Design Focus: The Powder Room

Published 18 Oct 22
Design Focus: The Powder Room

Bathrooms are one of the key investment areas in a home. Get the design right, and you can rest assured that they will add significant value to your home. Designing a bathroom can be expensive though, as just about every trade is required to complete the space – plasterers, painters, tilers, plumbers, electricians, cabinetry makers, window furnishing manufacturers plus tapware and door hardware suppliers as well as suppliers for basins, mirrors and lighting. So you want to ensure you get the design right, first time.

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In any home you generally have a family bathroom and at least one ensuite, and where space allows, a powder room. And whilst the powder room may be the smallest room in a house,  it can be one of the most significant.

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Spatial planning plays a major part in creating the perfect powder room. Your guests will be the ones who use this bathroom space the most, so plan it well – and finish it off beautifully.

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A powder room can pack a lot of punch, and you generally try and bring together the key design elements from throughout the home and feature them in this small space. It’s the ideal place to add a bit of drama.


The key to creating a warm and inviting bathroom is about the use of texture with the materials, so don’t be afraid to use layers of texture upon texture. For those who are not keen to experiment with colour, texture can create warmth.

Says Kate, “I’m a firm believer in layering textures, but it’s also really important to exercise restraint. Sometimes it’s what you leave out that’s more important that what you put into a design.”


Tiles are one of the most important elements in a bathroom as they often form your bathroom’s first impression. They anchor the space and serve as a backdrop for all other elements. There are so many incredible bathroom tiles to choose from these days – in all manner of shapes and colours. Why not be a bit bold, or adventurous, or innovative with the type of tiles you choose, how you lay them, where you place them and what colour grout you use.

Functional lighting is vital in a bathroom. It needs to be well positioned particularly for applying make up and for shaving – try placing vanity lighting at the sides of the mirror to avoid casting shadows over your face. Lighting also needs to create the right ambience.

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Storage is not so important in a powder room, unless it doubles as a guest bathroom.  As a general rule, incorporating well thought through waist height and eye-level storage will go a long way to elevating the design of a bathroom. Hidden storage behind mirrors is particularly well regarded.

Choosing the right paint for your bathroom is not just a matter of the colour that best suits the space, it’s also about the functionality of the paint. To preserve the beauty and longevity of your bathroom redesign, opt for a paint that’s specific to bathrooms – one that is more resistant to mildew. And think about selecting the right window furnishings, or if your powder room is internal, a skylight is perfect for bringing in natural light.

So have a little fun with your powder room. Express yourself. It’s one of the few rooms in your home that almost every dinner-party guest will visit, and it’s the only one in which they will be all alone and have time to ponder the design effort. This space offers a prime opportunity to showcase your style.