Tips

Dramatic Lavatory

Dare to be dramatic and give your powder room a moody makeover. Here are 5 design tips to achieving high impact style and transformational results on a pint-sized budget.

by Laura Fremont and Jennifer Gibeau,

Cloud Wallpaper Bathroom
Cloud Wallpaper Bathroom

PUSH THE LIMITS

Think bold décor statements are not for you? You might be surprised to learn that even the most commitment-phobe décor enthusiasts can embrace high-impact style at home, live with it – and love it. The trick to being fearless in design is to apply dramatic elements in small doses, and in spaces that are suited to quick visits, like a powder room. As Tommy always says - "you’re in there for a good time, not a long time" - so you can appreciate the daring décor on the way in and look forward to your next visit on the way out!

The pièce de résistance in this powder room is the Cole & Son ‘Nuvolette’ wallpaper, a beautifully rendered cloudy sky. This dramatic installation is a moody interpretation of the celestial sphere and evokes a feeling of calmness before the storm. With countless patterns to choose from, wallpaper is a tried-and-true way to inject character into your powder room, and it can be the jumping off point for decorating a blank space. Plus - smaller square footage means fewer rolls required to cover your walls and ultimately more money in your pocket, so why not take a leap of faith and install dramatic wallpaper in a small area of your home? Wallpaper has a tendency to make big spaces feel tighter and more intimate, but the opposite is true in this case: it allows this tiny powder room to feel expansive like the sky it depicts.

MAKE IT MONOCHROMATIC

Choosing elements with multiple tints, tones and shades from a single hue will help ensure your overall design is cohesive and dynamic. In this lavatory, our chosen wallpaper boasted a striking monochromatic pattern that became more impactful when we continued the single-hued treatment throughout the room with coordinating powder room accessories. Not only does the existing Victorian-style vanity match perfectly with the moody grey colour scheme, the marble veining references the organic movement of the cloudy wallpaper for a look that’s both dramatic and sophisticated. Fresh flowers in a vibrant, saturated colour offer a thrilling contrast against a monochromatic canvas.

Cloud Wallpaper Bathroom

WORK WITH WHAT YOU'VE GOT

When prepping a space for a makeover, we often have a tendency to think we need all-new ‘everything’ in order to achieve truly transformational results, but with a discerning eye and a quick shop around your own home, you might just find what you’re looking for is in the next room! Our clients happened to be art collectors, so it was a real treat to browse their collection and pick a suitable piece of art that we could hang in the powder room above the toilet. Rotating art work and finding new places for them to live in your home has the ability to breathe new life into old favourites and will keep your décor looking new and feeling fresh.

Never underestimate what a good cleaning can do for a piece of furniture that looks tired and overused. Our client’s existing marble vanity was well-loved, but it had accumulated a few unsightly stains over the years. So instead of getting rid of it, we hired professional cleaners to revitalize the vanity and improve its overall appearance. Working with what you’ve got wherever possible is simply the best way to help you curb spending on renovation and makeover projects.

STRIKE A BALANCE

The key to creating a dramatic look that both excites and calms the eye is to strike a balance between strong and soft decorative elements. We chose an industrial looking mirror with solid proportions to balance the curves of the traditional Victorian-style vanity. Swapping out the metal knobs in favour of crystal, diamond-like door pulls adds a feminine twist to the dark grey vanity base. The modern, clear cylinder light sconces offer a nice contrast to the billowy clouds. Lastly, we replaced the existing window shutters with custom-made roman blinds crafted from bright white linen and accented with two vertical bands of grey grosgrain ribbon. This window treatment allows plenty of light to wash over an otherwise shadowy space.

Cloud Wallpaper Bathroom

 

SEE THE LIGHT

You can control the mood of your room with the right lighting plan. For this powder room, we moved the electrical to the sidewalls, not only to allow more breathing room between the mirror and the light sconces, but also to offer a more flattering light for guests. It’s always a good idea to have an existing pot light overhead for practical everyday lighting, and wall sconces controlled by a dimmer to provide ambient lighting when desired.

Cloudy Wallpaper Powder Room
Designers: Lindsay Mens Craig & Laura Fremont

Room design by:

Lindsay Mens Craig & Laura Fremont

Source guide: Towel Ring, Restoration Hardware | Light Sconces, Mirror, Union Lighting | Soap Dish, Jar, Vintage Fine Objects | Knobs, Lee Valley | Hand Towel, West Elm | Wallpaper, Cole & Son available at Lee Jofa | Tray, Gingers | Flowers, Young Jong Fruit & Flower Market | Soap, Trinitae | Vase, Homesense | Art (existing), Canvas Gallery | Roman Blinds (custom) - Linen fabric, DFO, Grosgrain Ribbon, Mokuba

Photography by Tiffany Piotrowski