Perfecting the powder room

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Perfecting the powder room

Photos Larry Arnal

Powder rooms are generally our little sanctuaries where we stop in only for a brief time. But this doesn’t mean that they should be forgotten and overlooked. On the contrary, they can make a stylish and bold statement that complements the vibe and flow of the rest of your home.

As a designer, one of my favorite spaces to tackle is the powder room, as this little jewel is where homeowners are often willing to take a risk. This allows us to stretch our design muscles and have a little fun. The powder room is the only bathroom your guests will see so, lets knock their socks off!

Statement tile

There are many options on the market today for lovely, patterned tiles. Everything from authentic encaustic cement to less expensive ceramic versions that are a little easier to maintain. Tiling the wall can have a huge impact on the overall look of the space.

In this powder room, we brought the dramatic tile up onto the walls. This classic black small-scale herringbone creates texture and drama in this small space, and connects nicely with the warm wood of the vanity and floor.

In this beautiful powder room, we took a simple white hexagonal tile and wrapped the wall and floors for maximum impact. The black grout really makes it pop and helps bring further drama to the space.

Wallpaper wow

While tile can definitely make a statement, wallpaper can really wow! In a powder room, you are not dealing with the moisture and humidity from a bath or shower, so almost any wallpaper can work. A bold floral, makes a huge statement and encases you in beauty when you walk in the door. While you may not want this much pattern and colour in a more frequently used room, it works well for a powder room, as you stop in for just a moment, appreciate the beauty and then head out again. A perfect pop of drama in your day.

This large-scale organic pattern is the ultimate showstopper, and the ring light provides the perfect light to touch up your makeup.


We’ve covered tile and wallpaper, so what else is there? Well, what about the trim? Or paint? Or both! In another powder room, we designed a beautiful asymmetric trim wall and then painted it a lovely shade of blue. (See it reflected in the mirror there?) This colour is repeated in other areas of the home, so the powder room feels cohesive in its design, but special all at once. Such a great, budget-friendly trick.

Other elements to consider in your powder room are the accessories and details. Beautiful soap dispensers and luxury towels will give your guests a moment of pampering while in your space. Just purchase large format hand soap refills to top up your pretty pump. Its more environmentally friendly, too. Win-win. A vase with fresh flowers or dried pampas grass can add that final bit of finish to create a unique space.

Art can also provide a beautiful backdrop and bring a space to life. These details are present in almost every powder room we create for our clients, and while they might not be obvious, they really can create the most stylish of spaces.

Award-winning designer Michelle Berwick is Principal and Creative Founder of Michelle Berwick Design. For almost a decade, this GTA firm has been sought after for providing livable stylish and uniquely personal interiors.


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