Let me tell you a story.

I have a house in Paris.



The door of my little house opens onto a quiet street.

Around the corner an open-air market,

an old bookstore,

and a tiny bistro with a zinc bar.




I have a little house in Paris with a courtyard

where grinning lions spill water into a stone-gray trough.




I have a little house in Paris

with rooms leading into one another enfilade,

and ancient wooden floors that creak and complain when you walk on them.




Tall windows overlook the courtyard of my little house,

Tall windows where I will hang linen curtains that will float and dance with every breeze.

My house,  my little house in Paris is in my mind.  To journey to it I have but to close my eyes and I am turning the key on the big front door.



I took my thoughts of une petite maison, and put them in this room crying for a makeover.





I’ve peeled off the dated wallpaper design.  Now to remove the next layer.


The Good Husband repaired the damaged walls,  broken tiles and  paints the walls.




I spray paint  a shiny brass chandelier, rub a little white paint here and there to give it that old French look.  Then drill holes to hang crystals.


I took a  tacky,  gold mirror created  one fit for Madame  Pompadour.

First I painted the mirror frame with gray primer. Normally I would use gray primer spray paint but the weather turned chilly and it was too cold to use spray cans in the garage.


Then I  dry brushed white flat wall paint over the frame just catching the raised design.


The finished mirror!  I collect these rococo mirrors  at thrift shops, seldom paying more than a couple of dollars.  This one is a particularly handsome one made by Bassett Furniture.  It is well made with a mirror glass more than 1/4 inch thick.  It will go over the sink.  I plundered my collection of  mirrors and painted several more in the same manner.

Here is how I made a very French looking towel rack.


I uploaded a  vintage French advertising graphic from THE GRAPHIC FAIRY.     I made a REVERSE copy of it and took it to my local Library.  I used their toner based copier machine to make a copy.  This is the copy you glue down. No other type will work.    I cut away the excess paper from the design, then applied a thin layer of Modpodge glue over the PRINTED side of the paper.  I pressed this into place on the board painted with latex flat wall paint.  Left it to dry overnight. Then dampened the paper and GENTLY rubbed the paper away with the tips of my fingers.



I screwed on coat hooks that I gave a French finish the same as the chandelier.  Voila!

My little French bathroom comes to life.







My French bathroom is complete.



  1. As I gaze upon this wonderful transition, I think it can’t possibly be the same room in which I have spent time. It looks sensational and oh so french,

    Guess where you will be able to find me from now on……


  2. Oh dearest Virginia!!!! You are a magician and an artist at heart. You have created such a beautiful bath. Theador will be envious! You inspire us all to find the treasures that lie among us. When I redid our guest bath, I wired a speaker into it from a separate sound system and hid the speaker under the toilet. We hosted the French Lauret of the Cinnicinati Society from France and I played CDs that were a French tutorial and he just loved it. I just LOVE the mirrors, the chandeler and all the wonderful touches. The towel rack is a jewel all its own.

    • Thank you thank you thank you Tin Man. I was thinking of dear Theadora, and how much help she will be when it comes to finding wonderful old furniture for my small house in Paris. Now here’s the scoop on the bathroom. The only things we had to buy was paint, six white tiles and some beading to finish the gyproc repair. EVERYTHING else was plundered from around the house. Right down to the perfect fresh purple gloxinia. The speakers under the toilet – a stoke of whimsical genius. Now if I could just get Clever Son to wire speakers so Edith Piaf serenaded one in the bathroom it would be perfect. V

  3. Ring-a-ding-ding! I am late to the launch of your Salle de Bain. Goodness. Wreaths and powder room supreme make-overs? You are in a magnificent creative zone. Where to start? Yes, you’ll have to add wire speakers. What a great idea, Tin Man! So many sweet touches. Your cosmetics are sitting on the table. (I collect the trays at the fleas. They’re perfect for dinner party shindigs!) The chandelier, ancient perfume bottle, mirrors, coat rack and blue twilight paint are also brilliant touches. Again, thanks for the inspiration! T.

  4. Your boudoir is a vision of French loveliness. What a creative little thing you are to transform the mundane into the fabulous. Rich and regal…like you my dear friend. You are certainly full of energy to get so many home projects done! I’m still stuck on the kitchen cabinets. Oh if I just had a ship to whisk up to the north and ferry you here to inspire me to work on my own maison. Keep the tutorials coming! I enjoy them all! Have a lovely week my friend! Ginny

    • In this life you never know Ginny. Perhaps my own ship will take me to your country home. I can imagine us staggering under the weight of paint cans and finds from flea markets and antique stores. Raiding your paper studio for inspiration. Then cooking in you new kitchen. At the end of the day we would stroll down a quiet country road and tell each other how clever we are. Virginia

  5. Pingback: HOW TO CREATE A FRENCH BATHROOM ON A BUDGET | Bel' Occhio's Blog

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