French Vintage Inspired Bedroom with Wallpaper
Our guest bedroom was one of those really sad, untouched spaces in our home that was desperate for a makeover.
Because it is a guest bedroom, I felt like I could really get creative with the design. My goal was to create a French vintage look with a whimsical, cozy feel. Ultimately, I just wanted it to be a fun experience for our guests.
Once I landed on the perfect vintage style wallpaper, I got to work on my mood board! I have to say, this is the most challenging design i’ve done so far! Mixing patterns and using color is something that’s new to me, but I’m so proud of how it turned out!
Before + Afters
Here’s a few side by side before and afters, but there’s more photos throughout this post!
Our guest bedroom had carpet to start, but we decided we wanted to rip that out and install our own flooring. Honestly, we kind of just wanted some experience installing flooring so that was a big part of our decision to try it out in here!
We went back and forth about what type of flooring we wanted to install, narrowing it down to either LVP or engineered hardwood. After our search I wrote this blog post on LVP vs. Engineered Hardwood: 5 Things to Consider.
We decided on this Lifeproof luxury vinyl plank flooring from Home Depot. It was very doable to install on our own as well! If you’re interested in that process, here’s my step-by-step blog post on How to Install Vinyl Plank Flooring.
If you know me at all, you know trim work is my favorite design element in any space! I wanted our vintage inspired room to have a unique look, so here’s what I added:
I’m a big fan of beefy looking baseboards, so I wanted to enhance mine in some way! It made the most sense to keep our original baseboards since I like them! They were just over 7″ tall as it was, but I wanted a little something extra!
We had some leftover base cap moulding from when I installed box moulding throughout our entire first floor (here’s my blog post tutorial on how to do that) so I figured I could put that to good use.
Last year when I did my beadboard entryway makeover I used base cap on top of the baseboards for a taller look and I loved how it turned out!
But this time, I installed the base cap molding a couple inches above the original baseboards and just painted it all the same color to almost give the illusion of super tall baseboards! I’m so happy with how this turned out!
Picture Rail Moulding
This is one of my favorite parts of the room! If you’re wondering how the heck I hung art and a mirror from a piece of trim, check out my blog post for all the details on How to Install and Use a Picture Rail Hanging System.
Did you know I used foam crown moulding in this room? It’s impossible to tell unless you get up on a ladder and touch it. I decided to try it out since it was my first time installing crown moulding.
If you’re interested in why I chose foam crown molding or how to measure, cut, and install it, check out my blog post on how to install crown moulding here!
Another favorite detail of this French vintage inspired room is the ceiling medallion! Suddenly I’m wondering why I don’t have these in every other room in my house…
Here’s the link the ceiling medallion I used! The installation was really simple- I just applied some caulk around the underside of the ceiling medallion, pressed it up to the ceiling (make sure the placement is center) and nailed it in place with brad nails!
Wall coverings are of course a huge aspect of any room and once I knew I wanted a vintage look for our guest bedroom, my immediate thought was wallpaper!
I used some fun leopard, retro wallpaper as an accent wall in our powder room a couple years ago and it’s still one of my favorite spaces in our home!
If you’re not sure what type of wallpaper you want to use, check out my blog post on the 3 Types of Wallpaper and the Best Choice for Beginners. This post goes over the pros and cons of 3 popular choices; pre-pasted, traditional, and peel and stick wallpaper.
I decided to go with this gorgeous wallpaper from Divine Savages (I’m in love with their vintage wallpaper designs- each pattern is such a unique and bold aesthetic wallpaper).
Between the cats, birds, the small flowers in the pattern, and the French blue… I was sold on this perfect aesthetic wallpaper. (P.S. it comes in multiple other colors!)
This was my first time installing traditional non-pasted wallpaper, but overall I had a really great experience! Here’s my step-by-step blog post on How to Hang Traditional Wallpaper!
Choosing paint was extra difficult for this space since I knew it had to compliment the wallpaper. My thought was to pull a blue from the wallpaper and use that for the trim and doors.
I ended up using this ColorReader device on the wallpaper. It’s so cool! You just place the device against any surface and the closest paint color matches (from popular paint brands) will pop up in your app!
After narrowing it down I ordered a bunch of samples from Samplize. (If you haven’t heard of Samplize, check them out this fun ad Dan and I made for them!)
You can move these samples around the room and see how the paint color looks in different lighting and different times of day. Samplize was monumental in deciding on a color for this room!
I ended up going with the color Bachelor Blue by Benjamin Moore and I couldn’t be happier with that decision. I love all versions of it!
Do you see how different the paint color and wallpaper look in different lighting? That’s why it’s so important to really test your paint colors.
A fan + a chandelier= a fandelier. Did you know these existed? They’re so cool!
As I mentioned, I wanted our guest bedroom to be an experience and I thought this fandelier would absolutely contribute to that goal.
Dan and I have been sleeping in this room for months now so I can attest to the fact that this fandelier provides just as much air as any other fan we own… if not, even more with it’s 6 levels of speed!
It also has different light temperatures and brightness settings. It’s truly an awesome light fixture if you need to fan but don’t want to sacrifice the aesthetic!
I’ve never been that great at pulling off the cozy or luxurious bedding, but I was determined to figure it out!!
Months ago, I found a beautiful vintage quilt on Facebook Marketplace for only $50 (Don’t worry… I washed it 🙂 ) so I knew I wanted to incorporate that! How beautiful is this?!
Initially I was unsure of how I would style the quilt, but thankfully my friend Lauren has a blog post on how to get a luxury feel bedding on a tight budget. She recommended using a duvet insert as the first layer and just put a quilt over top… perfect!
I also ordered the set of two pillows she mentioned and now they’re my favorite!! I put our older pillows in these cute little ruffle shams.
Lastly, I got this chic black lumbar pillow and I love how it adds a modern feel and ties in with the other black in the room!
My favorite part though… these sheets! I just love the timeless herringbone pattern and they’re so ridiculously comfy. I loved them SO much I bought them in king size even though we don’t have a king size bed LOL but we will one day!! 😉
To really play into the French vintage style, I got some stunning antique brass hardware with crystal knobs from Nostalgic Warehouse for the doors. Not only are they incredible quality, but they totally make the room.
Funny story- I was sharing about these on Instagram and someone messaged me asking why we installed them upside down or if they were meant to be that way. Dan and I were so confused so we looked them up and sure enough… they were meant to be installed with the crystal knob up top!
Nostalgic Warehouse responded to my Instagram stories saying that some people actually install them this way intentionally!! I really loved how they looked so I decided to leave them as is 🙂
Just in case you’re wondering, the set we got can be locked! I know it can be a little confusing ordering door knobs but I just used this guide on how to measure your door thickness and backset size. It’s really so simple!
In case you’re wondering exactly what we ordered, we got two of the Chateau knobs privacy- 2.375″ for the doors and then one set of the crystal double dummy knobs for the closet doors.
French Provincial Dresser
French provincial furniture is all over Facebook Marketplace in my area and I just love the curvy, feminine details. But I didn’t necessarily love the creamy yellow color that come with the French provincial look.
I wanted to incorporate some black into this vintage bedroom since we have a lot of black in our home. So I decided to paint it Limousine Leather by Behr. Here’s the tutorial for this French provincial makeover.
It took me a while to realize the impact window treatments have in a room. They make a space feel complete and add so much coziness!
Velvet curtains are a personal favorite of mine and I thought they would give a nice luxury feel for our guests. Of course I ordered multiple colors of curtains to try, but I went with this chartreuse/gold color!
This was my first time trying the layered curtain look with sheer curtains too and it definitely won’t be my last! I love that I can have the sheer curtains to let light in while still providing privacy.
I used this double curtain rod and these very budget friendly ivory sheer curtains. For a fuller look, I used four panels of the sheer curtains… especially since they’re so affordable!
There’s almost 20 thrifted items in this bedroom… most of which are decor!! I definitely leaned into vintage design and even included a lot of French provincial style decor as well.
If you’re looking for links to any of the decor, check the sources at the end of this post! I tried my best to find similar items for most of my thrifted finds!
My Design Pivots
For those of you who are curious about my thought process in terms of this design, this section is for you!! I made a lot of changes from my initial mood board (no surprise there) and definitely had some styling struggles.
I was planning to use the vintage floral rug that Dan and I got married on! But once the space was (mostly) complete and I added it in… it just didn’t feel right. I was totally bummed!!
After spending days (probably weeks) trying to source the perfect rug- it hit me! I don’t need a rug.
But I did think it would be nice and cozy to have a small rug by the bed. That’s when I decided to shop my own home and steal the cute little cowhide rug from my powder room… for now!
Adding the cowhide rug was actually a huge game changer. It added another texture (love me some texture!), it tied in perfectly with the sheets and gold curtains, and it helped me realize I wanted to incorporate more browns and blacks into the space.
Originally my plan was to have the dresser across from the bed. There was a perfect indentation for it and it also freed up a corner on the other wall for an accent chair.
I didn’t hate how it looked here, but it was too visually heavy with it being directly in line with the bed.
The weight of the room wasn’t evenly distributed and as weird as it might sound, we didn’t sleep as well when the room was this way!
The corner with the plant is where I was planning to put a chair, but instead I moved the dresser over there.
I love it here because I get to fully appreciate the beauty and curvature of the French dresser. It also doubles as a side table for the bed!
While I was excited for this change, it left me so confused about what to do with the other wall.
a tricky wall
This wall drove me crazy. I tried so many different things and nothing felt right.
I had this beautiful print that I intended to use in this room. I even got a black mat made for it!
I didn’t feel all too excited about it, so I tried to make a little picture chain gallery wall.
This felt like too much and took away from the beautiful wallpaper. It also occurred to me that I maybe I just wasn’t liking that big art piece in this room.
It started to feel like I was forcing it so I decided to take that out of the equation and keep it simple with this little frame.
I liked the simplicity of this, but the scale still just wasn’t ideal for how big of a wall it is. Then I remembered I had this big frame I thrifted and had planned to use in our bedroom.
This might be temporary. If anything, i’ll keep the frame and change the art. Or i’ll find something else for this wall!
One thing I do know it that a bench would be perfect here (both functionally and aesthetically) so you know i’ve already started working on that Facebook Marketplace algorithm. Stay tuned!
Dresser (you can DIY this one 😉 )
Vintage Quilt (thrifted, but here’s a similar *splurge* option and a similar budget option)
Oval Mirror (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
Candle Sticks (thrifted, but here’s similar ones)
Art & Frames (all thrifted except my favorite print!)
Floor Lamp (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
Black Lamp (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
Crystal clock (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
Books (thrifted except this one!)
Cow Hide Rug (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
Pie Crust Side Table (thrifted, but here’s a similar one)
If I missed anything, or if you have any additional questions, let me know in the comments!
What an incredible wealth of information! This room turned out beautifully!
You’re the best! Thank you so much Tiffany!!
This was such a cool project!! Love all the details 🙂 especially the cats!
Awe thank you so much Kelsey!! <3