These Beautiful Half Bathrooms Prove That Small Spaces Can Pack a Major Design Punch

vibrantly decorated powder room with blue and burgundy wallpaper
Photo: William Abranowicz

Let these powder rooms inspire your own.

01 of 11
bathroom with natural features
Kelly Brown

If you have a half bathroom in your home, consider yourself lucky: You have a built-in jewel box just waiting for an update. These spaces—which are also known as powder rooms—may be limited in size, but they are boundless in terms of design potential. In fact, their tiny scope is ultimately why they are such fun to decorate: You can take a contained risk, which might involve papering the walls in an abstract print, going in with a high-gloss black paint, or installing bright tiling. More often than not, these bold moves pay off.

Of course, the larger-than-life powder room isn't for everyone, and this approach certainly isn't your only option. If you're caught somewhere between the two, consider the following half bathrooms, sourced from real homes and curated by leading interior designers who know a thing or two about overhauling a space, however small. Whether you decide to embrace organic, natural motifs—like Kelly Brown and Bryce Ehrecke did here in the half-bath of their Joshua Tree home, complete with a wood basin sink and clay-plastered walls—or go bold on the paint or wallpaper front, they sky truly is the limit.

You will quickly discover there is no right or wrong method: When thoughtfully, intentionally decorated, these can spaces shine and, believe it or not, become a main focal point in your home. Don't just take our word for it—we will simply let the following half bathrooms, which range in size, color palette, and style, speak for themselves.

02 of 11

Wall Mural

powder room with tropical mural
Andrea Calo

Muralist Emily Eisenhart added a punchy, unexpected four-wall mural to the dining room in this Austin home, designed by Amity Worrel and Andree Chalaron. Those bold shapes and colors then reappeared in the half-bath, connecting the two spaces. Whether you take the two-room approach or simply enlist a local artist to design something exclusively for your powder room is up to you. The result is largely the same: A utilitarian space becomes an immediate conversation starter.

03 of 11

Natural Motifs

black patterned wallpaper in powder room with mirror and white sink
Stacy Zarin Goldberg

Don't let the black-and-white colorways fool you: The wallpaper seen in this bathroom, curated by Alison Giese, features a natural fern print. We love how the homeowners reinforced the motif by adding a simple fresh sprig on the sink's counter. It's proof that the smallest touches really do make a difference.

04 of 11

Metallic Finishes

kettle cove home tour rustic bathroom
Justin Levesque

Metallic finishes—from the freestanding copper bowl sink and matte black faucetry to the gilded mirror and towel hanger—bring another layer of texture to this nuanced half-bath, covered in a visually dynamic wallpaper. Together, "they have a bit of a steampunk vibe," says interior designer Tyler Karu.

05 of 11

Abstract Prints

salmon and white geometric print bathroom walls
Jennifer Hughes

Make like designer Elizabeth Lawson and take a maximalist approach to your miniature powder bathroom. Here, the salmon-hued wallpaper's pattern is complemented by a framed abstract print; the piece's black blobs reference the tiny hexagon tiling on the floor and the small marble sink to the left. The cohesive finishing touches are all metallic, from the mirror and the piping to the doorknob.

06 of 11

Coastal Flair

large circle mirror about white marble sink black metal frame
Lauren Pressey

Looking to bring some coast flair into your half bathroom? Reimagine a nautical motif, like Kate Lester did in this space; the wallpaper's starbursts remind us of jellyfish. A cool marble sink and refined black metalwork (note the tin fixture overhead, the metal-rimmed mirror, and the sink's matte black bones) ground the look.

07 of 11

Moody Patterns

vibrantly decorated powder room with blue and burgundy wallpaper
William Abranowicz

An Hermès print lines the wall of this half-bathroom by designer Colleen Simonds. Follow suit and embrace a moody pattern—then temper it with clean, organic touches, like a bamboo mirror, marble countertop, and chrome faucet.

08 of 11

Dark and Stormy

black powder room with statement mirror
Molly Winters Culver

Don't be afraid to take a design risk—like painting every wall, ceiling and all, black—in a small half-bathroom. Mary Patton did just that in this "jewel box" of a space and completed the look with a modern exposed-bulb fixture.

09 of 11


powder room with flamingo-patterned wallpaper
Heather Hawkins

Alternatively, take the opposite approach and go brilliantly neon. Set against a mint backdrop, tropical motifs—flamingos, palm leaves, and purple hibiscus—pop in the best of ways. This bold corner was designed by Abbe Fenimore of Studio Ten 25.

10 of 11

Timeless Plaid

Minnesota Home Bathroom

If your overarching aesthetic is decidedly classic, you'll appreciate this tartan-covered powder room. Make the look your own by choosing a plaid in the colorways seen most commonly throughout the rest of your home.

11 of 11

Wood Flooring

carolyn murphy home guest bathroom doorway table plant

You don't have to break up the natural continuation of your flooring when updating your powder room. Ultimately, opting for tile isn't always the right decision, especially if your wooden floors are as special as the wide panels seen throughout Carolyn Murphy's Long Island home.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles