Wednesday, July 8, 2015

A Place to Powder Your Nose

Your powder room has the potential to leave the biggest impression of any room in your house. Why? Because tiny spaces can be the most dramatic! A small space can carry off darker walls or whimsical wallpaper, while the mirror and sink can make a big splash.  Let's study the details in the rooms where you powder your nose.


The largest expanse in a powder room is the wall space. What would overpower a large space can be enchanting in a small dose. Here are some examples:

This silk paper is de Gournay, sometimes called "the Chanel of wallpaper". I know it is memorable, because although I saw the image months ago, when I thought about this post on powder rooms the de Gournay swimming koi immediately surfaced in my mind.
This powder room belongs to by Waterworks founder Barbara Sallick.
The second image I remembered was the Scalamandre prancing zebra wallpaper. You have to admit it lingers in the memory.
This paper comes in several color ways, including red!
Here is another chic wallpaper in a powder room designed by Judy Kling and her daughter, Wendy Wolcott (J K Kling Designs).

Are you noticing an animal theme? The motif must be de rigueur judging from the examples on Pinterest and in national shelter magazines. Here is yet another powder room designed by Style At Home blogger Jessica Wak featuring safari-inspired walls.
 This is Tanzania wallpaper by Thiabut. 
One of my favorite designers, Tom Scheerer, used thee same paper in a Hampton cottage.

However, let me raise a word of caution: When it comes to animals, they can be easily overdone. Wouldn't you agree that leopards on the walls combined with a tortoise shell vase and the alligator sink may be a bit over the top? 

Perhaps a more subtle nod to the wild would hold a more enduring appeal.

That would be the case, unless your motto is "go bold or go home." Even if bold is beautiful, tread softly here. Only a designer as good as Miles Redd could carry off this elegant powder room below featuring peacock feathers on gilded paper.  The combination of unusual wall covering, floating antique Georgian mirror, and unusual sink shouts softly "high end designer".    


However, before trying to replicate Redd's masterpiece, do some soul searching. Would the custom peacock feather wallpaper and Benjamin Moore Gulf Shores paint color on the door "wear well" in your home? If you describe your style as understated elegance, this room wouldn't suit you. On the other hand, if you're aiming for memorable opulence, then go for it!

One unique feature to note, if you are following Redd's lead, is the feminine Georgian mirror juxtaposed to the masculine Henry sink by Waterworks. The pairing makes this room unforgettable, and brings us to a second element that takes center stage in a powder room--the sink.

Sinks and Vanities

I have a soft spot for blue & white Chinese porcelain. As a consequence, although I am wary of cleaning around top-mounted vessel sinks, I love this powder room ensemble. The tiger-maple antique vanity is the perfect compliment to the French brass fixtures and export porcelain bowl. 

Another use of Chinoiserie appears in the vanity below. Notice the mixture of metals: gilded mirror, brass sconce and plumbing fixtures, but a silver undercounted sink. With a deft hand, the designer avoids the matchy-matchy pitfall. I especially love the shimmer of the silk Roman shade.

The vanity below looks fabulous with the French wallpaper, sconces, and mirror...

as does this mirrored vanity and Venetian mirror.

For a more modern look, try a subtle geometric tile on the mirror wall, grasscloth elsewhere, and a floating rectangular sink and starkly simple mirror.

A glossy vanity also gives a modern vibe.
Polsky Perlstein Architects
Phillip Jeffries wall coverings never disappoint, especially if transitional decor calls your name. His papers beautifully bridge traditional to contemporary design.

I really appreciate the modern profile of this chair and vanity executed in traditional mahogany and paired with the crystal chandelier and rectangular shaped Venetian mirror.


Speaking of mirrors, the shape of this tortoise shell beauty mirrors the wallpaper perfectly. ;)

This sunburst mirror holds court, even when competing with a rather bold wallpaper. And, don't you love the Carrera marble countertop?

My last image pleasingly combines wall covering, vanity, sink, and mirror. The pagoda-shaped mirror  suits the French toile wallpaper, while the Italian marble-topped antique vanity perfectly grounds the room.

In case you are wondering what I did in my own half bath? Stay tuned; my next post will give you a  peak into where I powder my nose.

No comments:

Post a Comment