Powder Room decorating ideas with dark wood vanity

Welcome to our 2017 powder room photo design gallery.

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Types of Bathrooms: Master Bathrooms | Powder Rooms

Growing up I had a friend in high school whose mother put quite a bit of effort into the interior design of their home.  It was a beautiful home located on the side of a small mountain with spectacular views.

One notable room was the powder room on the main floor.  It was painted with the sponge technique and while this is no longer fashionable, it was when I was a teenager and I found the design at the time striking.

Definition of powder room:  A lavatory in the main living area of a house.[1]

Typically powder rooms are half-bathrooms, but not always.  They can include a tub or shower.  The definitions vary, but I like the broad definition set out above.

Powder room design can be fun because it’s a small space so it doesn’t take too much money or effort to make it a beautiful room.  Moreover, it can be a showpiece for guests who will inevitably use it.  As an aside, powder rooms are invaluable because it’s convenient for guests and it eliminates the need for guests to snoop around in your main bathrooms.

When designing and decorating a powder room, the focus should be on the vanity or pedestal sink, mirror, basin, faucet, and walls.  With investment into quality items and well-thought-out color scheme, you can easily transform your small bathroom into an oasis for you and guests.

Additional inexpensive décor include using plants, photos, other wall art, shelving (ensure the shelves don’t get in the way of a person’s movement) and mementos.

Below are 30 pictures of powder room decorating ideas… from luxury to simple.  Notice how the vanity and basin (or pedestal sink) elements along with color scheme can really make the room.

Types and Options for Powder Rooms

Designing your powder rooms can be a challenge. Taking a small room and transforming it into something functional and spacious can be fun though.

Not every powder room is small, but there isn’t much need in initial home design for a lot of room when the only fixtures are a sink and toilet. The guest bathroom allows your friends and family to go to the bathroom without having to intrude deeper inside your home.

When designing a powder room, you should consider a lot of aspects and make sure that all of your desires for space will fit into your budget.

1. Planning a Powder Room

Before you buy a new sink and start applying fresh coats of paint, you should sit down and make a design plan. Perhaps you need a plumber for new pipe installation, or a contractor to remove a wall.

You should take the time to consider every option and give yourself the room in your budget for unexpected expenditures. Remodeling a bathroom can quickly become quite expensive. Having a solid plan and goal will help keep your costs down, and your enjoyment maximized.

2. Costs

Powder rooms will come in at the lower end of the range for total costs due to the fact they don’t have as many fixtures, and the square footage will keep flooring prices to a minimum. However, that doesn’t mean the costs can’t increase quickly.

The average range for a bathroom remodel can reach up to $25000 if everything is new and contracted out. Saving money with DIY and careful shopping can cut that by more than half.

You may also need a building permit which can range from $400 to $1200. If you are hiring a contractor, you should always get at least three different bids and ensure that the required permits are included.

3. Types

There are two basic types of powder rooms. The basic type and the modern type. Depending on your needs as well as the space available, you should pick the best style for you.

You can make a huge impact in these tiny rooms, just be careful: you can end up spending a lot of money per square foot.

A. Basic

The basic powder room is truly a powder room. It contains only a toilet and a sink. Most of the sinks are pedestal style, and there is little to no countertop space. These are often referred to as half baths, as they are missing the other two components of a full bathroom: the tub and the shower.

A basic layout powder room offers you the opportunity to turn a tiny space into a comforting and robust space. With different lighting and color schemes, you can pull off amazing looks without dipping too far into your budget.

B. Modern Powder Rooms

The idea is the same in a modern style powder room; however, they will often have a third option of a shower. Often referred to as a guest bath, they allow overnight guests the ability to have a complete bathroom for their own while they are spending time with you.

If you have the space for the guest bathroom, it is advisable to use it. Giving your guests the ability to clean themselves without having to intrude on your master bathroom is a great value.

Plan accordingly though, as you can easily go over budget with expensive shower installs.

4. Features

No bathroom remodel is complete without all the features. Even if you don’t use all of them, you should at least consider them. You may get new ideas or end up changing your entire plan for something better.

Before adding anything to your plan or budget, you should always search out the best deals. Measure fixtures to ensure they will fit how and where you want them before making a purchase and bring them home.

A. Fixtures

The apparent fixtures in a powder room are the toilet and the sink. If you have opted to go for a more modern twist and include a shower, the plans for that need to make it into your budget as well.

You can get exquisite pedestal style sinks at almost any home improvement store. The faucets should match your style or theme, and the color options are vast and varied. Brushed nickel is very popular and goes well with most any style.

The toilets shouldn’t cost more than average unless you get special needs ones like a raised deck height or extra wide bowls. Ensure your fixtures measure up and will fit in the space provided.

It may be better to settle on a lesser style and have room to move around in the bathroom than to get the style and size you want and sacrifice more room.

B. Flooring

Tile floors are very popular in powder rooms. They are easy to keep clean and prevent damage to the base of the fixtures.

Another popular option is a laminate or vinyl flooring. You can get styles that match any décor for a lower cost than tile. Installation is a lit simpler as well since you only have to cut a sheet instead of precise cutting of ceramic tiles.

If you are going for a natural wood or rustic look, you can opt for hardwood as well. However, you need to ensure the wood is treated and sealed before turning on the water supply to the fixtures.

C. Lighting

Most powder rooms will make use of wall sconces. These come in a variety of styles and colors and take up minimal real estate. You can mount sconces above the mirror or on the sides of the mirror.

Because of the size of the room itself, two wall sconces are usually enough to give off enough light. Overhead dome lights will also work well unless you have high ceilings. You may need a hanging light to add to the illumination of the space.

D. Windows

Natural light works well in small spaces. Depending on your set up a skylight might be a good addition as well as using at least one regular window for ventilation and air circulation.

Even without a tub or shower, the humidity in a bathroom can cause mold and mildew without much effort; as these rooms are usually shut off from the rest of the house until they are in use.

Window coverings will maintain privacy as well. Drapes and curtains can add to the style of the room and really pull everything together. Likewise, frosted glass can maintain the privacy and let in the natural light without the need for any window dressings.

E. Storage

As a general rule in a powder room, there isn’t much need for storage. Cleaning supplies are kept elsewhere in the house, and there isn’t a need for bath towels.

A single towel rod or hook can be used to hang a hand towel for drying, and the soap dish can sit directly on the sink or countertop. If you find yourself in need for a storage solution, you can get pedestal cabinets that will fit around the base of a pedestal sink.

You can also make a countertop to hold the sink and use the underneath for cabinets. Depending on the style you opt to go with, you may not even need doors. Open cabinet shelves will still be stylish and hold anything you need to store.

5. Color

Color is significant in a small space such as a powder room. If you go for darker colors, you should use a lot of natural light and have extra room lighting to offset the effect of making the room appear smaller.

Bright colors and natural colors work well in small spaces which make some themes a better option than others. While any style will work in a small space powder room or guest bath, you want to try and avoid the claustrophobic sensation that overly dark themes might provide.

Choosing the right primary and secondary colors as well as accent colors will depend largely on the style or theme you decide to use in the room.

6. Styles and Themes

As we mentioned previously, you are free to use any theme or style you choose. There are some cautions with certain themes though, farmhouse and rustic may look nice but can quickly become crowded.

Because the nature of a powder room is smaller than a full bathroom, you want to eliminate clutter and confusion when possible.

Powder rooms are most popular with these themes:

  • Modern
  • Contemporary
  • Traditional
  • Rustic
  • Beach

A. Modern

Modern themes refer to mid-century modern. They tend to use soft colors on the walls and accent the features with wood tones or white. These colors open up the space and add a comfortable feel to the room.

When using a modern theme, polished metal is a great accent. Knobs and handles on cabinets as well as the faucet and flush handles can all be done in polished silver, chrome or nickel.

B. Contemporary

Contemporary themes utilize materials rather than colors to give the feel of the room. Often walls are left white or beige, and the elements in the room add to the appeal.

Granite counters and stainless steel features are a standard in a contemporary powder room. You can have stainless steel knobs, handles and wall sconces to set off the ambiance of the space.

C. Traditional

Traditional styles come alive with history and antiques. Every piece should tell a story. From the old iron faucet to the wild west brothel style lamps, each piece works together and tells a new chapter of the story.

Traditional styles are fun to work with; however, you should note that it is very easy to get carried away. You should plan and budget every piece and decide on its need and merit before making the purchase.

D. Rustic

Another popular theme that is easily over-emphasized is the rustic style. When done correctly in a powder room, it can make an eye-pleasing scene. Rustic themes use natural pieces, real wood features and simple colors of brown, natural wood and tans.

Lighting can be brushed nickel along with the faucets and handles to eliminate the gleam and glare of stainless steel. The rustic theme will also blend well with industrial and modern to give a new twist on old favorites.

E. Beach

Beach and nautical themes are highly popular in bathrooms. They allow for bright, airy colors and can open up the space and the senses.

Using a lot of natural light and light blues and yellows for accents, beach themes are fun to decorate. Paintings of boats and fish are very common, and the use of shell for knobs and handles make the whole room feel like a Trident paradise.

7. Special Considerations

As with any project, whether a do it yourself or contracted job, there are certain aspects you need to think about and plan for ahead of time.

With any bathroom, you need to think about plumbing, and more importantly when the plumbing stops working correctly. General maintenance and cleaning are important factors you might not consider when designing a new powder room.

A. Maintenance

Routine maintenance will allow your powder room to function properly at all times. However, there will be eventual unforeseen circumstances that are just out of your control.

You may need to shut off the water supply to the toilet or the sink. Having access to these shut-off controls is vital. You don’t want to block them off or make them difficult to access in the event of an emergency.

Make sure that your lighting is grounded and all bathrooms should now be equipped with an automatic circuit interrupter outlet (GFCI Switch) anywhere there is water near an outlet.

B. Cleaning

Because bathrooms get more scrubbing cleaning than most other rooms in the house, your flooring and paint should be durable and resistant to scrubbing. If you are going to cut aspects of your design to save money, durable paint and floor protection should not be one of them.

In the long run, the paint and flooring will pay for itself, versus going a little cheaper and having to repair or replace sooner than you wanted.