A dramatic color-saturated space need not be grand in size, and small need not be vanilla. This powder room is a mere 4.5'x3'. With all of the layered gilded jewel box-like accessories, statuary and vintage mirrors, we transformed our doll-size powder room into a jewel-box that lures even the most claustrophobic of guests.
Walls painted Benjamin Moore's Van Buren Brown cause the walls to recede. While vintage mirrors create a small and chic space by adding the illusion of space, depth and reflecting light. Vintage mirrors, statuary, art and gilded details were found at flea markets and garage sales, creating a rich yet affordable layered look that keeps our "captivated audience" guests entertained while indisposed. Rather than painting the walls, I would have preferred to clothe the room in silver leaf Chinoiserie wallpaper, but the walls are wavy - and wavy wallpaper is anything but chic.
Small-scale efficiency of a narrow Kohler sink and a shallow vintage toilet expand the narrow entrance to our petite room. And, the coordinating jewel box-like color scheme of gilded decor and white accessories avoids a cluttered look while providing visual interest.
The DIY Romanesque shade was crafted from Pottery Barn fabric and a shade kit from Jo-Ann's. In order to create a cohesive look, I used the fabric remnants to cover a lamp drum shade that I converted into a chandelier using a simple lighting pendant from Home Depot. Simply wrap the shade with the fabric and secure with fabric adhesive. To create a warm electrical glow, I spray painted the interior of the shade gold and covered the interior fabric seams with gross grain ribbon. Total cost $15!
When decorating a small space, think beyond the walls! Hang art on doors, maximize the ceiling's blank canvas with wallpaper or stencil, and don't forget to decorate the utilitarian features of the sink basin and toilet top. A flea market oil painting adorns the interior of our space's door. Seashells collected from adventures litter our sink basin, and an antique French bust protrudes from the wall creating depth in this tiny space.
Improving small-scale spaces can be a challenge but with a little creativity, you can create an efficient high-style space.
- Transform decor that you already own with spray paint. I spray painted some old red foo dogs white, and I transformed gilded frames into mirrors by painting the glass with mirror spray paint.
- Enhance the height of a short ceiling by continuing window treatments up to the top of the wall (my treatment stops at the window frame because I cut my fabric too short - hence, the old adage, measure twice and cut once).
- Visually expand a petite space and create a sense of a canopy by coordinating the ceiling with the dominant pattern in the window covering. I plan to stencil the ceiling in a Moroccan tile print to visually expand the pattern out from the ceiling pendant and down to the window covering.
- Avoid a cluttered look with color coordinating accessories. I stuck to classic white and gilded details.
- Create depth in a small space with walls painted a dark color or enveloped in wallpaper. Paint the ceiling a lighter color to avoid a cave-like feeling in a small dark space.
Images by Brooklyn Boheme.