From rustic wooden mirrors to sliding barn doors, country-inspired style is a major influence on contemporary bathroom decor. One reason country chic interior design is so popular is because it strikes a balance between comforting rustic materials and bright, timeless details that never go out of style.
Here’s how to recreate this popular bathroom style through the balance of rustic, country-inspired elements and classy interior touches.
What is Country Chic Design?
Country chic is closely related to a popular design style called shabby chic, which also blends rustic and upscale elements in a masterful way. Although these two popular styles do often overlap, country chic is slightly more focused on incorporating the elements of a comfortable and cozy countryside home into a room.
Smooth Decorator writer Lillian Connors points out that farmhouse style is often rooted in early settler homes and pioneer life. This is where trough sinks, natural wood and exposed piping come into play. Farmhouse chic takes this inspiration and imbues it with the comforts of modern technology and elegance of contemporary design.
Creative consultant and editor of Style Calling Lyndi Barrett says one of the hallmarks of country chic design is bringing the farm inside. Animal paintings, antlers, plants and animal print rugs or tapestries help a space achieve the look. However, this is just one way to add farm-inspired elements to a bathroom.
Another is to incorporate add decorative signs to the space. Laura Tucker of Southern Made Simple showcases a few examples of wooden pallet bathroom art that can spruce up any wall. Wooden signs are a typical element on the farm, so adding them to the bathroom with a fresh coat of paint can keep things authentic and fun. Plus, a unique quote or saying brings a little personality into the mix.
Metal Storage Elements
Metal is another element that plays a major role in creating country chic style. In the bathroom, metal is most often incorporated into functional storage. On the Teal Notes lifestyle blog, for example, rustic hanging pails are featured as an easy storage idea. Smaller pails can be arranged in a collection, or one large bucket can be used as a statement piece that holds larger items like towels.
Another idea for metal storage comes from interior decorator Erica Reitman. She showcases a metal basket that can be stored under the sink to hold essentials like cleaning supplies or toilet paper. Additionally, a metal basket of this style could be set next to the bathtub, holding a set of fluffy hand and body towels in a convenient location.
No country chic bathroom is complete without a few rustic wood elements, that goes beyond wall art. Angie Holden at The Country Chic Cottage showcases multiple ideas for adding wood to a space without undergoing significant construction.
One idea is to use upcycled vintage crates as wall shelves. Hooks can also be added to make these interesting storage units even more functional. Another idea is to use a wooden ladder as a towel rack: Simply lean it against the wall for a functional piece that makes a big design impact.
Lifestyle and beauty writer Lindsay Cohn also offers suggestions for using wood when decorating a country chic bathroom. She makes a case for creating a mountain magic vibe with knotty timber walls and beams for a rustic and cozy feel. Another idea, Cohn says, is to pair rich wood elements with stone vessel sinks for a sophisticated and earthy ambiance. Wood and stone also make a great pair when stone tiles and wooden vanities are used in tandem, or when a stone sink is balanced with wooden cabinetry.
The Shanty2Chic blog shows how to create a DIY farmhouse sink complete with a rustic paint finish and space for a drop-in sink. Even for customers not interested in DIY elements, this sink example shows how mixing materials — in this case dark stained wood and white porcelain — can create a shabby chic balance. This contrast is emphasized with crisp white wall tiles and a dark steel mirror, which hangs from a rustic rope.
Chic, Elegant Touches
Country and shabby-themed bathrooms often incorporate a mix of design styles in a variety of materials. There might be both vintage and Scandinavian interior design styles present, for example.
Clawfoot tubs also play a major role in keeping a farmhouse bathroom chic and elegant. Beth Hunter at Home Stories A to Z explains how her chic farmhouse bathroom wasn’t complete without an elegant freestanding tub. This is her favorite element in the space, and when balanced with elements like a sliding barn door and a sparkling chandelier, it achieves the balance of being both rustic and chic. Feature writer Rachel Homer agrees that freestanding roll tops or slipper baths unite these styles and make bathrooms feel cohesive.
A full-length mirror is another touch that can make a rustic bathroom seem elegant while uniting both rustic and chic details. Art and design writer Kate Santos says that mirrors make a space feel larger than it is — which is particularly important in a small bathroom. Plus, an elegant mirror with an antique finish is an easy way to add a bit on vintage flair to a bathroom without investing too heavily in art or other antiques.
Another way to add a mix of rustic and chic elements is to incorporate a blend of old and new. Seeking out unique rustic accessories, for example, is one way homeowners can find elegant touches for their bathroom.
Antique rug retailer Doris Leslie Blau points out that that flea markets and antique shops are great places to locate accessories like brass watering cans, old shampoo bottles, wicker baskets and other forgotten objects waiting to be given new life. These objects can also serve as the starting point for determining a bathroom’s color scheme for homeowners seeking something bold and unique.
Additionally, antiques add to the rustic country chic look because they have imperfect flaws that give the room character. MyDomaine contributing editor Michelle Guerrere writes that even chips on the glass in a mirror add a sense of charm that brand new bathrooms lack (although she says to avoid visible scratches). Weathered silver, a bathtub with a distressed finish and upcycled wood pieces, like a barn door, also serve as great additions to a country chic design theme.
Images by: tiverylucky/©123RF Stock Photo, kittikunfoto/©123RF Stock Photo, belchonock/©123RF Stock Photo