When it comes to remodeling or adding a half-bathroom, you have a lot of options. The small space makes it possible to splurge without busting the budget and, because powder rooms don't get the heavy water activity full baths do, you can use a wider variety of materials.
For example, homeowners might want to consider using wallpaper to add dimension to their walls.
"The idea of wallpaper is that it's old-fashioned or '80s, but the truth of the matter is that there are modern, great patterns out there," said Annie Elliott, owner of Bossy Color Interiors. "It doesn't have to be vinyl. It can be more delicate, like normal wallpaper. ... Using it on the walls of a powder room is such a great surprise. It can really make a small space glow."
If you're looking to maximize space, install pedestal or wall-mounted sinks, recess your medicine cabinet and avoid continuing the molding in the powder room.
"Most [half-bath] ceilings are eight feet high; adding molding would make the ceiling feel lower," said Lauren Liess, owner of Pure Style LLC. "The room is small already; you don't want to make it even more confined. That's why I paint the ceiling and wall the same color. It makes the walls seem higher and taller than they are."
Liess likes for her half-bathrooms to have a hotel-like feeling for guests. When selecting a color for the walls, she typically chooses darker colors. Instead of the typical medicine cabinet, she installs pre-framed mirrors and adds white fluffy hand towels by the sink.
"Make the focal point the mirror and lighting," Liess said. "Put a towel ring next to the sink and find a really gorgeous mirror. It makes [the room] more personal."
If a powder room is part of a major renovation, consider continuing the floor into the half-bath for cohesiveness. But if you're only renovating the powder room, it is not a good idea to try to match the outside room's existing floor, said Elliott. Try 1-inch round or square mosaic glass tiles instead -- they are available in lively colors and make the floor sparkle.
"They flow from a regular floor better, like hardwoods. They're a little more special than a black or white 'bathroom tile,' " Elliott said.
Homeowners looking to simply spruce up a half-bath can brighten things up with a fresh coat of paint, a petite chandelier for lighting and a small Oriental rug to cover the old floor.
"If you have a tired bathroom and want to perk it up, you can put a 2-by-3 cotton rug on the floor," Elliott said. "You can go to rugman.com and order a tiny, handmade, unique Oriental rug to place over old tile or marble floor. Painting the walls will freshen everything up; you may not have to renovate at all."
A powder room is a place where you can really be creative, said Liess and Elliott.
"A self-contained, small space can work to your advantage," Elliott said. "Take risks that you might not otherwise take in larger, more expensive places in your house."