• 5 Brilliant Ideas In 55 Square Feet

    A great big room is filled with great big possibilities. A small bathroom? Less so. Which means when we see one that brings together so many brilliant ideas within a modest footprint, we’ve got to share.


    Step inside the powder room in Alison Wilcox’s Chicago home. Alison is the director of project management at Nate Berkus Associates, and has worked on hundreds of renovations, makeovers, and design projects over the years.


    “Powder rooms are typically the place where we bring a client a more eccentric moment – something more playful than you might try elsewhere,” she tells us. “I wanted to do the same thing in my home.”


    And while yes, the wallpaper might be the first striking detail you notice (us too), get ready for the breakdown of every single move that turned this 55-square-foot (!) bathroom into one of the most special spaces we’ve seen.

1. Fake architecture with… a shower curtain. Rather than go the traditional route, Alison tapped Zirlin Interiors to fabricate a custom shower curtain (with trim!) to hang from floor to ceiling. “The look is more like lush drapery than a shower curtain,” Alison explains. We’re huge fans of this idea – especially if you’re not crazy about your shower tile. Why renovate when you can mask it so elegantly?


2. Follow your gut. Alison wanted a wallpaper with a nature-inspired feel, and quickly zeroed in on this Hermes palm-print pattern. But when it came to choosing which colorway, she was torn. “I considered a few different, some that might ‘go’ better in the space, but at the end of the day, I wanted to pick the color pairing I love: black and white. And I’m so glad I did – everyone who comes in comments on it!”


3. Start a conversation. With your decor, we mean. The wallpaper already had an organic look, so Alison was excited to layer on a gold Anthropologie mirror with a leafy frame. And don’t forget the actual plants: a decorative ode to nature pairs well with, well, nature itself.

  • 4. Let storage act as decor. A woven basket of fluffy white towels looks stunning and inviting – and acts as a miniature linen closet. Guests will love the look and be grateful for the thoughtful touch.
  • 5. Make every detail count. Nothing is too small to just "be" – just look at that vintage towel ring! Alison also brings in a tight edit of accessories that give the powder room a personalized feel; vintage vessels, and a Nate Berkus vase, seen above, round out the total look.
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