Transport Your Kitchen with These Tips for Creating a Provincial Pantry
Amy Mings is the founder and inspiring voice behind Maison de Mings, a lifestyle website that helps readers achieve a country French look through do-it-yourself projects, shopping tips, and style advice. Her kitchen is full of savvy secondhand scores, hardworking upgrades, and stylish accessories with French-country appeal.
Mings found this chandelier on Facebook Marketplace, a source she says she uses frequently for finding vintage touches for her home. "My biggest tip is to search often," she says. "Whenever a new listing comes up with your previous search terms, it makes it really easy to find those items." Mings also suggests asking plenty of questions of the seller, especially when it comes to electrical items. "Ask how it was disassembled, its condition, and why it was taken down," she says.
Can't find the right size or style of island for your kitchen? Purchase prefab legs from a retailer, then choose a solid-wood top and assemble. For a luxe look, Mings added marble tiles to the surface of her island. To do the same, use a silicone adhesive to glue tiles to the countertop and let dry according to adhesive package instructions.
Heirlooms and souvenirs have their place in your kitchen. Mings's travels in Provence inspired many of her choices, including a cheese safe (the wood-and-wire shelf unit), a common feature in French kitchens. "Having one imported would have been expensive, so I made one," she says. She uses hers to organize and display frequently used appetizer and sauce dishes.
The beauty of country style is its effortlessness. No need to buy matching planters for kitchen herbs and houseplants—just group neutral pots and add antique accents (like this vintage wood trivet) for an uncomplicated windowsill or countertop vignette.
Although her doorless pantry appears picture-perfect when viewed from the kitchen, Mings employs a few tricks to hide the clutter. First, she unpackages boxes goods and stores the contents inside attractive copper canisters. Next, she stows less visually pleasing items on the side shelves. "I use glass and clear containers so it's a cohesive look, but put them to the side so they're not as visible as the back of the pantry, which is the focal point," Mings says.
Create your own custom country French baker's rack. From 2x2 pine, cut eight 11-inch pieces and four 48-inch posts, which will be used to build the sides. Cut 1x2 into eight 36-inch pieces, then cut 3/8-inch dowel rods into 12-inch lengths. You will need 11 for each shelf.
Mark the center (18 inches) of each 1x2 board, then mark holes at 3-inch increments from the center outward. On each of the 48-inch posts, make marks at 15 inches from the bottom, then in 12-inch increments for shelf locations. Position one end of a 1x2 on each of the post markings, using wood glue and two brad nails to secure. Repeat to construct two 36-inch units.
Next, install the dowels. Using a Forstner bit, drill holes at each of the 3-inch markings. Install dowels in each hole. Last, use wood glue and brad nails to attach the 11-inch 2x2s above each shelf end.