It’s no secret that interior designers have a weakness for powder rooms. Jewel box proportions make powder rooms perfect for taking design risks, or splurging on a posh and pricey material. Powder rooms also need to cater to guests, meaning their functionality and graciousness need to be a ten out of ten. Curious how to make it all work? Here are five powder room ideas to steal from the design pros that serve up style and function in spades.
It may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but utilizing a busy wallpaper in a powder room is a good one. Since most powder rooms clock in at under 20 square feet, even a small-scale print paper can be used on all four walls without it feeling too overpowering. If you’re still concerned about your wallpaper feeling like overkill, try breaking it up with a wood or tile wainscoting. While any wallpaper is fair game in the powder room, we love the idea of going with something offbeat or a tad bit wacky. It can add an irreverent note that’s perfect for imparting character in an otherwise neutral home.
A One-of-a-Kind Vanity
Many powder rooms only have room for a pedestal sink, but that doesn’t mean you need to settle for a standard white column. To add some pizzazz, refashion a compact console table or cabinet as a unique vanity. Cabinets provide a smidge of under-the-sink storage for guest essentials like extra towels and soap—or even plush robes and toothbrushes, if overnight guests will bedding down in the living room! And while a vanity fashioned from a console might not offer up closed-door storage, don’t be shy about using the space underneath for stashing baskets or a pop of green via a potted plant.
Statement Mirror & Sconces
Powder room design orbits around the vanity, so it’s worth pouring a little extra thought into every element of your setup, including the mirror and the sconces (and yes, sconces are kind of a must). Even if you’ve selected a kooky wallpaper, you can still layer on a statement mirror and sconces to either compliment or contrast your wallpaper choice. Go with a formal mirror over a traditional wallpaper, choose a wavy mirror to go over a wavy-print paper, or offset a modern look with a mirror that brings a bit of patina to the mix. As they are sitting at the same eye level, just make sure you love the way your sconces and mirror play off each other.
Deck The Walls In Art
Powder rooms are notorious for being sans windows, which means they can sometimes feel a touch claustrophobic. To give the illusion of windows, a framed piece of art can work wonders. Tight quarters may have you wanting to limit your art to just one piece, but there’s no rule against a installing a full blown gallery wall in a powder room. A series of paintings hung on the same wall as your vanity can set a vibrant and quirky tone, especially if they’re decked out in mismatched frames. For a more polished look, tee up a series of old botany or architecture lithographs in matching frames to hang in a grid formation.
Maximize With Mirrors
If there’s one thing everyone wants more of in the powder room (aka: “the half bath”), it’s space. To give the illusion of more square footage, some designers to break out the old trusty mirror trick by using inset panels of mirrored glass. Opting for a treated finish, such as the speckled look of antiqued mirror, will add a layered feel once your vanity mirror is in place. For the ultimate pièce de résistance, sconces can be attached on top of the mirrored panels. When reflected, the glint of crystal sconces adds an extra dose of optical magic (just saying).
Lead photo by Francesco Lagnese, design by Lindsey Coral Harper