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Excuse me while I go powder my nose.

by habituallychic

03 . 10 . 10

Powder rooms are a great place to go a little crazy because you are less likely to get bored by the design since you don’t have to look at it that often. It’s also fun to wow your guests since they are the ones most likely to use the powder room. One of the easiest ways to create a wow is to paper the whole room in a patterned wallpaper but what I’m loving now is making your own wallpaper or overhanging the walls with art. Steven Gambrel, above, papered a powder room in plates from the Cabinet of Curiosities book.

One of my favorite restaurants in New York, Cafe Cluny has papered their two restrooms in botanical and bird prints similar to Steven’s powder room. They are small spaces but I love the thought they put into making them pretty. One interesting thing they have done since it’s a public space is to cover the walls with clear Plexiglas to keep them clean and dry.

LA based interior designer Schuyler Samperton has papered her powder room with post cards and pictures. I wonder if it started out with a few and then expanded outward as time went on.

I also love that Schuyler Samperton propped up photos on a shelf in the same bathroom.

Artwork can become like wallpaper if it’s hung en masse. The limited edition Love posters by Yves Saint Laurent that Polly Mellen has framed and hung in her bathroom add color to the otherwise all white room.

Just in case you want your guests to remember who you are or where they are, you can paper your powder room with own photo or book cover like Candace Bushnell.

Marion McEvoy has also hung framed photos of herself in her powder room. There’s something cheeky about this that says that you don’t take yourself too seriously.

One of my all time favorite powder rooms is at the J. Crew Collection store on Madison Avenue. The striped walls are fabulous but what I love are the Hugo Guinness prints that line the walls.

Interior designer Amanda Nisbet also lined the walls of a powder room in the Traditional Home Designer Show House in Hugo Guinness prints. The funniest part is that she swapped out the mirror for a chalk board. I wonder how your guests would react if they couldn’t fix their hair or reapply their lipstick! I bet that would definitely elicit a big wow!

Comments Closed

  1. Erica March 10, 2010 | 5:23 pm

    Wow! That J. Crew “powder room” would definitely rejuvenate me first thing in the a.m.! Love this post…

  2. High-Heeled Foot in the door March 10, 2010 | 5:43 pm

    Love this post. I have to say the first and last images are my favorite!

    I would love to be as bold as Amanda and not put up a mirror and just ” You look Marvelous!

    I think I could deal with it by having a mirror right outside the space, but I’m not sure others would enjoy it!

  3. Frog Hollow Farm Girl March 10, 2010 | 5:47 pm

    This post looks ‘Mahhhhvalous’! A sweet, sunny hello to you. Love this idea – definitely do-able and I happen to have a bathroom that needs an overhaul. Ciao Bella!

  4. Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury March 10, 2010 | 5:59 pm

    Love these. Especially the Gambrel. The vibrancy of the prints plus green on the walls and red sconce shades — warm and beautiful and perfect.

  5. Alice Olive March 10, 2010 | 6:35 pm

    Agreed. Cluny’s powder room is indeed pretty – I love the mood lighting as well!

  6. ashlina March 10, 2010 | 6:42 pm

    that is such bathroom aweseomeness. wish i had my very own to create that same look! GREAT POST. your blog is soo my inspiration

  7. Cherish March 10, 2010 | 6:42 pm

    I love the freedom we can take in the powder room, because it’s such a small space it can be easily transformed. It’s a great way to let loose and let the creative juices flow!!

  8. Kelly Green March 10, 2010 | 8:50 pm

    i love this post – all about powder rooms! For a tiny room, you can sure create one amazing sapce! thanks for the photos! KG

  9. la cabeza de maria antonieta March 10, 2010 | 9:07 pm

    The first bathroom it´s my favorite!!

  10. Nancy Marcus Gueret March 10, 2010 | 9:28 pm

    I love the idea of a little surprise and wow-factor in the powder room. I always think of it as a little jewel box waiting to be discovered by guests!!

  11. Ragland Hill Social by Gwen Driscoll March 10, 2010 | 10:11 pm

    I love your powder room choices. I always design them to be wild, zany and over the top. It gives everybody their chance to go all out in a small way.

  12. Pretty Lovely March 10, 2010 | 10:32 pm

    I love the look of the last powder room.

    Free standing basins are incredible.


  13. the NEO-traditionalist March 10, 2010 | 11:19 pm

    J.Crew’s and Nisbet’s take the cake as far as I’m concerned. Though I think I’d freak without a mirror, call me vain…tisk tisk. XO

  14. Cayla March 10, 2010 | 11:26 pm

    Great post! Love the J Crew powder room. Those stripes are MARVELOUS!

  15. myletterstoemily March 10, 2010 | 11:35 pm

    my father in law has covered every inch of
    his bathroom with my mother in law’s
    movie star photos (peggy dow).

    the grandkids think that is pretty cool. when
    one of the grandsons was about 14, he said,
    “wow, grammy was hot!”

    love all your examples of powder rooms and
    agree that it is the perfect place to go a bit

  16. 3StinkyBoysAndMe March 11, 2010 | 12:51 am

    That JCrew bathroom is THE BEST EVER!

  17. Mary March 11, 2010 | 3:45 am

    My powder room isn’t done yet but it’s still fun to be able to say – “It’s in the steeple”.

  18. plaisirs simples March 11, 2010 | 4:04 am

    LOVE cafe cluny! this is a great post.. i have many of the images saved. so fun!

  19. jaclyn March 11, 2010 | 4:37 am

    i truly adore your blog. I even featured you on mine. Keep up the inspiration!! xo

  20. Teresa Hatfield March 11, 2010 | 4:47 am

    Love the J. Crew and Blackboard. I can’t paint enough with blackboard paint. I am making some new things now, and will post them at some point.
    Love this post, although some of these are too cluttered looking for my taste. Great to have something for everyone.

  21. Karena March 11, 2010 | 5:18 am

    Love the first image and the J Crew stripe Is amazing!!
    Art by Karena

  22. Slim Paley March 11, 2010 | 6:12 am

    I’m a fan of Schuyler Samperton’s powder room- I love the personal mix of photos and postcards, and the photo of her dog is adorable!

  23. Simply Luxurious March 11, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    I love the ideas from each of the rooms. The last one made me chuckle. What a great idea to trade the mirror for a chalkboard!

  24. Jaime March 11, 2010 | 2:10 pm

    I’d take any one of these! I esp like the JCrew and Love ysl poster ones.

  25. Diane James Home March 11, 2010 | 2:38 pm

    Love the powder rooms especially Schuyler’s – we’ve worked with her many times and besides being incredibly talented, she is also the nicest person!

  26. Style Maniac March 11, 2010 | 3:46 pm

    Cute, post! Completely agree with you, Heather–go crazy in a powder room (one of mine is leopard wallpaper, another I’m about to paint black as a backdrop to a rock art poster collection). All the examples are great, but that last no-mirror one is oh so clever. Love it! (but maybe add a little compact on the sink so we can check for lipstick on our teeth?)

  27. Kerry March 11, 2010 | 5:12 pm

    I have a book that shows a powder room wallpapered with covers of The New Yorker. Ever since, I have wanted to paper a powder room with something a little shocking.

  28. Mélanie March 11, 2010 | 8:11 pm

    Love all these powder rooms and their displays

  29. Roxy Te Owens March 11, 2010 | 9:26 pm

    love that last picture!!

  30. Katie March 12, 2010 | 2:57 am

    love the framed art as wallpaper!

  31. Belle on Heels March 12, 2010 | 1:43 pm

    country living had an article a few months back where someone did something similar in their guest cottage. just tore pages out of an antique botanical guide and used wallpaper paste. so gorgeous.

  32. Kourtney Pulitzer Style Blog March 12, 2010 | 9:17 pm

    Holy inspired! Love this idea and feel totally motivated to get home and start my new DYI project…re-do guest bath:)


  33. Juliet March 13, 2010 | 2:12 pm

    I love a wallpapered powder room! I have been thinking to do something bold in my downstairs bathroom…the multiple photos seems like a great, flexible alternative, thank you for this post!!