Thanks to everyone who gave me great feed back via e-mail, Facebook and pinning the photos on Pinterest regarding my last post on the Master Suite Before and After post! It’s great to know when one of my posts hits the mark! In fact, it went over so well, I thought I’d do another one on a Powder Room.
It’s a funny little space that virtually all of your guests will visit, so that’s where you want to put your best….ummmm….foot forward. You should strive for the feel of a jewel box, not an out-house. So I’m not sure what the former owners of this house were thinking when they renovated every room but this poor orphan…
This particular powder room is in a lovely, gracious 3-story Victorian red brick home right downtown. Much of the architectural detail of the home has either been left intact or was updated in a way that was sensitive to the history of the house….
…except for this Powder Room. Honestly, it would have scared the poop out of anyone! Which may or may not be the objective in a family bathroom, but presumably not in the guest’s potty place.
When you walk in the front door, you see through to the open concept kitchen and family room, the living room which has been turned into a billiard room, and a four-foot wide staircase leading to the second floor.
A little passage way around the back of the stair case led to a utility closet under the stairs and beside it, the powder room, wedged into a closet 2.5 feet wide by 7 feet long and 7 feet high. It had bad, orange sponge-painted walls and a wall-hung basin.
In fact, it was like a prison-cell nightmare come to life! One peek in and you might decide to hang on until you got home! You couldn’t even fix your lipstick with no mirror and dungeon-quality lighting.
Upon reflection (pun intended), no mirror might have been a blessing. Who wants to see a look of horror on their own face when trying to wedge their body between the basin and the opposite wall?!
At first, I was stumped. What on EARTH could I do to make this room functional, let alone pretty?
THEN it HIT me!
I could “borrow” space from the utility closet next to the powder room under the stairs to recess the sink and a beautifully detailed, bow-front vanity.
THEN, I would WRAP the wall and the slope of the underside of the stairs with mirror and tie it all together with a gilded fine art frame!
Mounting one wall sconce under the slope and one on the wall beside the slope provided a whimsical way get more light into the room.
THEN it occurred to me to have the contractor bash a hole in the ceiling to see if there was any space to increase the ceiling height…and GUESS what we found?!
TWELVE WHOLE INCHES! – But not all the way across….
…There were ducts in the way. So I vaulted the ceiling around the ducts, added cornice moulding behind which I installed cove lighting and in the middle, hung a delightful, miniature crystal chandelier, so the room has a sky-lit feel. The additional volume of space makes a huge difference to how the room feels.
Not wanting to waste an inch of space, I used the left-over area under the stairs to add a surprising amount of storage. In the larger cavity, we installed a touch-latch door with an automatic light switch so the interior was fully lit.
To further add visual interest, which distracts the eye from the tight dimensions of the room, I added a recessed, mirrored display shelf above the toilet with a guilded fine art frame, and had the walls painted in contrasting matte and semi-gloss stripes in a soft champagne color above the creamy white wainscoting.
Now the powder room is so beautiful, when guests leave the table to visit the powder room, they’re inclined to stay for a while!
For help transforming your out-house into a jewel box, check out my design services. I work in person locally or online in remote geographic areas.
And keep your eyes open for the newest Renovation Bootcamp® book:
Design and Remodel Your Bathroom Without Getting Hosed
coming to your KINDLE in 2014!