Best Powder Room

Powder rooms are often forgotten spaces. Small and utilitarian, they offer few, if any, architectural possibilities. With this small but well-detailed powder room, Sutton Suzuki Architects turns this theory on its ear. “The goal was to not make it seem small and uninteresting,” says Ronald Sutton.

The architect faced the typical challenges: lack of light coming into the space and lack of size. Sutton's goal was to bring in light but not make it overpowering. He also wanted to lessen the visual impact of the water closet.

First, Sutton located the toilet behind the door and tucked it into a space in the wall. He kept the paint neutral and used ceiling fixtures and a pendant lamp to wash the walls with soft light. Mosaic glass tiles add a subtle hint of color. “They also sparkle when the light hits them,” he says. To add interest, the ceiling is slightly sloped toward the mirror.

The vanity base is made from a limestone top and front “that are made to look like a single block of stone,” Sutton says. And on top of that is a simple vessel above-counter sink. Simple but beautiful, this powder room shows what is architecturally possible for a traditionally dead space.

Entrant/Architect: Sutton Suzuki Architects, Mill Valley, Calif.; Builder: Ireland, Robinson & Hadley, Belvedere, Calif.

For more product information, visit ebuild, Hanley Wood's interactive product catalog.
Cabinetry/vanity: Custom, Levant Blue Limestone; Countertop: Levant Blue Limestone; Faucets/fittings: Bath & Beyond; Flooring: St. Marc Amber Limestone Players; Sinks/lav: Duravit;Toilet: Duravit; Other: Class Mosaic Tile: Bisazza Mosaic; Towel Bar: Kroin;

Tip Designing a small space that works takes planning, architect Ronald Sutton says. And one aspect of planning that should not be overlooked is materials selection. “Materials are important, so pick them while you are designing—not after the design is complete,” he says. Picking your products early will help your design stand out and will give your contractor ample time to source the products.

Back to The 2004 Watermark Awards