TRANSFORMATIONS: How to get the powder room that wasn’t there

Here are a few projects where we found the space by inserting, carving out, and adding where possible to get that powder room without losing too much valuable space.

A powder room that was made to fit under the stairs. Photo: Erica Fay
A powder room that was made to fit under the stairs. Photo: Erica Fay

Your home doesn’t have a powder room in a convenient location. You would really like to have one. Here are a few projects where we found the space by inserting, carving out, and adding where possible to get that powder room without losing too much valuable space. Often they go in under a staircase or where a closet had been. Giving up a closet is a sacrifice, especially when we are culturally inclined to keep so much more than we need (I am no exception).

The photo at left shows a powder room that was squeezed in under the stairs in an early 1900’s house. The pedestal sink by St. Thomas is available through S&A here in the Berkshires. Adding white to the color used on the lower walls gave the natural, lighter look to the walls above. The classic white porcelain tile on the floor with tiny blue diamond accents keeps the vintage feeling.

You will see this same pedestal sink in several photos. Clients would see it in pictures in my portfolio and say, “That’s the one I want.” It seemed to sell itself over and over. It’s small, but very attractive.

 

 

View of the vanity in the “Birch” powder room carved out between two rooms. Photo: Erica Fay
View of the vanity in the “Birch” powder room carved out between two rooms. Photo: Erica Fay

 

Another view of the “Birch” powder room. Photo: Erica Fay
Another view of the “Birch” powder room. Photo: Erica Fay

 

In this setting, a vanity had already been built into an area carved out between two rooms. The resulting space was tall and narrow; proportions that felt uncomfortable. My solution was to visually bring the ceiling down by creating a 16-inch frieze below the ceiling with a trim band of 4-inch flat stock. The trim, upper wall space, and ceiling, along with all other trim and the vanity were painted white. The Birch wallpaper applied below the frieze gives the room a nice feeling regardless of the odd dimensions. John Sellew did the carpentry, painting and papering.

Modern-style powder room built into a walk-through. Photo: Erica Fay
Modern-style powder room built into a walk-through. Photo: Erica Fay

 

This modern style sink is in a walk-through (two entrances from adjoining rooms) that has minimal dimensions. One-inch glass tiles were used on the lower walls adding to the updated feel. The original space had been part of a small bedroom (possibly a nursery) that was divided into two parts: this powder room and a walk-in closet.

A powder room fitted into redesigned unused bedroom. Photo: Erica Fay
A powder room fitted into redesigned unused bedroom. Photo: Erica Fay

Here is the St. Thomas pedestal sink again, this time in a powder room included in the redesign of space that was originally an unused bedroom oddly placed at the front of the house. The upper walls are covered with a silver grass paper. A silvery grey on the trim frames the bold red on the lower walls. The mirror and tray shelf are from Restoration Hardware. The light fixtures are from Hudson Valley through the Berkshire Lighting Outlet. A pocket door made this room possible.

A powder room made to fit in a tiny L-shaped space.
A powder room made to fit in a tiny L-shaped space. Photo: Erica Fay

 

photo 7_dwg
Drawing of the L-shaped bathroom.

And here she is again! This time in an “L” shaped space that wouldn’t allow much more, although it did replace a tiny vanity that had provided some storage. To provide a new place for storage and to keep the space from looking cluttered, I designed a cabinet, which the homeowner built and installed over the toilet. The compound drawing shows the floor plan, a view of the vanity wall and the wall with the cabinet (doors open) over the toilet.

A full bath sacrifices counter space to add a stall shower to a powder room.  Photo: Erica Fay
A full bath sacrifices counter space to add a stall shower to a powder room. Photo: Erica Fay

In this case, the L-shaped powder room with the pink wall, shown above, further evolved from being just a powder room to becoming a shower bathroom. To add the shower, space was carved from the full bath behind it. Above is a photo of the counter in that full bathroom. To the left of the red sink, the original counter continued all the way down to the corner, and held a second red sink. Now, the jog in the counter, between the one sink and the toilet, frames the shower for the powder room with shower on the other side of the wall. The existing grey tiles and red sink led me to select the bamboo wallpaper, giving the room an Asian feel.