Smart Design With Suzette: Powder Rooms

Smart Design with Suzette
Powder Rooms

Thanks to its petite size – 4 by 5 feet on average – a powder room can be one of the least expensive rooms in the house to renovate.

Powder rooms are unique in the sense that they are not bound to any other room’s design. They are a great place to experiment with bolder colors, patterns and textures. Adding some fun and personality to the powder room can create an unexpected design surprise for guests.

Photo by Suzette Fox

Here’s how to remodel your powder room so you’re never afraid to say, “Yes!” when someone asks, “Do you have a restroom I can use?”


Take chances with design. You might try an intense color or unusual material. This is the room you can really go crazy.

You don’t have to buy new. Explore the local thrift shops for unique design elements like art, furniture or lighting fixtures that can make a statement.


Go for drama. Bold colors like merlot, navy, chocolate and even dark gray can work well in this small space. Remember to get no-VOC or low-VOC paint.

Photo by Suzette Fox

Another common feature of powder rooms is wallpaper. Feel free to experiment with elegant or bold patterns that welcome guests and family members alike.

Be creative. Try using materials in unusual ways. For example, a friend turned wainscoting on its side. Instead of running vertically, she ran it horizontally to the ceiling. Awesome!

Photo by Suzette Fox


Powder rooms are the perfect place to dabble in materials that are more costly, delicate or require more maintenance because the room needs considerably less material than other bathrooms and receives less traffic. Your powder room should be like the crown jewel of your home that your guests can experience.

Photo by Suzette Fox.


Your vanity cabinet should be a showstopper. Choose one that is high quality, custom and reflects your personality.

A new sink, such as the popular vessel-type, can be found in a wide range of materials, from marble and glass to stainless steel, bronze and china. If you have a small space, a pedestal sink is the perfect choice.

For countertops, consider bright or reflective materials such as granite or quartz. If you’re looking for a green alternative but still want shine and durability, try recycled glass.

Upgrade your faucet. It can make a big difference in adding style and a high-end feel.

Bring in a beautiful mirror. Mirrors open up a room and enhance the decor. Make sure you go large enough to make it a statement piece.


Install quality lighting. Lighting can dramatically change the feel of your powder room. Think of it as lighting a jewel. Everything will sparkle.

New Technology

Consider a one-piece toilet for a furnished look that uses less space. Technology has so advanced that some models are called “smart” toilets. Smart toilets have decadent features such as heated seats, warm flowing water and air-drying.


Hardwood floors are popular right now, as are rich materials such as granite and marble, which offer an upscale look. Run the same floor material from the hallway into the powder room to create a natural flow.

Bamboo is both durable and eco-friendly. And ceramic tile or slate with radiant heating may let you eliminate the need for a second heat source in the room.


Photo by Suzette Fox


To make a powder room hospitable, accessorize. Add art to walls, and provide little luxuries like finely milled soaps and rich lotion for guests to use. Bring in a vase of fresh flowers and light votive candles. Add coat hooks for guests needing somewhere to place their purse or coat.

The one thing a powder room doesn’t need much of is storage. Anything a guest needs from hand towels to extra toilet tissue should be in plain sight.

Go big

The powder room, while small, is the place to make a big statement about you and your home – and you’ll have a lot of fun doing it. As a good friend and colleague stated about the powder room, “It’s a place where you can let your freak-flag fly!”

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