Designing the Perfect Powder Room

Thanks to its petite size – 4 by 5 feet on average – a half-bath can often be one of the least expensive rooms in the house to renovate. You can make a big impact with only a few small changes like a new sink or faucet, or an updated countertop. Kohler Store marketing manager Lynn Schrage offers a few tips to help you freshen up this potential gem of a space.

Start at the bottom

Hardwood floors are popular right now, as are rich materials such as granite and marble, which offer an upscale look. Run the same floor material from the hallway into the powder room to create a natural flow.

Bamboo is both durable and eco-friendly. And ceramic tile or slate with radiant heating may let you eliminate the need for a second heat source in the room.

Small changes

Changing your faucet– anything from a traditional-style to a very streamlined, modern faucet – can make a big difference. And don’t forget to consider the finish. Make sure it blends with the overall design.

A new sink, such as the popular vessel-type, can be found in a wide range of materials, from marble and glass to stainless steel, bronze and vitreous china.

Consider a one-piece toilet for a furnished look that uses less space. Some models have built-in water efficiency; another popular feature is sound modulation for more discreet flushing.

"An intense wall or ceiling color can make a dramatic impact in the room and add an element of surprise off the hallway. "

Counter intelligence

For powder room countertops, consider bright or reflective materials such as granite or quartz. Slate, which is warmer than ceramic tile, can be combined with granite or quartz to give a calm, not overly decorated look. If you're looking for a green alternative but still want shine and durability, try recycled glass.

Color up

"Select a deep, dramatic hue for the walls," says Schrage. "Don't be concerned about closing in this small space. An intense wall or ceiling color can make a dramatic impact in the room and add an element of surprise off the hallway."Texture and materials can also play an important role. A reflective material can help lighten up the room. Earth tones and light-colored natural materials can also help keep the space feeling open and fresh.

Space it out

Maximize your available room by using a pedestal or sink. For extra space and storage, consider a petite vanity."A well-placed mirror can make any room look larger and more appealing," says Schrage. "If you are considering a console table or pedestal, a decorative mirrored storage solution will offer the much-needed additional storage for toiletries and paper."

Light it up

Lighting can contribute to the overall effect or theme of your powder room. It's better to over-light than under-light, and you can always use a dimmer switch."Dimmers help set the mood in the room when you're entertaining," says Schrage. Under-cabinet lights can function as nightlights or mood lighting when the room is unoccupied, and can help guide guests who are unfamiliar with your home's layout.

Spread it out

Keep things simple; don’t over-decorate. Leave counters empty so guests can set down purses or car keys, and take care in choosing accessories like towel bars, towel rings and soap dispensers. Think about providing the extra courtesy of a dedicated place for women to set their bags – an empty countertop or shelf, for example.If your home style is contemporary, use modern materials such as laminate or designer woods. If you live in a period-style home, consider selecting fixtures and décor that blend harmoniously with the rest of the house.Finally, consider adding classic architectural detail to your powder room with thick crown molding (3-5 inches) around the room's perimeter and up to 8 inches of base boarding.The powder room, while small, makes a big statement about you and your home. With a little thought and imagination, you can make sure it's speaking with your distinct voice.

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