Create the Look: Modern Farmhouse Bathroom
Whether you are restoring an old house or building a new construction, you can create a warm and stylish home with modern farmhouse design.
Bright spaces, reclaimed wood and modern finishes are signature touches for bathrooms with this look. All you need are a few contrasting elements, often inspired by your local area, to give your bathroom a casual, modern feel. Here are the main ways to create your dream farmhouse bathroom.
The Basics of Modern Farmhouse Design
Modern farmhouse photos have been flooding our social media feeds and Pinterest accounts for a few years now. Though this ubiquitous style seems like it has been in our lives for quite awhile, it is still a relatively new style.
“A decade ago the phrase ‘modern farmhouse’ would perhaps have referred to a newly built actual farmhouse, but today it conjures a checklist of decor elements that add up to something a little bit country, a little bit industrial, and a whole lot of white paint,” writes Laura Fenton at Curbed. It’s all about warmth and comfort — a space that is both beautiful and lived in.
It is reminiscent of older, simpler times, but infused with modern touches. It falls somewhere in between shabby-chic and rustic. Wood, materials found in nature and industrial fixtures mix together to create a beautiful set up.
“To keep a farmhouse from looking too ‘country kitsch’ there needs to be a balance of old and new,” says interior decorator Lauren Flanagan. “It should be clean, stylish and warmhearted. And most importantly it needs to be in tune with nature — but not full of dried flowers and rooster paraphernalia.” When it comes to bathrooms, white subway tiles and neutral colors, organic textures and vintage hardware make the farmhouse look come together.
“Your modern farmhouse bathroom can be just about anything you want it to be,” explains Christin Perry at Dwell. “Incorporating natural elements alongside more classic, modern pieces is a great way to pull off a bathroom retreat you’ll never want to leave.” It’s all about finding the type of farmhouse fixtures that reflect your ideal balance of rustic and refined.
Emma Jane Palin at Hunker shows the many ways you can create a modern farmhouse bathroom. A cottage in the French countryside may incorporate elegant chateau elements, whereas a renovated home in the woods may take a more rustic approach. It depends on your personal preferences and the context of your home.
While there are a number of ways to reflect modern country-inspired living in your bathroom, there are some crucial elements that truly reflect this style.
Start with Walls and Flooring
White subway tiles, black or white hexagon tiles, wood, shiplap and natural stone are all popular options when it comes to the walls and floors in a farmhouse bathroom. If you need direction in this decision process, consider sticking with what is appropriate to your home’s original concept.
The Greenbrier farmhouse, for example, is one of the oldest historic homes in Ohio City. The old structure was in rough shape before restored by The Architetta, a full-service architecture firm. “Finish materials were selected to be appropriate to the home’s age and architectural style (wood flooring, natural stone tile) but with modern function and aesthetic reflecting today’s lifestyle,” says architect Antonia Marinucci. Stone tile on the bathroom floor paired with subway tile in the shower creates a beautiful blend of modern and traditional.
If you are building a bathroom from scratch, check out Chelsea Johnson’s experience. When she and her husband bought their home, there was only one bathroom at the back of the house for the whole family to share. They added an additional farmhouse bathroom with boho vibes.
“I’m fairly obsessed with white carrara marble, so I knew I wanted to incorporate it into our farmhouse bathroom somehow. The floor tile was the perfect place! The hexagon shape brought in the modern look,” she writes. This is a typical farmhouse bathroom look — a look that will appear classy and modern for a long time to come.
If you want to do something more unique, you can play with a wallpaper that pops. This bathroom designed by Emily May at Go Haus Go features neutral ostrich wallpaper that contrasts with the gold mirror frame, black-matte fixtures and simple blue vanity. Whether you go for a white tile and wood balance, shiplap or something with more flair, balance your choices with other fixtures in the bathroom.
Modern Farmhouse Fixtures
There is a wide range of showers, tubs, vanities and sinks you can install in your bathroom that fall under farmhouse design.
If you are dying to replace that old fiberglass tub with something more modern, you can choose between a modern tub or a shower with a glass door. Owner of the Flippin Designer Betsy Glass reveals the bathroom remodel of a lakehouse in New Buffalo, Michigan. She replaced the outdated tub with a modern shower and frameless glass shower door. The lackluster vanity was replaced with a beautiful custom made wood vanity and white farmhouse vessel sink. The modern black-matte industrial tear drop lights add a modern balance to the warm reclaimed wood vanity and mirror frame.
When it comes to sinks, long, rectangular white farmhouse vessel sinks tend to be a popular option. Blogger Christina Maria used this type of sink in her farmhouse bathroom remodel. The sink sits beautifully on her white vanity with butcher block countertop. This sink pairs well with the freestanding soaker tub and separate walk-in shower. The showerhead and tub faucet are both modern choices with mixed metal finishes.
Many designers and homeowners balance predominantly white bathrooms with black-matte, dark brass or bronze and pops of metallic finishes. The bathroom designed by home and lifestyle blogger Kasey Dixon features brass fixtures in black and unique copper lighting. These metal finishes go seamlessly with the inset tub surrounded by subway tile.
If you are imagining a farmhouse bathroom that is more vintage-chic rather than modern country, check out this bathroom designed by interior designer Kathryn Smith of Kensington Smith Design. The focal point of her elegant master bathroom is the vintage cast-iron French bateau tub. This bathroom shows how you can balance shiplap walls with a spark of vintage glamor.
Farmhouse Mirrors and Lighting
The mirror and light fixtures are fun to play with in farmhouse bathrooms. This style often incorporates unique modern-vintage sconces, vanity lighting or pendant lights.
AnnMarie Simply2Moms chose rustic barn lights for her farmhouse bathroom. The white framed mirrors are a more subtle choice for a farmhouse bathroom, so the unique light fixture adds an extra pop of rustic decor. Unique light fixtures provide you the chance to make your bathroom as vintage, rustic or modern as you want.
Farmhouse mirrors are often framed with reclaimed wood. Lifestyle blogger Ashley Thurman of CherishedBliss.com offers a tutorial on how to make this type of mirror frame. Notice how the wood frame is balanced with a modern pendant light. This kind of mirror-lighting combo gives a cozy and stylish feel to any bathroom.
Photographer Lindsay Selin captured a beautiful transformation of an old Vermont barn into a modern farmhouse. “The design process was intense and thorough,” says architect Robert Swinburne. “There were design dead ends and design breakthroughs.”
The bathroom is an inspiring space with a simple circular mirror that balances the clean lines of the walk-in shower and toilet hidden behind a sliding farmhouse door. In some bathrooms, it makes sense for the mirror and lighting to be a focal point of the bathroom. In this case, however, the mirror and modern pendant lights are a perfectly subtle touch to contrast all the other stunning choices.
How to Incorporate Natural Wood
Wood is often a centerpiece to the design of a farmhouse bathroom. It can be used for flooring, walls, vanities or accessories. Reclaimed wood adds additional rustic flair.
A renovated farmhouse in the French countryside designed by interior designers at BlackStones and Gommez Vaëz Architects is home to a modest bathroom. A simple wooden double vanity holds two white vessel sinks in front of artsy tile in earth tones. The exposed wooden ceiling beam adds to the rustic feel.
Owner of White Cottage Home and Living Amy Warden Dowling shares her farmhouse bathroom remodel. The open wooden vanity provides ample storage for towels and any necessary bathroom products. The floors are wood tile — offering a warm appearance that is also water friendly.
Sometimes wood is added by using a farmhouse sliding door. This bathroom renovation designed by the team at Irwin Construction is a perfect example. Previously, the master bathroom had a curtain separating it from the closet. The curtain was replaced by a beautiful wooden sliding barn door with a full length mirror. The custom door adds warmth and function to the beautiful renovation.
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