Bathrooms are one of the most highly used rooms in every French country style home, and frequented by almost all guests that will visit. Despite this fact, in many cases bathrooms are overlooked for decoration at all, and seen only from a utilitarian perspective. If not completely disregarded, bathrooms are, very often, decorated without consideration to the rest of the house’s style and surroundings. In fact, the bathroom can be an easy place to complete or begin a home’s transformation to French country style.
French country bathroom decorating is full of charm. Whether in a small powder room or a larger bathroom, the main centerpiece of style will be the vanity sink. French country vanity sinks come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. These sinks are made of wood or painted wood, and will, like most French country furniture, appear weathered, distressed, or antiqued. If a painted surface is chosen for the vanity, the paint should appear flat, not glossy.
Popular colors for wood sink vanities are white, antique or sot white, light blue, sage greens, and light yellow. Everything about French country design elements is meant to be understated. Since most of the pieces themselves are quite substantial, be sure to use soft colors is order to offset the “sturdy” look. Although it is an unusual color in the French country spectrum, a antiqued black vanity sink with a light colored top is a stylish exception to this rule. The top of the vanity should be of water-resistant material. Many of the most popular modern vanity sinks feature a granite top or marble top. In order to keep with the feeling of the rest of the decor, the top should have a minimal shine, but keep in mind not to choose any material that may be porous and cause problems with warping or staining. Vanity sinks come in single and double styles, and may come with built in drawers, cabinets, or open shelving space for bathroom storage or displays.
The flooring in the French Country bathroom can be tricky. Many people prefer wood flooring throughout their home when embracing this style, but real wood flooring can create potential problems in a high use bath area. Many of today’s “wood look” laminates are surprisingly authentic, come in a variety of color choices to match with your real wood floors, and are very affordable. Another choice is tile. For this look, you’ll want to choose a low shine, light colored tile that has the look of soft and porous stone. This tile can be filled with a grayish white grout and sealed to maintain its integrity.
What about large bathrooms that can accommodate a tub?
One of the best things about a large bathroom is that a tub can be used as a beautiful and inviting focal point. Antique claw foot tubs, complete with antiqued fixtures and hardware are great finds for a French Country bathroom. For the most authentic approach to a shower, use an old fashioned diverter and riser, and surround the tub with a round, ringed shower pole. The linens for your shower curtain can be lace, soft white muslin, or a light and airy print that coordinates with the rest of the room. Be sure to purchase enough material to tie the curtain back or gather and puddle the material behind the tub when not in use, allowing your beautiful tub maximum exposure.
Guests and family alike will enjoy the surrounding of a well-appointed powder or bathroom that has been created with care and planning. The bathroom is a great place to begin or complete your French country home decor.
Decorative glass door knobs are great for hanging robes, towels, vintage signs and other pieces of art. Other french country accessories can include french country style pictures, vintage jars, or clear glass jars to hold necessities. Wrought iron baskets are excellent for displaying colorful towels, scented candles and candelabras.
Window treatments should be light and airy. Depending on level of privacy required they can range from sheers or valances to roman shades or plantation shutters.
Lighting in the bathroom is one of the most important aspects, a crystal chandelier is definitely at home in french country bathroom decorating, but you will also need to have appropriate lighting around your vanity for applying make-up and other grooming chores. For this you can hand wall sconces or other vertical light.