The Power of a Powder Room

May 15, 2022 | Tips & Tricks

Powder Room | Graphic Print

When designing a whole house project, or even a first floor, I almost always begin with the powder room.  With the functionality of the powder room already in place, it’s a natural place to experiment with finishes and fixtures. And even if a client has bought a new home with a perfectly fine cabinet/countertop, changing the mirror and lighting, and adding a wallcovering can transform the space from merely functional to fabulous!

Here are some of my favorite powder rooms:

Powder Room | Grasscloth


When my traditional client fell hard for this gorgeous decorative sink, I knew that what would make the sink sing was a blue grasscloth on the walls.  Those hard surfaces in a powder room – marble, wood, glass, metal – benefit from a texture on the walls. A texture and the perfect shade of blue? Even better.

Chicago Interior Design | Claudia Martin Design | Bathroom

Funky and magical, these 3D wall covering tiles shimmer red or green depending on which way you’re viewing them.  A stone vessel sink, a wall-mount faucet, and a pipe towel bar add to the “little bit country, little bit rock and roll” vibe in this ADA-accessible powder room.

Powder Room | Bold flowers

Vinyl wall coverings are perfect for powder rooms that are also used by younger family members: they are indestructible and with options like bold geometrics or large-scale florals, you don’t have to compromise beauty for practicality. We kept the vanity and black stone top and added a large decorative mirror to better reflect those gigantic blooms.

Powder Room | Cow Print

Moooving on, this Marimekko cow paper was a selected for a new construction house – for a dairy farmer. Once I saw it on the showroom rack, I knew we were going to use it in one of the powder rooms. The trough concrete sink, industrial faucet, and minimal color palette became a rustic but refined backdrop to the paper.

Powder Room | Paper and Tile

Combining tile with a decorative paper can be done to break up a busy paper and offers some protection from water. To stay on budget for this first floor renovation, we kept the fixtures in this bath, and focused on a decorative punch from the wallpaper and mirror. Basic white subway tile made perfect sense for this older home and tying in the ceiling paint with the window treatments pulled it all together.