Let's be honest: unless you're giving every visitor in your home a full-blown house tour to show off your decorating prowess (no shame!), the spaces they see most often is probably the smallest—the half bathroom. But what this space lacks in square footage it more than makes up for in style. In fact, because it's so small, it's the perfect arena for experimenting with colors, prints and styles you might normally hesitate to roll out in a larger room. Got a penchant for over-the-top wallpaper patterns? Dying to test out one of those on-trend navy blue hues? Just hankering to embrace your inner style chameleon and go maximalist in an otherwise minimalist home? Go for it—the half bath is your wild wild west.
These personality-packed powder rooms show that one should never underestimate the impact of a half bathroom, no matter how tiny it may be. We're finding inspiration in some of the most minuscule under-the-staircase nooks and tucked-away crannies, proving that the element of surprise may be the best design element of all—imagine guests' delight when they pop off to the loo to find a glamorous riot of jewel tones, graphic tiles, and gorgeous light fixtures.
Here are our favorite half baths that do a lot with a little space—but be warned, you're going to want to undertake a weekend remodel after seeing these showstoppers.
Do a double-take: this penny tile wall is actually a total trompe l'oeil. If you have the patience to pull off this fake-out feat, it's a brilliant bargain-method for getting the look of on-trend penny tile.
Atomic-inspired orange wallpaper + a statement-making mid century light fixture = total powder room goals, if you ask us.
This marble sink is a total showstopper, to be sure...but the longer we look at this gorgeous half bath, the more there is to admire. Architectural details on the wall help emphasize the on-trend paint hue (and perfectly frame out the brass hardware, too).
Round mirrors might be having a major moment, but we think it's high time the classic arch shape makes its comeback—especially when it creates such nice contrast against an ultra-angular geometric wallpaper design.
Dark and Dramatic
Even the most basic standard-issue vanity looks glamorous when you give it a fresh coat of paint in a moody hue and swap out its hardware. Keep the walls bright white to amp up the impact of this high-contrast look.
Proof that the best things really do come in small packages: a miniature mirror alcove becomes the coolest spot in the house with the addition of chevron tile.
The only thing cooler than statement tile? A semi-precious agate backsplash. Gold-toned hardware completes this utterly swoon-worthy look.
If you've ever dreamed of having your own Margot Tenenbaum moment, here it is. True maximalists will fawn over this eye-popping zebra print by iconic design house Scalamandré.
Keep It Going
Who says tile needs to stop at the wall? If you've found a pattern you love, continue it up the wall behind the vanity for a continuous backsplash effect that's unexpected and modern.
What's Your Angle
Designing around an awkward ceiling pitch can be tricky...or it can inspire an ultra-modern approach that guests will remember. Millennial pink paint accentuates the sharp line where the wall meets the ceiling, while geometric fixtures (like a round frameless mirror and column-like sink) play up the modern art angle.
While it might seem counterintuitive to extend a countertop in an already-cramped half bath, the added storage and sophisticated lines will more than make up for any lost space. This live edge-inspired woodgrain counter strikes a perfect balance between traditional and eclectic.
Sure, we have a soft spot for sconces, but maybe it's time to reintroduce hanging lights into the bathroom? This single-bulb fixture is by turns industrial and glam.
Make sure the pendant you choose is listed as suitable for damp locations.
Easy To Articulate
Another light fixture that truly brightens up the space—an articulated swing-arm style piece gives you all kinds of flexibility to aim the light just right (perfect for when you're applying makeup), and brings an out-of-the-box addition to this small space. Bonus points for the inclusion of on-trend rattan, too.
Less Is More
Not quite ready to commit to a whole bathroom worth of bold tile? You can still get in on the action with a simple backsplash that packs a punch. Just four tiles create this unusual (and cost-effective!) focal point.
If you think double-mirrors only make sense at double-sink vanities, think again. As long as you have enough counter space to accommodate them, a mismatched set of mirrors can bring a fun element to a half bath.
Plant One On Me
Crafted with a built-in basin for plants, this terrazzo option just might be the coolest vanity we've ever seen. While we admit it's not the easiest option to DIY, it's worth filing away for your next bathroom overhaul—we imagine a trusted contractor could cut a circular hole for a planter to set down in at the same time your counter is being cut for the sink.
Symmetry is so last year. Instead of flanking the mirror with matching sconces, switch things up and place one above the other to create a more unique take on the classic pair.
Miss us with that matchy-matchy stuff. This eye-popping powder room proves there's no such thing as too many patterns (or shapes, for that matter). We love how traditional marble takes on a graphic look against hieroglyphic-like wallpaper—and a wiggly mirror ties the whole unlikely look together.