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The Farmhouse Kids’ Bathroom Deep Dive – The 8 Fabrics I Considered For The Bathtub Nook Curtains

The bathroom reveal is coming on Monday, but not without me needing to try out eight different fabric options for our totally unnecessary but so cute tub niche. I can say, almost unequivocally that I love fabric more than most design elements. There are endless patterns and colors and for the most part, it’s super non-committal and flexible (besides upholstering your sofa, for instance). I started my career styling exclusively for magazines and for whatever reason I found myself in the fabric district in New York every week (shout to Mood and M & J, if they are still around). So my fabric collection is LARGE and for interiors, I absolutely don’t just stick to “decorator” or “home” fabrics (I would for upholstery, obviously, but not for virtually anything else). Often the fashion fabrics are more interesting and fun. So between what I already had and a trip to a few local fabric stores I found no less than EIGHT options that I thought could work.

As you can see the tub stayed in the place that it was originally but we designed and framed it out this little niche mostly to put this curtain idea. I guess I just thought it would be fun and playful and an opportunity to add color and pattern (again in a non-permanent way – so I could have more fun with it). Those shots are before we painted the white to match the white of the tile 🙂

At first, I tried just white, and it was sweet, but definitely low impact. It felt like I was missing an opportunity to be more fun – especially for a kids’ bath.

Almost all of these were real contenders. There wasn’t ANY that we were like “bad, no, take it away”. They all did something totally different to the room. Let’s dissect…

Option #1: Large-Scale Green Damask

Iphone shots coming at you. I liked this one SO MUCH. It instantly made the bathroom more interesting and it certainly worked color-wise. The scale of the damask looked so good with the tile – contrasting without being too competing. But we didn’t stop there…

I love a ball fringe or tassel fringe a lot so I grabbed a few samples (quarter yards) to play with. Admittedly, I wasn’t very impressed with the local selection (New York and LA both have stores full of one million trim options and it’s incredibly fun and inspiring…but Portland was definitely lacking or maybe I just don’t know where to go yet). Some of these fabrics wanted fringe, some didn’t. The more decorative/patterned fabrics looked cute with them but it sure did go old-world-fancy really fast (so less Scandi farmhouse, which is totally fine, but you have to know you are taking it in a different direction).

Option #2: White, But Make It Special

I really liked the white in here – calming and simple, and had it been our bathroom I might have continued to work with this vibe (washed linen, tassel fringe, etc) but it did kinda bore me for a kids’ bath.

The gold tassel fringe looked the best, though, and really pulled in the faucet brass.

It could be pulled back with a tie, creating a cute fun shape, too. These were just two white linen tablecloths that I had (they didn’t match which you couldn’t tell).

Option #3: White, But Make It Special (With A Texture Pattern)

I also loved this Swiss dot fabric, which was so sweet in person (and whimsical) but again, pretty darn low impact. It was also so thin that it would need to be professionally sewn to ensure that it didn’t look messy and haphazard.

Option #4: Bold Pink And Green Floral

Well, that really changed the vibe, didn’t it? Birdie LOVED this one and honestly so did we!! But I don’t think the bathroom was big enough (nor was the niche) to handle this much fabric in such a large scale.

Option #5: Plaid + #6: Gold Stripe

Both of these were real contenders at first. The green plaid felt appropriate (I think it was just shirting material), but a little on the safe side. Then the gold and white was so exciting but very “GO DUCKS” next to the green tile.

Option #7: Sweet Floral With Green And Butterflies

This one was a last-minute add in the fabric store. I didn’t LOVE LOVE the fabric on its own – a little too basic/sweet for me (but I could be biased because it was a cheap fabric so maybe if I had found it vintage I would like it a lot more?). But it actually worked really well! The green looked good and it’s hard to see but there are also gold butterflies.

If we had gone with this one I would def add the ball fringe or tassel fringe – it needed more style to make it cool enough (IMHO). Birdie also LOVED this fabric and wants to sew pillows out of it (their sewing hobby is still in full swing, BTW – y’all we have SO MANY KID-SEWN PILLOWS).

Option #8: Large Scale Teal Gingham

When we put this one up Gretchen and I both loved it. It felt like the right vibe (Scandi farmhouse) but still whimsical and certainly not boring.

It was a “home” fabric and on the more expensive side than the rest of the fabrics (but still coming in at $15/yard and we needed six yards).

Down To Two…

We knew that this fabric would change the rest of the styling of the space – and while these aren’t crazy different they certainly change the mood/vibe. When you see the full reveal you’ll see what we chose on Monday! So if you love curtain porn and want to see this whole space styled out, set your calendars/alarm 🙂

*Pretty Photos by Kaitlin Green

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9 months ago

That gingham jumped at me from the get go! Looove it in the space.

9 months ago

I love the yellow/mustard stripes – but I am also a duck (for my BA and MS!). Go ducks!

9 months ago
Reply to  wally

I love the yellow/gold stripes, too, and being from Michigan, I didn’t have the Ducks/U of Oregon association. Now, maize and blue–I avoid it in decorating at all costs because it screams University of Michigan!

9 months ago

So fun to see your options, like helping to decorate an already-gorgeous cake. I’m hoping the gingham wins, it’s so cheerful and a little bold.

9 months ago

I’m guessing the gingham. It’s both more “preppy/farmhouse/Emily” and more visually risky and fun. IMO.
Sure did love those ochre stripes, but as someone with orange and black as my college colors, I wholly understand the immediate NO.

9 months ago

In my opinion, the gingham is definitely the winner.

9 months ago

yellow stripes!!!

9 months ago

Love the gingham. And Mood is still in NYC – you must not watch Project Runway.

9 months ago
Reply to  Elise

I *think* the statement “if they are still around” was meant for M & J, not Mood (although hard to tell from the sentence; but I would assume she knows Mood is still around!) 🙂

9 months ago

OOOOOOHHHHHH, can you share the source for the ‘bold pink and green floral’?? LOVE that one!

9 months ago
Reply to  kiki

Braemore Danielle Printed Cotton Drapery Fabric in Woodrose?

9 months ago

At the top I thought she’s going to go with the large scale gingham but with the final two, I’m not going too far out on a limb to say Emily picked the other one.
Honestly, all I can think of these days is “who’s going to clean that”. Lol. Even 3 years ago, I was the more-is-more-better girl, but having cleaned my house every week (wink, wink, not every week) I’m all about who’s-going-to-clean-that!

9 months ago
Reply to  priscilla

I can’t imagine that needing more than a wash a year, if that!

9 months ago

I’m a sewist and fabric enthusiast so this is an interesting post. I’m guessing you went with the large scale gingham and I like it a lot: the blue-green gives it some contrast and the scale is great. The damask is not bold enough, maybe if th scale were larger. I like the bold pink and green floral fabric but I think it was too elaborate for this bathroom. The gold stripe had a nice color contrast and pulls in the brass fixtures. I’m not huge for stripes but this one is different and fun. But I wouldn’t have the Ducks association either.

Amy Elizabeth Jones
9 months ago

Love all the options! This is such a dreamy bath & this is gonna take it to the next level. Such house envy I’m having!

9 months ago

I love both fabrics, but I prefer the green damask as it helps soften the geometric shapes of the tile work. Looking forward to the final reveal!

9 months ago

The fabrics are all lovely and certainly work, but they seem better suited for an adult space. Since this is the kids’ bathroom, I’m disappointed that you didn’t choose a more colorful and playful fabric.

9 months ago

This is so fun! I was just fabric shopping today for curtain fabric for 3 different spaces. I’m not a plaid or gingham girl, but I think that gingham is perfection in there. The damask feels like you could definitely make it work, but for me the gingham was an immediate and resounding yes.

9 months ago

Oh my, the large scale teal gingham is THE BOMB! Everything else just pales in comparison. And I would run far, far away from any ball or tassel fringe. Speaking from experience, this curtain will have to be washed often and those fringes just don’t do well on multiple washings.

9 months ago

Oh I hope it’s the gingham. Perfect for a kids bathroom and works so well with the greens.

9 months ago

I actually love OPTION #7: SWEET FLORAL WITH GREEN AND BUTTERFLIES! It’s interesting, whimsical, fun, lovely–& it coordinates well with the tile & fixtures & is a good scale for the niche! Also, Birdie loves it! I think it’s a win-win-win–a no-brainer!

9 months ago
Reply to  Kate

Saaaaaame! That fabric with the ball trim was so sweet and organic and fun, but the butterfly proportions kept it from skewing too precious. It was my favorite by a mile.

Cici Haus
9 months ago

So weird. On IG stories I was absolutely team small plaid and didn’t like the damask at all, and now looking at them on a computer the damask is perfect. I do love the gingham too, which feels more “kid” but it is a kid bathroom so that’s not a bad thing!

Crissy Perham
9 months ago

Team Gingham!!!!

Sr Crow
9 months ago

I like the yellow/mustard stripes best, but can understand why it may be too U of O (my alma mater, but even I wouldn’t want my house decorated to show that!). Why not pull from some previous posts and bring in some brown/maroon colorways? In the first photo of the mustard stripes, it almost reads those colors and looks fun/whimsical with the stripe, but grounding in its soft contrast complementing all the colors in the room. That’s my vote!

Megan Krug
9 months ago

Love the hingham. Sparked joy!!

9 months ago

Large scale gingham is my favorite! Love the niche.
If you were doing a custom shower curtain, would that alter the type of fabric you would choose? I’m going to do a shower liner for sure. The bath I’m working on will be well ventilated. Can I use a heavy linen print for the outer layer or is that asking for trouble?
Any sources for well made shower curtain rods and rings?

9 months ago

I spends hours at fabric stores for fun so I loved this post! I also lived with swatches near my 9 ft window for months before finally. Choosing. I think I’ll see them today. Thanks for the inspiration! Also please do a pillow sale locally. That would be so cute.

9 months ago

Big fan of the green plaid, although I’m aware now (since it’s been a week) that it’s not what was chosen! 🙂