French Country Bathroom Ideas: Elegant & Inviting Bathroom Designs

A French country bathroom design evokes the charm and elegance of rural France. With its relaxed sophistication and welcoming ambiance, this style is the perfect way to transform your bathroom into an oasis of European inspired luxury. Incorporating key elements like wood finishes, floral fabrics, clawfoot tubs, and antique-style fixtures creates a space that feels gracious yet unfussy. Read on for inspiring French country bathroom ideas that will help you achieve this look in your own home.

Rustic Wood Cabinets and Vanities

Wood finishes like oak or pine are a hallmark of French country style. For the bathroom vanity, look for cabinets with visible wood grains and distressed details. Unfinished wooden hutches and floor-standing cabinets can provide vintage charm while offering plenty of storage space. Add metal bin pulls in an aged bronze patina for another authentic touch. Open shelving is also common, letting you display rolled towels, fragranced soaps, and decorative bottles. For a sink base, opt for a cabinet with one or two doors rather than drawers, which have a more modern look.

Clawfoot Bathtubs as Focal Points

At the center of any French country bathroom should be a statement clawfoot tub. The exposed “feet” and sloped end provide an instant vintage vibe. Choose a tub with ornate details like scrolled feet or polished nickel or bronze finishes. Situate the tub near a sunny window to amplify the ambiance. Make it the star of your space by limiting other fixtures and furniture around it. A draped towel or folded robe on a nearby chair completes the spa-like scene.

Antique and Vintage Fixtures

When selecting faucets and other fixtures, opt for antique or vintage-reproduction styles. Designs with cross handles, delicate porcelain knobs, or curved spouts add to the old-world aesthetic. Materials like brass, copper, nickel, and iron suit this look. Search architectural salvage stores or sites for finds like wall-mounted sinks or unique medicine cabinets with mirrors. Even if mixing metals, aim for a cohesive overall finish, like different shades of bronze rather than brass and chrome.

Floral Fabrics and Wallpapers

Floral patterns are synonymous with French decor and can lend a feminine touch. Look for small-scale botanical prints in soft or muted palettes for towels, shower curtains, and window treatments. Avoid large, brightly-hued florals, which can feel too busy for a bathroom. Toile de Jouy prints depicting pastoral French country scenes are another option. For walls, choose scenic wallpapers, sometimes with a stripe or border. Or paint the lower half of walls in a coordinating color and paper the upper walls.

Subway Tile and Hexagonal Flooring

Subway tiles are ideal for French country bathrooms, evoking metro stations in Paris. They have a classic, unassuming look in white, but can also add pops of color, like sea glass green or Delft blue. installed in a brick pattern. For floors, hexagonal tiles resemble cobblestone paths seen throughout the French countryside. Stone mosaic tiles are another option. Natural materials like slate also complement the relaxed rustic aesthetic.

Freestanding Tubs and Pedestal Sinks

Freestanding tubs on claw feet and pedestal sinks with curved silhouettes feel distinctly Parisian. Situate these statement pieces in front of windows or French doors to enhance their sculptural forms. Surround a tub with privacy curtains, then add a folding screen or antique room divider if more separation is needed. The clean lines of these fixtures keep the space from feeling too busy. Limit additional furnishings nearby so they can take center stage.

Whitewashed Beams and Wood Paneling

Exposed ceiling beams are hallmarks of French country style, lending rustic ambiance. For a lighter, airier look whitewash the beams instead of staining them dark. Wood paneling on walls also enhances the countryside charm and provides plenty of opportunity for displaying framed botanical prints and sconces. Keep the lower half of walls painted for contrast and to prevent it from feeling too heavy.

Mirrored Furnishings for Double Duty

Take a cue from Parisian apartments and incorporate mirrored pieces to amplify light and the feeling of space. An antique mirrored cabinet offers a spot to hide away necessities while reflecting the room. Hang a mirrored medicine cabinet for its streamlined look and added storage. A mirrored tray on a console table can corral perfume bottles and candles. For a light and airy aesthetic, add a mirror frame with delicate carvings. Situate it across from windows so it captures the outdoors.

Curtains and Canopies for Softness

Fabrics create softness and relaxation in French country baths. Window curtains in breezy cottons balance the hard edges. For privacy at the tub, hang simple white cotton curtains from a rod below the ceiling. Or create an elegant focal point with a canopy hung from the ceiling over the tub. Choose cottons and linens in natural fibers for an authentic touch. Gather with textured tie-backs for casually draping folds.

Weathered Paint Finishes

A key step in achieving the French farmhouse look is to apply finishes that make surfaces appear aged. For cabinetry, walls, and woodwork opt for paint with subtle distressing, visible brushstrokes, or layers showing through. Off-whites like cottage white and Swiss coffee are ideal base colors. Add character by sanding edges and corners to simulate wear. Waxing surfaces afterwards results in an irresistible patina.

Scalloped Cabinetry and Carved Details

Some of the prettiest elements of French decor are the delicate curves and carvings. Look for vanities or case pieces with scalloped profiles, arched cabinet doors, and hand-carved legs. These details instantly dress up simple cabinetry. Search for antique buffets or consoles to convert into bathroom vanities. Paint or whitewash to adapt pieces to the space. Add metal brackets under wall cabinets for a French farmhouse feel.

Open Shelving and Woven Baskets

The French are masters at infusing practical spaces with beauty. Open shelves lined with rows of woven baskets impart casual style and valuable storage space. Display stacks of fresh linens and extra towels interspersed with decorative bottles and vessels. Hooks underneath shelves let you hang sundries and essentials within reach. Opt for metal brackets or carved corbels to support shelves for a refined touch.

Iron Lanterns and Sconces

For lighting French country bathrooms, think vintage-style sconces, chandeliers, and lanterns. Wrought iron fixtures with scrolling shapes, fabric lampshades, and natural materials like jute and wood establish the relaxed mood. Look for designs with an aged finish or visible patina. Iron lanterns work well when flanking a mirror or hung above sinks. Classic globe lights supplement primary fixtures and provide general illumination.

Natural Textures and Accessories

The French countryside brims with organic and natural materials like wicker, terra cotta, and linen. Bring in these tactile textures to connect the space to the outdoors. Incorporate seagrass or willow hampers, linen towels, wicker shelves, ceramic containers, and wire baskets. A hint of finely veined marble or limestone adds refinement. Limit shiny metallic surfaces and plastic, which feel too sleek for the style.

Framed Botanical Prints and Artwork

What better way to channel pastoral countryside ambiance than through framed botanical prints and artwork? Curate a mini gallery on open shelves or exposed beams using vintage tin botanical prints, botanical engravings, or clipped pages from old books. Black and white etchings of birds, butterflies, and wildflowers enhance the mood. For color, try illustrations of flowering branches, blues and greens. Avoid contemporary photography and abstract art.

Built-In Cabinets and Bookcases

While French country celebrates laidback living, the French also appreciate fine craftsmanship. Built-ins like bookcases, corner cabinets, and window seats reveal meticulous carpentry. Built-ins maximize every inch and prevent a cluttered appearance. Display collections, organic accessories, or stacks of fabrics and linens. Flank windows with bookcases topped by arched transoms echoing French doors. Paint built-ins in soft whites to keep the focus on contents.

Freestanding Furnishings

In addition to built-ins, freestanding antique furnishings like cabinets, dressers and chests easily work in French country baths. Their petite proportions and vintage silhouettes integrate seamlessly. Search for carved front cabinets to convert into a sink vanity, or a weathered oak chest for storing linens. Painted finishes in pale hues help pieces feel fresh and light. Place a small side chair or slipper chair nearby for functionality.

Crystal Door Knobs and Decorative Hardware

It’s in the details. Elevate cabinets and doors by switching out modern hardware for vintage crystal and porcelain knobs. Look for designs with faceted or scalloped shapes. Antique brass or bronze drop pulls also contribute worn patinas. For a finishing touch, hang an intricate keyplate on the bathroom door, or mount sconces using decorative backplates. Collections of vintage keys can be framed and grouped for impact.

Scrolled Metalwork and Castings

Metalwork plays an important role in French country decor, from tub feet to fixtures to mirrors. Scrolled metal brackets support open shelves and ornate metal screens act as room dividers. Meticulously cast details embellish mirrors and chandeliers for depth and interest. Wrought iron balustrades around the tub echo estate gates and Parisian balconies. Aim for finished metals to appear aged, textured, and imperfect for authenticity.

Carefully Chosen Accessories

Don’t overlook those all-important finishing touches. In French country baths, accessories impart charm and personality. Display worn books, perfume bottles, candles, and floral prints. Glass bell jars covering soap pumps or cotton pads add farmhouse flair. Drape a monogrammed linen robe over a slipper chair. Place a wire basket filled with organic soaps and lotions nearby. The French mixes high and low effortlessly, so include some antique accents along with everyday staples.

Eclectic Combinations of Textures and Colors

Avoid an overly matching look by embracing eclectic combinations of materials, colors, and styles. Mix wood stains, patterns, metals, and fabrics for depth. The French countryside is layered and collected over time. Start with a loose color scheme, like whites and blues. Then incorporate woods, black metals, floral prints, and natural stone. The resulting space will feel curated and warm rather than deliberately decorated.

Relaxed Sophistication

French country celebrates relaxed elegance. Avoid overly polished or formal finishes that detract from the laidback style. Furnishings and fixtures should appear collected over time rather than store-bought. Patinas, small imperfections, and visible wear and tear enhance the welcoming ambiance. Build in convenience through open shelving, ample surfaces and quality textiles while maintaining a casual visual aesthetic. The resulting space will feel gracious, familiar and distinctly French.

FAQs About Designing a French Country Style Bathroom

Q: What colors work well in a French country bathroom?

A: Soft neutrals like whites, ivories, grays, and blues create a calming backdrop. For accents, incorporate black, wood tones, muted greens, or other organic hues found in nature. Avoid bright primaries which can feel harsh. Instead opt for weathered, relaxed versions of colors.

Q: What flooring is best for a French country bathroom?

A: Hexagonal tile or stone tiles imitate old French floors. Subway tile laid in a brick pattern is classic. Wood floors suit the aesthetic but require sealing and extra maintenance. Mosaic tile, limestone, or concrete are other good options to consider.

Q: What kind of sink fits French country style?

A: Vintage-style pedestal sinks, wall-mount sinks, and carved stand sinks complement the look. For a vanity, a single-basin design works well. Avoid modern materials like acrylic or stone resin. Stick to porcelain, enamel, copper, or carved wood sinks.

Q: Should I choose a shower or a tub for a French country bathroom?

A: A classic clawfoot soaking tub suits the French farmhouse aesthetic best. Situate it near windows to become a beautiful focal point. Add privacy curtains rather than a shower enclosure. Include a handheld shower if needed.

Q: What type of lighting works in a French country bathroom?

A: Vintage-style sconces, chandeliers, and pendant lights establish the mood. Wrought iron, brass, nickel, and two-arm candelabra fixtures feel fitting. Pair with globe lights for general illumination. Avoid ultra-modern lights like boxy flush mounts.

Q: What kind of vanity cabinets complement French country decor?

A: Painted or whitewashed wood cabinets with visible grains fit best. Choose open shelving, arched doors, or cabinets with one or two doors rather than lots of drawers for a traditional look. Carved fronts and scalloped aprons also enhance cabinets.

Q: Should I use wallpaper in my French country bathroom?

A: Yes! Floral, botanical, or toile prints evoke provincial France. Choose a scenic paper with a color wash or opt for prints on a painted wall. Use sparingly below chair rail molding or on one focal wall. Avoid large, bold patterns which can overwhelm.

Q: What fabrics work in a French country bathroom?

A: Lightweight cottons, linens and muslins in solids and florals enhance the breezy, relaxed aesthetic. Incorporate on shower curtains, curtains, towels and chair cushions. Avoid heavy jacquard or damask fabrics which skew formal. Focus on airy, organic materials.


With its timeworn elegance and welcoming spirit, the French country style brings the charm of the French countryside right into the bathroom. Natural materials, vintage fixtures, painted finishes, and floral accents come together to create a gracious yet unfussy space. Follow the inspiring design ideas in this article to craft your own personal oasis, whether you have a rustic cottage or modern home. The resulting bathroom will feel like a relaxing retreat where you can add a touch of French farmhouse living to your daily routine.