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Publication Date: 2015-10-20

Design Insights

8 Design Ideas for Small Bathrooms

They may be small, but the best powder rooms certainly don't lack panache. Discover the best decorating ideas for even the tiniest bathrooms.


1. Striped Walls. Alternating stripes of gray and white paint enliven the powder room of a modernist home in Geneva, which was decorated by Alexandra de Garidel-­Thoron of the Swiss design studio Thébaïde. A constellation of convex mirrors appears to float above the stone sink.

2. Antique Accessories. A circa-1950 brass mirror hangs in the powder room of the Paris pied-à-terre shared by designer Steven Volpe and his business partner, Roth Martin, who helm the San Francisco gallery Hedge. The French collapsible tripod table is vintage.

3. Angular Cabinetry. An angular oak cabinet encloses the bath of a contemporary Paris apartment designed by Andrea Marcante and Adelaide Testa of the Italian firm UdA. A red-glass window lets in light from the adjacent bedroom; the sink is by Flaminia, and the fittings are by Palomba.

4. Seaside Style. For textile designer Susan Harris's Connecticut home overlooking Long Island Sound, decorator Lynn Morgan gave the powder room a relaxed, seaside vibe, covering the walls in Hinson & Co.'s Madagascar grass cloth and painting the paneling a deep blue.

5. Cabinet of Curiosities Wall Covering. Decorator Steven Gambrel transformed the powder room of his 1810 Sag Harbor, New York, house into a fantasy of flora and fauna, covering the walls with pages from a reissue of Cabinet of Natural Curiosities, a compilation of elaborate engravings commissioned by the 18th-century Dutch naturalist Albertus Seba.

6. Color Grid. At designer Jamie Drake's New York apartment, the powder room's exuberant grid of colors pays tribute to the 1960s artist Gene Davis, echoing the palette of his striped silk screens. The vivid squares were painted by Moira Kelly, and the artwork is by Lucio Fontana.

7. Mirrored Wall. A mirrored wall and a brass-and-marble étagère add an urbane touch to the powder room of Mike Clifford's 1930s Tudor house in Los Angeles. The washstand is by Waterworks, and the walls are painted in Fine Paints of Europe's Dutch Chocolate.

8. Bold Walls. Grass-green walls studded with hand-painted aluminum flowers create a garden oasis in the powder room of a San Francisco house decorated by Katie Ridder. The Queen Anne–style mirror is framed in cobalt glass and gilt wood, and Ridder designed the coral-tipped Lucite sconces.


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