If all the rooms in a house are meant to feel like a “family”, the powder room is the crazy cousin, the one that spikes the crystal light during the family reunion. You can take risks in here, and go a bit wild because they are temporary spaces, used for just one (or two – :)) singular purpose. It’s usually on the first floor, often without a window, and it’s the bathroom that guests will likely use. And since it’s not where you regularly bathe, shower, or get ready you can forego storage needs or other practicalities that you have to consider in other rooms. Also with less water splashing around, it means less need to use a waterproof material so you can lean into wood on walls floors, backsplash, or even vanity top. Less ‘functional needs’ means more fun.
So today I’m showing you all the powder rooms I’m HEAVILY inspired by, and pointing out the ideas that I kinda want to copy (and obviously do the EH shaker/victorian PNW farmhouse version of it). I still don’t know the adjectives I want to lean into. Here we could echo some of the themes in the sunroom which are more “Victorian” and “whimsical”, or we could keep it “utilitarian” and “rustic”. We could panel the walls and do a custom penny mosaic tile floor, OR we could go balls to the wall and tile it all in a pattern. I am still exploring all the things and just waiting to find the right special salvaged sink, and then if we don’t find one we’ll lean in a different direction. Unlike most other spaces I feel more freedom in here because I know I can take a big risk, a bold move because it’s used pretty infrequently (aka, I won’t get sick of it). I guess I want it to “appropriately unexpected”.
That first one, by Beata Heuman is JUST INSANE. The “under the stair” architecture was ingeniously embraced, the off-center sink gives room to play on the other side (and you can do a super small sink in a powder room or WC), and I love how the pleated skirt doesn’t go to the floor. SEXY MOVE, LADY. It looks like there is a low window here, at shin level, the sconces might be headbangers but I kinda don’t care, and that pink paint color is incredible. I will not copy this bathroom, but I want to.
This next is also from Beata… obviously. The marble backsplash, taking it up and creating such a pretty sculptural shape at the top ABOVE the shelf is excellent. I’m also loving decorative brackets these days, and again with the skirt.
Now this one is just about finding that perfect vintage sink and hoping that you can find faucets or taps that work with it. So sweet.
When I saw this bathroom above I said “yes, this”. How they played with the wood paneling and trim is inspiring and just a simple super utilitarian sink mounted off-center on the wall. Of course, I think it helps to have a window (and we don’t have one) but it’s made me hunt for a sink like that, to place it off-center and play with the paneling.
Or could I go away from being “utilitarian” and lean into some romance and whimsy. The single sconce is awesome but the carved marble sink steals the show. I’ve been looking online all over the country to find a special “sink” to help the direction of the room but nothing yet.
I’m not typically a vessel sink lady mostly because you lose some space and feels like you can never clean the base of it, but this one is special and would be worth it. I LOVE that thick slab of marble, the exposed screws on the wood base (keeping it still feeling casual), and that gorgeous rounded dark wood backsplash. INSPIRED.
Ok, generally this one is a bit fussy/antique-y for me BUT it did remind me how much I love a patterned tile. I found deadstock tile from France online that I’m eyeing and might pull the trigger because even if we get it and it’s not right, I feel confident we could use it in one of the other buildings or another project.
If I DID do a patterned tile on the wall, I love the idea of taking it up to be the backsplash and then stopping it.
This is a shot I’ve pinned a thousand times for this house so I must love it. I think it’s about that table, in the most beautiful non-replicable Swedish worn blue. I would likely do an undermount sink with a sweet little lip and maybe a plaid or floral skirt to take a little bit of the Rachel Ashwell out of it (nothing wrong with it, but it’s a bit shabby chic for me and I would rather lean into a weird pattern). Also, that wall mount sink on plaster walls is so pretty. I do wonder how plaster walls look in a windowless room – like do they create enough movement without natural light to create that feeling? Unsure. Either way, without that vintage table I’ve got nothing – so to execute this look I need to go on the hunt.
Now this is just pretty, simple, doable and you could get creative with the color, the wood, the paneling, and the stone. I love the architectural sconce coming into the vanity from the sides. Maybe a vintage mirror with wavy glass that you can’t even see yourself in and then add a skirt (obviously).
I ALSO love this bathroom from the Anvil Hotel in Oregon. It has more hipster “dude” vibes, but that dark navy vanity disappears into the beadboard in a really chic way, then the heavy blocked chair rail trim is a cool way to transition the colors. I think I can say for sure that this bathroom won’t be white or gray, but not sure I would go this dark. It’s also a VERY small beadboard that I love, rather than the traditional scale.
Lastly, this round chubby little lady makes me smile!!! Maybe there is a version of this that goes wall to wall instead of what seems to be a 1/2 circle and gets much thinner on the sides. I have been collecting vintage plaids for years and dream of quilting them together a la Adam Pogue’s work (yeah, right) which would be the more EH homespun version of the victorian skirted sink. Also, fun fact, which you might know, but the reason tables and sinks were skirted in the Victorian era was because it was inappropriate to look at the legs – the level of prudeness is beyond Bridgerton levels and it makes me smile just to think how far it affected art and design.