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Powder Rooms That Pop
Three small spaces sport bold styles reflecting their homeowners' tastes


February 2017

 Photo by Tricia Shay

Dramatic Flair

The moment she saw it, Nancy Lindenberg knew the red Greek-key chest with the raised white geometric design on the front would be the star of her Historic Third Ward condo’s powder room. “I wanted it to be fun with a feminine flair,” says the homeowner, who knew choosing the furniture piece from Warren Barnett Interiors instead of a traditional vanity would present some challenges.

It required adjusting a recessed area of the wall where the chest would be installed and retrofitting the furniture to accommodate the sink and plumbing. She enlisted Colby Construction in Delafield to do the carpentry.

Since the top of the piece was only 18 inches deep, she found a 16-inch, round-in-square white porcelain sink at Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in Brookfield. It fit easily into the chest top with room to spare. The aged-bronze, wall-mount waterfall faucet and handles, also from Ferguson, match the hardware on the front of the chest.

Mara Lisa Wierschke from Warren Barnett Interiors in Brookfield helped Lindenberg find two single-bulb pendant light fixtures that give the room a Euro aesthetic. The dramatic furniture piece stands out against the light coral/peach wallpaper and its peacock feather imprint.

Adding a personal touch, Lindenberg finished the room with artwork from her travels to London; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Kotor, Montenegro; Barcelona, Spain; and the Amalfi Coast of Italy. Small on space but big in personality, the room reflects the owner’s passion for design, her creativity and her love of art.

Modern Meets Vintage

 Photo by Haley McCormick

When it came to redecorating the powder room tucked under the stairway in her Whitefish Bay home, interior designer Megan Brakefield didn’t hesitate to go bold. “It’s a small room that can handle a lot,” she says.

Counter to the conventional approach of using light

colors in small spaces, she chose York Wallcoverings’ “Scenic Woodland,” a striking wallpaper featuring bronze woodland

figures on a black background, as well as black paint for the ceiling and 2-inch black matte hexagon tiles for the floor.

“I encouraged myself to be brave with the patterned wallpaper, and I loved that it seemed to acknowledge our new home in Wisconsin,” says Brakefield, who moved here from San Francisco with her husband and daughter. “I wasn’t worried about the darkness of the small room because I knew I was going to have elements, like white fixtures and woodwork, to provide a strong counterpoint.”

Pay attention to the details, she advises. “In a small room, you’ll notice everything,” she says. In her case, every detail was well thought out to create a harmonious look — from the small rectangular white wall-mount sink, from Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting Gallery in Brookfield, that gives a visual sense of space and the champagne bronze faucets, also from Ferguson, that complement the metallic elements in the wallpaper to the vintage French towel ring on the door and the black vintage ice bucket that was converted to a trash bin. While elements in the room stand out, overall it reflects Brakefield’s sophisticated, modern style, pairing well with the patina of the 1927 Tudor house.

A Luxurious Statement

 Photo by Ryan Hainey 

“You can’t do that” was a refrain interior designer Karen Kempf heard often while working on her client’s modern home in Hartland. The phrase became all

too familiar when it came to the design of one of the smallest rooms in the 6,700-square-foot home — the guest powder room.

It may be small, but it has a palatial impact with a floor-to-ceiling mirror floating 2 inches off the wall and framed by architectural relief plaster panels. Kempf and the homeowner were inspired by a photo they saw and wanted to re-create the stunning look. The mirror installation required a carpenter to build a box narrower than the mirror and attach it to the wall. The mirror was then attached to the box. The electrician had the tricky task of installing backlighting.

A waterfall faucet from Kohler, crystal light fixtures, a Wetstyle trough sink from The Finial in Mequon and lacquered blue-gray walls add the finishing luxurious touches to the room in keeping with the sleek elegance of this artful home.


This story ran in the February 2017 issue of: