Should Your Toilet Be a Design Statement?

February 14, 2013 | Bathrooms, Red

I may be stating the obvious, but I don’t want to attract attention to the toilet in the powder room — for sure the toilet is the last thing I want people to notice! If I do my job right, the rest of the room should be so off-the-charts that you look right past the toilet when you enter the room.  But depending on the decor, sometimes a white toilet just jumps out at you — I know, an unsettling choice of words!  So how about using a black toilet instead?

The powder room is one of the most fun rooms to design in a home.  While the space is small, it can be jam-packed with so many over-the-top, amazing design details.  It is one of the few rooms where, across the board, clients agree that “More is More” and they are willing to take risks and say yes to some of my more outlandish recommendations — like using a black toilet!


As my ode to Valentine’s Day, I wanted to share a powder room that I designed that is sexy, flattering, and of course has more than a touch of red.  My inspiration for this room  came from a black, gold and red wallpaper from Sonia’s Place that features red roses.  While the pattern is floral, there is nothing sweet about it.  The leaves are a metallic gold that will reflect the light from the chandelier, and the background mimics a black textured linen which gives the paper a dimensional quality.  It could be used on the walls or the ceiling, and both would be dramatic.  In either case, my thought is to pair it with high gloss black paint for the trim and a red Venetian plaster with gold mica flecks for the walls or the ceiling.

For the vanity, I would love to retro-fit a piece of furniture, whether it be a new or vintage.  In this case my idea is to do something black, possibly with gold accents or hardware.

I plan to change the top to marble, either a black with gold and white veining like a Portoro, or possibly something more exotic in the red family.  Because it’s a powder room I may opt to keep the floors simple by using wood, or I may repeat my vanity marble choice in a mosaic pattern such as a herringbone.

stone choices

The mirror and chandelier in this room are my jewelry.  I am considering a black quartz encrusted mirror from McCoy Design.  And I would love to find a red murano chandelier to light up the room.

bathroom jewelry

The accessories in a powder room are key to making the room look finished and pulled together.  A coordinating wastebasket and tissue box are key.  Pigeon and Poodle have a great range made in exotic materials such as shagreen and pen-shell.  I am also a fan of  Mike &Ally‘s enamel sets which come in a wide range of colors.


I don’t intend to use any white in this bathroom at all.  White will pop too much and take attention away from the main events.  For the sink I would love hammered metal in an antique brass finish.  And as I mentioned above, I am thinking about a black toilet. While I am usually a purist about my toilet colors — not kidding here!! — I think a white toilet would end up being a focal point in the room.  And even the prettiest of toilets should never be the focus!

And on that note, Happy Valentine’s Day!





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