Country French Decor for the Bath

Creating a Private Retreat

Want a quiet personal oasis? Let the country French decorating ideas you’ve used in your French country bedroom spill over into the bath.

Country French decor for the bath should, above all, be inviting and soothing. Use it to create a place to come and linger, to let the concerns of the day melt away as you relax in a scented pool of warm water.

As always, think about the “bones” first.

Free standing fixtures - an antique tub (perhaps footed) and a pedestal sink will immediately set the mood. Today you can find very authentic looking reproduction hardware, towel racks or rings, and fixtures etc. that will carry out the desired country French ambiance with the equally desired functionality of new plumbing.

Add other freestanding pieces to replace standard built-ins. A tall wicker armoire with top open shelving and an enclosed lower cabinet would be an ideal way to attractively store and/or display all those bath necessities.

An upholstered bench is another country French decor classic that looks great and its also a convenient place to sit while removing shoes, etc

Free standing fixtures - an antique tub (perhaps footed) and a pedestal sink will immediately set the mood. Today you can find very authentic looking reproduction hardware, towel racks or rings, and fixtures etc. that will carry out the desired country French decor ambiance with the equally desired functionality of new plumbing.

The unleashed French country bath is all about the tub.

The tub represents the quiet, relaxed mood that is the essence of the country French decor statement you are creating in this private room. Depending on the amount of space you have, make the tub as big and as deep as you can. This room is not about time efficiency – so showers are out. If your bath already has a shower that’s ok, but its just a bit player here.

If you are a bathtub lounger, you could add either a free standing or wall mounted magazine rack within easy reaching distance to hold your favorite reading material and add that country French touch at the same time.

Go for "mood" lighting

Electric “candle” wall sconces or other unique illumination helps add to the country French decor ambiance. A crystal chandelier in the middle of the bath, especially one with a more rustic decorating scheme is extremely effective in creating that contrast that is so typically French country.

Design Tip:

We created this unique and very French looking lamp using flowers picked from our own garden, then pressed and dried. Fabric stores carry lamp shades that have a stick surface, and when you peel the protective paper away from the shade, you now have your pattern for whatever you want to apply.

We first applied a silk handmade paper (“Spun Silk”, from loose ends) directly to the sticky surface, then glued down our botanical material. Then another thin sheet of the handmade paper (using a light misting of a spray adhesive) was applied over the flowers, sandwiching everything in. The lamp base was one we found - where else – at a flea market!
Add small touches to make your country French decor come alive.

Find a large basket (I’m telling you – you’ve got to wander around those import shops!) and line it with a cotton fabric in a French country print. You could use this as a laundry basket, but it would also look great with fluffy folded towels nested inside.

For towels that will be visible when stored, another simple decorating idea is to roll them rather than folding. Rolled towels, in your two or three primary room colors and stacked on an open shelf have the basic requirements of good country French decor – practicality and good looks!

French country decorating unleashed means using usual things in an unusual way.

Instead of the standard bath mirror, find an old one framed in either wood or metal. Mount decorative chain on either side and hang on the wall, letting the mirror hang outwards at the top, the way the old pictures and mirrors would have.

Wall decor, comfortable furniture, and interesting accessories are a striking contrast to the usually sleek, efficient and built-in cabinetry we are used to seeing, but built-ins were not part of the country French decor vernacular, so whenever and wherever possible, use freestanding pieces to do the work of the contemporary built-in.

As with everything in the country French home, it is all about ”art de vivre” - art and style as a way of life, and the bath is no exception.

Country French decor in the bath, whether furniture or accessories, often creates a more startling effect than in other rooms simply because it is “outfitted” in much the same manner as the more public rooms in the French country home.

If space permits, a wooden towel rack (or those tall ones used for homemade pasta!) is convenient and looks great. A wicker chair in a corner, a framed print on the wall, a basket on a small side table, filled with sea sponges, all will add to the French countryflavor of any bath.

And do not forget about soaps.

Talk about getting a lot of “bang for your buck”! The variety of wonderful soaps available today is amazing.

I am particularly partial to the handmade ones. Yummy colors, textures and fragrances. Wrapped or unwrapped, they are beautiful and fascinating. Toss a selection of your favorites into a large bowl or basket. Looks fabulous and as an added bonus, they will scent the room.

The unleashed approach to creating the mood for bath is to remember that this is your private retreat. Like the country French bedroom, be sure to include the things that appeal to your senses. Beautiful or favorite things to look at, wonderful fragrances to scent the air . . . and music! Don’t forget to have a way to listen to your favorite music while floating in that tub!

Country French decor for the bath, has the same requirements as the other rooms in the French country home – practical functionality, good looks and great style!

return from Country French Decor for the Bath to Art Decorating Ideas, Unleashed!


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