The Key Characteristics of a French Country Bathroom
If you’re tired of your bathroom but are struggling to come up with a new design concept, it may be worth looking for inspiration slightly further afield than you’re used to. France is known for its chic women, delectable cuisine, impeccable fashions, and, believe it or not, stylish interiors. A delve into some of the finer details of French interior design may give you some handy hints and tips about the direction to take your own home- and where better place to start than in the bathroom. Flexible enough to be incorporated into most spaces and layouts, French country design relies on a few key elements that can be adapted (at least to some extent) to reflect your own personal preferences without losing the overall ambiance. To find out how you can add a little “Je Ne Sais Quoi” into your own home, keep reading.
Balance an Elegant Aesthetic with a Functional Design
Along with innate taste and a sophisticated sense of refinement, the French have a gift for striking a perfect balance between the old and the new, the elegant and the functional. Although they’re known for making the most of the classic, age-old features of their homes, they’ll never turn up their noses at new, modern concepts that introduce an extra level of comfort or convenience into their living arrangements. This marriage of old-world sensibility and forward-thinking sophistication is key to recreating the French look in your bathroom (or, indeed, in any room). When it comes to choosing the central pieces of your bathroom, look for traditional, classic items that have a shapely curve and an eye for scale. That said- don’t value aesthetics over functionality. The rural inhabitants of France are used to making the most of every piece of furniture they introduce to their homes and would scoff at the idea of spending their money on pieces that look elegant but lack function.
A Mishmash of Designs
The antithesis of the French country style is a three-piece suite. Avoid choosing a complete bath set and opt instead for single pieces that complement each other without creating an overly designed, matchy-matchy look. This applies as much to the accents and finishing touches as it does to the central pieces: don’t be afraid to mix wood with wrought iron, ceramics with terracotta, and chunky tumblers with delicate vases.
Choosing the Perfect Color Scheme
Choosing the right color scheme is key to creating that traditional French country style. Avoid anything bright or primary and stick to a muted color palette of gentle whites, soft dove grays, dusty sages, creamy yellows, and washed-out blues. Stronger colors can be used but keep these to accents only to avoid detracting from the relaxed, easy-going vibe.
Add Dimension with Texture
If you do nothing else, introduce some texture to your bathroom. Avoid anything overly polished or one- dimensional and opt instead for a range of textures that wear their imperfections proudly: plaster, stucco, and stone are all great wall choices, giving that rugged, peasant look we want. A coat of glaze over any paintwork will add some depth, while small, mosaic tiles (or larger ones with a raised motif) are the perfect choice to cover splash-back areas.
Keep Flooring Natural
When it comes to your choice of flooring, you have a range of options to choose from- just remember to keep things natural, rugged, and authentic. Slate, limestone, treated natural wood or tumbled earthen tiles are all great options.
The Value of Space
Want to know the secret to French style? Not being afraid of empty spaces. As Apartment Therapy recommends, if you want to recreate the look of a French country bathroom, don’t feel obligated to fill every square inch of space with knick-knacks, accessories, furniture, or plants. Give your pieces space to breathe, and avoid creating a cluttered look through adding too many accessories. When it comes to French interiors, that old adage of less is more really holds true.
Indulge Your Opulent Side
While we aren’t suggesting you go all out with a state-of-the-art, talking toilet or a ramped-up power shower, don’t be afraid of treating yourself to a little luxury (although don’t go so far as to lose that country vibe). Whether it’s piles of snowy white towels with the highest thread count known to man, a stack of the creamiest, most luxuriant soaps you can afford, opulent, gold plated bath fixtures, or a gilded antique mirror, a little luxury never hurts, and will provide a great contrast to some of the more rustic features of the room.
Flowers, Flowers, Flowers
Flowers are integral to French country design, and no bathroom in the style is complete without at least some homage to the great outdoors. Whether you choose to keep things authentic with a bouquet of fragrant lavender, casually arranged in a glass tumbler, or opt instead for a series of wildflowers etched into the wooden frame of a rustic mirror, don’t underestimate the difference some well-placed flora can make.
Don’t Forget to Dress Your Windows
As My Love Of Style notes, window treatments can vary between printed or solid colored drapes, roman shades, or panels decorated with fringe and lace. Minimalism may be in keeping with the overall vibe of the French style, but when it comes to window dressings, don’t be afraid to add a little drama.
Keep Things Authentic with a Few Finishing Touches
When it comes to finishing touches, there are a few things that will really ramp-up that French country vibe. As noted by Houzz, roosters are a massive feature in the homes of the French, so search out any artwork or accessories you can find that feature the bird. Otherwise, sift through the offerings of your local thrift store for some rustic vases or pitchers, a battered wooden armoire, a woven basket in which to keep your towels, a wicker laundry basket, copper pots, some chinoiserie pottery, or even a vintage birdcage to dangle from the ceiling (squawking parakeet strictly optional).