Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Powder Room : Floors and Walls

Most of the time a Powder Room is a long and narrow space. Architects and builders don't get much square footage to these spaces, so they're really glorified closets - hence the term "water closet". Since this is typical, if you're in the process of planning, building, or completing a total redo of your powder room, take liberty with your floor - and spend money on expensive tile that you might not otherwise be able to afford in a larger space.

Designer Credit: Phoebe Howard

Designer Credit: Phoebe Howard

Patterned Marble Mosaics are pricey, but can be worth the cost in a small powder room. Ann Sacks is a great place to get inspired, but most big box stores are getting more and more on shelf inventory of bianco marble mosaics for about $5-$10/square foot.

Another option is mixing on shelf mosaics to create custom mosaic patterns. Designer Sarah Richardson is notorious for this sort of budget savvy design:

Designer Credit: Sarah Richardson

Another tile option, slightly custom, and a little labor and artistic ability is required, but using shelf stock subway tile (3x6) and installing it in a subway pattern can create a gorgeous floor.

Found:  here (Get Down Flooring, Inc.)

But if you don't have the money - or don't want to rip up the existing hardwood, you can certainly get a few rolls of painters tape:

Designer Credit: Mary McDonald

Because painted floors that see so much use will typically look terrible over time, a rarely used powder room makes the perfect place to preserve the hard work that something like this takes. 

As for walls - typically, Powder rooms are a two piece bathroom (a toity and sink). But some of you might be using this as inspiration for a guest or hall bath that includes a shower or tub. Some of these won't work in bathrooms that have the moisture of a constant shower ... so keep that in mind; others might be too expensive to do in a large space, so note that these are suggestions for small baths. 

Designer Credit: Phoebe Howard

Solid surface stone slabs cut to 3/4 depth can make for stunning wainscoting. It's expensive - but remember, you won't need much in a small powder room.

Designer Credit: Courtney Hill Interiors

Fully paneled rooms, like this one with its judges paneling painted gray, are perfect for small bathrooms, and can be added to a bathroom that is in need of an update, but not a full overhaul. Of course, you don't have to take it to the ceiling. Using it as a wainscot is a simple alternative, and if beadboard fits your aesthetic, it makes a quick and easily resourced material.
Found: DecorPad

Another quick fix for a bathroom in need of a little update is boldly patterned wallpaper:

Found: Elle Decor

Unlike wallpaper wallpapers in foyers, a powder room can be a place to have fun with trendy patterns on papers, like the trellis pattern above. If you tire of it in a few years, it's likely not enough square footage to give you too much of a headache when removing it. Of course, who could ever tire of grasscloth?

Designer Credit: Benjamin Dhong


  1. I'm really enjoying the series. I'd love to redo our second bathroom and you've given me some clever ideas.

  2. Beautiful images here, Artie. You can spend more on a small space and make it rich and lovely...the money goes a long way in a small space. xo Diana

  3. Gorgeous examples, Artie. This series is perfectly timed for me to plan my guest bath update.

  4. I actually had someone come out a couple weeks ago to give a bid for a checkerboard kitchen classic!
    carrara mosaic tile