Think of your powder room as the perfect place for a new design project. This compact space can be as dramatic as you’d like, exploring the latest in décor and design without busting the budget. Here are five inspiring steps to a dramatic powder room.

1/ Experiment with your dark side
Choosing rich, dark shades of charcoal grey, navy blue, dark chocolate brown or black can create the perfect base for a dramatic powder room. By coating ceilings, walls, and doors in the same colour you eliminate contrast and the room’s edges almost disappear.

Since it’s a small room, consider splurging on some expensive wallpaper. You can find patterns that have a hint of glimmer, creating a reflective quality to the surface. It’s on trend right now and just needs some light to make it shine.

2/ Lighting? Bring on the bling!
I’m a firm believer in layered lighting, especially in the powder room. Lighting can change everything—from functional to glamorous. Installing pot-lights (even just one) in the ceiling is a good upgrade for the room. That crisp, downlight is a good way to light surfaces.

Avoid the flycatchers, those upside down “dishes” that light up the ceiling instead of what’s below (and are a good source for dead flies). Chandeliers add sophistication and help the reflective surfaces gleam and glow.

In addition, add cross-illumination or side lights like pendant lights that hang on either side of the mirror, or choose show-stopping sconces.

Some bathroom vanities now feature under-mounted lighting to reflect the floor—great for a night light. Choose the prettiest, shiniest, most glamourous lighting you can handle. The blingier the better.

3/ Mirror, mirror…everywhere!
Mirrors offer three wonderful things. A stylish, shiny surface that reflects you. Whether an entire wall is covered in mirror, it’s in the smoky subway tiles, or the vanity, mirrored surfaces add double the drama in the room. Make sure there is always something interesting for the mirror to reflect, like artwork.

4/ Add dramatic flair to the floor
Trying to achieve a dramatic powder room doesn’t have to be costly, especially when it comes to the floor. Tile is a great choice and because of the limited floor area, you may want to go all out on your choice.  Go for a glossy or reflective surface for a rich dramatic look and customize it with your own pattern.

5/ From soap to knobs
From the vanity to the soap dish, there are lots of choices for powder room upgrades. Today, the dresser-as-vanity trend continues and we’re seeing more custom-made cabinetry that looks like furniture. But you can transform the look for less by upgrading faucets and taps. Go ahead and mix your metals, change out door handles, pulls, and knobs.

As long as your powder room is relatively moisture-free, hang framed art. Even one, new, cherishable soap dish can add drama to a powder room.

JANE LOCKHART is an interior design professional, speaker, author, and television host of Colour Confidential.
janelockhart.com

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