5 local interior designers create powder room perfection

The powder room is a great place to get creative and be bold. See how these local interior designers made a big impact in a small space.

black powder room with black and blue floral wallpaper and large white sink with black cabinets
The glamorous yet wipeable Phillip Jeffries wallpaper is ‘Blossom Mural’ in Multicolor Midnight on Vinyl Glam Grass. The mirror is from Arteriors. (Photo by Robert Radifera)

Sheer Elegance

This newly built powder room finally came together when its McLean homeowner requested a wow factor, coupled with elegance and durability, from her interior designer, Andrea Maaseide of Studio 320.

The stone countertop, sink hardware and pair of gilt sconces had already been selected by the homeowner, whose house was built by Artisan Builders. Maaseide suggested finishing the inset-paneled vanity base in a matte black for drama and adding Lucite and brass pulls to it for sophistication. But it was the mural wall covering that made the biggest impact.

“While our client was in our office, she fell in love with the ‘Blossom Mural’ from Phillip Jeffries,” says Maaseide.  “The mural incorporates all of her favorite colors, her love for flowers and a dramatic black background.”

A striking, ceiling-mounted light fixture—composed of cascading glass tubes—layered up the lighting. Meanwhile, a mirror suspended in a black metal frame, with polished brass details, pulled more deco glamor into the powder room.

“We selected simple accessories that didn’t compete with the striking wall covering,” adds Maaseide. “In the end, we really created a jewel box of a room.”

white and balck wallpaper in powder room bathroom with black sink and gold mirror
The wallpaper is ‘Rajasthan Paisley Silver’ from Schumacher, while the whimsical feather-shaped towel hook was a find at Anthropologie. (Photo by Photo by Robert Radifera)

Risky Business

I see a powder room as a tiny jewel box—a place to take risks with patterns and finishes,” says interior designer Lori Anderson Wier of Anderson Wier Studio.

Wier redid this Arlington powder room for a family of six, using her eye for the unexpected.

An early dilemma was what to use for a vanity. Wier selected a small French neoclassical style vanity, which reads as furniture.

It features drawered storage, as well as raised legs, permitting a footstool to be tucked beneath for the younger kids. The counter and backsplash are custom-cut marble, the latter featuring notched corners, while the wall-mounted, oil-rubbed bronze faucet has crisp, white porcelain handles.

Wier’s creative selections include a tall and narrow mirror and an overscale towel hook, as opposed to a customary bar or ring.

The wallpaper is an updated graphic take on classic paisley, while a ceiling-mounted, opal-glass ‘acorn’ light fixture keeps wall space clear.

“I suggest looking for pieces that aren’t necessarily intended for use in a bathroom,” says Wier of giving powder rooms a unique spin. “For example, a small chest of drawers can be repurposed as a vanity cabinet.”

powder room bathroom with blue wall and wall paper with large white sink
The marble and wood tiles from TileBar create an atypical 3D wall finish. Sconces are from Visual Comfort, while the polished nickel faucet is by Kohler. (Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg)

Good Industry

After reworking the main floors of an Old Town Alexandria townhouse, interior designer Karen Germond of KMD Interiors turned to the lower level.

A recreational space, the client wanted a non-stereotypical “man cave,” something modern with an industrial edge. To that end, Germond went for deep-blue walls in its powder room, whose showstopper is a geometric, quilted marble-and-wood tile backsplash.

“I knew exactly where to install that tile as soon as I saw it!  It was fun, and the 3D
effect added a great sense of movement to the small space and had a definite, unexpected wow factor,” she adds.

Germond ran the tile the full length of the wall behind the sink, whose pedestal base kept the space feeling open.

A matte-black, metal-framed mirror, with studded corners and a pair of clear-glass sconces contribute to the powder room’s industrial feel.
“I like to think outside the box—and avoid falling into the trap of doing what comes easy or quickly.  Powder rooms get a lot of use, so I get creative and make the most of them,” says Germond.

powder room with marble and white floating sink
Tableau tiles by Kelly Wearstler through Ann Sacks combine beautifully with Grigio Tucci marble from Stone Source. The vessel sink is from AXOR Urquiola. (Photo by Photo by Robert Radifera)

Most Modern

Arlington-based architectural and interior designer Katie Otis created an ambient, intimate space for her clients by using the minimalist magic of tile and stone.

Of the grooved tilework walls, which add depth and movement to the space, Otis says, “The textured tile, with its inky metallic glaze, embraces the moodier, edgier atmosphere in this powder room.”

A 3/4-inch-high smooth marble backsplash wall contrasts with the 3D-patterned tiles, while featuring a cantilevered narrow ledge in the same stone, creating a linear space for basic sundries.

“I wanted the powder room to feel clean and uncluttered,” says Otis, adding, “The simple, floating sink allows the flooring to extend to the wall behind it, giving a feeling of spaciousness.”

The vessel sink also has integral ‘handles’ serving as towel holders, leaving the adjacent drywall free of fixtures.

In keeping with this minimalist approach, Otis opted for a pinhole-recessed fixture for lighting, and a small wall-mounted pivoting mirror, with aged brass hardware that complemented other finishes.

An area rug (not pictured), with an abstract design, adds a touch of warmth, another texture and completes the design.

powder room with light wooden sink and mirror and blue striped wallpaper
Sanford topped the custom-designed oak vanity in a Caesarstone ‘Raw Concrete’ countertop. The wall covering is ‘Marquee Stripe’ by Cole & Sons. (Photo by Robert Radifera)


This Alexandria powder room went from so-so to shipshape for a family of five under the guidance of interior designer Casey Sanford.

“My clients wanted to incorporate elements from their new kitchen, with its dark-blue tones and clean, transitional lines, while going for a casual, fun feel,” she says.

The nautically inspired redo began with bleached-wood ceramic floor tiles laid in a herringbone pattern, followed by a contrasting marine-blue wallpaper, with skinny white vertical stripes, which look hand-drawn.

Sanford easily mixes materials and finishes, while keeping durability in mind. This contributes to the powder room’s relaxed, informal vibe. For example, aged-bronze sink hardware shares space with polished-nickel and Lucite sconces.

A custom, cerused oak vanity is the standout feature, with open shelves and
a concrete countertop. It holds bathroom accessories, hand towels and a woven basket, with extra rolls of toilet paper.

Framed botanical fern prints complete the space, which sits in the center of the home, with access to both casual and formal areas.

“It represents my client’s aesthetic, with added flare, while also being easy to maintain and welcoming for guests,” adds Sanford.

This post originally appeared in our April 2020 issue. For more on interior design, subscribe to our weekly Home newsletter. 

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