Gone are the days where farmhouse design was confined to actual farmhouses. Nowadays, this theme is a popular choice for traditional and modern households alike. And what’s not to love about bringing the cosy, laid back feel of a country cottage into your home?
If you’re looking to learn more about the farmhouse style, this blog will explore its defining features, the influences, and different variations on the theme.
Then we’ll move onto farmhouse bathroom ideas and inspiration to help you conceptualise what your farmhouse bathroom might look like.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- What is the farmhouse style?
- What are the defining features of farmhouse bathroom design?
- What colours are used in farmhouse style?
- Variations on the farmhouse theme
- How does farmhouse differ from other styles?
- Is farmhouse going out of style?
- Can you do farmhouse style on a budget?
- Farmhouse bathroom ideas
Farmhouse style creates a rustic, woodsy look by emphasising warmth, age-worn finishes, and sturdy materials like wood and steel. Exposed joints and tendons, thick-cut furniture and traditional fixtures and fittings all contribute to a cosy and characterful aesthetic.
Farmhouse is all about celebrating old school charm, and as a result it leaves a lot up to your imagination. The antique collectors and craft market fans amongst you will have plenty of opportunity to add your flair to a farmhouse bathroom.
It’s up to you how far you lean into farmhouse, too. The style is versatile enough to function as an accent or as a defining theme.
As well as wood and natural vibes, there are a few key defining features of farmhouse style:
- Rustic atmosphere: a farmhouse bathroom should bring to mind countryside living, connecting you with nature and removing you from the hustle and bustle of daily life
- Natural: by prioritising wood and metal over synthetic materials, the natural world is in closer reach than it might be in other popular design styles
- Comforting: stepping into a farmhouse bathroom should be like stepping into a countryside cottage, with welcoming and comforting colours, tones and lighting
- Natural light: where possible, natural lighting should be used to complement the natural finishes. Think sunlight and candlelight.
- Heritage fittings: aiming for fixtures and fittings that would’ve been familiar to people in days gone by is a way to achieve authenticity with this design style
- Subtle colours only: bright colours are a no no here: light shades can be used where necessary, but prominence is given to neutral tones
- Lots of knick knacks: whether it’s a wicker basket or a mason jar toothbrush holder, farmhouse works best with a lot of personal flair
As a general rule of thumb neutral, muted colours set the tone well for farmhouse bathrooms. Earthy colours work well too, brought to the space by woods and metals with the former often treated with varnishes that emphasises their natural colour rather than masking it.
As dark woods are often chosen for this theme, many people choose to pair it with lighter coloured paint or tiles to prevent the room from feeling dark, heavy, or cramped.
That said, don’t feel you are restricted to whites or beiges. There are lots of gorgeous, understated colours to choose from to accentuate your country rustic look. Pale greens, greys, blues – and even pinks – are all wonderful tones for this theme, and you aren’t confined to using just one.
We recommend choosing no more than three core colours to avoid the scheme from becoming too busy and loud. Opt for one dark colour and one or two lighter shades. This will keep the look and style fresh and clean.
When it comes to a farmhouse bathroom you have options. Below are four popular variations on the core farmhouse theme.
In modern farmhouse, rustic combines with elegance to create a sharp aesthetic that flaunts its natural roots. Expect to see exposed wood, but presented with more refinement than true farmhouse. Also expect traditional fixtures and fittings offset against clean lines and modern twists.
In this example of modern farmhouse the distinctly modern shower sits beside a freestanding bath with very traditional fittings. The neat wooden boundary delineating the two evokes a farmhouse feeling and ties the two worlds together gracefully.
With traditional farmhouse, you make the conscious decision to reach into the past and celebrate how our homes would’ve looked yesteryear. Concessions to modernity are made behind the scenes (functional plumbing, for example), but fixtures, fittings and furniture evoke the past as much as possible.
Note the thick cut wood with its raw varnish and old fashioned handles, along with beiges that give space for the wooden tones to thrive.
It’s easy to see how farmhouse aligns with the faded, sea-softened wood you might find on the beach. Add some gentle seaside blues to the mix and a few beachy twists like artwork or foliage, and you’ve got coastal farmhouse.
This is a style designed to evoke summer at the seaside: light, breezy colours bring to life natural materials, and the end result is something truly special.
This label is used to distinguish American takes on farmhouse from European versions of the style, which have featured so far. American farmhouse relies more on bright colours, patterns, metal signs and other design features that you’re less likely to see in European interpretations.
Some styles share a handful of features with farmhouse, but are kept separate by key differences. Below you’ll find information about two common styles that are similar to farmhouse.
If you spend a lot of time on the internet you may have seen an explosion in popularity of the term ‘cottagecore’ in late 2020.
This style is defined as “an aesthetic depicting a simple, romanticized life in nature”, which features “themes of farm animals, earthy tones, soft illustrations, and more”.
While there are some similarities with farmhouse in terms of earthy tones and natural aesthetics, the emphasis on animals, illustrations and overly-romanticised interpretations tend to create quite a different end product.
There is a lot of overlap in perception of farmhouse and country: both feature natural materials, both use heritage components to create a feeling of days gone by. But there are some ways to tell them apart.
Generally country leans more heavily into what things might have been like in a country cottage in more traditional times, while farmhouse attempts to bring these things a little closer to modernity.
No, far from it! People search online for farmhouse in consistently high numbers, which have been growing over the years. Many homeowners decide on this style for their home, whether in their bathroom or beyond.
While it celebrates the past, farmhouse represents a timeless design style. There’s very low risk that a farmhouse bathroom will go out of style or feel dated once you’ve put it in, meaning that when it comes to selling your home you won’t be hindered by your decision.
Reading about natural wood and antique furniture may cast doubt on whether you can do farmhouse on a budget, but as with any bathroom style, it is possible.
Here are a couple of ways to bring down the bill of a farmhouse bathroom:
Upcycle ornaments: instead of shopping for antiques, see what you’ve got laying around the house that could be repurposed in a farmhouse setting. Wicker, wood, copper and even tin are materials that work well with the style.
Go second hand: there’s a difference between second hand and antique, and it’s quite possible that you can pick up some nice pieces at a great price through Ebay, Gumtree or similar outlets.
Get the sander out: sanding down furniture to the wood below and treating this is a lot cheaper than buying something new: if you’ve got a cabinet or table kicking around in the garage, this is a great way to bring them in line with the farmhouse style.
Prioritise: if you’re approaching your budget cap, decide which items you can do without. Reigning in ambitious plans and focusing on the priority pieces is a reliable way to bring the project price down.
If you’re feeling inspired to bring the farmhouse feel into your bathroom, here are the steps to follow:
- Decide what type of farmhouse you’re going for. Do you like the full traditional feel, or do you want to offset the rustic with more modern stylings?
- Choose the dominant colours in your palette. Unlike other styles, your palette will most likely include woods and maybe metals, supplemented with unassuming neutral tones.
- Choose the accent colours. Here you’ll want a beige, a cream or something similar that can provide a backdrop against which the main colours can sing.
- Choose your suite. A farmhouse bathroom is built around the bathroom suite, just like any other style. Getting this right is the foundation upon which everything else will come together.
- Choose fixtures and fittings. These are the little touches that bring your bathroom to life, and with a farmhouse bathroom you can make some really strong statements through careful selection.
- Add your personal flair. Farmhouse is made for ornaments and extra touches, and this is your opportunity to bring your bathroom to life.
We’ve pulled together some farmhouse bathroom ideas to help you figure out how the farmhouse style might look in your home.
Farmhouse Bathroom Suites
There are many ways to interpret farmhouse, but you’ll often find things like:
- Countertop basins with wall mounted taps
- Freestanding baths with freestanding taps and shower fittings
- Traditional toilets with wall mounted cisterns
- Wooden cabinets and shelving
Farmhouse Bathroom Toilet
With farmhouse you’ll most likely want a traditional toilet, perhaps even a high level toilet with a wall mounted cistern and long chain.
Accenting your toilet with a wooden seat is another way to tap into the farmhouse feel.
A freestanding slipper bath brings character to any farmhouse bathroom and brings to mind bathtubs of yesteryear that would’ve been brought out as and when required, rather than being plumbed in.
A freestanding copper bath lends itself to modern or traditional farmhouse, and instantly adds a real touch of character.
If you prefer a shower to a bath, a farmhouse bathroom can accommodate. Remember that in a modern farmhouse bathroom you can go for a fully modern shower enclosure.
Or you could go for a traditional freestanding bath tap to add shower functionality to a freestanding farmhouse bath.
Farmhouse Bathroom Sink
Countertop basins look fantastic in farmhouse bathrooms, as they give prominence to the surface beneath: an important consideration when you’ve invested in a striking wooden countertop.
Or, as with baths, a copper countertop basin is another surefire way to add character to your space.
Farmhouse Bathroom Taps
In any farmhouse bathroom, traditional taps should be top of your consideration list. These capture the old-fashioned aesthetic while their modern engineering ensures smooth flow.
Pitcher pump faucets are a timeless and elegant option when considering which elements you want to incorporate into your farmhouse bathroom.
Alternatively, wall mounted taps bring a heritage feel while combining seamlessly with a countertop basin.
Farmhouse Bathroom Cabinet
Unlike other styles where clutter and ornaments are kept to a minimum, farmhouse works well when you showcase select items. Think rustic plants in pots, old fashioned metal containers or wicker baskets for towels and flannels, pictures in wooden frames, and so on.
Rummaging around in your loft or an antique shop will help you unearth items to bring your farmhouse bathroom to life.
Go for natural light wherever possible: sunlight during the day, candlelight at night where it’s safe to do so. Use warmer artificial light where required, with light fittings that hark back to bygone days.
Like with storage and ornaments to grace your farmhouse cabinets, you may be rewarded by rummaging around antique shops for vintage lighting options.
Design Advice For Farmhouse Bathrooms
Farmhouse bathrooms are versatile and exciting, and you have so many opportunities to make the style your own. Whether you sit firmly at the traditional end of the spectrum or you like the idea of fusing farmhouse with modernity, there’s an interpretation of the style that will fit your needs.
Our range of bathroom fixtures and fittings features everything you need to bring the farmhouse style to life. Our team can help you design the perfect bathroom, too. Why not book a 3D Bathroom Design Service appointment today, or get in touch with one of our experts to find out how we can help.