5 Simple Rules to Make Your Powder Room Feel Elevated — "You Can Be So Playful Here!"

Try adding any of these five additions to your powder room for a space that feels instantly elevated

A neutral powder room with bronze detailing and artwork
(Image credit: Le Whit)

Creating an elevated powder room is all about maximizing the impact of a small space. Your powder room might be small in footprint, but this space provides an opportune moment to showcase your personality and is a brilliant space to create that element of surprise.

'Powder rooms are a canvas for creativity and are an area that all guests visit, making for an important showcase part of the house,' says designer Rylie Fitzgerald. Try adding any of these six additions to your powder room to create a space that instantly feels elevated.

1. Wow-factor wallpaper

A powder room with seagrass wallpaper

(Image credit: Nicole Franzen. Styling: Rosy Fridman. Design: Homework)

Wallpapering your powder room with statement paper is a tried and tested formula that always delivers. Powder rooms don't need to fit with the wider aesthetic of the home, and can relly benefit from this element of surprise with something standout and bold.

Powder rooms tend to be smaller spaces, so designers tend to go dark, bold, or intensely patterned is a great option because there is no point in trying to combat the size by making the room feel bigger.

‘We love designing bathrooms, and a powder room is where we can be even more playful and provocative to the senses, as these small rooms are often tucked away somewhere behind a closed door,' says Britt Howard, creative director at Britt White Studio.

'We love the thought of a guest opening that door just off the main hallway and they are delighted with a rush of color or pattern when they least expect it.'

This powder room, designed by the design studio, Homework is flanked in the center of two wings that are neutral in comparison. The designers used a burnt umber metallic grasscloth bathroom wallpaper from Calico, evocative of a most luminous sunset overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge- which is in one's sightline from this floor.

'We juxtaposed this with an electric blue custom cantilevered concrete sink to create an exciting contrast, and finally reinforced the fun by adding an infinity mirrored triangular sconce. Powder rooms are usually small spaces, so our rule for powder rooms is to go maximal,' say Susan and Ben Work of Homework.

2. Try a statement mirror

A powder room with trifold mirror

(Image credit: The 1818 Collective)

Elevate the space by decorating with mirrors with a statement mirror that exudes personality. Use mirrors to visually expand the space and make it feel larger and have fun with the design. Instead of a plain frameless mirror, try a trifold design that lends this powder room a little old-school glamour, like this example from The 1818 Collective, or light the mirror from behind to give you a flattering glow.

'If it is a simple mirror panel, take it to the edges of the wall to create more space and a striking contemporary look says designer Rylie Fitzgerald.

'We like including a round, arched, or even an organically-shaped mirror,' adds Mukesh Vanjani of Sandbox Studio.

3. Add a feature tile

A sage tile powder room

(Image credit: Devlin Azzie. Design: Britt White Studio)

A feature tile might just be the way to bring interesting color and texture to your powder room. 'Selecting a feature tile with a bold color, or interesting texture to create delight within the space,' says Mukesh.'

Go for a small backsplash behind a bathroom sink to add a little pop of color, or incorporate the tile throughout the space. We love a color-drenched bathroom to amp up the feeling of coziness with added texture and tiles can be used to achieve this.

It's all about the choice of finish. 'The Walls, flooring and ceiling enclose the small space, making the choice of finish important. Consider using a paint color to set the tone for the house or opt for a patterned wallpaper, stone, or specialist finish to add texture and character,' says Rylie.

'We achieved this at our Blair project by wrapping the walls floor-to-ceiling in a soft sage zellige gloss tile, and the experience is like being dropped into a calming lake for a swim,' says Britt Howard of Britt White Studio.

4. Layer the powder room with lighting

A dark green powder room with wall lights

(Image credit: Jonathan Hokklo. Design: Jessica Gersten Interiors)

Ensure adequate bathroom lighting to brighten the space and create a welcoming atmosphere and create a warm ambiance. Lighting is especially important in these small space powder rooms because they typically don't have much access to natural light. 'Consider incorporating a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate different areas of the room effectively,' says Audrey Bernanda, co-founder of AEDI Interior Design Bureau.

'Illuminate the space with ambient decorative lighting, such as wall sconces or pendant lights, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. These lighting fixtures not only serve a functional purpose but also add beauty and spark conversations,' adds Rylie.

This powder room is taken to another level with this wall light on the side of the mirror. The light hits the face from the side, creating a flattering light for the bathroom, illuminating your face from above.

5. Add wall decor

A powder room with tiled flooring and decorative artwork

(Image credit: Le Whit)

Wall art is such a simple addition that can go a long way to helping elevate your powder room. If adding wallpaper isn't an easy edit, going for the gallery wall look can be a simple way to add interest to your walls, or a singular statement piece can help add interest.

'Showcasing artwork on the wall of your powder room adds a lot of charm and can easily be swapped out to keep the small bathroom feeling fresh,' says Rylie.

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Oonagh Turner
Livingetc content editor and design expert

Oonagh is a content editor at Livingetc.com and an expert at spotting the interior trends that are making waves in the design world. Writing a mix of everything and everything from home tours to news, long-form features to design idea pieces on the website, as well as frequently featured in the monthly print magazine, she's the go-to for design advice in the home. Previously, she worked on a London property title, producing long-read interiors features, style pages and conducting interviews with a range of famous faces from the UK interiors scene, from Kit Kemp to Robert Kime. In doing so, she has developed a keen interest in London's historical architecture and the city's distinct tastemakers paving the way in the world of interiors.