Kitchen & Bath Business
A Chinoiserie Challenge
THE GOAL OF A TRUE POWDER ROOM is to welcome and impress guests, but a drab design will have the guest forgetting the room as soon as they leave.
“My clients wanted to remodel their powder room space to add some pizazz and make it unique and remarkable,” said designer Komal Sheth of Austin, Texas-based design firm Spaces Designed, explaining that the original design was a typical cookie-cutter space. “So our challenge was to build an inviting room around one element the client liked: Chinoiserie wallpaper.”
Chinoiserie, or a pattern of Chinese motifs, was the main look the client wanted to include in the space. Sheth’s main challenge was then to find the right choice for the backdrop.
“The wallpaper needed to be inviting and almost living – without being overwhelming and gaudy,” she explained. After being unable to find a Chinoiserie pattern with the right scale and detail she had in mind, Sheth decided to design it herself creating a delicate design of tree branches and white flowers over a shimmering silver backdrop.
“With an initial sketched draft of what I had in mind, I got a prototype made by Griffin and Small Spaces Wong, a custom design wallpaper company,” she said. “A few tweaks later, the design was hand-painted onto the wallpaper, and we had a winner.”
The rest of the color scheme involved taking the glam Chinoiserie effect and extending it to every surface and object in the room. According to Sheth, the vanity’s classic black-and-gold palette coincides with the wallpaper’s glamorous shimmering tones. These details continue throughout the space in borders of gold along with the mirror, black-and-gold light fixtures, and gold hardware. The flooring tile is also a tissue gold – a very thin, metallic sheen – with a light shimmer similar to the style on the wallpaper and gold cabinet.
“The bright gold accents are complemented by lighter wall colors to keep the space airy and inviting,” said the designer.
Against the delicate design, a black granite vessel sink and a honed black stone countertop are paired for durability and easy maintenance. The vanity cabinets are made of a brown laminate that matches the wallpaper’s brown tree branches. Illuminating everything is two shaded light fixtures situated on either side of the vanity.
“The lines and color for the light fixtures were a perfect complement to provide just the right illumination and appeal in conjunction with the lighter ceilings for brightness,” said Sheth, adding that the wallpaper also inspired these elements. The other storage unit in the room also echoed the Chinoiserie’s glamorous appeal. The original powder room had a built-in storage cabinet, but the previously enclosed, white cabinet needed to go. Sheth thought it could be repurposed as an open shelving unit with a magazine rack on the bottom. She painted it black to go with the color scheme and the vanity, creating a glamorous and simple display next to the toilet.
“Black and gold just scream luxury,” added Sheth. “The room is both functional and gorgeous.”