Tag Archives: stencil ideas

Powder Rooms: Great Ideas to Transform Your Powder Baths for Upcoming Holidays

With the Fall and Winter Holiday Seasons upon us, it’s a great time to add some zing and lift to your powder rooms.  You’ll wow your guests with food and drink…but why not surprise them with a beautiful bathroom experience as well?

I love to decorate and design beautiful powder rooms. Today I’ve put together some beautiful ideas from around the blogosphere – as well as some of my own designs. Some projects are easy yet creative and others are a bit more challenging…but I will offer some ideas to simplify the process.

powder room ideas; an abstract wall finish a la Kelly Wearstler

A lovely and lively abstract wall finish from Little Green Notebook

Jenny Komenda from the Little Green Notebook blog did a fantastic, abstract finish on her powder room walls.  She had always loved Kelly Wearstler’s entryway wall finish in her home and so she set about to replicate it in her powder nath.  If you click on the photo above, you can see her step-by-step directions – plus her inspiration photo of Kelly’s home.

A powder room transformation with paint and accessories from The Inspired Room blogA simple yet very effective transformation from Melissa of The Inspired Room blog just required lots of paint, a few extra accessories and some artful wall displays.  She used white for the vanity, shelf and mirror and for the walls – Snail Shell from Martha Stewart Paints. Click the photo to read the step-by-step.

creating a gallery wall in your powder room

Click on the image to see the step by step process


Another totally fabulous (and not that expensive to do) is this gallery wall and dark painted powder room from Jenny of the Evolution of Style blog. She used Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray (BM 2062-20) – such a fabulous color for a powder room and all of the artwork was framed in gold.  This is an amazing transformation!

"powder room design ideas" "stried wall finish in a powder room" "window treatment for a powder room"

Click on the photo for my step-by-step creation of this room

A beautiful powder room project I did earlier this year involved adding some beadboard, doing a stried faux finish on the walls and adding a new mirrored vanity, mirror and a beautiful window treatment for the shower. To do this in your powder room (minus the faux treatments), just add beadboard or panelled wainscoting and use a soothing aqua wall color, such as Stratford Blue from Benjamin Moore, and add a rich, damask window treatment. Click on the photo above for how I created the room.

"chocolate metallic plaster wall finish" "dramatic powder room designs" "Stone Forest sinks" "marble sinks"

A deep chocolate wall finish helps set off the beautiful sink and toilet

Using a deep, rich color can add the necessary drama for a great powder room.  In this powder room that I did for a wonderful client a few years ago, we did a rich chocolate metallic plaster. We used an off white paint and then antiqued all of the moldings. A beautiful Stone Forest marble sink really becomes the focal point of the room because of the deep wall finish. I will be doing a blogpost soon about this powder room but, if you would like to accomplish a similar look – paint your room a deep chocolate.  Some great colors to use are Benjamin Moore’s Affinity colors (their Aura line):  Wenge AF-180, Barrista AF-175, French Press AF-170…or the lighter Kona AF-165.  You might also try mixing two of the colors – just add the lighter Kona to one of the darker brown paint colors.

"coral powder room" "faux finished powder room" "seaside powder room" "beach themes in interior design"

OK, it’s not a holiday theme, but this powder room will brighten your guests’ experiences

How about painting your powder room a bold coral color – then adding some coral stencils to your walls?  Not just for beach properties, coral motifs can work anywhere.  Great for the summertime – but very welcome in the fall and winter months when you want a burst of warmth. Canadian faux finishers, Paint a Lifestyle, did a fabulous bath with a coral color and theme.  Think of all the accessories you could use – coral guest towels, real coral on the toilet shelf, some real sea fans or seafan artwork and some coral motif fabrics for Roman shades.  The list of accessories is endless.

Some paint colors and stencil ideas…

  • Coral paint colors to consider:  Italiano Rose (Benjamin Moore 2087-30), Perky Peach (Benjamin Moore 2012-50), Ardent Coral (Sherwin Williams 6874).
  • Some stencils to use on the walls are from Designer Stencils or consider making your own stencils – here’s a great How To.
powder room transformation from Centsational Girl

Incredible Powder Room Transformation from Centsational Girl

A great wall color, a simple chair rail and a lighter lower wall color, a fabulous light fixture and bamboo Roman shade totally transformed Kate from Centsational Girl blog’s powder room. Visit Kate’s blogpost by clicking the above photo for her transformtion details.  Simple changes that yielded unbelievable results!

I will be doing more transformative powder room posts. I just love these rooms because they can take on the most dramatic changes with very little effort.  That’s a miracle in the design world (or rather in everyone’s world – as our dollars have to stretch further these days!).  Let me know what you think of these transformations!  Have you done any re-decorating in your powder or guest baths?  Let me know!  I’d love to hear about it!

Sharing this with: Between Naps on the Porch; Primp; Savvy Southern Style


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5 Comments | Posted in Benjamin Moore, Paint

Evolution of a Powder Room: Removing Yet Another 70s Era Wallpaper

When I married my husband, I moved into a house with a lot of 70s type wallpaper.  For a decorative artist like myself – that’s like being in purgatory (or worse!!!).  Now, I love wallpaper…well-done, handpainted or beautifully textured or patterned wallpaper.  But – the living room, the powder room, the kitchen, the dining room – the upstairs baths and all the bedrooms had 70s era wallpaper….and I just couldn’t live with it. So, slowly but surely, I began to remove all of it. I will feature more of the before and afters in coming months.  I only have one last wall of wallpaper to remove – a camouflage paper (spare me) in what will become a nursery for my new grandchildren.


Here’s a picture of our powder room right after I did the last transformation…first removing all the wallpaper, then oil priming, painting and doing an embossed stencil and tissue finish.  I say “last” transformation because the finish was the same – only the room was, at first, painted an antiqued gunmetal silver – which I really loved.  But as I was re-doing my home, the colors of adjacent rooms were getting warmer and warmer – so the silver just didn’t go with the palette I was coming up with.  I chose a softer and warmer metallic color – called Veridine (from Faux Effects). Then I gave it an antique bronze glaze. I covered the switchplates also – to give it a more uniform look.


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My inspiration photo done by Melanie Royals of Royal Design Studio
Here is the first color of the powder room finish – a gun metal silver
The vanity and countertop were really horrendous and way past their prime – but my husband didn’t want to buy anything new because the vanity hid all the pipes underneath (which also include some pipes for the washing machine in an adjacent room – don’t ask!). This powder room has 7 sides – it’s really an oddity and I could have gutted the whole thing and started over – but that would have been too much $$ for my husband to handle.  So, I made do!  I sanded and primed…painted and glazed…and clearcoated the vanity and countertop and it’s held up beautifully over the years.
I don’t have a before picture of the powder room – but I do have a snippet of the wallpaper.  Was it horrible?…not really.  But it was dated and it did’t really say anything about me and the spirit I wanted my home to portray.  This room and the wallpaper were someone else’s idea of beauty – not mine.  So, I had to change it.
It was perfectly nice – but it didn’t say “me.” And coupled with the peeling, orange yellow vanity and countertop – it had to go!
About the Wall Finish:  The one thing that is difficult about doing this finish is the amount of time and patience it takes to do it.  It’s not an overnight sensation…and trust me – I needed a shrink during and after the process.  When you are doing an embossed, raised stencil on a wall – you first have to stencil most of it on the wall first in a light tone.  Why?  Because when you do anything raised/embossed on a large surface – you can’t easily go from design to design in a row…because the plaster or whatever you are using to make the design raised – is still wet.  So, you have to jump to another section that’s dry in order to do your next raised/embossed area.  So, in this design that I decided on for this room, I first had to make the design “stripes” level and equidistant – I had to stencil just about everything in a tint on the wall before I could trowel any material through the stencil to make the raised design. I hope I didn’t lose anyone here yet!! You also have to do this to make sure your vertical design is level and not “off.”  So – it’s a process…that takes a lot of time. 
Whenever I price this for a client, they always look at me a little crazy because they see the finished product and think “Oh – that’s beautiful…I want it.”  But when I explain how much time and precision it takes to pull it off…they back off.  Only interior designers so far have said “No problem – I love it.  Let’s do it!”
A closer look: You’ll see the slight wrinkled texture on the wall.  You don’t “have” to do this…but I laid gently wrinkled gift tissue over the entire wall as I was painting the color on the wall.  One of the reasons I did this was because my surface was not 100% perfect – it showed some leftover wallpaper lining and I just wanted to give the wall a little extra texture.  If your walls are perfect – you do not have to do this step and I wish that I could have skipped it!!
A closer look at the wall finish – see the slight wrinkled texture?
One very important note about doing an embossed stencil design with a tissue finish:  Once your tissue is on, you have to make sure that the tissue lies flat next to the raised part of the design.  I had to flatten out the tissue many times and I also had to pin prick some of the bubbles that this finish naturally creates.  Did I get every single one perfect?  No – but overall it looks good and you can see every part of the design.  Next time I do this, I won’t choose such a small stencil design – you can see it above to the left of the larger design.  That was a nightmare to get all the tissue to lay down around the design.  So – don’t do this!  Choose larger designs to emboss – much easier!
And another tip – if you have to go through some curved surfaces like I did…pick a simpler design!!
For the vanity and countertop:  I first sanded any chipped spots, then oil base primed it and then painted the base in Off White from Faux Effects.  To antique it, I used a brown and gold glaze. The countertop – I sanded it (A-LOT!!!) and then I oil base primed it in a tinted dark brown primer – and then I did several coats of Modern Masters’ Statuary Bronze.  I then did several coats of Faux Effects Satin topcoat called Varnish Plus.  I cannot tell you how much I love this product.  I used it on this countertop and while I was re-doing my kitchen, this powder room became my “slop sink” when I was doing any other type of painting or cleaning or washing dishes.  The countertop stayed clean and beautiful after a TON of punishment!!!  Enough said – go buy it!!!!

For the interior section of the vanity, I painted it the Veridine color and then stenciled Royal Design Studio’s Small Victorian Grille.  Modern Master’s Statuary Bronze surrounds it – but I sanded it back to age it.  I kept the same knobs – only I painted them in the Statuary Bronze.  I plan on changing them soon.  Anyone have any suggestions?  In my kitchen I have the French Birdcage ones in oil rubbed bronze and I love then – so that’s a possibility.  But I would love some other ideas.

Future Changes: I am also going to do some other changes to the room.  I’d love to put something different in that center panel in the vanity.  A handpainted monkey or pineapple?  Or is that overkill? I also want to perhaps get a new stone or granite top for the vanity…plus a new sink, faucet and light fixture.  I would also love to do a raised design on the panel right below the countertop – I think it’s calling out for something!  And finally, I’d love to do something special to the ceiling.  Right now it’s a mid tone sage green, which is nice – but it needs some pizzaz! I’d like to add some moldings as well on the top but with 7 sides…it’s a challenge.  I had though of spray painting a thick rope in bronze and then attaching it.
Would love to hear from all of you on what you’d like me to do with the room…and then I’ll post the changes.
Thanks for coming by to see this project! For another project I did with raised stenciling, Click Here.
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16 Comments | Posted in Portfolio