Country style trends in the bathroom

Expert Comment

Expert advice, from Louise Ashdown, our Head of Design at West One Bathrooms on how to elevate a cottage bathroom to create a space full of character and rural charm.

Cottage Core

Cottage core, an aesthetic that celebrates simple living, still has a huge following and has remained popular for the last 3-4 years. This is most certainly not a new trend, but a revisit to life in times gone by in a new way.

Popularised in the 70s, with an idealistic lifestyle in mind of living off the land, and being self-sufficient, cottage core embraces artisan trades. This way of life has certainly grown in favour since lockdown. The simplistic aesthetics of this follow through into bathrooms  with the core idea of: 1. naturalistic living in the countryside, and 2. that your personal space at home should be safe, welcoming, cozy and inviting, offering respite from the outside world. In essence – your sanctuary which is often the request we receive from clients when designing their bathrooms.

Sussex House 8a
Sussex House   His

Achieving the look:

Creating a cottage, country feel is easy to achieve by embracing natural and organic materials such as woods with natural unlacquered brass fittings which develops a patina over time. Natural honed stones and marbles, wicker and wood effect flooring, like plank tiles or herringbone effect that are both still very popular feature in a country interior. Introducing pieces of furniture like stools, wooden towel racks, plants are also a must for bringing the countryside in.

Sussex House 11

Don’t be afraid to mix patterns, finished and styles:

  • Reclaimed looking cast iron baths along with copper and brass bateau baths work well with this aesthetic, especially when paired with our stunning wet system wallpapers with which you can embrace nature or whatever theme you wish all around the room, including the ceiling.
  • Painted wood panelling can also add another dimension and depth, when we consider colours city greys are making way for more neutral softer shades, blush pink still very popular, with greens and earthy tones coming to the fore. Think chintz and gingham – all evoking sentimental memories. This moves away from sleek minimalistic wall mounted furniture, similar to an aesthetic embraced in kitchens some years back when dressers became de rigueur again, after years of banishment.
Oaklea Avenue 6
Oaklea Avenue 3

Design tip for a cottage bathroom:

Cottage bathrooms embrace some of the aesthetic, but toned down to arguably a less cluttered and more harmonious embrace. Most important design points to note are that cottage bathrooms work well when these are designed in keeping with the property, for example its whereabouts, the location, its historic importance, and architectural features. With beamed spaces, these work well with light airy colour palettes.

It is best to avoid bright and dark colours to avoid a heavy country pub feel.

These rooms are either high ceilings with visible rafters, or low beamed cottage rooms. Mashing of design elements can work as these older properties would not have had bathrooms so we can move on from a twee traditional stereotype, consider more contemporary fittings for elegance. Style lines can be blurred to achieve a softer more individual bathroom.

westonebathrroms Cotchford Farm 8
Shaw Ensuite – 2
Shaw Ensuite 18

Brighten the space with light and colour:

  • High ceiling period rooms work better with stronger colours and can be incorporated on the ceiling too. Again, adding wood panelling, wallpaper or exposing a feature brick or stone wall all work well in country bathrooms. Colourful artisan tiles also look stunning in shower areas and provide a key colour to tone with a painted bath or window shutters. Key storage is always essential and with the trend for upcycling furniture on the rise, there are many bespoke options available to replicate this.
  • Lighting is also often overlooked;

Wall lights work well in cottage bathrooms or dimmable overhead lights to create a cosier ambience.

Even with beams and Chimney breasts in the way we can often create quirky shower areas with bespoke glass. Lastly fabric, window dressings are often completely overlooked but should be considered when planning any cottage bathroom design.

Sign up to newsletter

Newsletter Sign-up