Small bathroom design: how to achieve that layered look

A powder room can be tricky to figure out. It gets the most foot traffic, since it’s in the main living area. It’s most likely to be used every time you have company over, so it needs to be functional and practical. We also want it to be representative of our style, but it’s such a small space for making a statement. We want it to feel comfortable, inviting, but be practical and functional. We want it to be consistent with our style but make a statement. It’s tricky!

When I set out to update our powder room, I had just those goals in mind: large impact in a small space, consistent with the rest of our home, neutral, but not so much that you forget it as soon as you walk out. Functional, welcoming, inviting and pretty. After playing around with some patterns and colors, this is what I came up with.

This design does not include a vanity, since replacing it was not in the budget at the time. It started with the most beautiful wallpaper. This print has hints of dark grayish-blue, green-gray, silver, bronze, it feels multi-dimetional, busy in the best possible way, and rich. I paired it with a beige-gray paint color, Lamp Room Gray by Farrow and Ball. For the finishing touches, I tried to have both matte black and shiny bronze metals to balance each other out. The natural texture of this bamboo shade and the print of this runner add interest and a pattern to offset the organic print of the wallpaper.

I looked for some inspiration photos and found and came up with a couple that helped me figure out exactly what I was looking for.

via Studio McGee

I love how this bathroom combines the reflective bronze finish with matte black accessories.

via Studio McGee

This is another perfect example of mixing metal finishes in a small space: shiny satin nickel of the mirror and the vanity light and matte black finish of the drawer pulls, faucet and the towel ring, along with the color of the floors and the warmth of the wooden vanity creates an inviting, thought out, layered look.

As I was trying to figure out the elements that would make my powder room work, I realized that there is a formula to creating a layered, rich look, no matter how small the space is. First, it starts with a list of necessary components that would make the space work. In this instance, the formula for a functional powder room would be: vanity lights + mirror + vanity (if replacing) + faucet + hardware / towel hooks/ toilet paper holder. Once you have those picked out, consider the finishes. Try to mix it up and have more than one metal finish in any space: bronze and matte black, satin nickel and antiqued bronze. Combining a reflective shiny finish with a more dull look adds interest and depth to your design.

Then it’s just a matter of balancing out your finishes, making your eye move from one element to another: light and towel hook in bronze, mirror, faucet and hardware matte black; light and faucet in oil-rubbed bronze, mirror, hardware and a towel hook in satin finish. You get the idea!

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Here is a list of vanity lights in a couple of different finishes and a variety of prices. I found that starting with a light was the easiest jumping off point for me.

via Studio McGee

Here is another way of combining the neutral colors and finishes in the most unexpected way for a fresh and modern look!

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I rounded up some accessories that will help completed the look. After seeing the inspiration photos from above, I was so motivated and exited to try my hand at mixing the metal finishes in this small space.

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Runners and area rugs can offer so much warmth and charm to any place. Here is a round up of some of my favorites!

I hope this inspires you to try out new decor ideas, no matter how small the space is. I can’t wait to share our finished powder room with you!

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