Believe it or not, powder room design mistakes can go a long way. After all, after the entrance, living room, and kitchen, it was the only area guests would use, and one where the family would be in and out day and night.
Add to that its diminutive size, and you can see how the best powder room ideas can quickly destroy an entire space.
“Nine times out of 10 it’s a shoebox somewhere.” Exalted cupboard,’ said Ca’ Pietra (opens in new tab)Head of Creative, Grazzie Wilson. Below, Grazzie and the H&G team list the most common mistakes to avoid when redesigning your powder room.
Powder chamber design error
There’s no denying that a small powder room is more prone to design mistakes, but sometimes having a larger space can also be a problem. Here’s what to avoid, and what to do, according to experts.
1. Treat it as a coat closet
“In homes where space is limited, keeping entryways clear of coats can really open up space.” But what often happens is that the coat rack moves into the powder room – an already cramped room,’ says Grazzie.
“No powder room will expand if it’s filled with coats, so avoid this, but if there’s no other option, try packing it with cupboard doors painted the same color as your walls or in a color that matches your wall tiles.” . That way, everything is contained, kept out of sight, and no longer a messy distraction.’
“I would also make sure, that there is plenty of storage built into the space for cleaning products and spare toilet paper,” says HG Content Editor Millie Hurst. “The key to a good powder room is not to be messy.”
2. Color it white to make it look bigger
“Many powder rooms are windowless or have windows and are small,” says Grazzie. “Of course, that leads to a room with limited natural light and white paint will never do the trick in bringing the sunlight in.”
‘There are ways to lighten it up but this is where tiles can come in handy. A glossy glaze will reflect light around a room, large format tiles can make a room feel larger with fewer grout lines, or the same tile from floor to wall can make a room feel lighter and larger.’
3. Decorating with dark colors but not lighting them up properly
“If you’re ready to embrace your powder room’s lack of light with darker tones and a moody vibe, make sure your lighting speaks the same language.” Think downlights, pendant lights and dimmer switches,’ says Grazzie.
“Above, one of our favorite small bathroom lighting techniques combines overhead lighting with wall lighting used to great effect, both practical and decorative,” says Jo Bailey, stylist and deputy editor of Home & Garden. ‘Notice how the fixtures perfectly complement the dresser vanity and mirror frame; this level of attention to detail is a must in such a small space.’
4. Ignore the potential of the ceiling
“In the interior world, we always talk about the ceiling as the fifth wall – as worthy of paint, pattern, and interest as any of your other vertical surfaces,” says Grazzie. “Tiling is an option, as is wallpapering if you want to create some drama, but otherwise, why not think about painting it a color that complements your floor and wall tiles?”
“Imagine and inventive ceiling wallpaper and ceiling paint ideas are a gift in the powder room where there is often little wall space for artwork,” says Lucy Searle. “And it’s a space where you can be more adventurous than in any other, larger room.”
5. Not maximizing the mirror
‘I would never underestimate the power of a pretty mirror in a powder room. In fact, I would encourage anyone to choose bathroom mirror ideas with interesting characters,’ said Lucy Searle, Editor-in-Chief, Home & Garden.
“Obviously, mirrors make a space feel larger and can reflect light, but they also offer the perfect opportunity for you to express creativity that you might not have in a wall space elsewhere in the room.”
6. Confining wall tiles to the sink backsplash
Tile in a powder room is practical, especially if you have kids, but don’t limit your bathroom wall tiles to just the backsplash, says Grazzie.
‘If your budget doesn’t allow for left, right and center wall tiles, you can focus your tiles on just one wall to create a feature. There are certain tiles designed to behave like wallpaper that work really well.’
‘Think of everything from decorative tiles to wall mural ideas to bring color and pattern into your space,’ advises Jen Ebert, Home & Garden‘Digital Editor. “Selecting a design with a diagonal, vertical, or horizontal pattern can help you see a larger space, too.”
7. Refusing comfort
“Underfloor heating is a bit of a luxury that’s well worth investing in,” says Grazzie, though we’d add that convenience goes beyond heating. If there’s room, a soft rug covered in tile or wood flooring adds cushioning underfoot and another opportunity to add color and texture.
“I always love looking at powder room wall decor that’s perfect for a living room, as well as lighting fixtures,” says Lucy Searle. “Too often, powder rooms are decorated for functionality.” But while they should be practical and pretty sure no one is going to linger there, they are at their best when they look inviting.’
What is the worst floor for a powder room?
The worst flooring choice for a powder room — and for that matter, a bathroom — is carpet. Not only are they more difficult to clean than tile or hardwood floors, but they stain more easily and can retain odors that can easily be washed off hard surfaces.
What should not be placed in the powder room window?
For the same reason that carpet is wrong for powder room floors, curtains are a poor choice for powder room windows; they’re also larger than other options, which can make small spaces look even smaller. Much better are the shutters, which can be tilted to let in light but keep out prying eyes. Chic Roman blinds are another option that will work well, and give you the opportunity to bring color and pattern into the room.