Jewel Box Powder Rooms

Elisa approaches tiny toilettes as jewel boxes—small spaces containing enormous potential for expressive style.

Public facing yet free in spirit (untethered design-wise to other rooms), powder rooms present an opportunity to have fun and be bold.

Elisa ensures her clients see such spaces as outlets for expressions. In initial budget conversations, she often begins by outlining her allocation hierarchy by room:  she always advises spending the most on the places where you spend the most time, like the primary suite and the kitchen. Perhaps surprisingly, the powder room rates high for her for high impact. Every other bathroom in a house carries the potential for significant wear and tear (i.e. bathtubs overflowing in kids’ en suites). In contrast, powder rooms often exist in proximity to the highest traffic yet removed from rugged use. As such, spectacular pieces can take centerstage, safely. “The lighting can be drop-dead. You can have fun with wallpaper. You can play with a statement sink,” Elisa says. “Powder rooms are a public space that you want to be beautiful.”

As such, she shares her favorite moments from powder rooms she has designed over the years:

Sculptural pendant lights, threading together stone and glass, add drama to this otherwise classically sophisticated powder. Chrome fixtures provide a clean contrast to the textured drops.

To celebrate the joie de vivre of a family farm, Elisa picked a fun wallpaper for the powder room, aptly (and quite literally) toasting chickens and cocktails. The color play continues with the orange sconce from Urban Electric. Perched beside the laundry room and garage, this riotous nook sets a fun tone for all.  

Epitomizing the style spectrum made possible by an expressive approach to powder rooms, a second small loo in the same family farm as above channels a more moody, masculine vibe in keeping with its location off of the husband’s bar. A vanity with gravitas—made of Taj Mahal quartzite—anchors the space, with a cluster of handblown glass pendants as lighting.

Texture sets the tone in this powder room: grass cloth wallpaper complements the antique sink made of carved stone (atop a custom black metal base) and the classic punctuation of black fixtures.

Crystalline pendants from Christopher Boots add an ethereal element amid the elegance set by the lustrous walnut vanity and the subtle grass cloth walls.