and framing around windows is very popular.

#5 Splashbacks

Hamptons is all about ceramic tiled splashbacks – subway tile design, elongated designs, hexagonal, square or penny rounds are popular choices.

#6 Lighting

Much like French Provincial kitchen, pendant lighting is a common feature in a Hamptons style kitchen. While both styles can make use of metal and cane material in their feature lighting, the difference can be found in the design of these fittings. Keeping in line with the other distinctive components of each style, Hamptons style lighting is light, simplistic and clean in its design, while French Provincial kitchen lighting is more ornate and often heavier and darker in its appearance.

#7 Kitchen décor

Hamptons kitchens play off their coastal origins and many Hamptons designers like to make use of coastal-inspired décor. Adding texture and a hint of colour through window dressings, seat covers and other textiles in duck egg blue or seafoam green are typical.

The real difference between French Provincial kitchen and Hamptons style

As you’ve seen, there are some similarities to be found between these two enduringly-popular traditional kitchen styles. But a closer look reveals Hamptons kitchens embracing their coastal cool with fresh airy space, light and bright colours. While French Provincial kitchens on the other hand are all about warm, rustic sophistication with deeper tones. If you’re seeing fresh colouring and clean lines, chances are it’s a Hamptons. And if there’s plenty of ornate detailing and darker, warmer tones then that points towards the French Provincial kitchen style.

When designing your new kitchen, you don’t necessarily have to strictly follow the rules of any one particular style. The benefit of a custom-designed kitchen means that you can combine your favourite elements from various styles to create a personal space that is distinctively yours.

This is where engaging an experienced kitchen designer, like the team at Harrington Kitchens, can really help to bring your dreams to life. Their knowledge and expertise will help you to understand what will work best when it comes to both function and design features. Contact our team on 1300 662 112, submit an online enquiry or visit us at our Narellan or Bowral showrooms to discuss your dream kitchen project.