When it’s time for an interior design update or a complete bathroom remodel, if you’re considering adding some farmhouse appeal, there are countless ways to go about it. We offer up several to consider here.
What Is Farmhouse Style?
Farmhouse interior design has been around since the days of the wild west. They may not have known it then, but they set the standard for generations of homeowners to crave remnants of "simpler" times.
Perhaps it’s a bit romanticized, but the farmhouse design resonates with people in urban and residential housing, as much as it does with those who live in the country.
From the city to the suburbs, the idea behind farmhouse design is to invite in some of the simplicity associated with remote farm life.
Design elements outlined to create the farmhouse atmosphere include reflections of nature as well as rustic pieces and a defined color palette. Distressed wood, old picture frames, chicken wire accents, chalkboard walls or signs, and wire baskets are all popular choices here.
The color profile is typically monochromatic with beiges and creams, along with black and gray. There’s another version of farmhouse design that updates the classic look. Called modern farmhouse, this decor adds more white to the mix for a fresher appeal.
Both classic and modern farmhouse rely on the use of natural materials in furniture and accessories, such as wood, cotton, wicker, and stone.
Farmhouse features practical design elements combined with rustic appeal. It’s a look described as cozy but stylish and is achieved with a mixture of vintage pieces alongside modern selections. Yet all pieces are chosen for comfort and function.
1. Color Palette
As mentioned, grays and beiges are popular choices. But a bathroom atmosphere can be adorned with black and white, any shade of gray, and creams. Blues of the sky and water as well as just about any shade of green are also welcome additions.
You can use these colors to complement part of the space or use it as a primary statement. Consider green cabinets, blue tile in the shower, or gray walls.
Just remember to balance those colors across the space. Darker shades should be used selectively with a primary canvas of neutral or light shades.
Tongue-in-groove shiplap is a classic farmhouse style for any room. In the bathroom, you can choose wide or narrow planks and put them on the walls or the ceiling.
Consider running boards horizontally or see if you prefer the vertical look. You can install shiplap on a single accent wall, or cover the entire space. Similarly, you can paint an accent wall or do it all in the same color.
Remember dark colors make a room look smaller and light colors make it feel larger so choose your colors accordingly.
3. Rustic Fixtures
When aiming for a farmhouse design, look at the largest features in the room. Consider a freestanding bathtub made from metal or copper. Even cast iron can set the right vibe.
The same goes for the sink. Make a statement with hammered metal or copper with a patina.
4. Elements of Nature
Perhaps the easiest and quickest way to change the feel of your farmhouse bathroom decor is by introducing plants into the space. Consider the layout of your bathroom and exposure to natural light.
Then place plants on the ground, in window sills, or on shelves. You can use ceiling hooks and planter holders to hang them from the ceiling as well.
If your bathroom has limited natural light, choose plants that don’t require it, or go with air plants.
Note that the humidity is higher in a bathroom environment. Some plants will thrive in that atmosphere while others will struggle, so do your homework.
In addition to live plants, work natural elements into the design with floral wallpaper or images of trees in your wall art. Use branches to make shelving or choose leaf prints for your backsplash.
5. Natural Materials
When selecting materials for your farmhouse bathroom, think about textiles that come from nature. For example, choose towels, shower curtains, and bathmats that are made of organic cotton, linen, bamboo, eucalyptus, or hemp.
Around the room, highlight woven fabrics, reeds, grasses, and wood materials. Ceramics and metals are common in farmhouse design too.
Wood is a foundational element of farmhouse design. Use it to your advantage from floor to ceiling--but not all at the same time. As with paint colors, choose your wood accents with care.
One striking way to go about this is by adding thick wooden beams to the ceiling. This can be in conjunction with a slatted-wood ceiling or work as a contrast to a drywall ceiling material.
Even one or two beams as a focal point can add an entirely new look to the space.
Moving lower, wood walls create an instant farmhouse vibe. This can be accomplished as a log home, shiplap, or even nice paneling. With wood, you can choose the color through stain or paint.
Alternatively, create a statement with a wood vanity instead. Create the look you like through wood selection and paint or stain color. If you want to paint the cabinet fronts, your wood accent can be in the form of a countertop instead.
Finally, you can make a wood focal point by swapping out the standard tile bath surround with a wood option.
Of course wood floors are another obvious, and commonly used, option.
Pick one or two wood elements. Then soften the space with neutral tones on other surfaces.
7. Upcycled Furniture
One of the most common ways homeowners achieve the farmhouse look is through upcycled furniture. There are myriad ways to go about implementing pre-loved furniture.
For example, you can convert a table, pie warmer, media cabinet, dresser, or desk into a vanity by reformatting the spaces and adding a sink.
Similarly, you can add a dresser, changing table, or hutch to the room for storage.
8. Sliding Barn Doors
The trend of sliding barn doors came into the farmhouse like wildfire, creating a whole new market for this style of door. Now you can buy kits to make the job easy or you can make a sliding barn door DIY style.
You can make a sliding barn door by simply embellishing a plain piece of wood to give it the quintessential barn, and farmhouse, appeal.
Mounting kits are easy to find so you can complement any space with this style of decor and choose your paint or stain finish to match your palette.
9. DIY Farmhouse Vanity
While you can certainly find vanities that fit the farmhouse style, you can also create one yourself. The finished look is really about the finish work.
Make your vanity frame like any other by using four vertical posts and connecting pieces between each corner. Use blocky wood like 4x4s for a rustic look. Similarly, you could upcycle barn wood for the task.
Once the basic framework is done, embellish with the trademark “X” on the front of the cabinet doors, or on the sides of the vanity.
10. Wood Shelves
If you rent or aren’t in the market for a major overhaul, adding wood shelves is a great way to add more storage and visual interest that falls into the farmhouse decor wheelhouse.
DIY some floating shelves or install shelf brackets. Use large, small, thick, thin, dark, light, rough, or smooth wood, depending on your preference.
The mirror is a focal point in any bathroom. Inasmuch, it can set the tone for the space. Look for mirrors with scalloped edges, gold trim, wood frames, or other rustic designs. Another option is round, metal-framed mirrors hung from jute or rope.
12. DIY Bathtub Shelf
Add another pop of wood appeal with a DIY bathtub shelf. This is the handy little tool for resting your wine glass, book, and glasses while you enjoy a soak in the bath. Even when not in use, the shelf sends an inviting message with a washcloth and soap displayed on top.
Throughout the space, make use of baskets, especially those made from natural materials in neutral tones. Baskets bring a homey feel to a bathroom, and a connection to nature.
Choose woven baskets to store your towels, washcloths, hair appliances, soaps, and other washroom supplies. Wire baskets are another great choice. Think along the lines of classic egg collection baskets.
14. Light Fixtures
Although you probably don’t give them much thought, light fixtures contribute to the mood of the room. Go with industrial globes or fixtures shaped like lanterns. Light fixtures can be simple, but choose materials that represent the farmhouse vibe.
15. Wall Art
While farmhouse style can be developed through anything from architecture to textiles, wall art quickly sets a theme for the room.
Choose complimentary wall art with farm animals, plants, landscapes of fields, rustic barns, and other iconic symbols of life on a farm.
16. Waste Basket
Even the garbage can provides an opportunity to create a cohesive feel in the room. Go with black or white, or slate gray, depending on your theme.
Similarly, select a natural material like bamboo or a woven basket. If you go with canvas instead, choose a color that matches the rest of the space.
17. Laundry Basket
If your laundry basket fits in your bathroom, choose a wood or wicker option. White or a natural shade of brown are both good choices.
18. Swap out Knobs
If you do nothing else in the room, swapping out the existing cabinet and drawer knobs can make a huge difference. It’s easy to do and you’ll find it gives the space a fresh look. To change out knobs and handles, unscrew them from the backside.
You can paint most hardware if you like the pattern but not the color. Hit them with black spray paint. Rustoleum products are a market leader for painting over metal. You can even add a rustic appeal through spray paint that leaves a textured look, like hammered metal.
19. Towel Ladder
While many bathrooms don’t have room for additional furniture, an old barn ladder leaning against the wall is a nearly instant way to bring the farm life into the bathroom. Use the ladder as a towel rack, either for display or daily use.
20. Towel Rack with Hooks
Another option that adds function and visual interest is a wood coat rack with hooks. Use it as a towel rack while bringing together the wood accents in the room.
You could also use the rack for organizing other items such as necklaces, hats, or scarves.
21. Open Shelving
We mentioned wall shelves earlier, and they are always a great component in a farmhouse bathroom. But you can also incorporate the open shelving concept in the vanity.
There are many ways to create the look. If you don’t have cabinets, there is plenty of space for one or multiple shelves.
Even a table-style vanity can have a shelf along the bottom of the piece. Think about what you want to display or store on shelves to best plan out the space allowance between the shelf locations.
If your vanity has cabinet doors you can remove them for open shelving too. Besides the vanity, you can mount a shelving unit to the wall--like a medicine cabinet with no door. Use it to display cotton balls and cotton swabs in jars, ceramic pots, or small baskets.
22. Window Coverings
There are many factors to consider when it comes to bathroom window coverings. If you have a clouded window, you may not want to cover it all.
On the other hand, if your bathroom looks out onto a neighbor’s house or yard, a window covering is likely a priority.
Keep window coverings in your farmhouse style bathroom soft and flowing. Use fabrics that meld with your chosen color palette. Consider two layers, with an inner sheer panel that lets light through and an outer curtain for privacy when needed.
Have fun with your bathroom makeover. Bring in pieces from other parts of the house if you want. If you're not sure farmhouse is your best option, check out 6 Popular Interior Design Styles for other ideas.
To really bring in the nature vibe, consider some Eco Friendly Bathroom Remodels that are soothing for you and the planet.