A powder room is a useful part of any home, and it can be a stylish one as well. However, it’s often not generously proportioned, and maximizing space in a powder room can frequently be a goal when designing it.
Typically, powder room ideas need to include ways to fit all the desired features into a small space while leaving it practical and comfortable to use. Get it right and the room can be a huge asset, supplementing other bathrooms to make daily life run more smoothly.
Planning small areas of a home is always challenging so we asked interior design specialists to share the tactics they use to optimize the space in a powder room without compromising its good looks, and this is what they told us.
Clever ways to maximize space in a powder room
As with any small bathroom, excellent design is essential for a powder room if it is to function well. Often with the least square footage of any room in a home, it can be extremely compact and small powder room ideas invaluable as inspiration, along with best bathroom ideas and half bathroom ideas.
These are the ways designers recommend to stretch the space in a powder room, and they’re easy to replicate.
1.Choose wall-mounted designs
Choosing a powder room vanity that is off the floor is a great way to maximize the space in a powder room. ‘I’ve always believed that floating vanities bring a touch of magic to spaces,’ says interior designer Artem Kropovinsky. ‘By unveiling more floor and delivering a sense of openness, they seamlessly introduce a sophisticated, streamlined aura, even in the most compact of powder rooms.’
Consider other pieces that will have the same space-expanding effect. ‘Embrace sleek, wall-mounted fixtures like toilets and even stone sinks – they not only free up your precious floor space but also bring a touch of modern elegance to the room,’ says Elizabeth Vergara, the founder and principal designer of Vergara Homes.
Based in New York, Artem Kropovinsky, founder of Arsight, has a decade of extensive and considerable global design experience. Prioritizing minimalism, sustainability, and authenticity, Artem, alongside his team of professionals, works on projects in the US and worldwide.
2. Consider a pocket door
Such a simple switch that can make all the difference. A pocket door can have a magical effect, making more of the floor space usable in any small room – including a powder room.
‘Consider switching to a pocket door,’ advises Alice Moszczynski, interior designer at Planner 5D. ‘It disappears into the wall, freeing up space that would otherwise be taken by a swinging door.’
3. Curate decorative elements
While a powder room should offer style as well as functionality, for maximum space, edit powder room wall decor. In a small room, even elements like this can reduce the room’s volume in a way that makes it feel less comfortable.
‘Opt for one or two carefully chosen decorative elements,’ recommends Leah Tuttleman, interior designer at Re-Bath. ‘One large-scale piece of wall art versus two small pieces creates a focal point. Less is definitely more.’
4. Recess the lighting for a clutter free look
Well-chosen small bathroom lighting can maximize its proportions – and that includes in the powder room.
‘Recessed lighting in the ceiling is an excellent choice,’ says Alice Moszczynski. ‘It doesn’t intrude on the space and provides even illumination.’ While the first will create more vertical space, the latter eliminates shadowy corners that make a room feel smaller.
5. Cleverly position a mirror
A bathroom mirror is a must for a powder room and while it won’t make more space, it will create the illusion of it, which can be truly transformative if you follow the lead of Artem Kropovinsky and size up.
‘Mirrors, to me, are the unsung heroes in tight spaces,’ he says. ‘Swapping a small vanity mirror for an entire mirrored wall not only amplifies the room’s perception but also elegantly bounces light, infusing an airy ambiance.’
6. Don't break up sight lines with lots of grout
Using one bathroom tile instead of two is another way to visually expand the space in a powder room with great results. ‘The same tile on the floor and the walls gives a visually even flow to the eye,’ explains Leah Tuttleman. ‘The space doesn’t feel chopped up into several pieces.’ Alternatively, opt for the same material, like the concrete shown above, for a space-stretching effect.
7. Stick with a minimalist color scheme
‘A light color palette is highly reflective, meaning light bounces around the room,’ says Leah Tuttleman. ‘Light colors make surfaces appear farther away as opposed to dark surfaces which do just the opposite by making surfaces feel more closed in.
‘Soft color palettes such as pale grays, light beiges, light neutrals, and white are all good choices that will make your powder room feel both expansive and have a sense of calm.’
8. Or go with a monochrome palette
Opt for a monochromatic color scheme rather than taking colors from more than one family, to again help create the allusion of more space and light.
‘There’s an understated power in monochromatic color schemes, especially when accented with subtle textural variances,’ says Artem Kropovinsky. ‘By allowing for continuity, we avoid breaking up the room with multiple colors or bold patterns, thus creating an illusion of a larger space.’
How do you make a powder room look luxurious?
The right fixtures can make a powder room look luxurious. Wall-mounted pieces have a luxe look and are ideal for modern powder rooms. Think faucets, too, for a luxe-looking room: brass and gold will add rich, warm highlights, and these might be repeated in lighting designs, as well as handles and doorknobs. Focus on everyday details, too. Make sure towels have deep, soft pile, and keep them rolled up on a shelf to contribute to the luxury look.
Fitting out a powder room so it’s functional as well as chic and feels spacious doesn’t have to run over budget if you follow expert advice on where to spend and where to save. As with any bathroom design, plan adequate space to use its fixtures comfortably and safely, and take inspiration from small bathroom storage ideas to keep it clutter-free.
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Sarah is a freelance journalist and editor. Previously executive editor of Ideal Home, she’s specialized in interiors, property and gardens for over 20 years, and covers interior design, house design, gardens, and cleaning and organizing a home for H&G. She’s written for websites, including Houzz, Channel 4’s flagship website, 4Homes, and Future’s T3; national newspapers, including The Guardian; and magazines including Future’s Country Homes & Interiors, Homebuilding & Renovating, Period Living, and Style at Home, as well as House Beautiful, Good Homes, Grand Designs, Homes & Antiques, LandLove and The English Home among others. It’s no big surprise that she likes to put what she writes about into practice, and is a serial house renovator.
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