Long known as the space to be bold with wallpapers and patterns, powder rooms can be the true “design sandbox” of the home. Bright colors? Swirling jolts of paint? Custom graffiti art? Check, check, and check… you’ll see all of the above ideas come to life in the designer work below.

We spoke with 10 designers about their favorite ways to make statements in a powder room, including unique tile, mirrors, and of course, those eye-catching wallpapers we all love. If you’ve been hesitating about really going for it in your next redesign, well… read on.

Bathroom with floral wallpaper and oval mirror with folded rim and gold faucets.
Interior Design: Steve + Filip Design. Photo: Mike Schwartz.

Filip Malyszko, Steve + Filip Design

“A subtle texture makes spaces feel sophisticated, but when it comes to creating a playful design, we love using a pattern. Geometric, organic, realistic or abstract, all them add to the playfulness. For us, going with a larger scale pattern is better and makes the space feel more contemporary. In bathrooms, we love using a vinyl because it adds to the durability. You can also consider repurposing a vintage piece of furniture or creating a sink out of an unconventional item. In this bathroom, we worked with the architect to design a sculptural floating marble sink. Another component is an awesome unique mirror and lighting. For the mirror, the weirder the better!”

Powder room with vibrant blue and white patterned wallpaper with blue mirror and small glass vase.
Design: Trellis Home Design. Photo: Jessica Delaney Photography.

Allison Mattison, Trellis Home Design

“This colorful powder room was inspired by its poolside location, and we decided to amp up the turquoise to make it cheerful. The faux bois wallpaper by Meg Braff was reminiscent of a pool reflection, and the Oomph Home Tini Newport Mirror topped off the vanity with a sophisticated but fun statement. When designing powder rooms, I think of them as little standalone jewel boxes — this is where you can truly have some fun and play up color and pattern!”

Bathroom with graphic black and white wallpaper, gray tile wainscoting, and large black wood mirror.
Design: Laura W Jenkins Interiors. Photo: Heidi Harris.

Laura W Jenkins

“Custom artwork always guarantees a unique space. For this bathroom, we had one of the client’s favorite artists, Greg Mike, create a custom mural that blended with the black-and-white theme of the space. By hiring an artist to create a custom mural, the artwork can speak to you personally, represent the various members of your family, a favorite pastime, places you have traveled and so on — there is no limit to what you can create. Artists can be found through your interior designer, local galleries, or even by wandering through the city discovering wall murals and the artists behind them; don’t be afraid to reach out to artists and see if they would be interested in creating something custom for you.”

Powder room with gold and blue mosaic accent wall, gold painted bamboo-framed mirror, and black basin sink.
Design: Alexandra Naranjo Designs. Photo: Stacey Brandford.

Alexandra Naranjo

“This bold powder room features custom handmade mosaic tiles. We used a blue high-lacquered wallpaper on the ceiling and a textured gold grasscloth on the side walls.  Powder rooms give you the opportunity to experiment with color and pattern — they’re the room inside the house that should definitely give you that “wow” effect. Even if you are not ready to do color everywhere in your home, doing a bold color and/or pattern in a small space is very rewarding.”

Bright powder room with white wallpaper with red squiggles and bead board wainscoting
Design: Gil Walsh Interiors. Photo: Sargent Photography.

Gil Walsh

“When renovating this Martha’s Vineyard home, we had a difficult time with the powder room — the walls were in a terrible condition. To stay within budget, we created a whimsical powder room with white painted walls, and we added red paint swirls for fun, which distracted from somewhat uneven wall surfaces. To complement all of it, we added a brightly patterned area rug, which we love.”

Powder room with graphic wallpaper, round mirror with gold frame, and orange vase.
Design: Dane Austin Design. Photo: Stacy Zarin Goldberg.

Dane Austin

“A playful powder room gives your guests something to talk about. What a fun surprise to find a little drama behind the door. Powder rooms are temporary use spaces and are quite separate from the rest of the home, after all. Whether you implement a bold lacquered trim detail, mirror the walls, add faux finishes, or apply wallcoverings, dressing the walls in your powder room is an easy way to go custom and turn it into a fabulous little jewel box.”

Powder room with black wallpaper with fish images with orange accents and frameless mirror
Design: Doreen Chambers Interiors. Photo: Robin Rusland.

Doreen Chambers

“Living oceanside in Delray Beach, Florida, my clients fell in love with this ocean-themed Cole & Son’s Fornasetti Acquario black & multi wallpaper for their powder room. This whimsical pattern is a timeless classic. If my clients are considering wallpaper for the first time, I always recommend starting in the powder room. It’s the perfect space in which to have a playful pattern for an unexpected immersive moment.”

Bathroom with green floral wallpaper, painted mirror, and green bottle with floral arrangement
Design: KitchenLab Interiors. Photo: Michael Alan Kaskel.

Rebekah Zaveloff, KitchenLab Interiors

“Powder rooms are a perfect place for even the most commitment-phobic client to take risks. It’s the one place even our most risk-averse clients will take the plunge and go for a fun and colorful wallpaper. Oddly, it’s one of the harder rooms for an installer to do – but who’s keeping score? We love mixing a floor pattern with a wall paper, and just going for it! I think clients see this room as a little peek into their parts of their personality that maybe people don’t know or wouldn’t expect.”

Powder room with gray wallpaper featuring gold fish and shell-framed mirror.
Design: Kati Curtis Design. Photo: Scott Frances.

Kati Curtis

“When it comes to designing a powder room, feel free to infuse your personality! Powder rooms are like little gems of the house, so they are low risk, high reward when it comes to design. Think whimsical wallpapers, unique lighting, and eccentric tile work.”


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September 11, 2020

Dennis Sarlo is the executive editor of Chairish and a lover of all things design-related. Prior to joining the team, he served as the executive editor of Dering Hall and was the first site director of Architectural Digest. He was also part of the founding team of travel startup Jetsetter. He lives in New York.