What comes to mind when you think of farmhouse design? It's probably cozy, homey images with clean, brightly lit rooms with natural elements sprinkled throughout. And if you're wanting some farmhouse bathroom ideas, you've come to the right place.
But farmhouse design didn't start off that way. Instead, it was a pretty barebones way of creating a functional home for farming families who spent long hours outside in the sun and working in the fields. Original farmhouses could be described as primitive, lacking electricity, running water, and indoor plumbing.
Nowadays, however, farmhouse design can be found in homes from the rural plains to urban high rise and everywhere in between. Design enthusiasts everywhere are looking to incorporate both traditional and modern interpretations of this design style in every room of their home.
If you're looking to overhaul your small bathroom design, either through small changes or a big renovation, be sure you read on! We have all the necessary elements to make sure your farmhouse bathroom ideas take shape and come to life in your home.
1. Light Color Palette
One of the most key elements in farmhouse style is choosing light, airy colors that make a small space seem bigger. While the many shades of white are the obvious choice, they are not your only option.
The best farmhouse bathrooms can still feature color, but make sure they're helping create the illusion of a larger space. Consider soft, blush pinks, light blues or greens, or even a dove gray. These colors also help you to create a harmonious experience, one that is restful and relaxing.
Consider Your Light Source
When it comes time to think about what color to feature in your farmhouse bathroom, take a moment to note the light sources for the room.
Do you have an abundance of natural light? If so, consider a layout that maximizes the amount of natural light closest to the vanity and mirror. After all, who doesn't love flattering lighting when getting ready for work each morning or primping for an evening out?
If your small bathroom doesn't have natural light or very little of it, then think about the lighting that you do have. Can you change out light fixtures to something flattering and captures the soul of farmhouse décor?
If so, consider choosing pendant light fixtures with Edison bulbs. These classic bulbs lend an air of rustic authenticity to your bathroom. It also acts as a design feature when your exposed lighting has design and interest.
Think About Wall Features
It's no secret that subway tiles are a featured favorite in farmhouse-style design. Their classic design and clean lines mean that they can serve two functions: as a design element in their own right, but also something that can fade into the background without being too distracting.
Retiling a bathroom shower with subway tiles is a great way to incorporate farmhouse style into an existing space. It doesn't matter if it's a shower and bath combo or a shower stall. Either way, a striking white tiled element can help a small bathroom immediately feel bigger and more open.
If completely retiling a bathroom isn't in your budget or do-it-yourself wheelhouse, you can always repaint the tile a white shade to capture the same overall effect. The best part is it costs a fraction of the money!
Another great way to incorporate the farmhouse style into an existing bathroom is to create a feature wall of shiplap. For those not familiar, shiplap is parallel wooden boards that were historically used as waterproofing on ships. Its origins make it a great option for bathrooms.
Shiplap walls can be used in your small bathroom in a number of ways. If you have a large, blank wall, think about installing shiplap as a way to introduce more texture and depth. This can be around your vanity or even an opposite wall that needs something more interesting!
There are even people who use shiplap in their shower stalls, as long as it's installed and treated properly in order to give it some longevity. Typically, shiplap is painted white, but you can choose any light color that fits your style.
2. Wood Elements
It's easy to turn a light-colored, farmhouse-style bathroom into a room that feels washed out. When that happens, you'll need to introduce some more warmth into it as a way to bring in some contrast. Not only does this make a space more interesting, but creates a more pleasing visual effect.
In a farmhouse bathroom, one of the quickest ways to add in contrast is to use warm wood elements throughout the room. These should not be overwhelming, which makes a room feel more "cabin in the woods" than a farmhouse.
However, make sure the wood is all the same tone and rich color. If you introduce various types of woods with different stains, the look can move from farmhouse to haphazard and thrown together.
There are a few easy methods to use wood in your bathroom:
Stain wood trims a warm, rich brown and use construction adhesive to attach it around the perimeter of your mirror. This not only creates a border that gives some dimension but also gives the room more warmth when the walls and other elements are usually white or light-colored.
Choose trim without a lot of molding or decoration to stay true to the farmhouse look.
Use stained wood to create floating selves about your toilet, in a corner, or even a built-in linen closet. The great part is that this increases your storage option while also giving you a chance to add more décor.
To capture the feeling of a farmhouse bathroom, look for shelves made to look like reclaimed wood. Or better yet, create your own shelves out of the real stuff!
You can find reclaimed wood at some construction sites, online marketplaces (like OfferUp or Craigslist), or even local farms or ranches. Always make sure you ask permission before salvaging from private property!
A stained wood vanity with a clean, white top is classic. And if you want to go with more luxury, consider marble or quartz vanity tops). This more rustic element of bathroom décor is what can turn a common, builder-grade bathroom into something eye-catching and custom.
Reclaimed wood is a defining feature of farmhouse home décor, but not always easy to find. If reclaimed wood isn't possible, either due to budget or sourcing concerns, there are plenty of options available that mimic the look for a fraction of the price.
3. Unique Floors
Flooring can either elevate the look of a bathroom or drag it down. Consider how dated linoleum can make a bathroom appear, even if everything else has been updated.
There are several design ideas that you can incorporate to help capture the farmhouse look, no matter what the size of your bathroom!
Wood floors are an obvious choice because of their classic appearance. No farmhouse is complete without this major interior design feature! But you will need to consider using wood floors in your bathroom. You can a number of choices to achieve this aesthetic.
Your first option is to go with real hardwood flooring. Wide, light-colored planks are best for the farmhouse look, but you could also go with gray or even painted planks.
You could also consider engineered wood or luxury vinyl planking. There are going to be more budget-friendly but may lack the durability of true hardwood floors.
No matter what you choose, be very mindful, however, of the moisture and humidity that exist in bathrooms. If you install the floors yourself, you'll need a moisture barrier. The floors will also need regular upkeep and maintenance to prevent mold, mildew, and other damage from becoming a serious issue.
Wood floors may be your best option in a powder room, where showering and the possibility of flooding is less.
A more modern interpretation of a farmhouse bathroom is to use a patterned tiled floor in your design. This is particularly effective when you go with black and white to achieve contrast.
You can go the classic checkerboard route, or choose a pattern with more movement. Let your personal taste and preferences guide you! Vintage tile floors are definitely growing in popularity.
You can also go with a tile that looks like wood. This may be a great option if your heart is set on wood floors, but you want the durability and ease of tile. Choose a grout color very close to the color of the tile in order to give it a more realistic wood look.
If you don't like the cold feel of tile under your feet, make sure you choose bath rugs and mats. Choose them carefully to ensure that they help absorb water, yet stays true with the farmhouse look and color scheme you've crafted.
4. Pops of Color
A classic farmhouse bathroom usually features a lot of white and not much color. But recent trends definitely incorporate more in the way of pops of color throughout the room. Look for colors that are muted and more earthy to stay true to the farmhouse style while adding a more modern twist.
A painted vanity is a great way to add more color to a farmhouse bathroom. This especially looks fantastic with wood floors because it adds contrast and interest. Remember that too much wood can come across as a mountain cabin instead of a farmhouse!
When it comes to hardware, you can use painted ceramic pulls for a more shabby chic look. Otherwise, look into hand-forged iron for a rustic look, or even oiled bronze or brass for a more modern décor.
Yes, it's true. Wallpaper has made a comeback. But if you're scared to take on wallpapering your bathroom, that's understandable. Too much wallpaper and loud patterns can make your bathroom look dated and old-fashioned instead of fresh and new.
If you're willing to take a risk, though, it can pay off big in regard to style.
Start small by wallpapering one wall to add more interest. Don't choose something with a pattern that is too intricate or detailed to start. Instead, look for more modern patterns and contrasting colors that will look great next to a painted vanity or new wall color.
Do you feel like taking a bigger risk? Then look at wallpapers with big floral motifs with a few different colors. This is a more updated take on wallpaper that will look fresh, colorful, and attractive in any farmhouse bathroom.
Avoid small, detailed floral prints that can seem dated and old-fashioned.
There are also removable, temporary wallpapers in abundance these days. If you're afraid to commit (or worried about removing it when you're ready to update again), try one of these products as an introduction. Choose a wall that needs something to make it more decorative, but isn't the focal point of the entire room.
If you live in a rental, these removable wallpapers are a great way to update a space without needing the landlord's approval or worrying about losing your deposit.
While black and white may be the most common color combination for tile floors, farmhouse décor looks great with a more stylized and colorful tile, especially on the floor or as part of the shower.
Geometric patterns with contrasting shades of light yellow and blue are a great choice. So are more floral patterns with a few light color combinations like light teal and gray. Whatever you like the look of can work with farmhouse bathroom décor!
The point is that you don't need to ignore color in a farmhouse bathroom. In fact, doing so can make the room feel sterile and unwelcoming. Add in color where you can with natural features as well, such as towels, flowers, and even soap.
5. Fixtures and Accessories
If you're looking for some of the best farmhouse bathroom ideas for small bathroom, look no further than the fixtures. These can be swapped out to suit your preferences, taking your bathroom from boring and standard to a custom look.
The faucet, handles, and showerhead are a great place to start. Oiled rubbed bronze is the classic, traditional choice. These are actually made of copper, but with a dark oil applied to them. As the metal ages, it takes on a more antique look.
Look for sink faucets and handles with curved lines. Make them look even more old-fashioned (and classic) by looking for a faucet with metal cross handles. If you want your farmhouse bathroom to have a more modern take on the classic, select brass for your faucet and fixtures.
Whatever you decide, carry the same metal throughout the room. With small bathrooms, mixing metals can make the room appear disjointed and cluttered. Buy the same finish for your tub, shower head, and even cabinetry hardware to create cohesion.
A Total Gut Job
If you're wanting to do a complete bathroom revamp, then selecting new faucets is the tip of the iceberg. Another possibility is to rip out everything and start all over again from the floors up.
When you decide to go this route, you can focus on creating a farmhouse bathroom by selecting new vanity, sink, shower, tub, and more. You'll achieve a much more custom look, as well as the possibility of designing a new layout that may be more functional or in line with your wants and needs.
For many homeowners in pursuit of the farmhouse aesthetic, a clawfoot tub is non-negotiable. While built-in tubs are a more common, and less expensive option, you lose out on charm and character.
Today, you can get clawfoot tubs and a wide range of styles, colors, and sizes. It's the perfect focal point for a farmhouse bathroom!
You can also incorporate a farmhouse sink into your vanity as a way to introduce the stylistic element into the bathroom. Better yet, make it a double sink vanity if space allows!
If you want to go high-end with your design, think about finding a custom vanity. Sometimes these can be repurposed from a dresser or antique chest of drawers. You may also be able to find a carpenter who can help you design and build a one-of-a-kind piece that will set your bathroom apart.
6. Clean Lines
Farmhouse décor is a mix of rustic, homey, and cleanliness. As a result, you can go full-on traditional farmhouse or take a more modern approach. But regardless, you'll want to make sure you use clean lines to avoid a cluttered or fussy impression.
A traditional farmhouse bathroom will have very few metal elements. Usually, you'll see it on cabinet hardware, faucets, and showerheads. The rest of the bathroom will focus on tile and wood. Color will come from décor, a wreath, a small jar of flowers, or a hand towel.
You'll see the importance of clean lines in the shelving, which will be straight, unadorned blocks. You'll also see clean lines and sharp angles on vanities, cabinet doors, and tile work.
Too much flowery décor or color will make a farmhouse bathroom look fussier and aged instead of rustic.
Farmhouse With a Modern Twist
Nowadays, farmhouse décor is being incorporated with more modern aesthetics. Metal features much more heavily, such as the outline or grid feature on a shower stall, mirror edges, and even storage.
A wire basket, or a few wall-mounted baskets, is a great way to artfully store towels. The see-through gaps will make the room feel more spacious and open without compromising on storage.
Storage in a bathroom is always necessary. It's also a sought-after feature regardless of your interior design choices. No one wants their toiletries and cleaning products on display for guests or even themselves!
You have several options to help you keep those unsightly items hidden from view. A wooden storage cabinet is a great way to create more space for storage, while also staying in line with farmhouse design. Add a sliding barn door and hardware to help maintain a more rustic appearance.
You can also create attractively, yet hidden storage solutions beneath your vanity or even on floating shelves. Woven baskets are a great way to add texture and depth while still allowing your personal items to stay out of view.
If floating shelves aren't for you, then consider adding in a wooden, wall-mounted cabinet with doors. That way you can maximize storage without stressing about organizing products, towels, or toiletries. Built-in cabinets, though pricier and more complicated, are also a highly desired commodity in any bathroom.
If attractive organization and storage are something you seek, buy large glass containers with lids for items like cotton balls and bars of soap. Place extra hand towels into woven baskets, and soap and lotion dispensers on display on your vanity. Beautiful storage solutions don't have to remain hidden behind closed doors!
Incorporating Farmhouse Bathroom Ideas in Your Home
Are you ready to create your perfect bathroom? Regardless if you're looking to strip your bathroom down to the studs or update small elements, our farmhouse bathroom ideas will help you achieve this look. After all, eye catching farmhouse design in bathrooms is here to stay for a while.
Interior designers focus on the components of a light, clean space with contrast, texture, and touches of color to create a stunning room in line with the farmhouse look. For some, balancing these elements can feel overwhelming. If you're interested in working with an experienced designer to help you with your small bathroom aesthetic, contact me today!