Designer Tips for a Stunning Powder Room

Summer is a time for entertaining and house guests.  Turn your attention to the smallest room in your home where you can make a dramatic impact without breaking the bank.

With these tips you will impress your guests with your creativity and unique sense of style while also providing a haven for them to refresh.  Powder rooms allow you to experiment with a color or pattern that you love but may not go well with the rest of your home.  You can go wild in this space like no other and splurge a bit without a big outlay.

Whether you play it safe or indulge your fantasies, your guests will thank you for a beautifully finished room with thoughtful comforts just for them.

1. Wallcoverings: Scale it up

A small room should not necessarily have a small scaled print.  Large scale patterns and murals will make a small room like a powder room look larger, which may seem counter intuitive.

Powder room in tones of gray and a sparkling ceiling from Maya Romanoff
Three different wallcoverings with touches of sparkle give this powder room a soft and glamorous appeal. Design by TDF interiors.
Powder room with grisaille mural
This mural does not overpower the room due to the soft shade of gray and white color palette. Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

2. Choose a Statement Mirror

The photo above shows how an elegantly shaped mirror creates a striking silhouette against the backdrop of the wallcovering.  If you cannot stretch to  wallpaper then, even a rich, darker paint color will dramatize the shape of your mirror and create an impact.

powder room with moroccan style mirror
The rich deep blue of the walls just serves to enhance this beautiful Moroccan style mirror. Courtesy of Coastal Premier Properties

3. Be Creative with Lighting

Lighting is a very important part of the design of any room and it is always best to have different layers of lighting.  In other words, even if you may be stuck with only a recessed downlight in the ceiling, adding a lamp will provide mood and softer lighting closer to the face where you need it.

Powder room with deep blue walls and lamp
In this powder room a table lamp provides a beautiful reflection and highlights the richness of the wall color. Courtesy of Traditional Home magazine

Or convert your recessed downlights to pendant lights for a contemporary look:

Powder room with pendant lighting over vanity
These slender pendant light fixtures gracefully enhance the lighting of the room.

4. Vanities: Think Outside the Box

Vanities can be made more interesting by using and converting an old vintage chest.  Using a vessel sink makes this easier to make the necessary holes for the plumbing.  You could paint the chest and change the hardware as long as the vanity has a great profile and hopefully some useful storage space.

Adding a stone top will protect the surface.  You can often find a remnant of stone from a stone fabricator that works well for this purpose.

Rustic powder room
This old chest adds a vintage industrial character for a farmhouse look. Courtesy of

5. Wonderful Ways with Artwork

In this powder room, I used a triptych of an architectural spiral staircase to wrap around the walls of the room and create some drama.

Triptych artwork in modern powder room
This artwork with its spiral staircase creates rhythm around the room. Design by TDF interiors

This is another example of using large scale designs in a small room.

A beautiful mid century glass chandelier added a note of sparkle and glamor to an otherwise contemporary minimalist design.

6. Don’t Forget the Fifth Wall: the Ceiling

An often forgotten element in any room is the ceiling.  In a powder room you can be very creative in such a small space.

Paint it dark to reflect the light from a stunning chandelier or add shine and sparkle with a silver or gold paint.

In this powder room I used a gorgeous glass bead wall covering from Maya Romanoff.

powder room ceiling
Ceiling detail
Guest bathroom with wallpaper and glass bead ceiling
A metallic grass cloth was used with an Anna French wallpaper on the walls. Design by TDF interiors

Good luck and most importantly have fun!