Powder Rooms that Pack a Punch

I love the wallpaper pattern in this powder room - treillage and teahouses. It adds whimsy to a room that had previously been too dark!

A few weeks ago I wrote about adding color into our homes – especially during these potentially dull winter months.  I mentioned that a powder room is the perfect place to experiment with colors that you might want to use in other rooms, and it reminded me how much fun it can be to decorate these rooms.  They’re the perfect spot to embellish with personality, whimsy and charm.  For me, it was important that our master bath be a serene room – with mostly neutral colorings and harmonious music and lightly scented candles.  But I feel the powder rooms downstairs were the ideal locations to have fun with colors, textures and unexpected accessories.  Here’s how I transformed these rooms into adventurous and unique spaces.

 The first idea was in our more ‘formal’ entryway.  I decided to make it very romantic – almost baroque.  I mentioned in another blog that the firey-red walls were inspired by a paper hand towel, and I built up from there.  I put matching red shades with a tasseled braid on the pre-existing candle scones.  Both beautiful and, I think, practical, a venetian-inspired silk brocade made a skirt under the sink (attached with Velcro!) – it’s the perfect place to store any extras we may need. There’s a window, where I hung a roman shade using the same fabric, with a deep ledge where I put a small silver tray with a collection of perfume bottles, which I know my female friends love!

The second powder room is right off our kitchen.  All the fixtures were already black, so being on a budget, I hung a chic black and yellow trellis-like wallpaper with matching fabric curtains.  A mixture of black toile, solid yellow and white and yellow hand towels tie it all together.  I had paper hand towels made by artist Ginny Bauer (see more of her work here: – http://www.ginnyspaperlinen.com/) to match the wallpaper’s circular motif.

Remember – you don’t need to make extensive changes to update your powder room! My updates were nearly all simple, cosmetic changes.  A change of paint color, an unexpected accessory, or fresh new towels will give the room a new feel.  Here are a few quick and inexpensive ways to freshen up your bathroom –

  • Update the surfaces – repaint cabinets, change out hardware, or resurface worn fixtures.  With todays wide variety of cleaning products that both clean and restore luster and gleam, your bathroom can look like new in no time.
  • Add storage – A storage piece such as an antique armoire, a bamboo etagere or a modern brushed-nickel tower is practical – storing towels and bath products – but also can add flair to the room by displaying unique items – a collection of shells, perfume bottles or funky jewelry.
  • Architecture – having some shelves along the top of the door for added storage or display will add depth to the room (I also love to display items along the window sill).  A marble ledge under a mirror is timeless, and is a great place to display treasures, or keep your hand soap at the ready.  Hooks and racks for towels and bathrobes will keep them within reach and can be vintage or modern, and come in all prices.

What’s most important about updating a powder room is that it appeals to you.  It should go beyond just the functional purpose and be a room of style and comfort where you and your guests can indulge all 5 of your senses – sight, scent, sound, touch & taste.

This entry was posted in Tips and Advice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.