Create a Stylish Powder-Room With These Great Tips

Designer Lisa McTernan shares her best tips for creating a stylish and functional powder room.

While powder rooms may be small, it doesn’t mean the design scheme has to be, says Croton-on-Hudson designer Lisa McTernan. “When designing powder rooms, I play with patterns, textures, and lighting fixtures to bring interest to a space of limited size. I mix up where to highlight these elements depending on the project,” she says. To style your room, follow McTernan’s best tips.


Use the floor as a canvas for texture and pattern.

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“I love basketweave, chevron, or hexagon patterns on the floor. They are simple and classic but still give some texture to the space. I also love Moroccan-style patterned tile. It’s a commitment but a fun and cheerful way to make a statement.”


Add wallpaper

“I’m back on the wallpaper bandwagon, especially for a powder room. I love a good graphic print in a small space to make a big statement.”


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Add art

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“A powder room is a great place to go big and bold with art. If you don’t want to make the commitment with tile or wallpaper, art is the way to go.”


Mirror, mirror on the wall

“I love round or oval mirrors; they seem to soften the space with their curves. The frame is important, so I love a little attitude here.”


Add interesting ceiling fixtures and sconces

“Lights are jewelry for a space. An interesting ceiling fixture and sconce on either side of the mirror add importance to the space.”


Don’t forget the ceiling

“Wallpaper, woodwork, or a lacquered ceiling adds drama to a small space.”


Include hidden storage

“In the past, I’ve used the space between studs in a wall as concealed storage! Then, just as you would frame out for an inset mirror, hide a storage area with a framed piece of art.”


The backsplash has it

“I love tiling the whole wall behind the sink or using a shaped backsplash behind the sink.”


Handy hardware

“I also love the look of an interesting door knob, but even more so I love the feel of opening a door with a beautiful Lucite knob.”


Steer clear of this mistake:

“I’m not a fan of a bulky vanity in powder room. I prefer something lighter.”


Don’t forget the simple pleasures.

“I love nature soap in a pretty bottle — and a linen hand towel with a little fringe. Last but not least, fresh flowers in a small bud vase, preferably from your own garden.” 

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