How to Design a Powder Room

Powder rooms are getting a lot of attention these days in the design world. These functional rooms are treated more like a showcase of design aesthetics. In this post I'll tell you some ways that you can make your powder room a show stopper for everyone to admire!

Powder rooms are generally in a communal area and are typically smaller then a normal sized bathroom. They're meant to be in an area that is away from common spaces i.e. kitchen, living room, dining room, or basement. With that being said, these rooms are generally less expensive when creating just due to the fact that they are smaller in square footage. So, let's talk about the necessities in this room first.

Sink, toilet and lighting. Now, all of these are equally as important! HAHAHAHAHA!!

Keep in mind that since powder rooms are on the smaller side you don't need a large sink area, so get creative with the sink. For example, if you are by chance renovating your kitchen and you have left over counter top material you can use that to create a floating sink and backsplash. Sometimes you can get lucky at a granite or stone yard and purchase scraps to create this as well. Also, putting the faucet in the wall vs. part of the sink area will create more open space for functional items.

Another way to create a floating sink is by making one out of MDF material. This is another really inexpensive way to make a vanity that has storage for necessities. Here is an example of what I am talking about.

If you can't have either options for you sink area, then try to find a really interesting pedestal sink. There are some really cool ones out there in the market!

I don't have to touch on toilets, because that should always be your choice. However, I touch on lighting a little later in this post.

Let's talk about the layout. If your powder room layout is already in place, then skip this part. However, if you're in the midst of designing a powder room then this is for you! Best case scenario is to place your sink right across from your toilet. This is the optimal way to create this room and give the illusion that it is bigger, and that is because you have to keep in mind how your door functions. If your door pushes inwards then you won't feel like your walking into a closet. If it opens outward then you will get the illusion of it being a bigger bathroom then it really is.

If you have no other options but to place your sink and toilet side by side then opt to make it as far away from each other as possible.

Try not to bring in any heavy furniture in this small space because it will make it appear even smaller.

Now for my favorite part! Decor! Your powder room should be fun and a great way to play with decor. And, of course you know I have to talk about wallpaper! Since the powder room may not have four full walls to cover, choosing bold wallpaper is a great way to bring some art in this area. Make your wallpaper the statement piece!

When your wallpaper is the work of art in your powder room, you down play everything else. This means finding simple lighting or wall sconces that compliment what type of design aesthetic you're trying to achieve. Also, keeping your linens very simple and probably only one color that way it won't clash too much with the wallpaper.

Also, your hardware (i.e. faucet, any towel holders etc.) shouldn't be the focal point in this room if your walls are going to be the most important part. Simple is going to be key here. If you're wanting to keep things simple in this room, then I would go with paint and make your lighting a focal point. If you're like me then you'll push the limit on everything and go for the full gusto with bold wallpaper and bold lighting!

Mirrors are another important necessity in your powder room. I personally don't like a wall to wall mirror in the powder room, I believe that will over take the entire space. Try to find a single mirror thats round or a shape that will allow some wall space behind it to show. That way you can have two sconces on each side of the mirror. There typically isn't lighting above unless you have recessed lighting or a flush mount, which if you do please take that out! Here are some lighting examples.

As you can see, these lighting fixtures are very simple in design but can compliment any type of wallpaper or paint color that you choose.

Lastly, let's talk about the flooring in this room. Try to get out of the connotation that your powder room needs tile like your larger bathrooms. In fact for this room that is the exact opposite! Since the powder room is part of your main floor in your home it should be an extension of the flooring. Meaning if your entire main floor is all wood, then so should the flooring in your powder room. It creates the illusion that it's a part of the rest of your home. Plus it will just save you money in the long run.

Not to mention it really just looks better when you have good flooring in your powder room. Essentially it's for you and your guests to enjoy!

Closing remarks -

I hope this post gave you some pointers and ideas if you're designing a powder room on your own. Even if you have an existing powder room and want to refresh it. These rules do apply to renters as well, ok maybe not the flooring change option!

If you need assistance in this process no matter what stage you're in, let me know and I'd be happy to help you out! I also design powder rooms remotely, so don't be hesitant if you're not in the Boston area. You can always book a pre-call with me on my website ;)!

Stay in touch,


#interiordesigner #bathroomdesignideas #powderroomdesignideas #howtodesignapowderroom


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