Launch Slideshow

Design Details: Powder Rooms

Design Details: Powder Rooms

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    Jud Haggard

    This infill house in Houston is sleek and modern, but a red fired-clay sink in the powder room adds a surprising, hand-hewn accent. Project: 4412 Effie, Bellaire, Texas; Architect/Interior Designer: Edward Dumont, Studio RED Architects, Houston, Texas; Builder: Les Albin, Lacon Homes, Houston, Texas.

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    Robert Glasgow Studio

    The homeowners have happy memories of their travels in Italy, and they wanted a sink that would remind them of the drinking fountains common to Roman piazzas. This limestone sink and its playful brass spout did the trick nicely. Project: Conrad Poor Residence, Maplewood, N.J.; Architect/Interior Designer: Marvin Clawson, Clawson Architects, Maplewood, N.J.; Builder: Venancio Ribeiro, COTA Corp. General Contractor, Newark, N.J.

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    Beth Singer

    The underground level of this house needed a complete renovation with finishes that would make it an appropriate place for throwing dinner parties and charity events. Corrugated steel walls add a sculptural feel to the powder room. Despite its being an industrial material, the steel actually looks elegant next to the more traditional finishes. Project: Franklin Residence, Franklin, Mich.; Architect: Robert Clarke, CBi Design Professionals, Inc., Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Builder: Dan Sebold, Thomas Sebold & Associates, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Interior Designer: Jennifer Gilbert, Doodle Home, Livonia, Mich.

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    Matthew Millman

    The tiny powder room in this San Francisco condo has fire-engine red walls and makes excellent use of corner space with a sink of Geocrete, one of the concrete blends that the designer is well-known for. Project: Zuckerman Residence, San Francisco, Calif.; Designer: Fu-Tung Cheng, Cheng Design, Berkeley, Calif.; Builder: Matt Blickman, 38 Degrees North Latitude Builders, San Rafael, Calif.

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    Paul Finkel

    Sleek rosewood veneer, rough stacked basalt walls, basalt floor tile, and leather wall tiles make for a deluxe powder room that’s a collage of warm and cool materials. Project: Mountain Villa Residence, Austin, Texas; Architect/Interior Designer: Ulrich Dangel and Tamie Glass, Austin, Texas; Builder: Branson Fustes, Pilgrim Building Company, Austin, Texas.

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    Jason Kaldis

    A resin inset lets light into this tiny powder room. Storage shelves add depth and interest, and a glass sink adds texture. Project: Oakland House, Oakland, Calif.; Architect: Jason Kaldis, Berkeley, Calif.; Builder: Whitney Collins, Whitney Collins Builders, Oakland, Calif.

Just because a powder room is tiny doesn’t mean it can’t pack a punch. By its very nature, this little room is the place to be inventive (space is at a premium) and even edgy (it’s small, with a door that closes). Here’s the area where you can try something different, like a hand-crafted sink that might contrast with the architecture of the rest of the house. It’s a place to use materials like rosewood veneer that may have too busy a pattern to be used in open and oft-used spaces. A powder room can be the perfect place to spec in a touch of luxury, experimenting with materials that are too expensive to use on a larger area. Or, this might be the just the part of the house in which to set a fixture whose quirky design and spindly shape would be impractical for a high-traffic area. In all cases, a powder room is a great opportunity to make the most of a small space. These six designs offer ideas and inspiration.