Master Bedroom Update: French Country Style
How thrifted items made a huge impact and instantly updated the look for this French Country Master Bedroom Makeover.
Let’s start with the BEFORE picture. This was a few months after we had moved into our home about 7 years ago. Queen thrifted headboard that I had painted white, thrifted cherry nightstands, throw pillows that I sewed covers for, a pair of lamps that I spray painted chrome in an effort to make them look a little like mercury style lamps that were popular at the time. I was proud of the look back then. But as time passes, so does my style and preferences and makes me giggle at what I thought looked good back then!
Here’s why creating a beautiful home on a budget is so important to me and helped heal me from depression.
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Then we upgraded to a king bed and I found a cherry sleigh bed for $200 from a garage sale that needed side rails. I found some online and luckily they matched the bed stain color perfectly! My daughter was proud of making the bed for me when I took this pic.
Another BEFORE picture of this side of the room. This antique dresser, I originally found 10 years ago at a garage sale full of deep scratches for $50 and refinished it. I still love it this many years later and the paint job has held up perfectly. There’s a lot of little tchotchkes on the dresser top that I used to think looked good but now realize that bigger items and less of them make a much better styled vignette.
Then came the blessed day that we finally painted over the beige foundation color wall and ceiling! First, we covered the furniture in plastic to protect from paint splatters and painted the vaulted ceilings white. They instantly looked taller and brighter!
Then we painted the walls Benjamin Moore Classic Gray (darkened by 25%). It’s a favorite neutral paint color that I always recommend. It chameleons from a creamy khaki to gray depending on the lighting and goes with everything. I like to have a bit more pop of white with my baseboards compared to the paint, so I chose to darken the Classic Gray paint by 25%.
After painting, we decided to move the bed in front of the windows to open up the walk way and give us more room on the sides of the bed. We LOVED having the bed in front of the window and kept it this way for 3.5 years. It was so nice to wake up to the light behind our heads instead of in our faces on one side.
While I was pleased with how well the furniture coordinated with each other (each was thrifted separately: king bed, pair of nightstands, bookshelf, chair and dresser), it all felt very heavy and dark. It’s a pretty look but I’m addicted to light and bright looks. They just soothe me and help me feel happy. Hubby really like the way things looked so I left the bed and nightstands alone, although I really wanted to paint them to brighten them up.
I felt the old cherry nightstands were too heavy visually for my eyes and switched to these console tables that we used as nightstands. I originally saw them in Joanna Gaines’ home and fell in love with them. I loved how airy and light they made the room feel and the contrast and texture the metal brought. Hubby was not a fan though. He missed having nightstands with drawers.
Then I painted the bookshelf Benjamin Moore Stonecutter, a dark blue gray with a tiny hint of sophisticated green, to give more life back to the stain worn shelves. I love how the color turned out and the life it brought back to the worn bookshelves. Learn how to style book shelves here.
This past summer, I looked every single day on Facebook Marketplace for a pair of nightstands that would work for our space since hubby really wanted to have drawers again. I went to garage/estate sales every weekend as well. I drove to check out some pieces only to come back home empty handed. I stayed patient though, I knew the right pieces would come along.
Then I discovered a consignment store about 45 min away from my house. I decided to go check it out, with high hopes that the nightstands would be there, but there was nothing in a matching pair that day. Instead, I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw this:
I instantly fell in love. I tried to figure out how I could justify buying a bed when I’m really only looking for nightstands. I looked at the price, fully expecting it to be $800. It was listed at $330 and I was in shock that such a gorgeous high end Henredon king sized bed was listed so cheap! I took some pics of it and sadly left it behind.
I went back to the consignment store a month later, looking for nightstands (again). I walked by and saw the bed was still there! I couldn’t believe no one had bought it yet! I went up close to the price tag because I noticed some red writing on it that wasn’t there before. The price had been reduced to $199! Yes, you know my jaw hit the floor and I frantically started trying to figure out how I could buy this bed and bring it home and what would my hubby think of me buying a bed on a whim like this. I could not NOT buy the bed that makes me swoon at a price like that. Plus, I knew I could sell my current bed for the same amount or a little more and thus, I wouldn’t be out any money by buying the bed. I bought the bed and scheduled to have us pick it up that following weekend when we could borrow a truck to bring it home.
The next day at 7AM, I was scouring facebook marketplace for the millionth time, looking for nightstands. Nothing. Then I remembered it was Friday, garage sale day, so I looked to see if there was any good looking sales to hit. I saw the nightstands! The garage sale listed to start at 8AM so I quickly threw on some clothes, loaded furniture blankets in the back of my car, grabbed some cash from the ATM in the amount I was willing to spend on the nightstands. I wanted to be the first person there so I could get them.
The tricky part is, the nightstands were listed as a set with the bed and matching dresser. I decided to ask the owner if she would be willing to sell them separately and to my surprise she said yes! That doesn’t happen often, especially not to the first of the day sales but I was so grateful that she was willing to sell them to me for the price I intended to pay for them at $150 each (they were in excellent condition). I knew they would look amazing with our new bed. And now I was incredibly grateful that I hadn’t found any nightstands prior because I would’ve purchased ones that might not have looked good with our new bed. Within 24 hours of buying the bed, I found nightstands to go with them. A coincidence? Nope.
I set them up in our bedroom and they matched perfectly with our current cherry sleigh bed. It was really tempting to my hubby to just keep the set up that way since he now had his drawer nightstands and he liked how they looked with our current bed. But I would not be swayed; I wanted the huge glorious bed of my dreams.
Saturday came and it was pouring rain, boo! We had to wait another week to pick up the bed. I knew it needed a few hardware pieces to fix it, which is probably the reason the price was reduced. I ordered a $30 set of metal box frame brackets and about $5 on some extra screws and nuts. We spent several hours on the day we picked up the bed, running back and forth to the store to get the right parts to attach the side rails to the headboard/footboard. Sometimes you have to put a little time and TLC into a thrifted piece but it’s always worth it!
French Country Bedroom
But I’m in LOVE. It takes my breath away whenever I see this massive beauty in my room, showing off her gentle and light color. The ruffled duvet cover looks perfect with the french footboard posts. I love how my bench looks with the bed for this French country bedroom makeover. I will be painting the new nightstands a more neutral color to go with the bed soon. We moved the bed location back to the original wall since it was too tall and would block the entire window using the previous layout.
That meant, a whole lot of delicious, bright light came pouring into my room again, unobstructed by my bed. I was giddy to have it fill my room. I’m a light addict, remember? I stole this gingham chair ($50 estate sale find) from my living room and put her to work as a cozy reading/journaling spot so I could soak in the light while doing morning reflections and mindset work. Then I remembered the furry rug I had in the basement storage area and added it.
I love how it looks next to the painted bookshelf. The framed art work on the shelf, “It is well with my soul” I bought from this etsy seller. It suits this space perfectly.
I still need to hang the mirror on the wall but I love having it right next to my jewelry frame holder, a DIY project I made using a thrifted frame that I painted, covered a wood board with burlap and added mug hooks into. The large mirror is this black one that I painted to have a faux wood grain look.
My bedroom is now my favorite spot in the house. For years, my bedroom was always the last thing to work on in my home. When I made the change to start taking better care of my bedroom, including making my bed everyday about 2 years ago, I noticed how much happier I was throughout the day. It made such a difference to walk by and see my room clean, bed made and decorated/styled well. When the rest of the house could be in a state of chaos and sink full of dirty dishes, I always knew I had one place that I could escape to for a quieting retreat to help me reset on especially busy days. (Links to shop my home are at the end of post)