Sure, it’s small and may not get much use, but the powder room shouldn’t be overlooked – particularly as you’re preparing your home for the holiday season. Here are a few ways to make it a showpiece.
The Powder Room, Then And Now:
The powder room originated in the 18th century, an era marked by stringent codes of modesty and propriety. During afternoon tea parties or evening soirees, it offered guests a space to re-powder their wigs, “powder their noses” (i.e., visit the toilet or apply makeup), or excuse themselves to when conversation became too salacious. The modern powder room is simply a ½ bath located on a home’s main floor. Often found in homes where all other baths are located upstairs or through a master suite, it remains a convenient space for guests to freshen up.
Designing A Tiny Room:
The powder room may be the smallest room in your home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch. In fact, my philosophy is that you can go all out in your design because it’s small. You can use top-of-the-line materials and not break the bank. Think of your powder room like a jewelry box: while it’s small, it can contain surprises and charms within. When your guests step into this room and close the door, they’ll find a space in which every detail is special.
Incorporating a favorite piece of art into the powder room is a great way to ensure it gets noticed. In fact, I’ll often design a whole powder room around enhancing or showcasing a particular piece.
This is a great space for a bold color or an exciting wallcovering. Don’t let the small size fool you: large patterns and prints will look great here and really add drama. And don’t forget the ceiling! A great paint color or small pattern wallpaper can add drama there too.
The vanity is all about little details. The good news is that there are hundreds of styles, finishes, and materials to choose from. Try a beautiful wood, an exciting paint color, a sleek faucet, or a glamorous mirror. Since it’s one of the only pieces in the space, your guests will be sure to notice it.
While you want your powder room’s lighting to be bold and stylish, make sure it’s flattering too. For example, I prefer side sconces to the typical “over the mirror” light bar. These light your face without shadows and make everyone look great.
If you’re thinking about replacing the toilet, seriously consider a chair height (or “comfort height”) toilet. These toilets sit just a few inches taller than most and can be a real blessing for those with bad backs.
Those Little Extras:
Finally, remember the smallest of details as well: great smelling soap, beautiful towels, and even some luxurious hand lotion will all be appreciated by your guests.