Decorate Like A Design Boss with Kimberly Grigg | Powder Room Panache

What’s the one room in your home where no rules apply? Where you can splurge, express yourself, and get a little crazy? It’s the powder room! This room may be tiny, but it sure can pack a punch. 

Over my years as a designer and decorator, I’ve come to learn a few keys things about powder rooms. Not only do powder rooms give you an opportunity to step outside your home’s style, but they’re also the perfect space to inject a little drama.

Tune in today to hear my pro tips and tricks for decorating your small but mighty powder room. A little goes a long way in this space, so I say go all out. Discover some of the ways I like to show off my personality in the powder room and how to make yours any flavor you want.

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What You’ll Learn from this Episode:

  • Why this tiny room packs the most drama. 
  • My tips for making your powder room speak your language.
  • Some tricks I’ve incorporated to give the powder room the power it deserves.
  • What to splurge on in this pretty little space.


Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:

  • Are you interested in becoming your own best interior designer? Check out my courses here to learn how or click here to join my Interior Designers Insiders Club!
  • See some examples of the homes and spaces I’ve designed on Instagram and Facebook!

Full Episode Transcript:

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You’re listening to episode 18 of the Decorate Like a Design Boss podcast. I’ll be talking about making the smallest room in your house the one with perhaps the most drama. Yeah, on today’s episode I will share my pro tips for making your powder room the prettiest little spot in your home. I have some little tricks that I’ve incorporated over the years that can give your powder room the power it deserves. Let’s get started.

Welcome to Decorate Like a Design Boss, a podcast for design lovers who want to create beautiful spaces in their very own homes. My name is Kimberly Grigg and I’m a professional interior designer who teaches design lovers like yourselves how to decorate. And when I say decorate, I mean decorate like a design boss. If you’re ready to create a space that your family loves and your neighbors can’t stop raving about well, buckle up honey because it’s time to design.

Well, hello there my fantastic and lovely design lovers and friends. Today’s topic is packed full of tips and ideas that you can use to create maximum impact in your powder room no matter what your style. Even if you’re a minimalist it’s important to give this little room, your powder room your full and undivided attention if you want a home that is not only beautiful, but a home that speaks your special language. The powder room is typically the smallest room in most people’s houses. But it is a room where you can achieve max impact by following these few little tips.

First, realize that this little space should be the jewelry box of your home. Because it’s small it’s a great place to splurge not only on materials. But this is a space that you can actually incorporate some of those wild and even expensive ideas that you’ve had but were too afraid to use or didn’t feel that you could afford in other parts of your home. In other words, you just need a little bit, and a little goes a long, long way.

Think for a second that if you could add one dramatic thing in your home that you’ve just been too afraid to do, what would it be? For some, it’s paint a room an unexpected color. For others, it’s add an accent wall of wallpaper or some other material. And for yet others, it’s paint a metallic color on a ceiling. Some people would love to incorporate some pieces that they already own but they’re just not quite sure what to do with. And I say the powder room is a really good place to do this.

For example, do you have a beautiful chest, but you don’t know where to use it or you don’t have space for it in other spaces in your home? Well, consider using it as a sink vanity, a carpenter and a plumber can easily convert this for you. Maybe you have a vintage mirror that you inherited or perhaps you found at an estate sale. A powder room is a great place to use it even if your general style is not even vintage.

The one thing I will say about powder rooms that I want you to embrace is that powder rooms are once space that you can break any and all predetermined design rules. It’s an anything goes kind of vibe. So, starting now, I want you to unleash your creativity and let’s shift our mindset on what is possible to make yours a small but mighty room.

Step one, give yourself permission to not stick to your style. The powder room can have any flavor that you like, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be yet another extension of your other spaces. This is one place where you can really mix it up.

Step two, be bold, daring, and expressive. If you normally stay in a light and soft color palette, well think deep, dark, and dramatic. Yes, you can successfully use dark colors in a small space, I promise. I do it all the time. One of my favorite powder rooms of all times was all black but had a bright rich malachite green mirror. The mirror was the only color. Talk about drama.

Step three, don’t be afraid to show off your personality. This is the place to take advantage of a touch of whimsey. Here are some things I do to show off personality in a powder room and some things that I have found really add a spark of individuality. First, play up the door. How about gold gild the entire door. Or maybe you upholster the door. Maybe this is a great place to add an antique door or a door of interest. One of the most beautiful things ever in a powder room was faux finishing the door in a gold gild, and then also gold gilding the ceiling.

Speaking of ceilings. How about paint the ceiling a dramatic color or add wallpaper to the ceiling. I love adding wallpaper to the powder room walls then choosing a coordinating wallpaper that is a different paper for the ceiling. Lately however, I have been loving using a print paper on the walls especially if there is a wainscoting. And then adding heavy molding at the top of the space followed by the same print that is on the walls, I like to place it on the ceiling. This is full on sophisticated character in a flash.

You can add drama by using a wallpaper of another type of material such as tile or a shaped material made by wall art just up behind the sink chest from floor all the way to the ceiling. Use dramatic wall sconces and a small chandelier in a powder room. I have also wired lamps into the wall when I have a larger vanity to work with. This gives such a cozy vibe. Use something completely unusual as your sink vessel. I’ve used petrified marble bowls, garden urns, old barrels, live edge wood pieces with a vessel sink added, and even a horse trough as sinks or basins.

I love to include beautiful luxurious soaps in the powder room décor. Then I look for pottery, ceramics, antique pieces, or unusual containers to place the soap in. This attention to detail just makes you and your guest feel well, extra special.

I love to display hand towels in unusual ways. Who needs the obligatory towel ring when you can choose something so much more interesting. Recently I used this little porcelain oriental guy who was crafted to be in a kneeling position. On his lap he held a large bowl. I rolled little hand towels and filled the bowl with them. This was really a nice touch. I have also used statuary to hold hand towels.

I recently found a yoga statue and her hands were raised almost ballerina style just above her head. I ran the hand towel through the extended arms and well, it was quite interesting and pretty. So, point is look for unusual ways to display your hand towels. This is the detail that is small but one that actually makes a huge impact.

I like to always include a scented candle that you love, and I like to incorporate it into the powder room décor and light it often. It’s a small thing but please pay attention to the container that your air freshener is in. It costs only a little extra to buy ones that work with the decor in your power room. You can always refill them with the scent of your choice, but the container should be consistent with the décor in this little space.

Another thing I love to do is source and find beautiful toilet paper holders. Sometimes this too becomes a place where creativity can work for you. I say, don’t just do the ordinary when you can think outside the box and go for extraordinary. Iron pieces or unusual vessels can serve as great toilet paper holders.

And of course, don’t just settle for any old mirror when the one in your powder room should be a statement piece. Make sure that your mirror is intentional and does justice to the feeling of the space that you’re trying to create.

Another thing you should do is experiment with pretty little shelves. You can use wall sconces or brackets as shelves. Little wall brackets are lovely and decorative and can easily serve as shelves. If the bracket isn’t too deep it is especially nice over a toilet. Then pay attention of course to what goes on the shelf. This can be purely decorative and should be in keeping with the overall feeling of the room. Small sculptures or lovely little vases are a great accessory to use here. I like to incorporate dramatic artwork into the powder room.

I love to include nude figurative paintings. They seem to just, well, kind of go hand in hand. And of course, you can be the judge on how nude the nude is and use whatever you feel comfortable with. The main point is make sure to include artwork into your powder room spaces.

Another thing that you can do is try out some juxtaposition. One of my favorite powder rooms of all times is a room in which I incorporated a fairly contemporary, well, very contemporary black and white graphic wallpaper. I then took the homeowner’s older pastoral decorative art pieces that were framed in heavy gold gild, and I hung an entire collection of them in this space.

A simple contemporary gold mirror completed the look and the juxtaposition was breathtaking. Plus, it was a good way to incorporate some things that you already own. Another thing that you can do is consider painting your walls a rich deep dark dramatic color. And yes, I will say it again, don’t be afraid to use dark rich colors in a small space. The result can be gorgeous.

Consider painting the trim the same color as your walls. You can also consider metallic on your ceilings. In a power room you can use any metal finish or finishes that you like. They don’t have to go with the rest of the house at all. This is a place to try out something completely different. You can also use a premade vanity, which is a vanity that comes from the factory and has a cabinet, sink and countertop already built in. They’re very popular right now and there are some really pretty ones on the market.

So, what can we learn from today’s lesson? Well, I say it’s important to step it up a notch when it comes to decorating your powder rooms. These tiny spaces pack a lot of punch and probably say more about you as a person than any other space in your home. Let yourself go a little bit and live it up.

The powder room is a great place to splurge because it is so small. It is here that you can use more expensive materials because less of them are needed. It’s also important to consider using dramatic inspirations as well as luxurious individual pieces to achieve a room that is lovely but that also has a touch of your own personality mixed in.

Use this opportunity to express yourself in ways that you didn’t have the confidence to do in other parts of your home. I say, let go and live a bit. This is one space that can allow you to express, be bold, be quirky and dramatic or opt for simple and chic. The most important part is to really go for it.

Alright design lovers, that’s it for today’s episode. I can’t wait to learn what you’ve created for your own powder rooms. Please message me your pictures on Instagram and Facebook at Kimberly Grigg Designs. And before I say bye for now, I just want to encourage you to, well, not wait, today is a great day to decorate. Kisses, kisses and lots of hugs and bye for now.

Thanks for listening to Decorate Like a Design Boss, if you want more info on how to decorate your space like a pro visit See you next week.

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