Powder the nose

This traditional powder room lets guests freshen up with just a touch of elegance
Story by: Anthony Coates
In this formal powder room, the floral theme bathroom, home, interior design, room, sink, wall, white, gray
In this formal powder room, the floral theme plays out in a decorative gold.

The notion of a room to powder your nose may seem antiquated to some, but in the last 15 years, it has become more and more commonplace, especially in the United States. In the 18th century, the original purpose of a powder room was a place where guests could have their wigs re-powdered during dinner parties. While few wear wigs to dinner parties any more, this convention has given way to the more practical, modern interpretation of the room a first floor bathroom that guests can use without walking through the rest of the house.

Architect Philip Porritt regards the dignified atmosphere of the powder room as its greatest asset. A powder room such as this one transcends the merely functional, and becomes part of a guest's experience when they visit the house.

"The owners requested a space for the guests, rather than just a bathroom. They wanted a refined room, which wouldn't date, and was a little more formal than the rest of the house," says Porritt.

Creating a sense of luxury is largely to bathroom, bathroom accessory, ceiling, floor, flooring, home, interior design, plumbing fixture, room, sink, tile, wall, gray
Creating a sense of luxury is largely to do with the details. The crystal flourishes to the tissue holder and the plug release convey this feeling.

The owners were quite heavily involved with the planning of the room. On a trip to Hong Kong, they had managed to source the cupboard handles, and the mirror was also a previous acquisition.

The heavy use of gold, from the tapware through to the tissue holder, is primarily to add a sense of luxury to the room, while the substantial Cararra marble benchtop was designed by Jasmax especially for the space. To ensure that the room didn't overdo the gold theme, floral patterns were introduced to create further complexity and add a more feminine influence.

The joinery was also a key consideration, as the owners specified that the powder room should be a seamless continuation of the adjacent hallway. Renalls Joinery created a detailed but conservative look with the wainscoting and cabinetry.

The luxurious theme is continued with the ornate brass, gold, material, metal, gray
The luxurious theme is continued with the ornate tapware.

The black tile inserts in the Cararra marble floor add just a touch of the modern, and help break up the light surfaces. The pattern anchors the floor and provides a sense of depth to the room. It also echoes the square theme of the panelling.

Feb 01, 2008

Credit list

Interior designer
Liz Mark,
Monoblock from
Tile flooring
Marble tiles from Tile Trends
Main contractor
NT Stevens
Caroma Leda
Carrara marble from Bramco
Duravit Happy D from Mastertrade
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