Everyone knows where you’re going when you say you’re headed to the “reading room.” Yes, the powder room is the place to enjoy flipping through the pages of a favorite magazine, enjoy an article, or just do some contemplation. For that reason alone, it might be worth the time to really turn the reading room into your own personal library.
This bathroom is a terrific example of a beautiful powder room that’s meant to take advantage of time alone. With gorgeous bookshelves lining the wall next to the commode, a good read is within easy reach. The rich, dark shelves also
bring a library feel to this powder room. While these shelves are custom-built, a modified version could be made with bookshelves trimmed out with hardware store crown moulding. The richly stained and decorated shelves give this room the feel and look of a personal study.
The wonderful thing about a powder room is that because of its size, extra decorating effort can be placed here without breaking the bank. It’s what makes powder rooms so fun to decorate – their size is small enough to add richness and still be economical. Elegant treatments, such as formal light fixtures, wall sconces, and sink cabinet give the room a custom look. The layered paint treatment that’s carried to the ceiling creates age and timeless charm, and the red tile and red sink create a colorful punch that looks terrific against the rich wood tones in the room.
Create your own
Want to create your own powder room library? Some simple steps can turn your half bath or regular bathroom into a personal retreat perfect for reading. Start with a wall treatment. Begin by creating a paneled effect by adding chair railing placed higher than normal (five feet off the floor) and then adding wood, wallpaper, or contrasting paint below the chair railing. Make both the wall and the chair rail a dark, rich color to give it the cozy feel that private libraries have. On the upper walls, use a lighter color to offset the darker lower walls and carry the color all the way to the ceiling.
Because no library is complete without storage for reading material, be sure to add a place to store books or magazines. A wooden shelf can be added to a wall to store books for reading if the bathroom is small. To store magazines, forgo the basket on the floor next to the commode. Magazines don’t store well there and the floor is a notoriously nasty place next to a toilet. Instead, get magazines off the floor by mounting a towel rack in the bathroom within easy reach. Towel racks are perfect magazine holders. Or, if there’s room, place a standing rack to hold reading material.
Don’t forget to add small touches to the walls such as artwork in frames with heavy moulding, small tapestry, or pictures of maps. All of these elements look wonderful and complement the library design. Add your own library touches with a shadow box of antique magnifying glasses or a classic book, or a figurine of “TheThinker” by Rodin, for example.
It’s easy to turn your powder room or bathroom into a real reading room with some library design and thoughtful decorative attention.
Brushed nickel towel ladder: tinyurl.com/gdjpl
Standing magazine rack: tinyurl.com/joxjx
Wall-mounted metal towel rack in white or black: tinyurl.com/knk9m
How to create wood paneled walls: tinyurl.com/zb6z9