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Since things are going so slowly with my master bedroom redo (partly because of lack of time and partly because I’m waiting on the headboard to arrive and lights to be installed) I thought I would share some quick and easy tips for updating your powder room. Here are the before pictures of my powder room.

Typical, standard powder room. Nothing to write home about. I had purchased the cabinet on the wall at The Very Thing in Haymarket, my very favorite consignment store, to hide all of the bathroom necessities. I believe it was originally a plate display case. I added the fabric curtain by installing a tension rod and cutting some inexpensive fabric to size and then hemming it with fabric glue. Not rocket science, by any means. Not it contains extra toilet paper and bathroom soap refills nicely hidden behind the decorative fabric.
Here is my powder room now…

I painted the walls in Benjamin Moore’s Whiteall Brown HC-69 in the new Regal Select semi-gloss. I chose semi-gloss because I’ve seen that bright, shiny finish in deep dark colors in all the magazines on all sorts of walls and I wanted to see for myself if it really looked as good as the pictures showed. It looks good. Would I do it again, maybe. Next time I would take more time to ensure that the walls are free of nicks and bumps. It shows every little imperfection (as I knew it would, I just couldn’t see the imperfections with the builder flat on the walls). I do like the way the light (artificial, there are no windows in this powder room) shines off the walls. It gives it a sophisticated look.
I also painted the wall cabinet. I had some Cabinet Coat left over from the family room built in painting and decided it would be nice to tie the two cabinets together. A light sanding and two coats of Cabinet Coat and the wall cabinet looks like new. I changed the knob to a more updated silver know.
I found the mirror on discount at Pier 1. I loved the shape and color and it fit perfectly. I got really lucky. I also changed out the towel bar (not shown in the picture) and toilet paper holder. A few choice accessories and the bathroom is complete.
Eventually I will change out that hideous builder grade light fixture and may even add some crown molding. For now, there are more pressing projects calling my name…
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the powder room redo.
Here’s a few more shots…

I often have clients ask me for creative solutions for storage in smaller bathrooms and powder rooms.  It seems that more and more builders and homeowners are moving away from under sink storage, particularly in smaller bathroom and powder rooms.  So what then do you do with all the necessary “bathroom” stuff that needs to be stored and that you may not want everyone looking at.  Here are few creative solutions.

From my own home:

For my powder room I found a cute, funky open wall cabinet at one of my favorite places in the whole world, “The Very Thing” in Haymarket.  The cabinet had no enclosed storage so I got creative with a glue gun and some striped cotton fabric and created a small curtain to hide the not so pretty bathroom necessities like toilet paper.  The open shelves serve to display nice objects (yes, you can and should decorate your bathroom spaces too).  I have placed a Moroccan vase that matches the other colors in the space.  The idea is to one day paint the cabinet a fun color but these days I don’t have much time for painting.  I may even wallpaper the back of the cabinet with some fun wallpaper to coordinate with the colors and fabrics.  Take a look:

Small cabinet purchased at The Very Thing, a local consignment shop in Haymarket. I made a small curtain with some fabric, fabric glue and a tension rod to hide all of the not so pretty bathroom stuff.

Another creative solution is to add a decorative skirt to your pedestal sink.  This is particularly useful in really tight spaces where storage in general is limited.  You can use baskets or small shelves to hidden underneath the curtain.  You don’t even need to sew.  Use fabric glue and velcro to create a custom look.

Open shelving can also be useful, even for the not so pretty bathroom necessities.  Use baskets and containers to hide the not so pretty and use the open shelving and hanging racks for the pretty stuff.

Baskets and bins can serve to hold toilet paper, towels, magazines, etc.  Tuck them in a corner or under the sink to keep them out of the way.  Be sure to place the items inside neatly so that they look decorative.

Floor cabinets can also be useful if you have the space.  There are some beautiful, off the rack floor cabinets that can serve to hide the clutter.  Check out this one from Bed, Bath and Beyond:

Use old barn ladders and plant trellises to hang things like towels, and to sit a roll of toilet paper and decorative soaps.  This can be a creative and fun way to create storage.  You can nail hooks into them and hang them from the wall or simply sit them on the floor and lean them against the wall.  One piece of advice, tie the ladder into the wall so that it doesn’t fall on people as they are trying to remove towels or other items.

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