Half Baths

Find out all you need to know about half baths so you can create an inviting and efficient design for these heavily trafficked spaces.

Graphic Black And White Wallpapered Powder Room

Graphic Black And White Wallpapered Powder Room

Graphic black and white wallpaper makes a big statement in this small powder room. A simple porcelain sink and slim mirror keep don't compete with the bold wallpaper, so as not to overwhelm the space.

By: Sean McEvoy

Half baths are often used to accommodate houseguests, but they're also a convenient and heavily trafficked space for anyone in the home. For this reason, creating a half bath design that's stylish, welcoming and efficient is of paramount importance.

Half Baths and Powder Rooms

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Bold Wallpaper Patterns

The graphic wallpaper adds dimension to this small black-and-white powder room. Photo by Hale Photography. Design by Jennifer Jones in San Francisco

Powder Room Stripes

A rich faux stripe finish and elegant botanical artwork on the walls give this powder room a traditional feel. Design by Loretta Willis

Photo By: Designer, Loretta Willis

Simple Elegance

Sophistication and understated elegance are found in this powder room. The bamboo walls shine in this space alongside simplistic countertops. Design by Chris Johnson

Minimum Color Palette

The upholstered walls in this small powder room bring warmth and texture to the space. Don't bring too much texture though; keeping a minimalist color palette helps maximize small spaces. Photo by Terrance Williams. Design by Lauren Jacobson in Studio City, Calif.

Photo By: Designer, Lauren Jacobsen

Small Space, Big Design

This powder room boasts a midcentury modern design aesthetic characterized by clean lines and bold color contrasts. Design by Vern Yip

Photo By: ERICC BB

Mediterranean-Style Powder Room

This powder room, designed by Bonnie Sachs, has a Mediterranean feel. Jerusalem stone with modern glass elements from Italy create a combination of visual and tactile texture and vibrant color.

Photo By: Designer, Bonnie Sachs

Regal Accents

The chair rail and wood paneling add formality to this powder room. The traditional wallpaper print, in combination with the gold accents in the frame, mirror and faucet, create a classic space. Design by Thomas Conway

Photo By: Designer, Thomas A. Conway

Tile Wall Powder Rooms

This space, designed by Andreea Avram Rusu, uses the same color glass tile throughout, but the lower half is sandblasted and the top half is glossy. A cast concrete sink and stainless steel toilet add classiness, and the flowers in the corner complete the look.

Photo By: Designer, Andreea Avram Rusu

Beautifully Aged Powder Room

This space achieves a Mediterranean appearance with a warm wall finish. The walls are faux-finished with plaster relief arabesque motifs scattered about. A soft glaze washes over the wall to give it an aged feel. Design by Joseph Pubillones in Palm Beach, Fla.

Photo By: Designer, Joseph Pubillones

The Element of Surprise

The detailed vessel sink complements the warm red walls. The walls are embellished by a gold leaf design, adding an element of surprise in this powder room. The oversize mirror above the vanity works with the diamond-shaped mirrors on the back wall to make the space seem larger. Photo by Cynthia MacDonald. Design by Kim Smart

Photo By: Designer, Kim Smart

Organic Colors

This powder room brings the outdoors inside with reclaimed wood cabinetry, plants and pebble-covered walls. The sconces add a bit of sparkle. Design by Lori Dennis

Photo By: Designer, Lori Dennis

Mirrored Walls

A mirrored wall makes this powder room feel twice as big, and the bold artwork enlivens the small space designed by Andreas Charalambous.

Photo By: Designer, Andreas Charalambous

Wood-Paneled Powder Room

This bathroom, designed by Gail Drury in Glen Ellyn, Ill., takes advantage of some wasted space in the adjoining room. The three openings are framed with wood panels to match the frames on the back wall.

Photo By: Designer, Gail Drury

Vanity Appeal

The open washstand with porcelain sink from Walker Zanger creates a beautiful focal point for this well-detailed powder room. Design by Kathy Geissler Best; photography Matthew Millman

From: Kathy Geissler Best

Photo By: Matthew Millman

African-Inspired Details

Wood-lined walls, leather vanity, chiseled-limestone counter, slate flagstone flooring and natural branches are some of the elements used to create a rustic atmosphere and evoke a cultural context.

Photo By: Photo Credit: Suki Medencevic

Since half baths are often located in hallways or other "standalone" spaces in the home, their design can often be freer, with more opportunities to add personality and eclectic style. Bold pops of color, contrasting textures and patterns for wallpaper and tiles, and fixtures and furniture that express their own distinct style are common features.

Aside from using a half bath as a design lab, one thing to consider is space. This is true of all bathrooms, but half baths in particular need an efficient design, since they're traditionally the smallest bathrooms in the house. Think about adding wall storage in the form of cabinets or shelves. A sink cabinet is probably a good idea as well, as opposed to a floating or pedestal sink.

Finally, when you're considering light fixtures for a half bath, think small and elegant as opposed to big and bold. The danger with larger fixtures is that they may overwhelm the rest of the design, so it's generally best to use a light touch when it comes to half bath lighting.

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