Fun, easy decorating project: Powder rooms are places where you can use high style for big impact in a small space.
Written and produced by Lucy Fitzgerald
Designer Jennifer Jones created a feminine powder room for the 2013 O’More College of Design Showhouse in Franklin, Tennessee. Above the limestone wainscoting, Jennifer installed a floral wall covering that peeks through the fretwork of a handmade Italian mirror. The powder room’s neutral color palette works with the rooms around it while maintaining its own elegant charm.
The powder room designed by Frank Ponterio is nothing if not breathtaking. A large-scale landscape wallpaper from De Gournay makes a bold statement. The custom tile floor with a compelling silver starburst pattern was designed by Frank.
This room’s floral-patterned wallpaper is reflected in its many mirrored surfaces. The vanity is wrapped in mirrored panels with beveled edges and crystal knobs. The mirror above blends in beautifully with the wall covering.
In the home of architect Michael Graves, every detail exudes timeless style. The downstairs powder room is no exception, with a classically informed antique pedestal sink and Verona marble floors. The light sconces and mirror are Graves’s design.
Bubblegum-pink walls and a floral framed mirror make this powder room undeniably feminine. Hexagonal marble tiles add texture and mimic the pattern of the floor tiles. Framed artwork throughout lends personality.
A gorgeous Georgian home was restored to highlight its classic architectural features. Artist Judy Mulligan painted the floors in the powder room to reflect the timeless design elements throughout the rest of the home, like checkerboard floors and architectural medallions. “When I work with a house this beautiful, I try to stand back and let the house tell us what to do to let it shine,” says designer Marshall Watson. An antique Biedermeier desk and mirror underscore the home’s historical significance; the countertops are antique marble.
Rich sapphire-blue walls inject this powder room with unexpected glamour. Fuchsia blooms pop while a vintage lamp and Murano glass bowl keep the space feminine. The marble-topped vanity features mirrored accents to keep the space sparkling.
Designer Dan Carithers upholstered this powder room in a historic print to quiet the room and make it “look ancient.” Using a lighter color palette helps to keep Carithers’ period-rich aesthetic feel fresh and updated.
A gray-and-white wallpaper with an Art Deco pattern wraps this powder room in sophisticated style. A frameless mirror blends in beautifully with the wallpaper’s design, while the vanity below adds to the glam factor.
A powder room designed by Carole Reed for the 2009 Hampton Designer Showhouse is an eclectic mix of wood, marble, and cloth. Reed covered the walls with “the amazing texture of Crezana’s hand-dyed Madagascar cloth, which features a subtle damask pattern for an extra layer of warmth.” Blown-glass sconces from HelenBilt Lighting and a wooden head sculpture from Mecox Gardens add interest.
A simple powder room reflects the same clean and classic design as the rest of the Georgian-style home in East Hampton. Putty-colored walls above white paneled wainscoting keep the mood serene; a checkered floor lends timeless style.
Large patterned wallpaper is a great way to add personality to a small powder room. This one is no exception: A yellow-striped wallpaper is dotted with vintage-framed portraits of puppies, adding a touch of cheerfulness to the small space.
A local artist painted a gorgeous Hudson River School-style mural on the back wall of this powder room, which was then glazed and crackled to achieve an aged look. Designer and homeowner Sheila Barron dropped a sink and countertop on an Italian gilt console to create a vanity.
Photo: Bob Mauer
Design: Sheila Barron and Laura Stoll
Inspired by the sparkly powder room at Bemelmans Bar in Manhattan’s Carlyle hotel, this room is sheathed in gold. Osborne & Little’s gold-patterned chinoiserie wallpaper adds texture, while the penny tile floor lends interest underfoot. The opulent ceiling is covered in hand-applied gold leaf.
This spacious powder room is given a Victorian touch with a Louis XVI-style chair and artistic silhouettes painted on the baby-blue walls. The chair has a crackled finish for texture and is upholstered in a floral yellow fabric that brings warmth to the space.
A birch-bark wall covering lends a touch of fairytale whimsy to this powder room, designed by. Lights from Rejuvenation and a mirror from Carver’s Guild add artisanal touches. Dorado stone countertops maintain the rustic aesthetic.
An old desk is transformed into a powder room vanity with vintage appeal. A jewel-shaped mirror hangs above a bronze sink by Ann Sacks. A pair of mirrored wall sconces helps to add light into the windowless room.
An attention-grabbing wallpaper from Twigs gives this powder room some serious style points. The antique painting shares a similar palette, while a classic chandelier from Revival Antiques lights the space.
At the 2012 Stately Homes By-The-Sea Designer Showhouse, a hammered-copper sink and a pebble-tile floor team with dog-patterned wallpaper and curtains to create a charming powder room. “It reflects the personality of the country estate and the homeowners’ love of dogs,” says designer Joe Parisi. Statues and artwork reinforce the room’s tail-wagging theme while orange accents, charcoal trim, and porcelain wall tiles tie it all together.
Hand-applied crystals give major wow-factor to the powder room designed by Julia Wong for the Ritz-Carlton Designer Showcase Apartments in Chicago. The room’s airy palette keeps the space feeling light and modern.
A contemporary moiré patterned vinyl wallpaper by Robert Crowder drove designer Jo Ann Hartley to create a dramatic powder room and alcove for the 2011 San Francisco Designer Showcase. “I broke the rules and made the small rooms dark and sexy,” she says. A hand-cast mirror by Blind Spot and a silver-leaf design on the Venetian plaster in the alcove both reflect the wallpaper’s natural motif.
Quince branches and Asian-inspired vases flank an antique Chinese console in Melissa Ziober and Noe Guerra’s peaceful powder room at the Red Cross Palm Beach Showhouse. To maintain the historical home’s integrity, the NXG Studio design team first restored the walls, moldings, and floor. “The space is traditional while still feeling modern and fresh,” Ziober says.
See more of this powder room on the following slide.
A grass-cloth wall covering by Kravet adds texture but doesn’t compete with the room’s soft teal and coral undertones. Above the sink, a circular mirror lures eyes upward, drawing attention to the arched wall and making the small space seem larger.
Tour the rest of the Red Cross Palm Beach Showhouse here.
Photos: Robert Brantley Design: Melissa Ziober and Noe Guerra
A handsome black-and-white powder room is wrapped in a whimsical tree-patterned wallpaper by Hinson & Company. A black marble sink and black-painted mirror keep the contrast going; gold-framed paintings interject color.
An eclectic mix of styles, this powder room wows with a metallic weave-patterned wallpaper, composite fish-eye mirror, and classic white sink. A print of Shakespeare and vase supported by a freestanding column lend personality.
Gold walls and fiery fabrics bring this powder room to life. An Asia-influenced design on the painted walls and the large potted orchid give the room an exotic touch, while shimmering red draperies from Real Simple Design and a matching sofa bring on the color.
A vintage wood pedestal supports a simple bowl sink and limestone countertop in this powder room. Designer Julio Quiñones designed the candle sconce above for an elegant touch. The mirrored wall behind the sink anchors the Phylrich faucet.
A Designers Guild floral wall covering in 1960s colors lends large scale to this small space. “Powder rooms should be alive with color and sass to make up for their tiny dimensions,” says designer Judy Howard. Modern metal sconces with crystal balls sprouting out of each end flank a Century mirror that reflects the statement flower pattern. A Sherle Wagner pedestal sink formed from sand-colored marble lightens the space.
Café curtains, frilly valences, and a pretty purple-and-green palette give this powder room some feminine flair. A vintage porcelain sink keeps things classic; beadboard walls and ceiling lend texture.