Getting rustic right is tricky – and there’s a fine line between rough-hewn and rundown – but stick to a few basic rules and you can enjoy one of the most timeless interior trends without compromising on modern styling. Explore these six rustic bathroom ideas to help you create a chic retreat that you won’t want to leave.
What does rustic really mean?
Before we go through some rustic bathroom ideas, let’s consider what rustic really means. A mix of authentic beauty, natural materials, outdoor charm, rough textures and uncomplicated style, rustic interiors are all about keeping it real. Inspired by the rise of luxury glamping, Scandinavian minimalism and American cabin culture, the modern, millennial rustic trend draws from many different inspirations but adds a touch of vintage charm.
The rustic trend is easy to achieve in any room of your house – but there’s no better fit than the bathroom.
Rustic bathroom ideas
1. Neutral colour scheme
A natural theme means natural tones, and neutral colours work best when it comes to achieving a modern rustic bathroom. Opt for paint in earthy shades to set a neutral foundation for your bathroom, and stick to a pared-back colour scheme as you add to it with furnishings and accessories. Avoid anything too bright or bold as this will take away from the overall effect, which should be minimalist and rough around the edges.
Discover some of the best bathroom paint ideas.
2. Contrasting textures
Contrast textures like rough sawn timber with polished concrete, and unpolished copper with woven fabrics like wicker and rattan.
Scour your local antique shop or use eBay to find vintage vanity units, stools, towel ladders and rustic bathroom mirrors, and you can complement your finds with modern bathroom furniture as long as you stick to the same rules of authentic textures, colours and materials.
When it comes to plumbing, go for traditional styles in exposed brass and opt for a broad rainfall showerhead, bulky taps and chunky ceramic sinks. Avoid anything that looks too modern, with sharp edges, sheer plastics and stainless steel being the best ways to confuse the look.
3. Rustic bathroom tiles
In keeping with the theme of natural textures that is key to achieving a modern rustic bathroom, opt for bathroom tiles in rustic materials. Stone tiles, whether that’s slate or limestone, are perfect for this, as are terracotta tiles. Choose neutral colours and go for a matt finish rather than gloss for a rough and rugged aesthetic.
Find out more about choosing the best tiles for your bathroom.
4. Freestanding bath
The cherry on top in a rustic bathroom – if you have the space for it – is a freestanding bath. A claw-footed model is just about as rustic as you can get, but more modern styles do the job too so long as the rest of the bathroom décor has a slightly older look and feel. Complement the bath with traditional bathroom taps from our Mira Virtue range.
5. Rustic bathroom accessories
Accessories are one of the easiest places to start when creating a rustic bathroom. Whilst you don’t want your bathroom to look cluttered, small interior items like baskets, shelves, pots and stools are a big part of perfecting the trend. Colour and texture are important, and you should always stick to natural materials like wood, wicker, copper and brass – all in neutral, natural tones.
Part of the charm of a rustic interior is its quirkiness – as well as its “used” look – so look for second-hand items in charity shops, antique centres and boot sales, as well as on eBay. Using old floorboards for shelves, rickety wooden step ladders for plant displays and used jam jars for soaps and cotton buds are all great ideas – and a quick look on Pinterest should give you plenty of inspiration.
There’s a fine line to walk between a chic and modern rustic bathroom with a few carefully upcycled ornaments and an overstuffed bathroom full of old junk, so it’s important to pick and choose your accessories with a clear view of how they’re going to fit into the overall design.
6. Natural light
The more natural light you can use, the better, so that means making the best use of the windows as you can – with adjustable blinds instead of frosted glass and fabric curtains or wooden shutters where possible. When it comes to electric lights, you should either try to hide your bulbs by recessing them into the ceiling or make them into an accessory by picking antique cage shades and industrial copper mounts – all with filament bulbs. Above all else, avoid florescent tubing!
Looking to be inspired? Explore more bathroom ideas with our guides to the latest trends and designs.