Lisey Good's powder room is tiny. Minuscule, in fact: a mere 36 inches wide by 47 inches long. But the designer, owner of the Boston-based firm Good Interiors, turned it into a tiny oasis.
No matter how small the space, you can create a loo that draws oohs and aahs from guests. In fact, don’t think of a powder room’s limited square footage as a constraint—regard it instead as a license to experiment.
LISEY GOOD’S POWDER ROOM IS tiny. Minuscule, in fact: a mere 36 inches wide by 47 inches long. But the designer, owner of the Boston-based firm Good Interiors, turned it into a tiny oasis.
No matter how small the space, you can create a loo that draws oohs and aahs from guests. In fact, don’t think of a powder room’s limited square footage as a constraint—regard it instead as a license to experiment. “A powder room,” says Polly Lewis, owner of Boston’s Lewis Interiors, “is a place to make a splash.”
GOOD’S SMALL POWDER ROOM is bursting with personality. It’s located in the only space she had available on her first floor, just off her kitchen. To maximize the feel of its size, she continued the large stone tile flooring from her kitchen into the powder room. The wall opposite the powder room door is entirely mirrored, and the other walls are a get-noticed yet natural shade of vibrant green. “If a room has no window, I love to use the color green,” she says. “I also like to add life with some sort of green plant or bamboo in water.”
The small bar sink has a polished stainless bowl with a custom-made granite and stainless-steel surround, and it’s tucked as neatly as possible into the corner of the room. There’s no vanity or cabinet—the pipes below are exposed. “That saves space,” Good says, “and it looks contemporary.” Counter space is nonexistent, so Good mounted a stainless-steel soap dispenser from Boston’s Lekker-Unique Home Furnishings on the wall next to the sink. Other than that, there’s not much to see: a basket of grass-green towels on glass shelves above the toilet, two antique framed prints unexpectedly adorning the mirrored wall (“I like to mix contemporary with classic,” Good says, “but I didn’t want to gunk up the place with faux charm”), and a miniature antique crystal chandelier dangling from the ceiling. “I thought it was cute,” Good says, “and having more glass and reflective surfaces in here adds light and a sense of space.”
THE FIRST-FLOOR WC OF A HISTORIC BEAcon Hill home designed by Lewis and interior designer Maribeth Brostowski, both of Lewis Interiors, offered a bit more room than Good’s, but not much. Lewis started with a striking blue and taupe patterned paper by Zoffany. “The pattern is large, but it should be fairly large in a room of this size,” Lewis says. “If the pattern is too small, it becomes too much, too overbearing.”
The old-English vibe of the wallpaper makes a daring backdrop for a series of contemporary art prints. Classic Kohler fixtures look gorgeous and simply enhance the striking walls. Near a tiny bowl sink sits the only furniture in the room—a wooden Chinese box that serves as a table to hold hand towels. “You don’t need much in a powder room. If you have space, it’s great to include some sort of table or chair—with a vase of flowers, if possible—where guests can place their bag or put down their makeup,” Lewis says.
IN A BROOKLINE HOUSE (BUILT IN THE 1880s) that she recently revamped with retro 1950s flair, architect and interior designer Heather G. Wells, owner of an architectural interior design firm of the same name in Boston, wasn’t afraid to go bold. In keeping with the new theme of the home, she says, “We highlighted the modern design by incorporating new fixtures, strong color and unique tiles.” Those brown, green and white glass tiles, the Erin Adams Zen Weave pattern from Ann Sacks, are affixed (somewhat unexpectedly) vertically to the powder room wall behind the porcelain sink. In juxtaposition, the floor is cork and the moldings are teak. The room’s other walls are painted a zesty green, and the overall effect is fun, approachable and memorable.
“We like to incorporate a fanciful texture, along with vibrant colors, into any powder room that we design,” Wells says. “And we like to use funky or bright colors that appear in adjacent rooms or paintings found throughout the home. Hot colors work well in these small spaces because the color pushes the intensity of the design, allowing the room to feel more vibrant.”