How to Design a Beautiful Modern Rustic Bathroom

With renovations following the latest home decor trends, we are seeing many families create a modern rustic bathroom; here’s how to design your own.

Lovers of contemporary and vintage alike are opting for the natural, relaxed style of a modern rustic bathroom.

Raw and organic surfaces with subtle metal accents provide a wonderful counterbalance to the cool, white ceramic elements that too often overwhelm the bathroom space with a sense of sterility.

What is a “Modern Rustic Bathroom”?

This style typically combines the warm feeling of country or farmhouse, with the sleek elements of modern design and decor. The combination of the two is a perfect mesh of warm and cold, rustic and modern.

A modern rustic bathroom can take on old country farmhouse feel, or a rugged, woodsy vibe.

The charm and simplicity of a rustic bathroom provides a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests, nights soaking in the bathtub and even rushed mornings preparing to leave for work.

Building the Perfect Vanity

The vanity serves as the focal point of the bathroom – this is the countertop area with a sink, mirror, hand towels, and a cabinet or drawers with toiletries.

This is a great place to start when it comes to creating a modern, rustic style during your remodel.

Custom vanities may be crafted with reclaimed wood, such as logs and tree trunks that retain some raw elements such as the natural texture of the wood, but are smoothed and finished with a clear varnish for a stunning countertop.

– Aspects of Vanities

An expert contractor can help you build a custom rustic vanity, personalized to your storage and spatial needs.

Light fixtures also play an important role in creating the perfect modern rustic vanity, with vintage glass coverings and tarnished metal or copper being preferable styles to support this theme.

Meanwhile, choose a vanity mirror with a matching metal frame or a wooden frame.

Wooden Walls that Win

Walls with natural wood paneling are perfect for the modern rustic bathroom. The visible grain of the wood lends a stunning visual effect.

It is recommended to choose just one wall to be paneled. Choose either the outside-facing wall with windows, or the wall that is set behind the vanity.

Multiple walls with wood panels might make a space seem smaller, while choosing just one will engineer depth and balance among the simpler, monochrome walls.

– How to Add Wood Panels

Panels can be installed over your existing walls, without requiring changes to the existing structure.

When considering wooden panels in the bathroom, it is important to take steps to properly waterproof the area and prevent mold, as it will be exposed to splashes and steam.

Dispel moisture more quickly and enhance your theme by adding a wooden ceiling fan.

Cast Iron Tub for Modern Rustic Bathroom | Skyline Construction and Remodeling

Repurpose Shabby Chic Furnishings

One great aspect of decorating in a rustic theme is that it is not necessary (nor would it be appropriate) to purchase shiny, new furnishings.

Repurpose old household items or scour garage sales and second-hand stores for basic wooden pieces. A simple low bench can double as a shelf to set things on; or an old ladder can double as a towel rack.

– What If It’s Different Types of Wood?

No worries if the pieces are made from different types of wood.

You can easily create a more cohesive look throughout by lightly sanding each item and staining them with dark coffee-colored wood stain or choose another style such as cherry or caramel.

Take this theme to the next level by incorporating more repurposed and upcycled old items in your bathroom.

Because this room should reflect you, this can include a watering trough, cast iron tub or stable door.

Choosing the Right Type of Wood

Clearly exposed wood plays a major role in forming the perfect modern rustic bathroom, but which is the best type of wood for your abode?

  • — Oak: A very long-lasting and durable wood with an open, visible grain and a warm, light color.
  • — Beech: Also durable but has a tighter grain and is more suitable as a polished wood.
  • — Mahogany: A traditional type of wood that is more high-end and costly. It has a rich, deep red-brown color and a lovely, swirling wood grain.
  • — Maple: Strong, long-lasting and highly resistant to water, having a pale tone and open, twisting grain pattern.
  • — Walnut: A resilient and versatile type of wood, with a straight grain pattern and a deep caramel shade.
  • — Pine: A very affordable option, however is lightweight and less durable compared to other types of wood. Pine has a light color that blends in nicely with other types of wood, if necessary.

Keep in mind that wood coloring varies according to the age of the tree, and how the material has been finished.

Choosing a Color Scheme

Color is a very important element in building the ideal contemporary rustic bathroom.

Warm earth tones including shades of brown, stone, Bordeaux, burnt red, forest and fern green should be balanced by incorporating accents of cooler tones like ocean blue or turquoise, or purple shades like lilac and lavender.

– Should You Choose White?

It is best not to choose stark white for the walls or other aspects. Rather, look for shades of white that contain more depth and are easier on the eye, such as cream.

The glare of white walls can be broken up by adding artwork in textured wooden frames. For example, popular pictures include nature scenes or pressed leaves and flowers.

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Pulling It All Together

A modern rustic bathroom is a great theme to choose because it’s possible to source inexpensive and used items to incorporate.

Shabby chic is a popular design, which can be played up by details such as wicker baskets and antique glass medicine and milk bottles or Mason jars.

– Create a Retreat

Your bathroom should be a retreat from the world and provide a relaxing experience. The old-world charm of a rustic theme works well with stone tiles and countertops.

The coolness of stone or granite is balanced by wooden elements, and the incorporation of details that contain flora and fauna make for a wonderful respite.

Choose more comforting features in neutral tons such as fluffy rugs and large bath towels.


It’s hard to go wrong with the many options available to personalize your modern rustic bathroom.

Options vary in price and structural impact, but it’s best to work with a knowledgeable contractor to design a bathroom space that reflects your style.

A contractor will help you choose durable, sustainably sourced materials and is constructed to stand the test of time.