Powder Room Redos

Take advantage of a powder room's small size to make a bold design statement.
Here, the bland "before" shot.

We set out to redecorate one powder room in three very different styles. The restrictions included not moving or replacing any fixtures -- even the towel bar stays in place -- although we did change the mirror over the sink and the vanity hardware for each look.

Take a look at the results on the following pages, and find the style that's right for you.

Fix up the bath farmhouse style.

What You Need:

Add wall texture with beadboard.
  • Beadboard panels
  • 1x6 pine board
  • Unfinished wood brackets, 6 inches deep, plus mounting hardware
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Glue
  • Drill
  • White paint
  • Sky-blue paint
  • Black-and-white prints
  • Blue bottles or vases


1. Install beadboard. Glue and nail beadboard panels two-thirds of the way up the walls.

2. Make the plate rail. Cut the 1x6 to desired length. Paint the 1x6 and brackets white. Let dry.

3. Countrify the vanity. Remove the doors and hardware, and nail beadboard over the cabinet and door fronts. Reinstall doors and hardware.

4. Paint wood surfaces -- beadboard and molding -- white. Let dry.

5. Paint the upper wall sky blue.

6. Install plate rail. Affix brackets to wall so their tops are level with top of beadboard. Nail 1x6 shelf onto brackets.

7. Add accent pieces. Black-and-white photos and blue glass will add to the room's country charm.

Use wallpaper borders to create a raised-panel effect.

What You Need:

Play up your favorite prints.
  • Pale yellow paint
  • Deeper glossy yellow paint
  • Combing tool (available at paint and crafts stores)
  • Unfinished wooden wastebasket
  • White paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Paint roller and tray
  • Narrow bamboolike wallpaper border
  • Wider floral wallpaper border
  • Botanical print(s) in white frames
  • Sheer ribbon (optional)
  • Small nails (optional)
  • Wallpaper adhesive (if needed)


1. Comb-paint the lower third and inside upper corners of the wall. First paint the areas pale yellow. Let dry. Apply a deeper glossy yellow paint as a topcoat. While the second coat is still wet, drag a combing tool through the paint to create stripes.

2. Paint a wooden wastebasket to match the wall, following the instructions in Step 1.

3. Paint the remaining upper wall white. Let dry.

4. Add narrow border. Add the bamboolike border at the edges of the white portions of the wall.

5. Add wide floral border(s). Adjust the size and number of panels to fit your room. Position each about six inches inside the first border, mitering the corners and matching the pattern.

6. Hang botanical prints in the center of each panel.

7. Add bows. If desired, hang a small nail just below the top of each floral border, and make a bow from sheer ribbon. Hang a bow above each print and trim "tails" so they touch the top of each frame.

Got a flair for the dramatic? Give your walls and ceiling this elegant fabric treatment.

What You Need:

Add flair with sheeting.
  • Bed sheets measuring 1-1/2 times each wall's width
  • Bed sheets measuring 1-1/2 times the room's width and length (for ceiling)
  • Measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Narrow curtain rods and mounting hardware
  • Staple gun
  • Rubber band
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Hook-and-loop tape


Detail of ceiling treatment.

1. Measure height of wall.

2. Cut sheets to fit from floor to ceiling, leaving small hems intact for use as a top casing.

3. Shirr sheets onto narrow curtain rods. Slit hem to insert rods.

4. Affix to wall. Hang rods at wall/ceiling joint. Turn under the bottom edge of sheet to butt baseboard; finger-pleat and staple sheeting to wall.

5. Make ceiling treatment. Join two sheets, if necessary, to form a large enough piece of fabric. Sew narrow casings in each edge, shirr fabric on rods, and attach rods to walls. Gather excess fabric in center and wrap with a rubber band. Staple fabric to ceiling, hiding staples under the gathers.

6. Use excess sheeting to skirt the vanity. Cut enough fabric to fit 1-1/2 times the front and side measurements. Hem and softly gather the top edge; hem the bottom. Attach the skirt's upper edge with hook-and-loop tape.


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