How to transform your downstairs loo into a luxurious powder room

If there’s one room in your house that deserves a makeover, it’s the downstairs loo. Although frequented by guests and one of the handiest rooms on your ground floor, it can often be neglected when it comes to interior styling. No more, we say! Treat your downstairs loo right and you can transform it into a stylish powder room that you’ll be proud to show off.

Given the petite size of most downstairs loos, it’s not only a quick room to overhaul but an easy one to make a strong visual impact. Plus, given its tucked-away nature, it’s fun to make it an area where you can get creative with colour and designs you might not otherwise try.

Diane Hyde, Marketing Manager at Craven Dunnill Jackfield, agrees: ‘If you’re looking to experiment with bold colours and decors and inspired layouts and patterns, the bathroom is the perfect space to make a distinctive design statement that is uniquely individual.’

Keep reading to discover three top tips for transforming your drab downstairs loo into the most inviting of powder rooms for guests.

Make a statement of your walls

A powder room typically contains a single vanity and a toilet (but there are instances where it only contains a sink and no toilet), so you’ll want to ensure that the sink vanity unit and mirror are the biggest standout features.

While you’ll have a limited amount of wall space, it does mean that you can change the look of your loo with relative ease, especially compared to other larger rooms. This means you can get super experimental and try out colours, patterns and textures you might otherwise steer clear of. If you don’t like the result, change it again! It can be as easy as painting the walls or installing peel-and-stick wallpaper. Statement walls completely change the feel of the space.

If you’re looking for a sleek and easy-to-maintain finish, tiles are a great way to go. Diane explains: ‘Bringing texture up onto the walls through tiles adds tactility and allows light to beautifully reflect off the glazes, bringing vitality to a space.’

House Beautiful Cube Blush Porcelain Wall Tile, Homebase


divine savages bye bye birdie petticoat pink wallpaper bathroom

Bye Bye Birdie Petticoat Pink Wallpaper, Divine Savages

Divine Savages

Remember to get creative with colour, as Suzanne Duin, founder of Maison Maison, suggests: ‘A downstairs toilet is a great place to experiment with your decoration ideas by using bold and contrasting colours.

‘Why not pair tongue and grove panelling, installed to wainscoting height, with a complementary paint colour and bold wallpaper above? These spaces are often small so if the scheme isn’t quite right it is easy to repaint with an alternative colour.’

Get creative with lighting

Nothing creates an atmosphere like lighting and this is never more true than in your home. An undeniably important aspect of interior design, the way light is distributed can be the difference between loving and hating a space.

In your newly decorated powder room, light plays a dual role. Firstly, you need enough light to touch up makeup and use a mirror to full effect. On the other hand, you need low, soft lighting to create an inviting space. So, how do you get both right?

how to transform your downstairs loo into a luxurious powder room

Lancaster Swan Neck Wall Lantern In Brushed Chrome, Iconic Lights

Iconic Lights

Martin Waller, founder of Andrew Martin, suggests a combination of light sources: ‘Opt for dramatic pendants as your main source of light and pair them with statement table lamps to create an atmospheric mood.

‘Wall lights work well as accent lighting to highlight interesting features in the room, such as art or artefacts. Choose bold pieces featuring structural shapes, interesting texture or coloured glass to make a style statement, even if the lighting is switched off.’

It’s all in the accessories

We’ll be honest – you can have the most beautifully decorated room in the world, but your choice of accessories can ruin the final effect. This might sound harsh, but it’s true! For a truly luxurious powder room, every single detail should be carefully chosen for both aesthetic and function. A wall colour won’t help if your bathroom bin is falling apart or your towel rail has rust.

We recommend choosing décor that ties in with the look and feel of the room and selecting high-quality materials where possible. Ceramics always work well, as do natural textures such as rattan and bamboo. For durable hardware, choose items made from iron, brass or chrome.

Remember that styling is important too, so choose carefully when it comes to where you position things and how you present them. This goes for everything, from cleaning products (hide these if possible) to soft furnishings like hand towels.

‘The bathroom is the place to bring in soft and nurturing textures,’ says Johanna Ross, General Manager, Product & Innovation at Sheridan. ‘Nothing says spa quite like a fresh stack of plush towels placed over a towel bar, rolled in baskets or stacked neatly on a shelf.’

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