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Mediterranean-Style Powder Rooms
11 powder rooms with staying power
Powder rooms, with their scaled-back square footage, are the perfect place to make a big style statement. These beauties do just that as they brim with Mediterranean panache.
Simple, sophisticated, uncluttered interiors are designer Dana Lyon's signature, and the home she shares with her husband, Scott Fey, in Paradise Valley near Phoenix showcases her brand of easy elegance. Long before she purchased the first piece of furniture, Dana worked with architect Mark Candelaria to create a strong architectural framework that would need few embellishments.
Waxed French paver-size terra-cotta tiles and 200-year-old reclaimed barnwood underfoot warm the main residence, as do a collection of old doors Dana gathered from around the world. A guest bath departs from the home’s mostly monochromatic palette, offering visual punch via graphic Mexican tiles. The vanity, created from an old cabinet, is accented with hand-forged strap hinges and pulls.
For Lisa Dell’Osso, it was love at first sight when she visited the house in Berkeley, California, that she and her husband, Dan, have now lived in for the past decade. “I knew this was the one,” the interior designer says. “It had such a wonderful old feel, I was instantly drawn to it.”
An antique Italian mirror in the powder room provides a flirty counterpoint to solid walnut cabinetry that’s been inset European-style directly into plaster.
Amanda Raab Hibner and her husband, Scott Hibner, devised a Tuscan-inspired residence in Austin that references Italian coastal homes Amanda saw on a long-ago visit to the Amalfi Coast. But the home presents the age-old style in an updated manner. “We used authentic elements to get an old-world look, but then included modern touches and an open plan that works for our two young children as well as entertaining.”
Amanda created a wow moment in the powder room using an old Turkish marble sink she found online. The sink had been used as a planter so Amanda had to clean off dirt and moss before the vessel was mounted on a metal and wood framework covered in Venetian plaster. Chosen for their authentic look, exposed antique brass pipes and wall-set faucets further the home's classic character.
Patinated Powder Room
Houses come alive when they have stories to tell through their architecture, furnishings, fabrics, and accessories, says Los Angeles-based interior designer Jennifer Dyer. So when a client asked Dyer to transform an almost-finished spec house in Paradise Valley, Arizona, into a vacation home with heart, she started researching. She culled through Mediterranean and French design books, looking for inspiration that would elevate the home’s existing design.
Dyer’s first step was removing existing finishes that weren’t in line with her vision. Builder-grade light fixtures throughout the house, rolls of carpet intended for the bedrooms, and a generic powder room vanity went straight to a nonprofit home improvement store. Now, hand-painted tiles and a solid one-piece stone sink lend instant patina to the powder room. Dyer fitted the solid one-piece stone sink with a custom-built iron base. Finishes include hand-painted tiles (it took three tries to get the perfect tone and saturation of color), outdoor French garden faucets, and a graceful antique French mirror.
Glam in Green
Interior designer Donna Vallone was charged with turning a sprawling Arizona house into a comfortable getaway for her clients and their family and friends. Vallone, along with interior designer Shane Mehrer, borrowed inspiration from the home’s location to further its rustic sensibility.
Vallone and Mehrer devised a backdrop of moss-color and latte-hue Venetian plaster walls to honor the home’s indoor-out connections and to gently age the new interiors. “Venetian plaster provides texture and visual interest to a space,” Vallone says, “which is helpful when you’re trying to make a new house feel older than it is.” Likewise, a carefully considered mix of unmatched furnishings in a variety of honed, distressed, and worn finishes enhances the home’s inviting ambience.
Just as fresh as the approach to mingling rustic and refined is the infusion of the color green. “Green provides a natural way to connect inside and out,” Vallone says. “Every room in this house has its own vibe and feel,” Mehrer says, “but green, like the wood floors and plaster walls, ties it all together so it flows beautifully.”
The powder room’s marble-topped vanity is actually an antique chest retrofitted by Vallone. It was the first piece she purchased for the house.
Lake Como, Italy, may be a world away from Arizona, but its relaxed mountain spirit is well-represented in this new Scottsdale home. Strategically sited amid 12-foot-tall boulders and a host of cacti, the house was designed to express the charm of a provincial Tuscan country home while capturing stunning desert views.
The owners are empty nesters who fell in love with Italy on a sightseeing trip, then returned with interior designer Jana Parker Lee to explore small villages and gain architectural inspiration. They admire classic Italian style, but they intuitively understood that heavy stonework and ornate carvings were too formal for Arizona’s landscape, as well as its casual lifestyle.
An exuberant ceramic tile backsplash in the powder room provides a striking backdrop for a console table turned into a sculptural vanity.
Inspired by Italian country estates, architect Allen Tafoya designed an enchanting retreat featuring authentic architectural details, imported materials, and salvaged antiquities.
Paint and distressing convert a new vanity in the powder room into a relic. Stained pomegranate-color wainscoting and hand-painted Italian tiles amplify the patina.
Rustic & Refined
“We’ve always been attracted to Mediterranean-style homes because of the warmth of their stone and their sturdy appeal,” says homeowner Donna Botin. She and husband Jim and their design team worked for roughly two years to build their 5,000-square-foot home in Little Rock.
The couple enlisted builder Bill Parkinson and interior designers Mona Thompson and Talena Ray to conceptualize a floor plan that would fit all of their practical needs into a single pretty package. The team drew on old-world influences both inside and out to draft an architectural backdrop with soul. An antique gate repurposed into a mirror frame served as the starting point for the powder room’s look. Thompson and Ray designed the vanity to mimic the mirror’s delicate scrolls and support the hand-cut travertine basin. An antiqued mirror panel mounted behind the open ironwork below the sink cleverly conceals plumbing.
Old-world architectural nuances are the key to this new Arizona home. Finely orchestrated by builder John Schultz, architect Mark Candelaria, interior designer Kimberly Colletti, and landscape architect Jeff Berghoff, the residence reflects a Mediterranean aesthetic through and through, including the powder room. Here, shimmering wallpaper echoes intricate tilework on the walls and floor.
When an American family of four decided to move back to the States from London, they knew they wanted a home that would express the concept of Old World meets New World—something villa-esque in style with clean lines and simple but high-quality materials. Through a twist of fate they found a home back in their native Houston that met their needs.
“The whole ambience was very old-world European," says interior designer Nicole Zarr. "With stucco and slate on the exterior and Venetian plaster walls, wide-plank pine floors, and 18th-century oak ceiling beams on the interior. We honored those elements with a handful of important antiques, like an 18th-century Italian buffet deux corps, 19th-century iron light fixtures, and a number of vintage and antique French chairs. But with two children under 10, it was imperative that the decor also convey a youthful spirit.”
To achieve this, Zarr devised a chic, contemporary color scheme of gray and yellow. Coincidentally, the hues are reminiscent of the homeowners’ adventures abroad—gray being the color of dense London fog and yellow the happy hue of sunflowers peppering the Tuscan landscape.
A sprinkling of blue, green, and yellow tiles adds drops of color to the terra-cotta roof of this Mediterranean-inspired home nestled along the Lake Erie shore of Bay Village, Ohio. The vibrant hues caught interior designer Shelly Cipriani’s eye for decades on her daily drives by the stately abode, built in 1924 for a railroad mogul. “I’ve lived in this neighborhood for 30 years, and I always wanted that house,” Shelly says. “Its multicolored roof is very unusual; I’ve never seen another like it in all of my travels.”
When the house came up for sale two years ago, Shelly and her husband, John, scooped it up and launched a one-year renovation to restore old-world elements that had been lost in previous remodels.
Shelly converted a bakers table, found in California, into a sink for the powder room. A speckled, stenciled paint treatment gives the walls an aged, Moroccan-inspired look.