Modern Rustic Studio Bath

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

If there’s one thing I’ve learned through my years of design and styling work it’s this: Design your home for the people that actually live there. It doesn’t matter what so-and-so may think, or what your friends, family, and neighbors feel would look best, or what your readers and followers like or don’t like – none of them live there. You do. What’s more important is that when you step inside, it feels like home. For some that may mean a riot of color for others a white box. Modern or mid century, country or contemporary, whatever your drawn to, it should embrace you like a warm hug. Regardless of whether or not it pleases the masses or is on-trend. Because let’s face it – they’re both fickle.

When we started designing and building Grove House, my husband and I had many long conversations about what type of architecture and design we liked, how we wanted to live in the space, even how we cooked together in the kitchen. From those meetings over dinner and long walks we began working on a home that represented both of us. It would be simple, with clean modern lines and warm rustic touches. In other words, home.

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

My studio bath is on the small side. Not tiny, but definitely not as spacious as the others. I rather like it cozy. It’s basically a rectangle shaped room with white walls and concrete floors. Where I was able to inject character and warmth was with the decor. I’ve shared how my husband built the concrete vanity for my antique marble sink. It’s the first thing you notice when you enter or walk by and I love how it makes an impact and sets the tone.

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

An assortment of towels and apothecary items echo the same color hues from the sink and vanity and then continue throughout the bath. This helps create cohesion and dimension to the space.

The antique mirror was a gift from my friend Amy. I adore it’s worn patina and the imperfections that blur your reflection a bit. I’ve often thought of adding a post-it note that reads: You Look Marvelous for visitors. haha!

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath
I found the glass encased vintage postcard at the flea market. When I returned home it I casually propped it up on the sink – where it’s lived ever since. It’s quirky and unexpected and reminds me of my husband who spends every free hour he can on the ocean.

After trolling Craigslist I finally found a black antique tub. I like to add a touch of black to every room because I feel it adds a bit of drama. Eventually I will tile the wall to the ceiling and add an overhead shower. This was a temporary solution so we could get final on the build. It’s hardly ever used so it’s not a high priority. I’m guessing you may have a few of those projects as well. The metal wire pendant has been discontinued but this is similar.

Heather Bullard | Modern Rustic Studio Bath

The vintage oil painting is actually an artists practice canvas dated 1965. The subject matter feels very California with it’s desert scenery and oceanscapes. My shell collection is a fitting companion. Many of them were gifts from my husband after returning from a diving trip. Each small token represents a safe journey home. The wood shelf was made from a leftover scaffolding plank and wishbone brackets. Simple is best in this case.

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

There is a large storage closet just outside the bathroom which is helpful when space is at a premium. I only need to keep a few small stacks of towels on the shelves and a large seagrass belly basket to hold extra paper.

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

Here the small watercolor painting, coat rack, monogramed towel, and stoneware bottle for the flowers are all vintage finds. Some are from local markets and others from my travels. I picked up several of the gray nubby towels while in Amsterdam. Wish I had bought more. Maybe when I return in the spring I’ll buy a bundle of them!

Heather Bullard | Studio Bath

Although I’m the one who uses the studio bathroom the most, it still feels like a mix of both our styles. Masculine touches like the rustic wood and concrete floors and vanity – combined with softer more feminine touches like the marble sink, artwork, and linens make us both happy. But what I love most about the space is that we worked on it together and chose to limit the use of mass-produced store bought items to create a room that is instead, collected and truly unique to us.

I hope this inspires you to do your own thing. Buy what you love, be patient while searching for unique items, and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about your design choices. Because at the end of the day all that really matters, is that it warmly welcomes those who call it home. Everyone else is just passing through.

Between posts you can find me on Instagram sharing highlights of daily life.
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  • Jamie

    So gorgeous Heather!! As always xo

    October 2, 2017 at 11:13 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Merci beaucoup, Jamie! I hope you’re enjoying fall in your neck of the woods. xo, H

      October 2, 2017 at 12:20 pm Reply
  • katey

    Such a sweet space that it so you. I really like the paintings especially and the shells. A safe trip home 🙂

    October 2, 2017 at 12:12 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Years ago, he started bringing me a shell from the bottom of the ocean each time he went scuba diving. I have so many now I’ve lost count. But of course, all those reminders of a safe journey home don’t keep me from praying and worrying while he’s away. He’s my whole heart.

      October 2, 2017 at 12:23 pm Reply
  • Cindy Gardner

    So beautiful Heather! And of course you don’t have to follow any trends…. your the trendsetter!
    xo Cindy

    October 2, 2017 at 12:47 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      That’s very kind of you, Cindy. Trends can be tricky since they come and go so quickly. Remember hunter green carpet and wallpaper borders with ivy? 😉

      October 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm Reply
  • Linda

    Like you I believe every home has to be friendly to its residents. I have also found one thing in one home will not in the next. It takes time to get to know it. The bathroom is charming iith lol the special touches especially from your travels. Thanks for sharing.

    October 2, 2017 at 6:03 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      So true. I suppose the challenging part is having patience in getting to know your home while also waiting for the right decor items to find their way to it. Appreciate you stopping by and your thoughtful comment. 🙂

      October 2, 2017 at 7:17 pm Reply
  • Carmella

    Oh, goodness, I would BUY those nubby towels from you! Love this bath.

    October 2, 2017 at 7:45 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      My first customer! Maybe I need to track down the manufacturer. 😉

      October 3, 2017 at 6:44 am Reply
  • Jane

    Perfect, Heather! I’m doing a little Modern/Rustic Farmhouse (I really don’t like to label style), and I appreciate how you have blended what you love so seamlessly. That’s so creative.

    Wondering where you found your room spray in the powder room. I’m always looking for something a little more refined than Glade! lol!


    October 2, 2017 at 10:10 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Hi Jane! Yeah, labels feel so confining don’t they. I pick up pretty room sprays at HomeGoods, TJMaxx, and small independent boutiques. Happy hunting!

      October 3, 2017 at 6:48 am Reply
  • Karen B.

    Sound advice. I have to remind myself monthly that creating a home that is truly comfortable and welcoming to both Mr. B and me, is to stay true to what we love. Your bathroom is wonderful. I love your style.

    October 2, 2017 at 10:45 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      It’s so worth the extra effort isn’t it? Makes coming home that much sweeter. Happy fall, Karen!

      October 3, 2017 at 6:57 am Reply
  • Debbie

    Thank you for the up close and personal view of your sweet studio bathroom! (I hadn’t seen the post on the concrete vanity! So cool!) I love how you make everything so “you” (and The Man) by acquiring things over time, especially through your travels. xxdeb

    October 3, 2017 at 5:28 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Our last few homes were much more “me” than him. Making an effort to work on this one together has made all the difference!

      October 3, 2017 at 6:49 am Reply
  • Christine

    Just stunning, I love the style and that concrete vanity is amazing.

    October 3, 2017 at 6:47 am Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks, Christine! I’m fortunate that my husband can build anything I dream up. He’s so talented!

      October 3, 2017 at 6:52 am Reply
  • Amanda

    Wise words! Your post reminds me of one of my favorite books, the Hidden Art of Homemaking. Thank you for sharing the other post, too – I’m going to show my husband your husband’s work on the vanity 🙂

    October 4, 2017 at 7:54 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I don’t think I’ve heard of that book but I love the title. Will have to look it up! 🙂

      October 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm Reply
  • Kerrie

    I love this studio bathroom and your home but what I love most about this post is your heartfelt words. It is exactly how I feel and how we live in our home. I have never been one to follow trends. I want to live as down to earth and practical as possible. When we were raising our four children we had dreams to move to Africa and live in a hut. We never did make it to Africa but we have tried to live simple and natural here in California. Our cottage is filled with driftwood and seashells that we find along our coast. We thought we wanted wood floors and yet have lived with carpet for 11 years now. It has become worn and tattered and we realize we like the quietness it provides. So we are in no hurry to remove it just because it would look better in photos to have wood or stone. So thank you for the encouragement to live with what makes it home for us who live in its space.

    October 4, 2017 at 10:43 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I love how you describe your home. It sounds cozy and welcoming. And don’t you agree nature provides the best decorations? Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts on how you made your house a home.

      October 5, 2017 at 1:25 pm Reply
  • Holly

    So true! Such a beautiful little room.

    October 5, 2017 at 12:24 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thank you, Holly! Small spaces can be fun to pull together!

      October 5, 2017 at 1:26 pm Reply
  • Lucie

    Bravo Heather! What a lovely room you’ve created – thank you for sharing. I love the blend of old and new, clean lines and rustic. The objects in the room bring such a personal touch to the room (an element which I think is sometimes lacking in many bathrooms) xx

    October 6, 2017 at 3:47 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Thanks so much, Lucie! Old + new is always a good combination in my book! 🙂

      October 7, 2017 at 12:09 pm Reply
  • Traci

    Absolutely beautiful! I know this is such a small piece in your gorgeous bathroom, but do you happen to recall where you got the amber glass soap dispenser?

    October 7, 2017 at 12:17 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      I believe I bought it at HomeGoods. I removed the label but I’m pretty sure there’s an old photo of it somewhere on my IG. If you don’t mind s c r o l l i n g! 😉

      October 9, 2017 at 8:54 am Reply
  • Jessica

    I adore your style and I love this post. It’s too easy to worry about what everyone likes and this cements my idea of home. Thank you!!

    October 8, 2017 at 7:52 pm Reply
    • Heather Bullard

      Couldn’t agree more! I think the popularity of social media (mostly IG) has turned us into a bunch of same-same shoppers. Especially with all the Swipe UP to buy and links to every single thing. What ever happened to just trusting our instincts and buying what we love? Thanks for your visit today, Jessica! Appreciate your comment! 🙂

      October 9, 2017 at 8:57 am Reply
  • Ana

    Love the post and the pictures! Could you tell me what kind of concrete you used to make your vanity? It’s not stated in your DIY instruction post. It looks really beautiful and not as dark as many other concrete vanity diy’s I’ve looked at. Thanks!!

    October 12, 2017 at 11:30 am Reply
  • Miranda

    HI Heather, I love that you’re going with your gut and what YOU like. It turned out fabulous! Happy new year. ~Miranda

    January 7, 2018 at 6:44 pm Reply
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