Robert Downey Jr.'s 'old world' textures ensure his powder room will never look like it's part of a 'spec' house,' say designers

The actor makes a statement via a clever textural combination – and 'there's no right or wrong' when following suit in our bathrooms

(Image credit: John Shearer/WireImage via GettyImages)

Power rooms, or bathrooms in general, are among the most practical spaces in a home, but this doesn't mean we need to sacrifice their aesthetic. For a reminder of just how beautiful these rooms can be, look no further than Robert Downey Jr.'s pink-hued marble powder room, designed by Fox Nahem Associates in his Malibu home.

While powder rooms are conventionally small, the actor has prioritized making a big statement through his abundant use of marble, decorative mosaic tiles, and rustic stone finishes. With these varying textures and colors combined, the Downey Jr. has ensured his space always feels layered and beautifully luxurious – something that, designers say, is replicable (even if it's on a smaller scale) in our homes.

'I love creating classic and timeless bathrooms. By using various textures and finishes, you avoid the bathroom looking like a "spec" house,' comments Cyndy Cantley of Cantley & Company.

Downey Jr.'s combination of rose-toned marble and ornate mosaic tiles creates an uber-luxe bathroom aesthetic, but as Cantley explains, we can experiment with different forms and stones to create a textured bathroom that works for our home.

'I start by selecting the marble and with so many available options, you need to decide on how much movement you want. This is a very personal decision, as there is no right or wrong. (This is also my favorite part of my job.) I love to mix marble with handmade tiles for their versatile impact. Mixing marbles is very fun and gives an immediate old-world feel,' she says.

'A beautiful Rojo marble mixed with limestone is very special, or using a citron or black marble creates a spectacular look. My advice is always to have fun with mixing textures in bathrooms and be as daring as you and your budget allows.'

Bath and bathroom in marble

(Image credit: Sam Frost Studio)

Similarly, for a Downey Jr.-inspired starting point, Courtney Cole, an interior designer at Yabby, recommends pairing marble and tiles – a combination with a dramatic impact. However, we need to decorate with caution.

'Because marble and tile are both polished-looking materials, it can be easy to think they can be used together and they’ll suit each other immediately. Well, this isn’t actually the case – there are different ways they need to be used together to make sure they suit,' she comments.

'Marble has natural veining and is smooth, which makes it a great choice to pair with textured tiles for visual interest. Taking advantage of the smoothness of marble and the tactile quality of textured tiles will make it so each material will highlight the other materials' qualities – making the bathroom seem more dynamic and less streamlined.'

Buying into the luxury bathroom look doesn't need to involve and whole space renovation. Here are some of our current favorite pieces (for an instant bathroom/powder room upgrade).

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.