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The best things come in small packages and the powder room is no exception. Although its origins are utilitarian (it was originally a room where people retouched their wigs with – you guessed it – powder), this small space is a favorite place for designers to finish. Check out these three style ideas for bold design inspiration.
Wallpaper For A Powder Room
Pierre Frey’s cactus-patterned wallpaper and leather-trimmed hanging mirror give this space, designed by Rebal Design, a Southwestern desert vibe. Photo by Kimberly Gavin
Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas That Will Inspire You To Be Bold
This Nadia Watts-designed half bath features GP&J Baker’s Magnolia wallpaper and custom vanities from Aspen Leaf Kitchens. Photo by Susie Brenner
Kaleidoscope Design chose blue marcite light fixtures and a yellow Kohler sink to play off the colors found in this wallpaper by Rouse Phillips, sourced via Denver-based Walltawk. Photo by David Patterson
There’s no better place to try a bold wallpaper than powder—where the commitment is small and the impact big. If the idea of a floor-to-ceiling floral print conjures up the cramped, bare-bones living room of your childhood, let us stop you right there. “Backgrounds of the 1980s and ’90s were mostly reproductions of historic architecture and design icons,” says Cassie Kicklighter Poole of Kaleidoscope Design. “Today we’re seeing more and more indie artists using their talents to design wall hangings, and the sky’s the limit with patterns”—meaning you can go traditional or modern, Scandinavian or Southwestern, or even a little quirky. Kicklighter Poole’s tips for choosing floral paper that you’ll never tire of? “Make it relevant to you,” she says. “Look for patterns that remind you of a flower you love or a botanical associated with your hometown or places you’ve traveled.
Wallpapered Bathrooms: B&w To Colorful, Subtle To Bold
Playtime in the powder room? Follow it – with tips from the pros on how not to overdo it.
Atelier Interior Design outfitted this small space with a giant harlequin trunk wallpaper in Midnight Blue. Photo by Susie Brenner
Aimée Wilder’s Analog Nights paper (CMYK) is at the center of this half bath dreamed up by designer Laura Medicus. Photo by Jordan Katz
Don’t Be Afraid To Wallpaper Your Powder Room
Schroder’s personal powder room features a Cole & Son swimming pool Acquario wallpaper that reflects his childhood in coastal California. Photo by Susie Brenner
Another way to approach a powder room is to think of it as a billboard of your personality—or, as is the case with young half-bathers, their owners’ wild side. This is a place where you can try something more daring than, for example, a vaulted living room. “I’ve always thought of powder as the perfect place to express who you are as a family or as an individual,” says designer Kathy Schroeder of Atelier Interior Design. “I think it’s fun to walk into someone’s poop and be like, ‘What?!’ Everyone likes that element of surprise.” But, warns the designer, it’s good to know when to stop; you
It has a lot of good things. “When I’m doing bold wallpaper, I like to use more subtle light fixtures and finishes to pull the room together,” says Schroeder. “If I had, say, put in a painted metal light, then the room would have been more unusual than the one above.” In other words: design is best when it is balanced.
How To Make The Most Of A Powder Room
For those with a more reserved style profile, classic patterns and some sparkling details are the way to go.
Farrow & Ball parquet wallpaper, Circa Lighting sleek ribbed sconces, and Restoration Hardware Venetian beaded mirrors combine in this powder room designed by Nadia Watts. Photo by Emily Minton Redfield
Design firm Cathers Home chose black and white geometric print wallpaper and a sleek, metallic-based vanity for this elegant half bath. Photo by Dallas & Harris Photography
Beautiful Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas
This moody powder room by Kruger Design Studio features a Bravas lighting control system for added drama. Photo by Susie Brenner
If you subscribe to the perennial line of thinking, you can opt for a more refined and toned-down aesthetic for your space. This timeless look rarely goes wrong. But for this, there are certain design guidelines that must be followed: in a successful classic-style powder room, colors are usually neutral, and wall coverings are subdued or linear. It’s in the finishes, not the templates, where you add your panache. “We create this style using different materials in the room – a mix of wood, metal and marble,” says Nadia Watts, director of interior design at Nadia Watts. “[The goal is] to make you feel at ease when you walk into the room.” And don’t forget to add shine (a must in chic powder rooms), which Watts says she achieves by spraying reflective, metallic surfaces—hardware, pendants, and mirrors. Allow yourself to enjoy more luxurious materials and treatments because the square footage is smaller. (As in: Go get the marble off the walls!)
Designer Sarah Lewis of Sarah Noel Interiors in Denver shares five unexpected designs to pack in your powder room.
Powder Rooms That Pop From 1stdibs 50 Designers
Why does all the fun have to be in living rooms and hallways? Adding a cluster of framed art prints and photos, like in this LoHi bathroom (
) designed by Lewis is a great way to add a personal touch to a half bath. To keep this small space from crowding, Lewis placed white frames and rugs for each element. “You want to offer a good amount of impact without being too intense,” he says.
When it comes to half-bath mirrors, Lewis encourages clients to think beyond the traditional rectangular and round shapes. Crescent, teardrop and half-moon glass shapes such as Arteriors and Scout & Nimble have recently caught his attention. “You can even stack two half-moon mirrors on top of each other for more drama,” she says, adding, “It’s a powder room—you can be more playful because you don’t need a mirror to get ready. every morning.”
Colorful Powder Room Before & After • Pmq For Two
A creatively inclined DIYer can give blank walls a boost by hand-painting simple, abstract shapes or arches, as well as patterns like dashes or dots. For art school dropouts, Lewis suggests mural stickers like Society6 and Etsy (or hiring a local pro like Magik Studios).
For an element of surprise that’s still appropriate, Lewis suggests painting your powder room walls white or a soft neutral and saving a high-contrast color for the ceiling and trim. Her current favorite shade for this technique: Urbane Bronze by Sherwin-Williams.
Bathroom staples aren’t just for floors and showers, says Lewis. For added impact, she suggests creating an accent wall with a graphic print or bold colored floor-to-ceiling tile, or floor-tiling half a wall as a play on a traditional wood grain. From birds and butterflies to flowers and leaves, it’s unique. Powder rooms offer a much-needed dose of inspiration. Get inspired to create a space that feels fun and playful with unique wallpapers, mirrors and artwork.
This Charming Green Powder Room Is A Lesson In Choosing Tile (and Wallpaper !)
Featuring wildlife and plants, this nature-inspired wallpaper is paired with a fun red mirror. Floating vanities give the space a modern and sophisticated feel. Design studio CAK.
Shimmering gold accents complete this bold wall – featuring leopards against a blue-green background. This charming powder room in Chicago follows the eclectic, Victorian style of Elizabeth Stamo Design.
Step into this tropical powder room where you’ll be greeted by a detailed backdrop filled with flamingos. Design by Alison Garris Interiors.
Favorite Powder Room Wallpapers
In this beautiful space by Michele Plachter Design, all four walls are covered with exquisite wallpaper depicting birds and butterflies flying through tree branches.
A vintage-style powder room features floral wallpaper, white beveled mirrors, and shimmering gold accents. Pale pink sparkles give the space a playful style. Design by Steve + Filip Design.
Here, Amy Kartheiser Design uses a blue patterned wallpaper to create a unique and elegant powder room. Gold hardware, two matching chairs and a rectangular mirror complete the look.
The Top 60+ Best Powder Room Ideas
Bold, floral wall coverings are paired with white accents—from playful mirrors to bright vanities. Design by Studio Riga and architecture by Anik Pearson Architects.
Fun banana leaf wallpaper is paired with brass hardware, a dark wood cabinet, and a round mirror. Design by Alison Garris Interiors.
Designed to look like natural crystal, the colorful wall covering is a beautiful addition to this contemporary powder room by Holly A. Kopman Interior Design.
Creative Powder Room Wallpaper Ideas
Bright gold and jet black create contrast in this powder room in Chelsea, New York. Bold wall coverings are meant to look like peacock feathers. Interior design by Kati Curtis Design.
A bright white vanity, tropical wallpaper, and a subtle round mirror complement this unique space from Nate Berkus Associates.
The combination of textures, colors and patterns gives this powder room in Boston a unique style. Design by Daher Interior Design.
Bathroom Wallpaper Ideas To Prove It’s Worth It
Black and white checkered floor tiles and a glossy black vanity give this space a retro feel, while playful wall coverings add a playful touch. Design by Lara Michele
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