Small space doesn’t have to be boring
SOMETIMES good things do come in small packages. Our feature photograph, courtesy of Benjamin Moore Paints, is a representation of a small but stunning powder room that melds several design styles into a harmonious, eclectic space. Small doesn’t have to be boring.
This space reminds me of the dormer space that can be found on the second storey of some older homes. We have a similar space on the second storey of our home that is about the same size and shape as the room in our photograph. Luckily, it used to be part of a granny suite so the dormer is actually plumbed because it used to be the kitchen.
Spaces like this are quaint, often having unique-shaped windows or angled ceilings. These features give these spaces instant charm. If you have a similar space that is not being utilized to its full potential, why not consider converting it into a two-piece ensuite similar to the one in our photograph? The footprint of these rooms is so small that it could be a fairly inexpensive and quick DYI project in many cases, except perhaps for the plumbing if you’re starting from scratch.
Our feature room is a stunner, yet there aren’t that many items in the room. It’s all about placement, colour and scale. The decorative window is the focal point on which everything else is based.
If the window in your dormer is less than impressive, consider creating a focal point using dramatic window treatments or by replacing the glass with stained or leaded glass panels. If the space you’re considering converting does not have a window (perhaps it’s a storage space or large closet, for instance) create a sense of a window with an oversized, decorative mirror where a window would normally be. The mirror will reflect light and visually double the size of your tiny room.
The Benjamin Moore wall colour, Morning Glory, is current and vibrant without being overpowering. It makes the baseboard and the ornate oval window pop.
Don’t be afraid to use a strong colour or pattern in a small space. A home I visited years ago had a tiny, two-piece guest bathroom with a sliding door just off the entryway. It was painted in matte black, with muted gold -coloured fixtures and gold-leafed plaster wall appliqués on the black walls. The overall look was exotic and rather regal. You’d think that black would be overpowering in a small space but in this example it was quite the opposite.
If you’re not afraid of colour you might consider hot pink, canary yellow, navy, orange or red. Take a chance. It’s a small space to repaint if it doesn’t work out. Unlike a bedroom or family room, these smaller spaces are not a place where you spend tons of time so the punch of colour is quite palatable.
The stunning rough hewn wood vanity and modern sink strengthen the focal point in this small space. I had mentioned that there were several styles featured in this room. The window has a Victorian flavour while the vanity and wood flooring are rustic. The vessel sink and white accent table are modern but all three styles work well together. To save on your budget, see if you can work with what you have. Mix and match items until you find a good balance. Again, if it doesn’t pan out, no harm done. Work with scale to create impact. The oversized framed print leaning against the wall is quite large for such a small space but is an awesome visual addition that doesn’t take up much space compared to the impact it offers. Another item that could work in place of this large print is a similar-sized decorative mirror leaning against the wall. Some other examples of large-scale items that could work in a similar space are things like a white floor-to-ceiling Greek column; a small, vintage, metal ice cream parlor chair placed beside the sink; tall topiaries flanking the sink and so on.
To keep a small space functional you need to keep it free of clutter. In our feature room all the necessities are stored on open glass shelving to keep the space airy. The shelving unit is quite utilitarian but it works. The only real accessory is the small, clear glass bud vase on the vanity, which holds a few simple sprigs of flowering branches.
If you’ll notice, there aren’t any items hung on the upper sections of the walls. Everything is kept low-profile, allowing the window to dominate the room and the space to feel open. Items hung on the wall might make a room like this feel closed in. Be cognisant of placement.