Nautical Powder Room Design

How to master powder room perfection

Maximizing the illusion of space in your most intimate corners

Story by Sheila Paz + Photos by Mike Ritterbeck

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dive into the diverse rooms of the 2024 LOCAL Life Idea House, our exclusive peek into The Charles, the newest waterfront condominium at Hilton Head Plantation. Throughout the year we’ll showcase transformative room makeovers and offer practical decorating tips and ideas. Each feature aims to inspire your next home refresh, adding a personal flair to your living spaces. For more information about The Charles, email

Within the world of interior design, the powder room serves as a mini canvas, with its compact dimensions allowing for unrestricted creative expression. Despite often being the tiniest space within the home, the powder room is an opportunity to boldly make a statement and venture into design territories that might seem overwhelming in larger rooms. It’s a haven where there’s no need to harmonize with the overarching home decor. Collaborating with J. Banks Design, Distinctive Granite and Marble and Signature Closets of the Low Country, the homeowner selected elements that would maximize functionality while infusing this small space with distinctive style and sophistication.

Powder Room Inspo

Daring design with a local touch

The transformation begins with a daring choice for the walls: a navy, alligator-patterned wallpaper selected by J. Banks Design, setting a backdrop of elegance with a local twist. Complementing this striking visual are golden palm-leaf sconces and a matching mirror, amplifying the local flavor. The distinctive light fixtures not only add intrigue but also enhance the space’s perceived volume. Mirrors, particularly large ones, are strategic in small areas, creating an illusion of expansiveness by reflecting light and visually extending the room.

Embracing the theatrical

Like distinct personalities, each powder room possesses the potential to exude its individual brand of charm. In its pursuit of a show-stopping ambiance, Distinctive Granite and Marble introduced a four-inch countertop edge, a surprising element that not only enhances the custom cabinets but also adds a sense of grandeur to the space.

Artful final touches

The reinvention concludes with the selection of a vanity sink and cabinets by Signature Closets of the Low Country. Addressing space constraints with flair, these pieces offer stylish storage solutions. Bathed in “French Blue” by Sherwin-Williams and accented with matching gold hardware, the cabinets blend with the room’s overall theme, further enhancing the illusion of space.

Gilded in style

Gilded in style

A gold-leafed sconce adds a local twist, while the gold finish adds the glamour the homeowner was looking for. 

Artistry in hardware

Artistry in hardware

Unique knobs are a low-risk way to add character and a customized feel to any cabinet. Amazon and Etsy have a broad selection, with Etsy offering some hand-crafted options for a one-of-a-kind look. 

On the edge

On the edge

Mitered edges offer a sleek and upscale appearance, albeit at a higher cost. Opting for the technique on smaller pieces such as this one is a prudent choice for achieving a refined finish.

Vinyl Wallpaper

Vinyl thoughts

No alligators were harmed in creating this wallpaper. Vinyl wallpaper adds texture and interest to this small space.

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