2010 NKBA Design Competition  Honorable Mention in Powder Bath category Designed by In Detail

Ok, let’s face it. Every single person who visits your home, except maybe those guys who pedal “The Watchtower” religious thingies, will visit your powder bathroom. Let’s not get personal here, but it is a true statement. So, why does the powder bath so often get neglected? It perplexes me . I feel the powder bath rates right up there with the kitchen and the master in terms of importance. I think sometimes clients simply think because it is usually small in size that a white pedestal sink and a mirror from Kirklands, ( this is store that is home to all things tacky) will be just fine.


Not in my book. I want a powder bath we design to be an experience. Can be wow, can be subtle, can be monochromatic, can be tastefully simple. But, needs to be treated with care and given proper design attention!

Stone Forest Sink with Sigma Nuance Faucet

This powder bath was executed by myself and my assistant at In Detail. We left it to the end,  after designing all the other baths in the house because we knew it needed to be perfect…and needed to evolve. This homeowner is a fantastic woman who loves serious design detail as well as has a penchant for gorgeous artwork and a flair for the dramatic.  This bath has very high celings, 12 1/2 feet tall! Yet is only 6ft in width and not much longer. So, it was a challenge. We wanted to clad the back wall in something textural but not tile. We chose mirrors and a dark walnut custom cut in our prescribed sizes.We accented with mirrored strip “tile”.

In fact, my assistant, Stacy Snowden and I spent a day taping out all sorts of combinations on the wall to get just the exact right proportions of mirrors and wood panels. It was painstaking and tight quarters too but worth it. Once we had it the way we liked, we measured our rough outline and drew it out for client approval. Voila! The budget came back a bit on high side so we did end up using less of the Mixed up Mosaics mirror strips and more of the cut mirror.

Soaring ceilings are gorgeous but tough sometimes to work with!! The panels of wood and mirror are varying sizes and placement

The pictures really do not do this bath justice

Small baths are tough to photograph and one of the reasons you do not see as many in magazines as you might think. The wood panels and mirror had a small 1/4 inch shadow line built in to give us some slack room. The stunning black granite sink is from Stone Forest and the faucet is the “Nuance” in Orb from Sigma Faucets. I like this faucet because it had the traditional finish but yet very sleek modern design. The sconces are from Stonegate Designs and is one of my favorites. The wall paint is a  Valspar metallics color that is quite subtle. Gray tones with just a hint of shimmer. The red color was a key factor in adding more warmth to the overall look.

The oversized and bold details were chosen for this small bath to give the visitor a dramatic sensory experience that we hope will  long be remembered.

We were hoping for more than the HM award but the powder bath category was tight this year! So pleased to be included. Most of the other baths this year were really not up to par with year’s past.

Truth or Dare

Now, I don’t think this is horrid, and for pete’s sake it probably was not submitted to a design competition, but it could have been done better. So easily.

The wall color is the best aspect and even at that it is bit “plumish”. The fake travertine tile is ok I suppose but there just is not a  whisper of wow in this room. And why?? Why the Home Depot light that is really not scaled right for the mirror anyway?? With even a modest budget, you can add some personality plus in your powder room. I promise it can be done! Don’t be a victim of design negligence!!