Pow­der Gets LOUDER

Half-baths are get­ting full at­ten­tion these days

The Dallas Morning News - - DFW REAL ESTATE FINDER - Rhona Schwartz ([email protected]­hoo.com) is a free­lance writer based in Seattle. Re­sources: ari­zonatile.com, www.ejin­te­ri­ors.net, hol­ly­math­is­in­te­ri­ors.com, spoon­flower.com

Pow­der baths — aka guest or half baths — de­serve as much siz­zle as other spa­ces in the home. More so dur­ing the hol­i­day hoopla. There’s no shower to worry about and few ne­ces­si­ties to store, so make this small room go “boom!” with vi­brant wall­pa­per, tile, fab­rics and cool ac­ces­sories.

“Pow­der rooms are truly the per­fect de­sign op­por­tu­nity for those who wish to play with color, add a bit of whimsy or sim­ply try out a new de­sign scheme,” said Jenny Sch­naak of Spoon­flower, an on­line wall­pa­per pur­veyor. “Choose from vi­brant prints, tra­di­tional mo­tifs or cheeky de­signs to el­e­vate the over­all de­sign scheme.”

All Spoon­flower wall­pa­per is avail­able as “peel and stick,” so chang­ing the look is no muss, no fuss. These col­or­ful of­fer­ings spark (not over­whelm) small spa­ces, so ac­ti­vate them in shelv­ing, on an ac­cent wall or every wall, Sch­naak said.

“I think wall­pa­per is key,” said Bren­ham in­te­rior de­signer Holly Mathis, who adds mono­grams, pretty light sconces, cute tile and a pedestal sink in pow­der baths. “I love the Mem­oirs by Kohler pedestal sinks and in­ex­pen­sive hex tile is fine and easy to keep with dark grout.”

Pat­terned col­or­ful pa­per can “re­ally make a state­ment and help the pow­der bath feel more like a lit­tle jewel box and give it that ‘wow’ fac­tor,” said Emily John­ston Larkin, owner of EJ In­te­ri­ors in Dal­las.

Lac­quered walls also make a huge state­ment. Larkin re­cently lac­quered a pow­der bath in a deep rich mer­lot color that turned out “so stun­ning.” Choos­ing a high-gloss paint fin­ish is a less-ex­pen­sive route, she said.

Dal­las-area home­own­ers also love tile in their pow­der rooms, said Alessan­dra An­drade, Dal­las-Fort Worth show­room man­ager for Arizona Tile. The com­pany’s Just De­sign pro­gram lets buy­ers cre­ate cus­tom tiles from a plethora of de­signs and col­ors on­line, or they can bring ideas and pho­tos to the show­room and work with a staff mem­ber.

“We find out what’s in their house, their style, what they are look­ing for and we do draw­ings and sam­ples,” An­drade said.

Most pop­u­lar are the tan­ta­liz­ing Deco, Clemen­tine, Dig­i­ta­lart and Marrakesh se­ries, which of­fer a range of hues and moods, from soft to mod­ern and funky. White, bluish and Cal­cutta gold mar­ble are hot, along with mo­saics, tau­pes, grays and a fresh shade of gold. Tiles are used as a fo­cal-point wall, be­hind the sink or on the floor, An­drade said.

When it comes to ac­ces­sories, less can be a bore. For glam, choose a wash­stand with Lucite legs or a chan­de­lier, Larkin said. A stylish clock, stand­ing or shelved, adds an el­e­gant touch (there’s no mois­ture in the room to ruin it). Make a state­ment with the van­ity by top­ping an an­tique piece with mar­ble and adding an un­der-mount sink. A non­tra­di­tional mir­ror is a must, be it in­tri­cately carved or sil­ver leaf in an in­ter­est­ing curvy shape.

“The pow­der bath is also a great place to show off your fa­vorite art­work,” Larkin said. “Scale is re­ally im­por­tant here. Don’t be afraid to go large in a small space or do an eye-catch­ing se­ries of art pieces or even a small gallery wall with mis­matched frames.”

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