As the name would suggest, powder rooms traditionally had more to do with powdering than toileting. In eighteenth-century homes, the powder room or closet was the small space dedicated to refreshing one’s wig. When wigs fell out of fashion, the powder room became a convenient place for guests to ‘powder their noses’ and attend to their appearance. The powder chair was eventually replaced with a chamber pot and wash basin, bringing it closer to today’s definition of a powder room:

A small compartment housing a toilet and basin, generally located within close proximity to the main living areas of a home.

Powder rooms are increasingly popular in Australian homes, and offer a fantastic opportunity for designers to have some fun with a space that is both functional and decorative. In this feature, we’re sharing four of our faves from the KBDi Designer Awards of 2021.

Members, have you downloaded the KBDi Bulletin regarding Powder Room Clearances? This paper sets out the clearances recommended for this (often) small space, and highlights NCC requirements associated with sanitary compartments. You’ll find it in your exclusive Members Portal.

This perfect little powder room was designed by Melbourne’s Matthew James (MJ Harris Group). We love the calming combination of the Tassie Oak tones and the gorgeous green pencil tiles, and note the cute geometric repetition in the mirror, basin, tapware and lighting.

The client wanted ‘a contemporary, sexy but sophisticated powder room worthy of a luxury hotel’, and we think Sydney’s Ioanna Lennox (Ioanna Lennox Interiors) nailed it! We love the daring combination of patterned floor tiles, black pencil wall tiles and shimmering wallpaper, and the drama of the strikingly-veined stone vanity.

Sydney design duo, Kate St James and Catherine Whitting, created this magical space for a client with a love for Parisian interiors. The misty ‘Morning Fog’ wallpaper is the hands-down hero of the powder room, and we love the metallic highlights, too. 

Beautiful brass fittings, striking white dolomite and a deep blue herringbone marble floor make an all-class combination in this Parisian-inspired powder room designed by Melbourne’s Penny del Castillo (Studio del Castillo).

Can you pick a favourite from the four above? Share your vote below.