What materials should I use in my traditional powder room remodel?

Despite being fairly basic, you can easily make this small bathroom interesting by incorporating unique fixtures, using a variety of materials and adding fun decor. It’s great to experiment with different materials, but beware of overkill here. A classic half bath is so small that too many patterns and textures can quickly overwhelm the space. When picking out materials for powder rooms, avoid combining multiple statement pieces; for example, a bold mosaic tile backsplash and a patterned tile floor can cause a disjointed, choppy design. Instead, pick one statement element, like a fun backsplash, countertop or vanity, and opt for subtle materials, like stone, marble or granite, for the rest.

How do I decorate my traditional powder room?

Similar to materials, avoid a cluttered final product by keeping traditional powder room decor fairly low key — less is more. Opt for a subtle wall or tile color and add hints of personality with artwork or accent wallpaper. Hand towels and bath accessories are also a perfect way to squeeze in some visual interest without over decorating. Try to incorporate one or two fun traditional powder room ideas, like an oversized sink, funky mirror or dramatic ceiling light. And don’t forget about the hardware! In such a tight spot, cabinet pulls and faucets can truly make or break your traditional half bath decor. Don’t get too hung up on making this step of the process permanent; there are plenty of powder room decorating ideas just waiting for you to get that redecorating itch.

What’s the best layout for powder rooms?

When planning the layout of a timeless half bathroom there are three major objects to consider: the door, toilet and sink. If you have a space large enough to accommodate the door swing of typical hinged door, that will be the easiest option for most powder room designs. Otherwise you can go with something that has less (or no) swing, like double doors or pocket doors — these will give you more options in terms of toilet and sink placement.

Toilets come in multiple configurations too, so see what will look best and fit within the powder room design you currently have. Wall mounted toilets can save a few inches, as well as make the entire room feel more spacious. Be sure to know the building codes in your area, as toilets do have minimum clearance requirements that can affect your desired layout. If you’re not sure about straying away from a typical toilet, browse powder room pictures to see how others have solved this dilemma.

When it comes to the sink, you’ll want to start with the more compact choices, like a pedestal or wall mounted sink. You won’t need much storage in typical powder room designs, so only go with a full blown vanity if you have the square footage to work with. Overall, the layout should provide enough room to move around so that guests don’t feel cramped, despite the lack of space. The best powder room ideas strike a balance between great design and flawless functionality, so be sure you put in big effort to this small space.


Example of a classic powder room design in Ottawa with a wall-mount sink, gray tile, matchstick tile, a two-piece toilet and white walls —



We had a big blank wall right when you walk in so we needed some art work, but because it’s a small room I didn’t want to overwhelm it with a HUGE picture, I thought small 4 x 6 photos with HUGE white mats was the way to go.

powder room 6

I Love little pictures with HUGE mats (if your like us and don’t have the budget for huge custom mats, use white poster board and cut it to size using an exacto knife, we matted all three for $3, compared to $33 each for custom mats).

Photos are little postcards from Ikea ($5).

We added a new light, not a typical choice for a bathroom but we used a track light. I wanted something simple and modern,

Powder room light
and I loved the little shades!

Some special touches, the towel ring:
Powder room 5

A towel bar (I like a great big towel in the powder room for guests to wipe their hands on, there’s nothing worse then trying to dry your hands on a small damp hand towel at a house party).

powder room 3

And last, a pretty soap dispenser (from Target), I like to keep my soap pump on a little porcelain tray, so that any spilt soap gets caught in the tray and doesn’t sit on our granite counters waiting to be absorbed.

Powder room soap

There’s our new little powder room.

Before Powder room


powder room 2

And because I’ve been trying to add some more perspective shots, here’s a picture of how it looks from the hallway!

Powder Room 7