French-Inspired Traditional Bedroom | Apartment Therapy

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There’s a lot to be said for moving into a boring and basic new build. Sure, they might not have the baked-in character of an older home, but a blank slate can create a lot of opportunity for turning your home into someplace that feels personal and uniquely you. That’s what Valerie Darden (@valerie.myvirginiahome) hoped to achieve with the main bedroom in her family’s home—a newer build and what she calls “a pretty standard bedroom” with beige carpet and beige walls. Although it was nice enough, Valerie says, “We wanted the look of a unique home instead of a newer build, so we decided to put our own character into it.”

A few years ago, Valerie had visited the Palace of Versailles in France, and she wanted to use it as inspiration for a total room redo. She started by replacing the carpet with hardwood flooring; this took two days and was the most expensive part of the project. To give some traditional character to the walls, Valerie added picture frame molding all around the room and painted the walls a gray-blue (Benjamin Moore’s Silver Gray); bright white on the tray ceiling makes the ceiling look taller and the whole room feel brighter and more airy.

For a hit of old-school glam, Valerie added a glass bead chandelier to the center of the room. Vintage-look sconces on the walls frame a dramatic, oversized mirror. Valerie didn’t want her room to feel stuffy, so she made sure to add in more modern touches to balance out the traditional, including an animal-print rug, leather bench, and sculptural black end table.

A tufted headboard from Ballard Designs is the perfect blend of luxe and comfort. Piled with cushy pillows, the bed makes for a cozy escape at the end of the day. “I love the tranquil feel of this bedroom,” Valerie says. “I feel like I could be in 17th century France,” she adds—a major success, considering she started with a 21st century beige box. Vintage character: achieved.

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