A lovely country bathroom design would have to have a central focal point of interest, an expensive footed bath tub. There are many styles that are associated with country bathrooms, but the old fashioned footed tub has to be an association easily made in the minds of many who have actually used such a bathroom. These big tubs are found in many styles including the high sides that support the bathers head even while bathing in a back upright position instead of stretched out in the tub. The key point to a country bathroom is comfort. To design one that doesn’t look like it could belong in a city apartment or a ranch house is really technical in scope.
The footed tub is one possibility as is the pedestal sink. The sink should be quite large and impressive. The toilet should also be picked from one of the higher seated styles. Cupboards in county bathrooms should be tiered shelves with all the necessities for a bath or toilet use clearly visible. Most bathroom designs do not have closed cupboards as towels are stored in the spacious hallway closets or elsewhere. Sparkling white fixtures and country style wall paper are the usual designs found in these bathrooms.
Wall paper seems to be a necessity in completing the country look. The paper should match the flooring which can be anything from ceramic to an expensive acrylic. Floor rugs should be non slip and the space should be left as easily open to cleaning as possible. A good plumber who can install the necessary plumbing and leave an easily accessible space to repair bath and shower plumbing is really a part of the foundation of country design.
Lighting fixtures in a country bathroom can be as ornamental as Tiffany glass scones covering the light bulb fixtures or as simple as frosted glass balls. The selection of just the right fixture can complete the design for the bathroom in a complementary fashion or it can mar it. Every facet of the bathroom needs to blend to give a total look of wide open spaces, fields and gardens. Wallpaper with roosters prancing can meet soft white towels with ducks in a row motif and the bathtub rug can be a while lamb’s wool shag with rubberized backing.
For those who prefer more of the gentleman country bathroom design the wallpaper, towels and rugs can be more polished and less egalitarian, which gives a different feel to the room which is a little more sophisticated in nature. In the end it all really depends on what you are trying to achieve with your design.
French country bathrooms are about beauty, light, and most importantly, relaxation. The atmosphere in a French country home, and by extension, in the French country bath, is not dominated by practical concerns. While many of today’s bathrooms feature wall to wall tile, with shiny chrome fixtures and a antiseptic appearance, the style of French traditions includes more natural surfaces such as those seen throughout the rest of the home.
Floor coverings are one of the first considerations in the bath. These may be wood, or natural stone, travertine, or terra-cotta tile. One must take into consideration that if a surface is likely to become weathered in a bath or kitchen area, it is not considered a disadvantage in this decorating genre. Certainly, care should be taken to avoid water damage to the structure of your home, and safety should be a concern as well, but when things become worn or faded, they add to, not detract from, their usefulness in French country decor.
Just as important is color. The dominant color in French Country baths is white or some variation or shade of white. Soft fabrics, especially muslin and linens, are favored for their simple appeal. Colors are normally kept in the pastel range, allowing natural light to filter through the room easily. Some dark woods are occasionally used as accents or baseboards, or wood may be painted with a whitewash or milk paint effect.
Window treatments are usually kept to a minimum, since natural light is so highly sought after in the bath. Sheer panels may be used, or, if curtains are employed, they always include tiebacks or wall hooks so that they can be pulled aside to reveal the light streaming through the windows. Shower curtains are always made of cloth material, though a waterproof liner may be used if completely hidden from view.
Accents can be used throughout the bath to round out the look. Glass apothecary jars filled with bath salts or oils, dried or fresh vases of lavender, wrought iron accents, and vintage towel racks can all be used to create a bathroom that evokes comfort and can become a place of escape after a long day. Mirrors have a two fold advantage: first, the mirror itself, usually framed with painted or distressed wood is itself a traditional French country accent; second, mirrors are very useful in creating the illusion of more space, more light, and reflecting the beauty of the room you have created.
Lighting is another important consideration. Chandeliers or candelabras dressed with crystals or simple bronze or iron wall sconces can be used. The most important thing is to avoid the use of fluorescent light or bright and harsh electric bulbs. All man-made light sources should be filtered with shades or frosted glass to preserve the integrity of the natural light. Candles always have a place in French Country, perhaps nowhere more than in the bath, where it adds to the visual and sensual aspects of the room.
Today more than ever, a beautiful bath is needed for a retreat from the everyday stresses of life and work. Having a well-appointed and well thought-out bathroom design is a sure way to create such a retreat. Keeping in mind the key elements of color, natural materials, and light will ensure that you have a place to relax and enjoy for many years to come.
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