One of the easiest rooms to redo in your home is the powder room. It is a public room much like your entryway, living room or dining room, so it is worthwhile to spend money to transform it. Secondly, powder rooms tend to be among the smallest rooms in most homes. Most of the time, you have nothing but one sink and a toilet. So why not improve this classic room?
Full disclosure: I stopped just short of finishing my powder room redesign years ago. I recently took a look at it and resolved to complete the project. What stopped me? Well, I was debating between wall covering, Venetian plaster or simple paint on the walls. But I froze. I was so embarrassed that when I hosted a luncheon for my designer friends, I felt compelled to post a sign that read "No. I haven't finished this room!" It is time for me to heed my own advice and act.
There are amazing and exotic wall coverings available that will add drama to your tiny room. Nothing looks more rich than a medium to dark color tone on the wall of a windowless room. One gets the feeling of walking into a womb. In this example, the lighting finishes off the room with whimsy and a theatrical touch. Before applying costly wallpaper or an exotic wall finish, consider any methods that might be considered dirty work and do them first. Anything that may cause wall or ceiling damage, such as installing a recessed light above the sink or wall sconces on either side of a mirror, should be finished before applying your wall treatment. Things like replacing a toilet, removing an old vanity or replacing the flooring should be done early on.
What's especially fun about designing a powder bathroom is that it doesn't necessarily have to jibe with the colors and patterns in the rest of the house. It is the one space where you can dare to think outside the box and do something that would be hard to live with on a larger scale. A red powder room is doable, for example, whereas a red living room could be more difficult forever. Your home may be done in a traditional style, but this room could be a departure from the norm. Think about a very modern look or an Oriental feel. Or, if your home is contemporary style, you might consider using antique accents in the powder bath. Mix it up! You only need one mirror, so it can be something truly wonderful. The faucet may be a bit more expensive than one you would by for your kids' Jack-and-Jill bathroom.
Take a look at commercial wall coverings in stores. You may find an array of wonderful textures. In order to access samples, you may need to contact an interior designer or stop by a local paint store. Be sure to verify the width of the samples you're looking at because contracted goods are made and sold differently than typical rolls of wallpaper. Note if any samples are water resistant, and think about how often you'd have to clean them.
In terms of the toilet, take into account that people of all sizes will be using the toilet, so it might be best to choose an elongated toilet bowl rather than the least expensive model. Think about the comfort of your guests. Install a hook for purses and jackets, and make sure there's enough counter space for a basket of hand creams and other gracious items, such as extra toilet paper, air freshener and perfume. Even though the room is tiny, you can offer your guests an experience.
Photo Credit: Vahallan Papers, Inc.
Christine Brun, ASID, a San Diego-based interior designer and author of "Small Space Living". Send her questions and comments by email at [email protected] To find out more about Christine Brun and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.