Perfect Powder Rooms

Written by Jennifer Kastner Lackey for Wrightsville Beach Magazine

The powder room is one of the most interesting spaces in a home. And if it isn’t — it should be. Powder rooms can reveal a lot about a host and the home. It’s one of the few spaces where guests will be alone, for at least a little while, and it behooves us to make it intriguing.

Due to their small size and infrequently inhabited nature, powder rooms are the perfect place to take design risks. Love the new Pantone color of the year, but aren’t ready to paint your entire living room in Marsala? Consider bringing it in to your wash closet. One of the advantages of the small footprint of a powder room is that if you experiment with a paint color you end up hating, you can always repaint without too much effort and expense. Many powder rooms also lack natural lighting, which makes this an ideal space to try deep, bold paint colors because they will stay true to color and maintain their vibrancy.

A brightly colored rug or antique vanity hardware in the powder room can quickly become a topic of conversation.

The powder room is the ideal interior to flirt with graphic wallpaper because the design can be appreciated in the solitary nature of the space, but the bold choice doesn’t have to be viewed constantly. Grasscloth wallcoverings and small-scale printed wallpapers are especially effective in the room’s close quarters where the texture and pattern can be well observed.

A powder room is a jewel box that can and should pack a punch. It’s one of the few spaces where a homeowner has the rare opportunity to impress visitors with luxe details. In a 4-foot by 6-foot space, even a thrifty decorator can often afford to invest in swanky details because the dollars don’t have to stretch quite as far.

Flooring is an area where a statement can really be made without busting the budget because this space won’t require as much material as other areas of the home.

Great, unexpected lighting is worth the splurge in a well-designed powder room. Lighting doesn’t have to be limited to a simple vanity light above the mirror or a couple of wall sconces. Consider a small chandelier to add interest, or pendant lighting above the sink to bring the light source closer while adding a unique design element.

Don’t forget the details. In all design matters it’s the details that truly make the difference, and a powder room begs to have every corner examined and adorned. A small etagere or attractive chest can make a lovely point of interest filled with treasured trinkets, embroidered hand towels and cherished photos. Displaying a sand collection from around the world, or grandma’s vintage hair combs welcomes even the most casual acquaintance to meander through personal mementos without being dissuaded by a host’s watchful gaze.

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