Shabby Chic Bathroom Designs

Get ideas and information on shabby chic bathroom designs, and prepare to add a comfy and lived-in design to your bathroom space.
French Country Bathroom

French Country Bathroom

A yellow, footed tub framed by yellow, floral curtains make a cozy place to bathe. A wood cabinet, antique door with glass handle and a blue, distressed footstool complete the French Country aesthetic.

Shabby chic bathroom designs can add a comfortable, lived-in look, welcoming guests and family members alike into an attractive, relaxing space. The informal nature of shabby chic gives you lots of options, plus the ability to mix and match pieces and decor for a style that's both elegant and laid back.

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Spring for a Vessel Sink

Vessel sinks are gaining in popularity due to their high-end look and increasingly affordable prices. There are literally thousands of styles and materials available including porcelain, glass, stone, copper and even polished wood. Before selecting a vessel sink, measure carefully to ensure that there is ample clearance at the front and back of your vanity to accommodate the vessel's bowl.

Replace the Vanity

Make a small bath feel more spacious by replacing the vanity cabinet with a pedestal sink. If you have a lot of toiletries, you'll need to add shelving elsewhere in the room to make up for lost storage. Timeless in style, a pedestal sink is the perfect fit when you desire a vintage look. Design by Grace Sorensen.

Add Floating Shelves

If your bathroom is short on storage, add wall shelves above the toilet. They'll keep toiletries within reach while providing a place to display a few decorative accessories. Catalogs carry floating shelves in a variety of styles or you can hit you local hardware store for an easy do-it-yourself kit. Design by Abby Schill.

Upgrade Lighting

Dramatically change the look of your bathroom by simply swapping out the lighting fixtures. Need help from a pro? Electricians typically charge $30-$70 per hour, with most fixtures requiring less than an hour to replace. Thrifty Tip: Use low-voltage vanity lights to save money on your energy bill. Design by Grace Sorensen.

Deck the Walls

Smooth, three-dimensional pieces such as vintage dishes, wall sculptures and sealed art canvases will add visual interest and hold up well in a bathroom's damp conditions. Thrifty Tip: Search flea markets and yard sales for one-of-a-kind items that won't break the bank. Design by Grace Sorensen.

Finish the Look With Molding

Trim molding is one of the easiest and least expensive ways to quickly update the look of any bathroom. Add timeless appeal with wide crown and baseboard molding or install a chair rail, beadboard or paneled wainscot for a charming update. Design by Abby Schill.

Add Style With Tile

Just as the right accessories finish your outfit, the perfect tile will rev up the look of your bathroom. Whether you choose sleek glass or opt for rustic natural stone, new tile will add architectural interest, color and texture. Thrifty Tip: Online auction sites and builder supply warehouses are great places to shop for designer-quality tile at bargain prices. Design by Grace Sorensen.

Shabby chic design is generally defined as featuring a mix of furniture pieces and decor that are either naturally weathered or distressed antiques or which have been artificially or hand-weathered or distressed. The look achieved by this combination of "well-loved and well-used" pieces and decorations is one of casual opulence — shabby chic designs help create a welcoming, comfortable space with a soft, informal air.

One of the most popular ways to incorporate shabby chic designs is through the use of antique or hand-distressed furniture pieces. In shabby chic bathrooms, these may take the form of seating like chairs or benches, storage furniture like linen cabinets or under-sink cabinets, or entire sink, cabinet and countertop combinations. Shabby chic designs in bathrooms may sometimes feature the ornate and romantic designs of the Victorian era, with sinks sometimes perched on former dressing tables or chests of drawers for an informal, repurposed look. Much or all of the furniture in a shabby chic bathroom will feature distressing, either from weathering over time, hand-distressing, or techniques like glazing or crackle painting that can bestow an antique appearance on any piece of furniture.

To further the shabby chic effect in a bathroom space, furniture pieces are often mix-and-matches, as opposed to comprising a full set. Chairs, tables, cabinets and other pieces may follow a similar style or era of design, but each piece may be distinct in individual style, color and finish, adding to the "informally assembled" feel of the space. Furniture in shabby chic bathrooms is generally a mix of wood and metal, and it usually represents more traditional or historical design eras as opposed to more modern or contemporary styles.

When choosing accessories for a shabby chic bathroom space, vintage style can be a great place to start. Artwork, lighting fixtures, mirrors and decorative items for windowsills or shelving can be a menagerie of vintage styles, "similar but not the same" in their derivation. Movie or advertising posters from the 1930s and 1940s can combine with vintage clocks and ornate mirror frames, creating a diverse and visually interesting space that's lively, elegant and welcoming.

Smart Chic Bathrooms

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