Remember your childhood toilet? If you’re anything like me your family had a room with white-ish paint, white-ish tiles, a white-ish loo and just enough room to turn around in as you closed the door behind you. Most of the loos of my childhood had small sliding rectangular windows which, more often than not, looked out onto the outdoor entertaining area. After stealthily sliding the teeny window closed for privacy and going about their business, guests had to venture into the family bathroom to wash their hands. The bathrooms of the seventies, eighties and nineties—whether ubiquitous beige, off-white with scattered feature picture tiles, or pastel blue, pink or lavender—generally lacked storage and functionality. Your guest might encounter sudsy kids’ toys draining in the bath, toothpaste smeared on the basin, a soggy bath mat, and a cup of family toothbrushes beside the tap. Not exactly glamorous.
The evolution of the family toilet and bathroom hasn’t followed a direct line to the sleek spaces of today—I remember rounded burgundy border tiles half-way up the wall during the nineties—but we have managed to meander our way toward functional style. The noughties gave rise to the powder room, an extravagant confection of toilet and basin often removed from the family bathroom and accessed from the living area. This self-contained unit meant that guests were longer exposed to the family bathroom and the potential horrors within. Now days the powder room has morphed into the power room and homeowners are going all out in the creation of a stylish, elegant space.
Moody lighting, feature tiles, edgy vanity design and high-tech toilets are making the powder room an experience in itself. The loo is now a way to express your style in a couple of square metres of curated design and it’s time to make the most of it.
Peruse the beautiful rooms below and start thinking about how you can show off your powder room savvy.