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7 Punchy Powder Room Ideas From AD PRO Directory Designers

Jun 22, 2023

By Alia Akkam

For some, bold prints and paints might be too much for larger, heavy-use spaces like kitchens and bedrooms—but they do provide perfect powder room ideas. Often reserved for those convivial occasions when guests come over, these less-trafficked petite rooms are just the place to transcend neutrals and make a statement with riskier design schemes. In these seven half-baths, designers listed on the AD PRO Directory took imaginative leaps, treating each one as a wowing blank canvas.

Courtnay Tartt Elias of Creative Tonic Design treated this powder room like a jewel box, using plenty of pattern and reflective materials.

During the renovation of a 1923 Spanish Craftsman-style abode in Houston's Montrose area, Courtnay Tartt Elias, principal and creative director of local studio Creative Tonic Design, transformed an architecturally challenging nook under the stairs into what she considers a jewel-box powder room. "We wanted it to be moody and chunky, to both disguise and play off of the size of the room," Tartt Elias says. The custom sink, carved into a slab of Italian black marble, is the standout, buoyed by brass wall-mount faucets, an expanse of geometric-print Osborne & Little wallpaper, and splashes of Farrow & Ball's saturated Black Blue shade. "Multiple mirrors, framed in gold and brass, expand the space as if adding a window," she points out.

Soft lighting was the key to success in this powder room by Annie Downing, who installed a pair of alabaster sconces to set the right mood.

Since the powder room of this new build in Austin's Barton Creek neighborhood lacked a window, local designer Annie Downing paid careful attention to the lighting. "Too harsh and it deters people from looking in the mirror," she notes. "A softer glow is welcoming." Her solution? A pair of alabaster sconces flanking a steel mirror. (All three pieces are from Arteriors.) The client, for whom Downing has now designed three homes, desired a mix of textures and materials, so she responded with AD100 Hall of Fame designer Kelly Wearstler's abstract graphic Graffito 2 grasscloth wallpaper for Lee Jofa, Watermark's Brooklyn faucet with an onyx handle, and "a floating, integrated stone sink to achieve a combination that is both cohesive and interesting."

For a guest bath in Nashville, Kate Figler followed the client's request for blue and white by applying allover pattern on the walls.

Her client's request to showcase blue and white in the powder room led Kate Figler to envelop the space in Quadrille's Bali Hai wallpaper and paint the millwork a soft, matching hue. Part of a large-scale Nashville project the local designer oversaw from scratch, the guest bath is a whimsical contrast from the muted tones found throughout the rest of the house. She may have "brought the drama with pattern and color," as Figler puts it, but it's balanced with classic elements. The unlacquered brass plumbing fixtures were incorporated because "we love the way this finish patinas over time," she explains, and the console sink "felt like a fun departure from a typical vanity and added the glamour that we were looking for."

Ahmad AbouZanat of Project AZ evoked a "steam-filled hammam" with his powder room at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas in 2022.

By Joyce Chen

By Chloe Malle

By Troy J. McMullen

"My designs are always guided by texture," asserts Ahmad AbouZanat, founder of the New York practice Project AZ. Consider his narrow powder room from the surprisingly colorful wellness area that he was tasked with for the 2022 edition of the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas. To elicit a spa-like ambiance, he opted for a fluted Strike x Chad Dorsey vanity, satin brass Kohler fixtures, and one of Sanderson Design Group's wall coverings. (The latter's pattern is "reminiscent of a steam-filled hammam, complete with grand architecture and marble fittings," AbouZanat says.) Surrounding the tiled shower, the vertical graphic print draws the eye up to the charmingly slanted ceiling and "makes it feel larger in presence," he adds.

Moody and romantic was the goal for Mead Quin when designing this dark powder room for a Lake Tahoe home.

Hand-plastered walls custom tinted a velvety gray wrap the powder bath in a San Francisco Bay Area family's retreat on the east shore of Lake Tahoe. One of the few rooms in the home without a window, it was an opportunity for designer Mead Quin to conjure an atmosphere that was "beautifully aged, moody, and romantic," says the principal and founder of the eponymous Emeryville, California, studio. "We chose pieces and finishes that felt lived-in. The combination of movement and textures played a big role in making the small space feel special." The Pyrolave lava stone vanity, for example, is anchored by a Quin-designed base brought to life by Rocky Mountain Hardware, and the Gregorius Pineo mirror finished in hammered metal is straddled by dark pewter sconces from Remains Lighting.

Gucci's vibrant Heron wallpaper adds drama to this powder room in a New York apartment designed by Studio DB.

By Joyce Chen

By Chloe Malle

By Troy J. McMullen

This powder room in a family's prewar apartment off New York's Central Park is conveniently adjacent to a bar and dining area. Britt Zunino, partner and principal of locally based Studio DB, knew that Gucci's vibrant Heron wallpaper would make a dramatic impact in the tiny lair, since her client works in fashion. "They love the feel of older Parisian apartments with traditional architectural details juxtaposed with contemporary furniture, art, and vintage pieces," explains Zunino, who layered in refined materials like colorful marble and unlacquered Waterworks brass fittings. Those dressier finishes marry with the likes of a playful concrete tile from Popham Designs to create what she calls "a polished space, but nothing too serious."

Combining emerald quartz, rich colors, and golden accents, Maya Williams created "something completely unanticipated" for the powder room in this Trousdale Estates residence.

For a white, bright, modern residence in Beverly Hills’ Trousdale Estates development, local designer Maya Williams had plenty of powder room ideas. Williams was keen to do "something completely unanticipated," so she designed a sink and vanity fashioned out of "mesmerizingly gorgeous emerald quartz, which I also used on the corresponding walls," she says. The quartz is "naturally reflective, so it adds an illusion of depth, while the dark, rich colors play on the psychology of relaxation and intimacy." Additional jolts of sophistication come courtesy of a custom Area Environments wall covering, a gold mirror from Made Goods, Jiun Ho sconces, and German photographer Ellen von Unwerth's black and white snapshot of a carefree Naomi Campbell.

Looking for a design professional to help you create a punchy powder room of your own? Browse hundreds of AD-approved designers on the AD PRO Directory