Powder rooms must make the most of their square footage to pack panache. “Small spaces like these give you the license to surprise and do something personal,” Peter Fleming, who leads Pfeffer Torode Architecture‘s Interior Architecture Studio, explains. “It is such a beautiful moment that is not asking a lot; you are not asking for a long-term commitment to the space. Powder rooms are about first impression and an enjoyable, quick experience. This gives you the ability to do something that is interesting and personal while elevating the space from a design standpoint — as opposed to a practical one.” Powder rooms are often the most regularly visited rooms by both homeowners and guests. Take advantage of the heavy foot traffic to showcase your personality in the space.

Peter helps us explore the thoughtful design of five powder rooms, each tailored to the individual homeowners. Diminutive in design, but large in impact, these spaces were approached with a high level of design intent. Take a look …


Peter set out to create a romantic moment of remembrance and reprieve in this powder room, which — design-wise — stands out from the remainder of the home. The bold, block-printed wallpaper and French sinks evoke memories and dreams of foreign travels. “The room is a chapter from a story that encourages the appreciation of history and time-honored craft,” Peter tells us. The homeowners discovered the sink during their travels and simply had to wait until they had a home in which they could install it. Peter was able to incorporate the piece into the space in an authentic way. With brass plumbing, the sink fits into the simple, coordinated scheme of the powder room.

Powder Rooms

The star of this powder room is the lovely French sink the homeowners acquired during their travels.

Simple and Refined

Clean lines, soft colors and minimalist décor characterize this powder room. Designed by the Pfeffer Torode team to offer “quiet comfort,” the room marries stock items and fashionable fittings. The elements of different price points and materials work in harmony to create a balanced space. Marble countertops bring a sense of refinement, while the circular mirror and light fixture break up the strict lines.

Powder Rooms

Clean lines and a simple color scheme create a welcomed composure in this powder room designed by Pfeffer Torode‘s team.

Dark Décor & Natural Light

Awash with natural light, this powder room is decorated in dark hues. Peter was able to take advantage of the room’s expansive window to flood the space with natural light, which let him go darker with the design. “The dark walls let the light bounce around,” he tells us. The window guided the design, but the Jeff Koons sculpture is the show-stealer in the powder room. Modeled after the puppy that stands guard at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, this piece of art is enjoyed by all who visit.

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In place of a mirror, a large window brings natural light into the otherwise dark powder room.

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The puppy is a wonderful little surprise in the space.


A white color scheme offers an ideal backdrop for an eye-catching piece of art in this powder room. “Quality, modern fittings and lighting maintain the confidence for a space worthy of world-class contemporary art,” Peter shares. This petite powder room appears larger than it is thanks to the muted color scheme, large mirror and console-leg sink. And not only does the pendant bring light to the space, it elevates the art-forward, contemporary design.

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A simple design allows the art to command the attention in this powder room.

Touch of Blue

In this powder room, a flea market find takes center stage. “A great 19th century mirror gives new life over an open console reminiscent of pre-war American sanitary ware,” Peter says. The mirror’s alignment makes a statement that it is in fact a piece of art, not just a functional element. The mirror also adds depth and seemingly expands the space. Instead of the whites we saw in the space above, this room uses shades of grey and black as a backdrop for the room’s focal point.

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The mirror’s alignment is an artistic element in the space.

Behind the scenes

“Any good design process requires putting pencil to paper,” Peter explains. “It is absolutely critical to communicate well with clients to describe what they are after. It is a fluid process that slowly brings the design into focus. Composing elevations allows everyone to see the subtle interaction between all the elements in consideration and lets the client play with ideas and options.” Below, see the sketch for a powder room in the design phase.

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Peter sees the importance of putting pencil to paper when initiating a design project.

Make your guests feel pampered and welcomed by incorporating thoughtful design into even the smallest spaces in your home!


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