The Client Files: The Powder Room You Never Have To Renovate Again


Sometimes great friends cross over into great clients. I helped a couple of dear friends with their nursery design about 3 years ago. (The yellow one on my home page, currently housing Kid #2!) A few years later they took the leap to turn their first floor bathroom into a powder room and pantry!! Sounds a little crazy eliminating a tub, but it was genius for more Chicago kitchen storage in the busiest room in the house. They had the whole thing demoed and decided to bring me on board for some guidance on the classic route they were already headed. 

I love a good trend and cutting edge bold design, but I also think that some spaces warrant simple, clean design with a few unexpected twists. The clients wanted something really classic that went with their traditional home, but also didn’t want it to be too stuffy or fussy. The powder room was transformed into a space that will never need to be gutted again.

  • The classic marble basketweave floor, beveled subway tile wainscoting, and pedestal sink are timeless.

  • The oil rubbed bronze faucet and accessories are classic shapes, but a bit more unexpected and dramatic than the traditional chrome in this style bath. The beveled subway kicks it up a notch from standard and adds dimension. The charcoal grout emphasizes their shape through contrast.

  • It’s current because of the killer light fixture (and dual flush toilet.) The copper gives a nod to the red undertones in the wood door and adds impact to the black/white/gray palette. The style of the fixture walks the line between industrial and traditional. However, if they tire of it years from now, the shades on the fixture can easily be changed or of course the fixture itself.

  • The room gets an added dose of drama with moody gray walls and ceiling to match.

  • The colorful watercolor art (purchased by the clients at a local elementary school) keeps it from being too serious or sterile and ties in to the copper accents.

  • Original door and hardware make me swoon

  • 10 years from now this bathroom should really only warrant a paint job!


Light: Rejuvenation - Grandview Double Sconce w/copper shades

Subway Tile: Adex - Neri Beveled 3x6

Floor: Stone Tiles International - Uptown Mosaic Basketweave in Bianco Venatino Honed

Paint: Benjamin Moore - 1607 Englewood Cliffs

Sink: Kohler - Memoirs Stately

Toilet: Toto - Connelly

Faucet, Towel Bar, Tissue Holder: Restoration Hardware - Chatham in Oil Rubbed Bronze

Mirror: Owner’s own, but similar

Art: Watercolors from local school

See the Pinterest board for this project HERE. The scope of this project also included adding this serious showstopper of a light fixture over the kitchen table that's nearby. Double lighting whammy at its finest.

Photography: Mike Kaskel for Unpatterned

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