A Powder Room with a Seaside Vibe
Create a Coastal-Inspired Bathroom
“This powder bath was inspired by the beautiful Gulf Coast of Mexico,” says its designer, Cheryl Kees Clendenon, owner of In Detail Interiors in Pensacola, Florida. The space has also inspired a wellspring of internet love: Featuring the hand-hammered Maestro Sonata sink, this powder room has become the most-visited photo in our Design Gallery. From the prestigious Maestro Collection, this copper vessel sink was hammered many thousands of times by our artisans before being plated in nickel and brushed by hand.
“To achieve this [design], we used organic materials representing the sea, sand and sky,” says Cheryl, who names powder rooms among her favorite spaces to decorate: “Powder baths are sacred to me. Anyone who has worked with me on a large house project knows I typically push the finalization of the powder bath design to the furtherest of my (and most assuredly the builder’s) comfort zone. It is usually the last trigger I want to pull because I LOVE doing powder baths and feel VERY strongly they are of utmost importance in the scheme of design decisions. I mean, really, everyone who visits your home will also be visiting the powder bath to um, powder their nose.”
Here we explore how to recreate Cheryl’s design, which takes its calming cues from the sea.
Brighten with Nickel
Pair your work-of-art nickel sink with a sleek faucet that won’t steal the show, like this one from California Faucets, and accessorize with a brushed nickel soap dish, also hand-hammered. (For more faucet ideas, see our blog posts about how to select the right faucet for your space and how to choose the right faucet for your vessel sink.)
“Lighting a powder bath can be tricky,” says Cheryl. “The status quo is to have a lone bath bar type fixture illuminate the entire space. Now, we are not typically putting on makeup in the powder bath or spending an inordinate amount of time in there. So, lighting is important, but not for all the same reasons as it is in other baths. In this space, I always want to create a mood of some sort.”
Cheryl suggests sconces on either side of a mirror or a single pendant hanging in front of the mirror. We love this pair of nickel sconces from Circa Lighting.
Layer Earthy Texture and Color
The centerpiece of this look: A white coral mirror. Says the manufacturer of this one (a near match to the one featured in the In Detail Interiors space), hours and hours of molding and hand painting are required to artfully reproduce the coral for this mirror, and a thin silver tip is applied at the end of each “leaf” for an additional dash of sophistication.
While we’re swinging for the fences with texture, white shiplap installed halfway up a powder room wall will balance some of the luxe fixtures with a down-home appeal.
And to copy the color of our inspiration photo, look no further than Benjamin Moore’s Van Courtland Blue, described as “a decorative Old World blue that works equally well in more contemporary spaces; this timeless shade effortlessly spans a range of styles and sensibilities.” We think it’s chic—less tropical and more like the ocean after a storm has passed—steering away from the vibrant aqua stereotypically found on the walls of many a dated beach house.
But do pull in a lively hue with a shapely vase by New York artist Judy Jackson (now available at West Elm). She hand-throws, glazes and fires each of them. And because a sea-inspired space must never take itself too seriously, bring some whimsy to your powder room with a custom portrait of your best friend. We especially love the colorful, soulful work of Virginia-based artist Lesli Devito.