Some consider the modern farmhouse style a relatively new category in interior design. The design focuses on using the best vintage items in a contemporary style. Using color, texture, and natural elements such as wood flooring, the old and new can merge to leave a country charm within a modern design.
However, bathrooms with wood and white porcelain were the beginning of most suburban town homes in 1910. This was the style for introducing a sanitary response to past diseases and illnesses. Wood was a popular and cheap material for making this happen. People also misunderstand why bathrooms were so tiny in the beginning.
Believed to be an afterthought for an additional room, they built many bathrooms onto existing homes as plumbing grew more popular. However, the small size had nothing to do with being an addition to a home.
They planned this room to be small and discreet, as if trying to hide its very existence. This thought process endured only in the Western world of the modern contemporary bathroom. A particular shame to “flush and forget” lasted for years, hoping to forget the sight and smell of our waste.
Today, bathrooms have expanded to include beauty and style that match other living quarters. Hundreds of styles and colors bring life to this once shunned room, and boy, are we glad. We spend much of our time in the confines of the bathroom, and being able to enjoy the visit has changed how Westerners observe this space. Merging styles is a splendid way of making the experience more pleasant and relaxing.
Table of Contents
- Farmhouse vs. Country
- The Modern Farmhouse Style Bathroom
- Modern and Charming Floors and Walls
- Vanities the Most Advanced Change
- Make a Modern Farmhouse Bathroom a DIY Project
Modern farmhouse bathroom ideas gained popularity in 2008 when homeowners had time to rethink the interior of their homes. In 2020, when the COVID pandemic was in full swing and people were under quarantine, many opted to make sure rooms in their homes felt as comfortable as possible instead of going stir-crazy.
Chip and Joanna Gaines were on the TV sharing their stories of modern farmhouse do-overs. Public viewers ate up this clever and practical look. Interior designers, however, remained primarily dissatisfied with the positive direction the contemporary farmhouse style took. However, it has become one of today’s most popular decorating trends.
The farmhouse look has been tested in many decor stages since the 1800s. These include:
Any of these styles work magnificently with a farmhouse flavor.
Farmhouse vs. Country
You can be a fan of the farmhouse look and not care for country decor. Many believe that the two are the same but have a world of differences.
Country decor features a hodgepodge of kitschy collections, bright colors, and gingham patterns. You can never have too many reminders of the country with layers of antiques and reclaimed wood.
Farmhouse style shares antiques and reclaimed wood as valued properties. This is where any similarities with the country end. Neutral tones and natural materials present a clean and organized appearance with a minimum amount of accessories.
Minimal items stop any feeling of clutter in the room. Therefore, it is easy to blend farmhouse with any of the five styles mentioned above.
The Modern Farmhouse Style Bathroom
If there was ever a room where improvements in warmth and character were needed, it is the bathroom. The same necessary fixtures have been present for over 200 years. New shapes and features have been added to modernize the look of toilets, showers, and sinks.
Decorating companies have tried dolling up fixtures with toilet tank covers, lid covers, throw rugs, and shower curtains. But one of the most common ways to make a statement is by using color and texture. A modern farmhouse-style bathroom can give you the best of both worlds with sophistication and the down-to-earth flavor of American charm.
Having a decorating plan is critical in transforming the style of any large or small space. Fixtures are seldom movable unless you intend to add a freestanding tub and a separate shower.
Freestanding tubs can range from 43″ to 78″ in length. They need at least 4″ of clearance from walls. This means you will need substantial space when considering this type of tub. As this tub can quickly turn into a focal point, making an aesthetic display of its appearance is critical.
If you already know that a freestanding bathtub will be part of your modern farmhouse look, the material, style, and finish need to be determined. A clawfoot tub and or a pedestal-mounted tub make the grandest statement.
However, if you are crunched for space, a Japanese soaking tub is an option where depth is more prominent than length. Make sure you have the space for a freestanding tub without crowding other fixtures and cabinets. Do not let the space look awkward or unbalanced. Not every bathroom is accepting to a freestanding bathtub.
Different materials are used to build freestanding tubs. In wanting a natural touch, copper, stainless steel, cast iron, and stone are a great choice for adding farmhouse charm. If you are planning on installing a tub upstairs, seek the advice of an experienced contractor on the stability and weight.
If your focus is more on modern design with a sprinkling of farmhouse style, there are modern-looking styles for stand-alone bathtubs. A sleek and modern-rimmed acrylic or composite material will give you a more contemporary or modern look.
Separate showers with glass enclosures allow you to add another complementary color to your updated bathroom style. Mosaic tiles, light gray tiles with dark grout, or diagonal white subway tiles are a way to keep a modern feel. The visual interest will help you determine other modern elements used in your farmhouse bathroom decor.
Even a small bathroom can install a walk-in shower with the correct dimensions. You can incorporate a shower with a tub and line with clear glass or place a shower in a small corner with a wall of glass panes instead of a door. The panes will deliver a farmhouse look, while large white marble tiles on the shower walls will look modern and clean.
Modern and Charming Floors and Walls
I think we can all agree that the carpet has no place in the bathroom. Hard surface floors are the most practical solution. A wooden floor can be timeless and perfect for a modern farmhouse when appropriately sealed.
Natural wood floors are the best for bringing back simpler times in farmhouse beauty. Dark wood against light modern bathroom walls makes a distinct impression of a white farmhouse bathroom.
However, stains and warping can occur once dampness and water spills have been in contact with a wood surface. Always coat genuine wood with polyurethane, varnish, or lacquer.
An easier way is to use waterproof hardwood flooring. No manufacturer can guarantee against all water damage, but prolonging the inevitable comes from installing PVC or engineered wood materials.
Ceramic floor tile or linoleum remain traditional styles for bathrooms when you want to play it safe. Many new patterns have flourished in the past twenty years that find the perfect place in a modern or rustic bathroom.
Walls that Announce Style
Neutral colors reign in modern farmhouse bathrooms. Anything from soft beige to misty gray semi-gloss paint can be a great way to open up a room that feels fresh and modern.
Using texture, like white shiplap walls or white wall tile against wood flooring, delivers a clean and comfy look.
We should not eliminate wallpaper as an option as long as it is used to clarify a specific area. For instance, using behind a toilet or on a vanity wall can break up too much neutral in the room.
Lately, wall panels and wood paneling depicting specific designs and textures have appeared in contemporary-style bathrooms. Mixing white tile with wood slats is a perfect way to marry modern and farmhouse into one style. Vertically slatted wainscotting against white walls can also present a unique decor blend.
Vanities the Most Advanced Change
A sink vanity comprises a sink, counter, and a mirror. Before plumbing, this table was in the bedchambers with a bowl and water pitcher for washing. Once bathrooms became the norm, they moved them into this room and called it a toilet table.
There are writings found where Thomas Chippendale, renowned cabinetmaker, built lovely toilet tables in 1762. From here, the name changed to the dressing table, then the vanity table. Today, a wooden vanity is the most common table with doors and drawers for personal necessities.
The modern farmhouse style is an excellent example of a wood vanity popular in today’s bathroom trends. Forty-eight inches in length, sporting a one-piece rectangular sink and marble countertops, it brings a sophisticated look to any bathroom decor.
Straight lines with black fixtures and hardware can blend a farmhouse feel, a rustic look, or an industrial presence to contemporary decor. Both cabinets and a low shelf give you ample space to store extra toilet paper and present open bedding for rolled-up towels. This timeless look can give you ideas for different styles throughout the years.
Make a Modern Farmhouse Bathroom a DIY Project
There are many ways to bring farmhouse charm to contemporary home design. Most ideas are formed with your own personal taste in design. For example, if you have a sterile-looking white bathroom, it may feel clean but also dull.
White farmhouse bathroom ideas can help to add a fresh, natural presence with a few accessories. Wooden shelves made of rustic wood along an open wall will break up the monotonous white color in the room. The right texture is possible by using a small diagonal tile design. A sterile look remains by lining the floor or a portion of the walls in light gray/white tiles.
Small Half Baths
A tiny powder room does not have to go unannounced and forgotten. With the help of a pedestal sink, a round mirror, and a pendant light, the space will gain a modern touch. Dot a bare wall with small-scale picture frames of natural scenes.
We define rustic as rough, natural, and aged. Flea markets are the perfect place to find small treasures to use in a modern farmhouse bathroom. Never discard anything before first using your imagination for a unique bathroom wall decor. An old mirror or window frame makes perfect outlines for wall art beneath open shelves.
A beautiful bathroom does not have to start out as a contemporary or modern style with farmhouse touches sprinkled throughout. It can also begin with natural rustic items, such as a sliding barn door, a rustic vanity, and wicker baskets.
Shiplap walls in black with gold-plated metal baskets and decorative white wood frames are great for making a classy statement while keeping warm wood tones.
Consider changing the hardware on your rustic vanity to straight gold handles and the faucet to long sleek stainless steel. White grout between white subway tiles in the shower or around the tub will bring a modern feel to the room.
Wood shelves holding the crystal and porcelain trinkets deliver natural and luxurious points of interest. A wooden box painted white or stenciled in gray and set beside your bathtub will create a focal point of a relaxing bubble bath.
Overflow your box with inviting items, like bath bombs, inflatable bath pillows, and spa towels. Consider using a small chic design for your modern farmhouse decor with a whitewashed open shelf above the toilet filled with mason jars and wildflowers.
Another idea is using a hanging a three-tier wire basket on one side of the vanity where personal hygiene items can be stored. Pendants are another way of adding sophistication above a vanity or bathtub. Mixing and matching different styles in natural materials will make a bathroom’s biggest display of warmth.
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Karen Gillan, Senior Writer
Experienced Writer with 20+ years. Demonstrated writing experience includes technical writing, magazines, story writing, and journalist projects. Karen has a powerful media and communication background with academic training from LaSalle University (architecture, interior design) and business college courses. She loves editing novels and contributed to a national art journal.