How to Decorate a Half Bathroom

More eloquently termed as a powder room, a half bathroom usually serves as a guest bathroom. It’s also a space worth investing a little more time and expense in when decorating. Not only does it impress your house guests, a well-designed half bathroom can help increase the value of your home.

Bold color choices on walls make a big impact in the small space of a half bathroom. Bright colors painted in high-gloss finishes reflect light with a jewel-like effect. Go for deep blues and purples or fiery oranges and reds. For even more sparkle, use glass tiles on walls.

Many powder rooms feature wallpaper in a wide selection of patterns such as intricate black-and-white trellis designs, Asian-inspired chinoiserie designs with bright splashes of red, traditional toile prints in gray, black, red or large, all-over floral patterns in practically any color. Metallic prints dazzle in gold or silver.

Faux texture created with a glazed color wash adds layers of depth and dimension to Mediterranean or Old World style bathrooms. Use warm, earthy hues of yellow, gold, butternut orange and terra cotta. Stone veneer or bamboo paneling provides a natural feel in minimalist or Zen designs.

Create a designer look in your powder room with an antique dresser or cabinet fashioned into a stylish vanity. A distressed finish gives the room a touch of rustic charm or go upscale with a shiny lacquered finish. Although do-it-yourself refinishing is a good money-saving option, you’ll still need a professional to handle the plumbing.

From minimalist to ornate half-bath styles, vessel sinks provide a look that is irresistibly chic. Choose a sink that complements the bathroom’s style, such as a stone sink in a spa-like Zen design or an art glass vessel for a modern, upscale look. The high profile of the sink requires specialized faucets with long necks, whether they’re mounted on the counter or on the wall.

For a look of understated elegance, try a classic pedestal sink. The singular columns underneath are available with different sculpted flair or add a Parisian style sink featuring two curvaceous and turned front legs.

Mirrors with distinctive shapes and frames add another element of style to the powder room. An intricately carved Moroccan-style frame adds an exotic touch to walls painted in bright jewel-tone colors. Baroque style carving and gilded gold frames create show stopping focal points in upscale and Old World bathroom styles.

For Asian-style powder rooms, look for mirrors with octagon shapes, faux bamboo frames or elegant red or black lacquer frames. Wrought-iron frames provide a rustic look in Mediterranean or country-styled bathrooms while beveled edges add a sleek look to modern interiors. Keep the mirror width equal to or less than the width of the vanity for a balanced look.

Wall sconces mounted on each side of the mirror should complement the frame or decorating style. Add two small hanging pendant lights or an overhead chandelier for an unexpected twist on upscale bathroom lighting.

Unused vertical space behind the toilet offers an ideal location for floating shelves. Use the shelves for additional storage of hand soaps and towels and mix in a few decorative items such as small framed pictures, scented candles and a small vase of silk flowers.

Re-purposed items also make decorative bathroom storage. Mount a small step ladder or kitchen spice rack to the wall, painted to match the bathroom’s decor. A small vintage suitcase mounted to the wall on its side with toggle bolts or secured to interior wall studs offers a quirky and clever medicine cabinet. Attach a mirror to the front and install a couple of shelves inside with small planks of wood cut to size.

If the bathroom has a window, treat it with curtains that complement or contrast with the wall color. A fabric shade offers a good option for lightly diffused incoming light. In bathrooms with an abundance of earthy, natural materials, woven wood blinds provide an organic feel.


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