Residential Color and Style from a Certified True Color Expert.

Posts tagged “focal points

My Top Ten Rules for Gorgeous Powder Rooms

I love to decorate Powder Rooms.  Here are my Top Ten rules for a beautiful powder room:



Select the design element that you want to have stand out. Then low-key most of the other elements so that the end result is pleasing.

So, if you are using a killer tile, scale back on the other accents, and don’t go with a too-busy-anything-else.

If you have a mirror that is extremely decorative, don’t kill it with everything else being extremely decorative.

If you like wallpaper, this is the place for that wonderful statement wallpaper. High-end designer wallpaper that would be too-too much in a regular sized room can be perfect in a powder room.

Decide what is going to become  your most important design element, so you don’t get carried away with too many other  decorative finishes.

A good residential stylist can keep you on track if you are prone to going over the top.

ABOVE, both photos:  This gorgeous chinoiserie wallpaper is the most dramatic element in each of the above powder rooms, with proper restraint used everywhere else. 


Don’t mix your metals/finishes in a Powder Room.

Try to keep the same finishes in the tiny space for a more harmonious look, below.

ABOVE: The color white is repeated several times. The nickel hardware is repeated several times. The airy mirror almost goes away and lets other elements take center stage.

BELOW: The Pewter color is repeated even in the wallpaper, and the all-pewter gives the powder room a harmonious look.


Don’t use dinky mirrors

ABOVE: Even a very tall person can see his reflection in this nicely-sized mirror.


Use sconces in addition to overhead lighting.

Over-mirror lighting can throw odd shadows and is to be avoided.



If you must use a vessel sink, be sure that it has enough depth to minimize

splashing.  However, I try to avoid them altogether.


Use Chinoiserie for Color and Drama


Keep your undertones similar.

ABOVE: The gray undertones of the marble work stunningly with the swoop of gray in the wallpaper. The green
accents pick up the main color of the wallpaper. Just enough drama without going over the top.

BELOW:  Undertone Perfection.


Use antique, repurposed, or vintage pieces if doing a furniture-look built-in.

Otherwise, use nice built-in cabinetry. A brand-new piece of furniture for your sink almost never works .


Use creamy whites with brown, and whiter whites with black.


Quality over quantity. Don’t over-accessorize, and do use the nicest soaps and linens you can possibly afford.

What do you think? Do you agree with my Ten Rules for Beautiful Powder Rooms?

Are you creating focal points?

The eye needs a place to rest. It also needs a place to connect.  When I walk into a room, I can almost always isolate the focal point, or where I would create the focal point. In the photo below, anyone can see that the focal point is not even inside the room. Your eye is drawn past the lovely soft furnishings on out to the mountain vista beyond. Well, I guess you could say that the large window frames the focal point. In fact, every part of the room frames the window which frames the view. Nicely done.

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

The most interesting rooms always have a focal point. Focal points create drama in a room. What are some successful focal points? If the room has a fireplace, that is going to be the focal point. I always want to create sight lines and drama around the fireplace. This fireplace area has wonderful drama in a contemporary space (I am ignoring the combo of colors used here, which I don’t particularly care for):

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Below, this is an architectural device known as enfilade.  See how you can look through several door frames down to the kitchen pendant light?  The dark light at the end is the focal point here. Are you seeing how your eye naturally searches for a place to rest, and it wants to come to a rest (and to a focus) on the dark light at the end? The designer did a marvelous job of framing the sight-lines all the way through the view to the ending focal point. There is no visual clutter, just pleasing objects of interest to catch our passing glance on the way to the end. I would guess that a fireplace is the focal point if you are standing in the kitchen looking down the axis the other way, looking back toward the main room pictured here.

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Our eyes have a natural desire to find a nice place to rest. Too much distraction, clutter, and visual disharmony make it difficult to give our eyes that natural place to rest. Have you ever walked in to someone’s house, and there was so much stuff, that you didn’t know where to look? Remember, the eye needs and wants a place to rest in a room.

Visual harmony and a screen focal point. Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

Beautiful harmonious colors and a focal over-the- fireplace painting. Source: via Ellen

Are you creating a focal point in each room in your house?