When I lived in France, I discovered a tradition that I found intriguing and almost exotic and yet, at the same time, very practical…the summer kitchen! Several of my friends had them…spaces dedicated to cooking during the hot summer months. They are not just outdoor kitchens since, more often than not, they were located in a breezeway or even a basement space, allowing for cooking away from the main part of the house to keep it cool.
Sooo... I was thrilled to find an article about summer kitchens in one of my favorite online French decor magazines, Art & Decoration! I am showing you my favorite first…this rustic charmer with its own pizza/bread oven built from local stones. But don’t be deceived…the shutter board cabinet doors hide a refrigerator and a dishwasher! I love the unusual whitewashed driftwood table and chairs!
This green house-turned-summer kitchen belongs to Isabella Sallusti of Graine & Ficelle…a working farm and bed and breakfast which offers cooking classes using its organic produce. Click here to have a peek at the guest rooms. Gotta love that cement sink! I think I might actually cook here.
Here’s another summer kitchen from a mas…a farmhouse and its outbuildings…in Provence. The base is made of salvaged wood and is topped by black granite…all on wheels to make it mobile!
This one is actually a pool house at another mas in the south of France! The kitchen area can be closed off by the two big doors that you see and includes a refrigerator and a dishwasher. The concrete bar opposite it houses a sink and a grill.
This one was designed at the request of the decorator Vannina Boudet and works around an original window. The massive oak beams and hand carved stone sink almost make it look as though it was always there!
I love this one…installed in a garden in Cap d’Antibes on the French Riviera! It’s built from teak wood and has shutters that can drop down when needed.
This Caribbean-style kitchen is actually on the deck of a pool and is shaded by a thatched umbrella and reed blinds. Wow…there’s even a microwave and a full-sized fridge…a sleek, modern kitchen tucked into an exotic setting!
Here’s a final summer kitchen for you! It almost looks like it could be in Florida, huh? French design is not just campagne chic...shabby chic. They love sleek and modern, too!
However, I have to admit…that first one still has my heart! It brings back memories of a neighbor serving us homemade bread hot out of the oven he built himself! After all, that is what a summer kitchen is really about…gathering with friends and family to enjoy the time together! And I hope that's exactly what all of you are doing this Labor Day! Have a wonderful holiday weekend!