5 Design Features for Modern Powder Rooms

Powder rooms are different enough from typical bathrooms that they deserve their own design post. It’s not just that powder room design eliminates the bathtub/shower, but that powder rooms are also less a function of everyday use and more designed specifically for guests. Because powder rooms are usually designed into a home to accommodate visitors, they can (and often should) include a more refined level of design than the typical bathroom. We don’t mean to say that a powder room needs to be over-designed or opulent, but simply that the powder room is a good place to have some fun with the design. This might include a design feature or a pleasant surprise that may not be part of the home’s typical design palette. Today’s post takes a close look at 5 design features for the powder room which can be used on their own or in combination.

Since most powder rooms don’t need to provide countertop space for toothbrushes, perfumes, water glasses, and the like, the sink basin can be smaller and sleeker. We like to use a rectangular porcelain box sink matched with a custom-built cabinet box to match the dimensions of the sink above. It’s a sleek and deliberate look that provides visual clarity to the powder room and offers just enough storage for toiletries and supplies.

Dedicating an entire wall of the powder room as a “feature wall” is a great way to make the design resonate. While people expect to see tile in a bathroom, extending an interesting tile pattern from the floor to the ceiling provides visual relief in an otherwise small room. With a seemingly infinite amount of tiles to select from, for a feature wall application we lean toward glass tiles as they give the room a little more depth while bringing subtle color to the composition. The picture below uses long, slender glass tiles mounted vertically for a fabric-like texture on the feature wall.

The visual warmth and palpable nature of cedar can be visually stunning at a powder room. The picture below extends a wall of variegated horizontal cedar boards from the exterior, into the powder room, broken only by the line of glazing. This application requires complementary wood cabinets that don’t compete with the warm tones of the cedar — in this case the walnut cabinet box provides a healthy contrast to the cedar.

A full height window is the last thing most people expect to find in a powder room, but given the right circumstances, it can be a fresh visual. To maintain the powder room’s privacy, the window needs to be oriented appropriately and specified as etch-matte. When the situation supports it, as below, a small powder room can become light, bright and airy.

While it’s a subtle move, the design conscious will notice the wall mounted faucet. The move minimizes the plumbing fixtures and pairs well with a box sink. The image below also uses a glass subway tile feature wall and vertically mounted linear lights for a clean, modern aesthetic.

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