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Portland Project: Powder Bath Design & Update

Today, we are talking all about the powder bath in the Portland house and walking you through the design process, even though yes, you may have seen sneak peeks of the finished room on stories. Powder baths are always small (traditionally just two pieces—vanity/sink and toilet) and the bathroom that you presumably spend the least amount of time in, so it is where you can take a little bit of a risk. You can, of course, take a risk in your more frequented areas, but for the bold design timid, this small space seems far less scary to plaster dark paint colors and printed wallpapers all over than say…your master  bedroom.

As a reminder, this bathroom is on the main floor of the house, like so:

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Traditional Floor Plan Proposed Plan First Floor

It’s a standard size, of almost 5-foot by almost 6-foot (powders can even be smaller) and it needs to have only a few elements.

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Powder Bath Render Plan Updated

The inspiration was classic traditional, with some more modern and fun touches. It doesn’t have a window so we wanted to do something to make it interesting and exciting. Just white drywall would look so dead and flat.

Here is the mood board that we pulled together.

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Mood Boards Bathrooms First Floor Powder Bath

Flume Spout | Cross Handles | Tresham Pedestal Sink | Artifacts Toilet Paper Holder | Artifacts Towel Holder | Tresham Pedestal Sink | FlooringWallpaper | V-Groove | Waterloo Paint | Pivot Mirror | Sconce

There it is all together, but let’s break it down:

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Powder Bath Update Kohler Product Update Final

Flume Spout | Cross Handles | Tresham ToiletAngle SuppliesArtifacts Toilet Paper Holder | Artifacts Towel Holder | Tresham Pedestal Sink

Let’s start with the polished nickel fixtures from Kohler (who sponsored this post and provided the beautiful fixtures for the Portland home). I chose the Artifacts line because there is someone inside of me who wants desperately to have a house that warrants such beautiful decorative fixtures and it’s not right for the mountain house. This was my chance. The whole line has this curvy detail and it’s done so well and in such a high-end material that it works. When cheap faucets try to look ‘Old World’ and decorative, they can look cheap and cheesy but these, in the polished nickel, look so beautiful. Oh, and another thing I liked about the Artifacts line is that you can mix-and-match spouts and handles to really customize the look you want (we went with the flume spout and the cross handles). We used the towel and toilet paper holders from the same line (even though we considered pulling from another collection in the same finish…the bonus of using one brand across the board…options), because they were super sleek with just enough detail to really play up the angles in the Tresham pedestal sink and toilet.

Why polished nickel? Well for this house, I wanted to go more traditional with the fixtures and while they do offer a polished brass finish in that line as well, I was worried that a polished brass just wouldn’t feel classic enough for what I was aiming to do (a raw brass would solve the problem, though IMHO). And polished nickel is beautiful, forever and always. Now that it’s all done, I have moments where I think the polished brass could have totally worked, but I’m still glad we did the polished nickel (and it’s throughout the house, as well).

We used the Tresham line of pedestal sink and toilet which I think is super beautiful with really squared off decorative detail. I really wanted to use this pedestal in our LA house but they plumbed for a cabinet (miscommunication) so this was our chance. It’s so sculptural and striking so if/when you can use a pedestal, I highly recommend this one. It’s BEAUTIFUL.

The flooring continues from the rest of the house and warms it all up. I kind of regret not doing this in our LA house. I like my penny tile, but a powder room is a good place to use the wood flooring that is already on that floor (less chance of water damage because there’s no shower or tub) and I like how it continues and doesn’t stop your eye.

The wall paneling is 3 5/16-inch V-groove from Metrie with a more modern architrave and baseboard to trim it out and that beautiful Metrie door really elevates it. We painted it Waterloo by Sherwin Williams—a color we pulled from the wallpaper, and boy is it such a happy color. The wallpaper is from Rebecca Atwood and it looks a little busy in the below renderings, but in person, it’s so beautiful, happy and hand printed.

We used a pivot mirror in polished nickel to go over the molding and topped it off with a fluted glass sconce in polished nickel as well.

Here it is in the 3D rendering. In this rendering, the wallpaper had to be repeated in a weird way so it looks kinda weird and patchy (sorry), but otherwise, you get a good sense of how it’s all coming together (in the lead image of this post, you can see a little sneak peek to the real thing…it’s just a rough iPhone photo).

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Powder Bath Update Render 01

Emily Henderson Portland Traditional Fixer Upper Powder Bath Update Render 02

And though the space isn’t all that large, we still wanted to do a fun little walk-through of the renderings so you can see all angles in action.

Emily Henderson Portland Fixer Upper Traditional Update Powder Bath Animation

Head to my Instagram stories for a more thorough IRL sneak peek of the final room. We’ll be shooting this next week with a full reveal coming soon. But let me tell you, being in that room is exciting and way better in person than in the rendering (as per usual).

Ask any questions in the comments and head to stories to see more. xx

*This post is in partnership with Kohler, and all designs and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that let us create this daily content.


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26 thoughts on “Portland Project: Powder Bath Design & Update

  1. I love everything about the look of this half bath. But as a woman who lives with a similar one, where is a girl supposed to store extra toilet paper and tampons? I am struggling with adding a small piece of storage furniture (my toilet and pedestal sink are across from each other) to hide the things we need in there daily.

    1. Wow and YES, great point. Storage, even minimal storage, is crucial. You don’t want your guests left high and (not!) dry, haha.

    2. Agreed! As pretty as pedestal sinks are, I would never choose one for the lack of concealed storage. Any time I’ve had one in a house or apartment, I just want to replace it with a cabinet.

      1. The powder room in our townhouse is ridiculously small and came with a crappy builder grade cabinet. The door swung in, and you had to work your way sideways into the room. Cleaning it was an even bigger joy.

        We got rid of the cabinet and replaced it with a console as opposed to a pedestal. It has a reasonable amount of top-of-the-sink space with a glass shelf below. I use baskets to store what I want out of sight, and bulky items go in the hall closet just outside. So, I have a basket with two rolls of extra TP on the shelf in the console, but the larger 6 or 8 pack goes in the closet. Best of both worlds, and it seems so much roomier.

        Here it is: We went with brushed chrome hardware, though.

        1. I ordered a very similar sink for my powder room for the exact same reason!!! At a minimum you need some sort of basket for an extra roll of tp and tampons!

      1. Agreed. My powder room has the same fixtures with no storage. I simply added a pretty basket which is shallow enough that it fits perfectly on the toilet’s tank with 3 extra rolls of toilet paper and a box of tissues. It does the trick and looks plenty attractive.

    3. Couldn’t you just have a nice lidded basket on the floor? The problem with cabinets in small spaces is that all of a sudden they’re filled with all kinds of junk: toiletries swiped from hotels, cleaning supplies, dozens of tissue rolls, and so on. The beauty of a powder room is its stark simplicity and functionality for guests.

    4. I agree with every other bathroom, but I think of a powder room as mostly for guests or a quick potty break. I grew up with one and we never stored tampons in ours. We just went to the other bathrooms that had them in the sink cabinets. For toilet paper, we have glass shelves over the toilet to stack a couple rolls. Would also work to put a small basket for tampons if that was important.

    5. In my powder room, we have a cabinet over the toilet to store tp and other supplies, as well as towels and cleaning items. It’s not obtrusive, and is the same color as my board and batten, so just flows with the room. I HATE my pedestal sink, but we needed something really shallow (one as large as Emily’s wouldn’t fit there), because of the narrow layout. I’m constantly looking for a shallow vanity, but can’t find anything other than IKEA, and it just wouldn’t look right in there. I think there must be a large enough market for a nice, small/shallow vanity, but I just can’t find one.

    6. Agreed on needing storage, even if just a tiny powder room! We have two microscopic powder rooms that we refer to as the “airplane bathrooms” — just barely enough room for a toilet, a wall mounted dental sink, a very small lidded waste bin and a toilet brush. We ended up insetting a classic chrome medicine cabinet in one and a classic brass medicine cabinet in the other (both on sale from RH) to have room for tampons, pantyliners, extra TP, aspirin, floss, some Wisp brushes, or anything basic we thought guests might need. No one ever wants to have to ask! It’s a great anti-clutter solution.

  2. Love the wallpaper and can’t wait to see the final reveal! The sink is not something I would have picked, but it looks awesome in the snek peek!

  3. Maybe I need to see to a real photo of it but I don’t love the sconce chosen here. It doesn’t seem to have the same feel as the other elements. Just me? That said, the wallpaper is spot on!

  4. Word of caution on flume style faucets: If you have hard water, stay away! My parents have a well with very hard water, despite using a softener. Their flume faucet always looked gross due to water stains, and then they had issues with water pressure shooting water straight onto your shirt! Thankfully they’ve switched it to a down spout now.

  5. Emily, what design programs do you and your team use to make these renderings? Sketchup for both floor plans and the walk-throughs? Thanks so much!

  6. I loved this room in person at the Portland Party, the wallpaper is so lovely up close. Can’t wait for the full reveal of the rest of the house. I forgot to note the blue tiles in the upstairs bathroom, can’t wait to find out the maker!

  7. Hi Emily I’ve noticed American designers tend to use old school toilets in their renovations as opposed to wall mounted toilet with hidden cystern. Is there a reason or just personal preference? Xx

  8. That bathroom is so cute and the fixtures on the sink are fantastic. I loved the way the water poured so gently out of the spout. The colors were soothing and the wall paper was a great choice. The lines on the paper made the room appear larger and I was surprised to learn the actual dimensions from the post today.

  9. Wanted to comment on Kirsten’s wall-mounted toilet query. My parents are European & I find myself connecting more to European trends so I was eager to try a modern wall-mounted toilet with hidden cistern in my renovation. Even tho my home is 100 years old & I honor the architecture in many ways, I like anachronistic toilets. Well, the contractor went nuts & said it would be super expensive to retro fit my old system to make room for the hidden cistern so there went that idea. J/S, apparently it can be a costly direction for an American retrofit….If anyone has other insights, tho, I’m keen to learn.

    1. Hi Kathryn, Thanks for your answer. The wall mounted toilet is popular here in NZ. We follow European trends so I guess this makes sense. ??

  10. Squeal! We JUST got in flooring for our remodel that’s also from the Hallmark Ventura collection. But the color is “Catamaran” in Hickory, which is much darker.

  11. excited to see the tresham sink and toilet. i had just ordered them for our master bath! looks great. can’t wait for our redo to be done

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