How to Decorate a Half Bath

Half baths, or powder rooms, are indispensable as convenient washrooms—and as a decorative outlet

powder room wallpaper

Half baths are useful and convenient to have in common areas of your home. Containing a sink and toilet, guests have a bathroom nearby without needing to enter private quarters. A half bath can be built into most small spaces with access to a drain pipe within 10 feet.

Personal style can be reflected in even the smallest of spaces. For example, it’s the ideal place to experiment with bold color, pattern, and texture. Here’s how five Sweeten homeowners worked with their general contractors to incorporate half baths into their overall renovations.

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A touch of rustic

half bath with wood vanity and wallpaper

The country decor in this Westchester County half bath offers a casual and traditional look! As part of a remodeling project for a 1953 home, the surrounding pastoral property influenced the interior design. Scenic wallpaper and white-washed wood tones brings nature indoors.

The home’s entire floor plan was revamped. As a result, more gathering and entertaining spaces were created for the multigenerational family. The powder room offers the convenience of a washroom nearby.

Repurposing space for a half bath

half bath with round mirror and wall paneling

Sweeten homeowners Amanda and Cory needed to build a powder room on the ground floor of their 1919 Colonial home. With a young child, having easy access to a powder room off the kitchen was worth sacrificing two small closets.

A cream color palette with a bright white wall-mounted sink and Toto toilet exudes a sense of calm. The traditional paneled detailing on the walls complements the age of the house. 

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A Scandi-inspired look

powder room wallpaper

Kirsty and David’s remodeling goal for their 1924 Los Angeles home was to add an extension to the living space. The renovation opened up the rooms making them more user-friendly for guests and friends. The plan included a newly-built powder room. This made it a better fit for how the family lived. This room uses geometric wallpaper, a compact sink and vanity, and a chic, black-framed mirror.

A half bath for an apartment

powder room with graphic floor tile and gold fixtures

The homeowners of a 1,800-square-foot apartment in Manhattan planned a complete gut home renovation. The family of five wanted a brand new powder room in the living space. Situated near the kitchen, dining area, and living room, it was a conveniently-located water closet.

An all-white color palette feels vibrant thanks to a variety of patterns. However, they chose gold bath fixtures from Kohler’s Purist Collection to contrast against the white. The sink and toilet float off the floor so the powder room feels larger.

Double duty in a Tudor-style home

powder room with washer and dryer

Hannah and Henry purchased their 1930s Tudor-style home in September of 2020. The half bath, which also contained the laundry area, needed a major refresh. Stacking the Bosch washer and dryer and a floating vanity created extra floor space and storage. The result: better use of square footage for dual purposes.

The couple chose to keep a traditional look. As a result, they chose oversized, hexagonal floor tile and light wood cabinets with matte black pulls. 

When you’re ready to get started on your kitchen or home remodel, work with Sweeten to renovate with the best contractors.

A note on fixtures and appliance deliveries: If you’re on a tight timeline, Appliances Connection has over 50,000 items in stock and ready to ship nationally. If you’re in the NY/NJ metro area, in-stock items typically deliver within 2-3 days.

Popular questions asked

A half bath is a common feature in many homes, regardless of size. Half baths are typically used by guests, which is why they do not include bathing facilities. Half baths are often small, accounting for less than 20 square feet of floor space. The most common configuration places the toilet at one end, facing the sink and/or vanity. 

A half bath is typically 4’ x 6’ or 3’ x 6’, but there is no standard. For comparison, a full bath is traditionally 5’ x 9’, which is why most bathtubs are 5’ long. Three-quarter baths are about 4’ x 6’ to provide the required clearances. A half bath is not defined by its size, but by what it contains, which is usually a sink and toilet.

Most half baths will include a vanity, sink, and toilet, but little room for accessories. Shadow boxes are shelves built into a wall cavity that can add several square feet of storage. Shadow boxes utilize the space between the wall studs (usually 14 ½”) to house anything less than 3 ½” deep. 

If the wall is a wet wall, it contains plumbing and will be double thick. Shelving for decorative accessories, nice soap dishes, or toilet paper holders can easily be recessed into a wall.

Sweeten handpicks the best general contractors to match each project’s location, budget, scope, and style. Follow the blog, Sweeten Stories, for renovation ideas and inspiration and when you’re ready to renovate, start your renovation with Sweeten.

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