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Add flare to powder room to show guests you care

The powder room can be a great place to "express yourself." It can be and should be decorated with a little more oomph than other bathrooms in the house, for several reasons. It is usually the room used by guests, so making it special shows them you care. It is a small room, so spending a little more on the intricate faux paint or that superexpensive wallpaper won't be prohibitive.

Here are some scenarios for making the powder room special:- A black marble counter with gold-plated sink and faucet. Put black marble on the floor, black commode in the corner, black mirrors on all four walls. Besides overhead lights (preferably canned lights that disappear into the ceiling), also add wall sconces over the sink area. A touch of gold or brass on the sconces will tie into the gold sink.

- A green and white striped pedestal sink with green faucet. The inside of the sink is white with the stripes on the outside going from the tip of the bowl down to the floor. Paint scallops on the wall at ceiling level with tassels at each scallop gathering and green and white stripes on the scallops with the tassels in either green or gold color. The floor is white marble and a mirror over the pedestal sink has a green frame with gold gilding on it. The commode could be green to match the stripe. All other wall space is white.

- Built-in cabinetry across one wall. The cabinet is very shallow - only 12 inches deep with the sink part of the cabinet bellowing out to the size of the sink. The counter top is wood and the sink is white. The cabinets are white and the floor is wood to match the color and type of wood on the counter. The wall space over the entire cabinet is mirrored in a bronze-colored mirror. The commode is white. The other three walls are faux painted in a suede look.

Creativity is the key. Shape and size of the room coupled with the colors and style used in the rest of the house should provide the inspiration.