The Power of the Powder Room

By Sue Ridgway

When talking about small rooms and otherwise forgotten rooms in a model, we’d be remiss if we didn’t bring up the powder room. While it’s often among the first room a prospective buyer sees as they walk a model, many overlook its potential power. Powder rooms can help set the tone of the house as well as leave a lasting impression, a very important factor when you consider most buyers walk several model homes before making a buying decision. Read some of the ways in which designers can take advantage of the power of the powder room to create a lasting impression and an effective design for the builder.


Lighting a small space can be tricky, but again, the power is that the small space allows you to be creative. You don’t have to compromise style. Designers at Lita Dirks & Co. often “shop” outside the bathroom aisle and look at lighting fixtures that were originally intended for other rooms. Using the prospective buyer profile, our designers have chosen everything from rustic outdoor lanterns to fancy chandeliers.

They layer the lighting to include mood lighting and functional lighting. For example, a pendant can create a statement and still light up the room, while wall sconces can add to the ambiance. Using a brighter, cooler-temperature bulb for the functional lighting and dimmer, warmer bulbs for the ambient lighting is key. Style is wide open, but effect should always be the same: provide flattering light. While the buyer won’t spend an inordinate time in the powder room, the impression should be pleasant.

The beautiful chandelier makes for a delightful surprise in this model. Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Wall décor

Using dramatic, unique wallpaper in a powder room can be fun, and the smaller size of the space allows for so much creativity. Bold prints that would be “just too much” anywhere else in a model can be perfect for a powder room. Unusual art or vivid paint colors are also a good choice in a model’s powder room. You want to create enough drama that the prospective buyer will remember the space, but not so much that they can’t “get the image out of their heads.”

This model in upstate NY not only incorporates some texture into two of the walls with the tiles, it also includes fun, memorable lighting. Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.


Being strategic with flooring choices can help cement (flooring pun intended) the impression of the design. Many don’t even notice the flooring unless it is memorable. Therefore, adding a splash of color or using an interesting tile pattern can help make the space pop.

Left: One will not soon forget this fun PA model powder rooms flooring. Photo courtesy of Lita Dirks & Co.

Harnessing the power

The underlying power of a powder room in a model home is: it is not bound by the rest of the home’s design. You always want to design a model based on the prospective buyer profile, however, this small space is physically separated from the rest of the model. As a result, it allows for a bit more independence. To make the model home stand out, the designer must harness the power of the powder room.

Post courtesy of Sue Ridgeway, Director of Marketing at Lita Dirks & Co., an interior design and merchandising firm based in Greenwood Village, Colo.

Follow Lita Dirks & Co. on InstagramFacebook and LinkedIn for more interior design ideas and inspiration.

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