French Style Bathroom Ideas

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If the thought of Paris in the spring makes you say "Oui, oui," then a bathroom decorated in the elegant style of France will bring you just a tiny bit closer to your destination, and make you feel like you are starting your day in the most romantic city in the world. Distinguished by a blend of elegance and femininity, the French style of decor is ornate without being frilly, warm without being stuffy, and romantic without being unsophisticated. Whether you are looking to redo your whole bathroom, or just to add a few touches of French style, the warmth and romance of this decorating theme will turn your bathroom into a luxurious retreat.

French Bathroom Colors & Style

The French color scheme of neutral white, tan, gold, soft rose, cream, brown and black gives you a wide range of color to work with, and keeps a sophisticated, subtle look that never becomes brash or boisterous.

  • Create a textured, rough look to the walls with a faux painting technique. Sponging or ragging layers of soft color creates the look of aged plaster.
  • Ornately framed, large mirrors are trés chic. Look for gold, or neutral colors with detailed carvings of sculpted bows, ribbons, floral patterns or architectural designs.
  • Wall sconces in wrought iron or gold gilt brighten your morning preparations with romantic, soft light.
  • Provide light for primping with a small chandelier.
  • Toile fabric curtains are the finishing touch for your windows.
  • Warm your feet with a thick bath rug in a neutral color.

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French Bathroom Fixtures

Your French decor bathroom is all about pampering and luxury. The sink and bathtub should be for more than just utilitarian cleaning, they should make you feel like your cares are being washed away.

  • A claw-foot rollback bathtub is the ultimate in French luxury.
  • Surround a built-in tub with granite or stone in a natural color.
  • Pedestal sinks with antique-style faucet fixtures are a feminine touch in a powder room.
  • A vessel sink made of glass or ornately decorated porcelain adds romance to the simple chore of brushing your teeth.
  • A tiled backsplash or border around the sink area adds interest and protects the wall from moisture damage.
  • Granite or stone countertops in black or dark gray add sophisticated luxury to your sink area.
  • Wrapping yourself in a towel off a warming rack makes it easier to face the day on cold mornings.

French Bathroom Cabinets and Furniture

Bathroom cabinets that resemble furniture are right at home in the French bathroom. In France, it is typical to repurpose furniture from other areas of the home into the bathroom to serve as vanities, washstands or storage cabinets.

  • Dark or painted wood with sculpted accents, carved legs or ball feet hold your bathroom essentials in feminine style.
  • Brass or wrought iron knobs and handles add to the ornate feel.
  • Open shelving holds towels and bathroom necessities.
  • A small, cushioned chair in front of the vanity is the perfect place to sit and powder your nose.
  • A wicker hamper for holding laundry looks chic tucked in a corner.
  • Store your toiletries in a bathroom space saver made of metal tone or black wrought iron.
  • Move a small, unused dresser into your bathroom for extra storage. Change the knobs and drawer pulls to ornate metal in black or dark tones.
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French Bathroom Accessories

Your bathroom accessories should add to the luxurious feel of your bathroom, without creating a cluttered look. Combine use with decor to add charm without fussiness.

  • Shower curtains should be a natural fabric, such as cotton or muslin. Use a waterproof liner inside to protect the curtain from moisture.
  • Thick bath towels in light colors, such as peach, gold, white or tan are worth the splurge.
  • Glass canisters are perfect for storing cotton balls, Q-tips, soaps or other small toiletries.
  • Crackled or colored glass dispensers filled with shampoo, hand soap, lotion or body oil look much more elegant than the same products in their original containers.
  • Wrought iron baskets can hold washcloths, extra rolls of toilet paper, or makeup items.
  • A candle with an ornate, gilt holder looks romantic and French.
  • Display a pitcher and basin on top of your cabinet.
  • Decorate your walls with small, framed pictures of the Eiffel Tower or other typically Parisian scenes.
  • Store pretty bottles of perfume or makeup on a mirrored, gold tray set on the countertop.
  • Use a wrought iron rack to hold your rolled extra towels.
  • Flowers or small plants, whether real or faux, in ceramic pots add a welcome touch of greenery to the ornate decorating scheme. Small topiaries are particularly in keeping with French decorating style.

The French focus on making the bathroom an inviting, pampering space, as the room where you start preparing for your day, or winding down for sleep. Follow their lead, and add touches of luxury and romance to your bathroom that will make you feel like royalty each time you step inside.

Last Updated: April 10, 2012
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About Michelle Ullman Michelle Ullman has lived and gardened in Southern California since childhood. A freelance writer, she covers topics ranging from gardening to home improvement to health issues. She also has experience as a catalog copywriter and poet. Michelle has trained and worked as a respiratory therapist and surgical technologist, but prefers to spend her time gardening, and walking with her dog. Michelle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Redlands University in Business Management. 

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