Transforming Warm to Cool Colored Rooms: Our French Country Farmhouse Renovation

When we purchased our “forever” home, we knew we eventually would renovate most of the house. It was built in 1987 so it had fun 80’s features: popcorn ceiling, wood trim, wood kitchen cabinets, clam shell bathroom sink, etc. “Eventually” became this year after we had to replace the roof in our living room when I discovered water trickling down the wall one morning. Awesome! (That was a HUGE project we completed ourselves! Replacing a roof is no joke.) Anyway, due to the significant water damage, we had to replace the drywall on one side of the living room. And so it began.

The new drywall led to a new back door to the deck which led to a wood pallet wall I always wanted to build. The pallet wall led to the fireplace having to be repainted. Then, we figured why not replace the popcorn ceiling with shiplap and the berber carpeting with hardwood floors?!? No sweat, lol. Next, we (meaning I as my husband points out) ventured into the kitchen – painting the cabinets with white chalk  paint to match our French Country Farmhouse renovation style. Of course, when they were finished, I had to refinish the kitchen table in a farmhouse style to complete the look.  Why stop there? My husband awoke one morning to find me painting all the trim in our guest bathroom and hallway white along with the bathroom vanity and mirror. He loved that his to-do list just tripled! I also let him know that we would be completing another accent wall – a stone veneer wall in the bathroom. I partnered with AirStone for this project.

Part One: The Living Room & Kitchen

I always loved the look of soft gray walls. However, our entire home color scheme was warm colors (beige, brown, red). We didn’t have the option of replacing our sofas so I had to figure out a way to tie in tan furniture with our new colors of gray, white, and black. It can be done!

I began with the wall and floor colors. Light French Gray by Sherwin Williams was definitely the color I was set on for all the walls (living room, kitchen, hallway, and bathroom). I love it that much! Gray is such a difficult color to choose because so many factors affect the way it looks (light, direction of the room, surroundings, etc.). I bought a few samples and tried them on my walls before deciding that Light French Gray was the “truest” gray for our home. The wood pallet wall plays off the same scheme of whites, grays, and a little beige to bring in the furniture color. For the floor, I wanted that old, distressed barn wood look. It took me forever to decide because hardwood floors are so expensive and I am picky! Bruce American Vintage Wolf Run Oak was the perfect fit. With 5 inch planks and scraped texture, it resembled the wide barn wood style I was trying to reproduce. It was brown but had beautiful gray overtones that complimented the room color palette.

The fireplace needed simplicity with the accent wall surrounding it. Therefore, I painted the mantel white with chalk paint and the tile surround Sherwin Williams Weathershield tinted with Valspar Hazy Stratus (Satin). I was going for a deeper shade of gray but similar to the walls.

Painting the kitchen cabinets was a time-consuming project but really completed the French Country Farmhouse style since it is an open floor layout that flows into the living room. The white brightens up the room and gives it such a clean, albeit slightly distressed, look. Refinishing the kitchen table was similar in technique to the wood pallet wall. I love the natural wood color tones which tie into the living room sofas.

As for the decor, I did a complete overhaul. I painted shelves white with chalk paint to match the shiplap and mantel. I also sprayed picture frames with charcoal chalk paint to contrast the white shelves and gray wall. The area rug in the living room was chosen to contrast the dark floors and compliment the sofas. The remaining decor consisted of earth tones: green plants, cream and white flowers, galvanized metal, black accent color, and natural wood. Most of these items can be purchased in our decor shop.

For the full details of each project, please see our how-to posts below:

Part Two: Hallway and Bathroom

French Country bathroom, farmhouse bathroom, gray white bathroom, AirStone accent wallThe hallway and guest bathroom extend off of the living room. In the hall, we replaced the three pantry doors with white farmhouse doors and black hardware. We did the same for the bathroom door and continued the Sherwin Williams Light French Gray in both rooms. To save money, I painted all of the wood trim white (2 coats Kilz/1 coat trim paint) instead of replacing it. Similarly, I painted the bathroom vanity mirror with white chalk paint (it was metal with ugly rust marks!) and the wood of the sink vanity. I did this with the same exact color and method as painting our fireplace tile. The only difference was I added a finishing coat of Varathane to protect it from scratches/stains. We replaced the sink top because, well, there’s not much you can do to change a clam shell! haha

The remaining renovations were adding finishing touches such as cabinet pulls, faucet, new towels, etc. Just something creative but simple like the toilet paper holder I found for our bathroom or the pendant lights we used for the hallway can “make” the room. You can find all of the items we used below. These simple changes make such a difference in completing the room. And one more thing….the AirStone accent wall!


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