Perk up your powder room before holidays

Nov. 2, 2010 at 6:02 a.m.

By Kathryn Weber

Like a little jewel in a velvet-lined box, a powder room can have all the sparkle and glamour of a shiny new gemstone with the right decorating attention. The powder room's diminutive size means a full-blown redecoration can pack lots of pizzazz in a short amount of time - and without taking a huge bite out of your wallet. In fact, a powder room could be redecorated with upgrades that don't break the bank but will get your guests buzzing about its great style. With the holidays ahead, your powder room will be one of the most heavily visited rooms in your house. Make it a style standout and your guests will make a beeline to the bath to see what the fuss is about.

Think deep

Color, that is. Contrary to common thought, a rich hue on the walls brings loads of decorating drama and makes the room extra special. Everyone can tell a powder room is small, so why try to hide it? Even heavily patterned wallpaper is fair game in the powder room. The pattern, like a dark color, makes the corners of the room disappear.

Go for the goods

Unlike a bedroom or living area, a small powder room doesn't call for lots of budget-busting furniture. That's why it's a great spot for stylish splurges. Go for the pricey cabinet fixtures. After all, you only need a few. Try a vanity with a vessel sink and handsome faucet. Because these fixtures are limited, your money goes further.

A new toilet with some nice details can be installed in about an hour and raise your powder room's look instantly. With its small floor space, you can also splurge and opt for the priciest marble and still keep costs manageable if new flooring is in your plan. Running tile up on the wall is another nice cost-effective touch in a powder room's small space.

Accent luxury

It's important to keep the look in your half-bath consistent with the rest of your house - just pump up your home's style volume in the powder room. Imagine your room if a Las Vegas luxury hotel designer were to give it a makeover. For instance, replace a single light in the ceiling with a small chandelier. Or paint the ceiling gold to reflect more light and add an oversized mirror over the sink. Both will make the room seem bigger and look more elegant. Plus, guests can check their clothing instead of just their teeth in the mirror.

Another touch of luxury? Add a long velvet curtain next to the toilet with a heavy tie-back tassel to create some privacy with panache. Think creatively, too. Instead of standard issue towel rings, try mounting a curtain tieback to the wall instead. Many tiebacks come with gorgeous crystal knobs and other elegant accents.

Plan smart

Don't forget about who's using this room: your guests. Add a small console table for purses, a glass shelf with some nice lotions and extra lighting. Having more than one source of lighting will help guests apply lipstick or see themselves in the mirror better. Wall sconces are a great way to layer lighting and look elegant, too. Add some plush towels and lovely scented soaps and your powder room redecorating will be set.

For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her Web site,



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