Powder Room Three Ways + The Passion Project

By Kate Riley July 11, 2013

Do you know what you’re passionate about? Have you identified it, wrapped your heart and soul around it, and decided to act upon it?

find something youre passionate about


My passion is great home design and improving lives through improving spaces. The thing that wakes me up in the morning is the idea of renovation and home decorating to fit personalities and lifestyles – it’s effect on the qualify of life is profound. Sure it’s fun to make spaces pretty, but it goes beyond that.  Great home design matters – it’s how we express ourselves and shows how we live in a meaningful way by making our homes a reflection of who we are and what we love.

I see a plain bathroom like this one that I spied in a home on our list for possible purchase and all I can think of is “that bathroom could be amazing if I ever get my hands on it.”

bathroom before

I see plenty of beige but sooooo much potential for a stunning space with some stylish fixtures and pattern combinations (and a few weekend DIY projects!)  

Introduce classic style and high drama with a black and white palette…

dramatic black and white powder room

  floor tile / vanity / wallpaper / mirror / sconces/ charcoal print


… or a cool it down with a soothing coastal vibe…

coastal powder room

whitewash wood tile / vanity / mirror / sconces / print


… or warm it up with a contemporary vanity and mixed metal finishes.  

modern metallics and wood tones powder room

  floor tile / vanity / mirror / pencil sconces / stencil / abstract art


Home renovation and improvement is my passion. What’s yours?


  diy passion projectWhatever it is, the team at American Express wants to hear about it today as part of the Passion Project.  Are DIY and home improvement your passion like me?  Are you an artist, a creator, an innovator. a mold breaker? 

Share your passion for a chance to win $500 gift cards to Home Depot. Tweet about your passion project today and include the hashtag #PassionProjectTHD.  All the contest details are here and entry is simple! 


Oh and my four tips on how to become great at DIY are shared on the American Express Tumblr page today.


*This post sponsored by American Express Rewards. I was awarded with a Home Depot gift card. All opinions are my own.




  1. Love this quote, love your passion for design since we have all benefited from it! All those powder room ideas are gorgeous. Thank you Kate for sharing that passion of yours with us! Sharon

  2. Hi Kate. Have I missed a post about another house purchase? Very curious and excited for you – so much more for you to play around with!

    • Hi Claire, I’ve been mentioning that my sister and I are house hunting for a place for her in Salt Lake City, we’ll both remodel it together over a couple years, I’m excited! I’m staying put in Cali though.

      And CONGRATULATIONS on the $500 win Courtney, I’m so so excited for you!!! Everyone else, they’re still awarding gift cards, see details above and use hashtag #PassionProjectTHD


  3. The black and white idea is simply WOW. Love the mirror and the wallpaper!

  4. Kate! I’m such a fan of your site, imagine my glee to find you’d included one of my prints. Thank you so much, I’m incredibly flattered!

  5. I love that black and white one too!! and that vanity in the last one. My powder room has a pedestal sink very similar to that one and I am not a fan. If I ever end up switching it out, it would be a year or two down the line.

  6. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that first design and the quote, that Julia Childs was one smart woman! I am passionate about remodeling this home, that once my parent’s house is built, I get to remodel! Currently we are working on fixing up the basement bathroom, 4 girls & 2 boys in the house, it is MUCH needed!

  7. I wish I were as great at the DIY thing as you are! For me, it’s decorating. I love everything about it….guess that’s why I write a blog about it :)
    Love the bathroom boards…and the quote from Julia is fantastic. She was one smart lady!

  8. This is something for me. I will be renovating our bathroom which is awful. After getting a house I only painted the wooden ceiling and walls and made look ok. This is the time when i’m planning to do a make over. Thank you for your suggestions

    Lots of Love

  9. Every single of your posts is such an inspiration! I love decorating around my house… Only if I had half your DIY skills would be much easier, but I keep trying :D
    Have a beautiful weekend!!

  10. I LOVE the modern bathroom. I’ve been looking for a way to re-do our main bathroom. It serves not only as our kids bathroom but the one used by guests however, it’s small (one can sit on the “throne” and touch the tub with your left arm and the vanity with your right leg…SMALL). If I were to do a tone on tone with the stencil, what type of shower curtain would you put in there? solid or something with color? We can’t change the flooring or vanity, floors are a lighter stone looking tile and the vanity is a standard honey oak/marble top from a big box store (yes, I can paint it).

    • Hi Dawn, I’d use a plain curtain if you have a bold stencil, but add a colorful border to the edges or a Greek key detail with trim or ribbon to repeat the color of the stencil on the shower curtain.
      Good luck with your makeover!

  11. The basketweave floor tile in the black & white bathroom has been one of my favorites for years. But the dusty blue vanity is also fabulous. So I’d have to use them both. Great ideas – thanks!

  12. I love that quote, I need to print that out to put in my office. Thanks for all the inspiration I love your blog.

    Tammy @ thecoloreddoor.blogspot.com

  13. You have written another beautiful blog entry which is very close to my heart. We recently renovated our powder room and we are delighted with the end result. Here it is – http://billiemakesahome.info/?p=57
    I’d love to know what you think of it!
    Thanks for sharing you ideas.
    I enjoy reading your blog and have bookmarked it.

  14. Hi Kate, which website/software did you use to make those bathroom inspiration boards? I would love if you did a blog post on all the types of programs you use.

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