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.

Mosaic:
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