Powder Room

A powder room in the old days was generally thought of as a ladies bathroom.

A powder room in the old days was generally thought of as a ladies bathroom. When in a public place, women often excused themselves from their company with the phrase, “Please excuse me, I have to powder my nose.” It was a delicate way of making an excuse to exit to the nearest public restroom, much in the same way as gentleman exited by saying, “Pardon me, I have to see a man about a horse”. Seems a little crazy, but that’s the way things were done a century or so ago.

The phrase “powder room” has passed down through the ages and in recent years has taken on a different definition, though the function remains the same. A powder room is a small bathroom- typically the half bath in your home that is used by visitors. It is not a bathroom for overnight guests, as the powder room does not incorporate a bath or shower, only a toilet, sink and mirror.

As it is the bathroom where guests will freshen up, it is most often placed within easy reach of the social areas of the house: off the dining room, kitchen, family room, etc. Ideal placement is on a hallway that is separate from the room where guests are being entertained. This allows for a certain amount of privacy.

Being that the powder room is close to the entertainment areas of the home, ask your renovator about incorporating some of the same designs from those portions of the house. Flooring, paint, fixtures, cabinetry and even the counter top may match the kitchen for instance, or other extended areas.

The size of the powder room may vary, depending on the overall square footage of your home. However, a reasonable area for the power room should fall between 3×6 and 4×5 feet. This is enough room to install a toilet and sink. The standard space in front of the toilet is 24 inches.

Hang a lovely mirror over the sink. Keep the size of the sink in mind when choosing the mirror that will adorn the wall of your powder room. Also, give consideration to average height and guesstimate how high you should hang the mirror. The top of the mirror should be slightly higher than eye level, and should not be wider than the sink or the vanity beneath. Choose a mirror that is vertically long enough to provide a reflection for the shortest adult member of your family.