Have you ever wondered how to achieve French Country charm on a budget? Yes! Wonderful - this blog post is for you!
When we purchased our home, our 1/2 bathroom needed work, but we pushed it aside and it ended up being the last space to get renovated. To give you an idea of what I had to work with, here are a few "before" photos.
If you've been following along with our renovations, I'm sure you recognize the maroon laminate countertop (same as our "before" kitchen). While there was nothing wrong with this space, the decor didn't fit with the rest of our newly renovated home. I love how Brooke from Nesting With Grace shares about her makeover projects, "Don't strive for perfect - strive for better than before."
That was my goal for our 1/2 bathroom - to make it better than before.
I knew I wanted to add some French Country charm and planned to use similar color choices from our previous bathroom renovation (read about it here). I pre-selected flooring, paint, and fixtures then began my search for some vintage items to bring the space together. Please note - our DIY's and renovations occurred over a number of months one little project at a time.
How to Add French Charm to any Bathroom:
Flooring - To add French charm, I recommend looking into a wood or tile floor. We started our project by taking up the old linoleum flooring and replaced with French Oak from Home Depot (which coordinates with the rest of our home). Again, I wasn't striving for perfect, just better. Not ready to invest in patterned tile, but love the look of that option? Consider painting your flooring to resemble patterned cement tile like my friend Kayla from Plum Pretty Decor & Design did here.
Vanity - A new vanity wasn't in our budget so I had to get creative to achieve the look I was going for. I decided to chalk paint our existing cabinet in French Grey by Jeanne d'Arc Living. This was an easy DIY that cost about $12. I sealed the chalk paint with Minwax Polycrylic in Matte (this can be found at any major home improvement store).
Hardware - I removed the old hardware and we replaced with these champagne bronze knobs. An inexpensive way to add some French Country charm in my opinion.
Countertop/Sink - Originally, we planned to keep the maroon countertop and I was going to paint it to look like marble. I actually tried that and wasn't pleased with the results... we did leave it that way for a while though. We ended up finding a quartz countertop/sink combo at Home Depot on special for $99 that we couldn't pass up. We had it cut to size by a local fabricator and still saved $$$ and installed the new countertop ourselves. I can't tell you what a dramatic change this made to the space.
Fixtures - I knew I would be adding a vintage mirror and sconces so I selected a champagne bronze faucet by Delta for our 1/2 bathroom. Be sure to price check before ordering - Amazon is cheaper at times.
Walls - Our previous owners smoked inside so the walls in this room had dingy yellow wallpaper on top of paneling. With this being our last room to renovate, we didn't have the energy to replace the walls. Instead, we sealed the wallpaper and covered it with vertical wood planks which flows nicely to laundry area.
I primed and painted the wood planks once installed with Simply White by Benjamin Moore. This instantly added French charm and opened the small room up and made it feel SO MUCH BIGGER! Another relatively inexpensive DIY with major impact that cost us around $70.
Light Fixtures - To me - lighting is EVERYTHING. I found a vintage chandelier for the ceiling while on vacation at a flea market and loved how it updated the look of this space. I knew I also wanted to replace the overhead lighting, but keeping French charm in mind, I decided to look for a pair of vintage sconces. I looked for months with no luck and finally came across some at a local consignment store. Converting from an overhead light to two sconces took some electrical engineering on my husband's part, but the result was so worth it!
We absolutely love the new look of our 1/2 bathroom and I'm so glad it flows with the rest of our home now.
Do you even recognize the before? It's as if the entire vanity is new and I LOVE I was able to achieve that "updated" look with chalk paint for under $12!
To cozy the space up a bit, I added some fresh flowers to my vintage ironstone pitcher, our favorite Pré de Provence soap and a hand towel from my friend Haley at The Gray Door Market.
As always, thanks for following along on our renovation journey. I hope you found these tips helpful for adding French charm to your own home. I would love to hear your thoughts below!