This room was essentially completed almost two years ago, aside from one thing - the mirror. Now that I've finally found and hung it, I thought it was time that I showed the completed powder room / guest WC. 

During construction, the corner taken out of the room.

To refresh your memory or to explain if you didn't follow along with my renovation posts from all that time ago, the powder room was created from a tiny bit of the carved up original kitchen, pictured during construction above. The old kitchen was turned into one of my children's bedrooms (post here on the before and after of that), and this room was created by stealing a corner of it and knocking a new door in from the adjacent hall. 

The new door was in fact old: we reused one of the original doors that had been rendered redundant during the renovation in the old part of the house a few years prior, and put one of the nicer old brass door knobs on it from another door. 

This room was to be for guests, not children, and being in the older part of the house, I wanted to do something interesting in it. Otherwise it would really end up feeling like no more than a cupboard. I was keen to use wallpaper to create interest, and the wallpaper I really wanted to use was De Gournay. I figured that having lusted after it for nearly 15 years I could probably afford it in the smallest room in the house… however it was not to be. It was still just too eye wateringly expensive.

So my next choice was this Schumacher grasscloth with an overprint on it. It's hand blocked so it's not exactly a budget option, but it was still considerably less expensive than De Gournay. The main problem that I had was that it was sold on an 8 yard roll (American lengths), and not available in double rolls or in one continuous length which limited the number of drops you can get per roll. It also had a large pattern repeat, so the combination of the two factors meant that I was only able to get one wallpaper drop per roll due to my high ceiling heights. This caused it to start going into the pricing of the De Gournay due to the excessive waste, so my solution was to do a dado level panelling, which enabled me to get two drops per roll, and thus cut down by half the cost of the wallpaper.

I didn't panel this side to make it easy to clean. Now I think I probably should have still panelled it.

I designed the dado panelling, higher than normal to match the hand basin height and matched the style to the Victorian era door panelling elsewhere in the house. The other thing that I wanted to do due to the small space was to create a continuous flooring in from the hall, so that it didn't seem so separated an element with a change. I continued in the floorboards that we'd used in the hall (Spotted Gum), which also gave less of a 'bathroom' feel. 

The toilet model was part of the job lot I purchased for the house 5 years ago along with all the other bathroom items at a warehouse sale in Melbourne, and is from Duravit. The handbasin was the big bargain in this room, coming from Recollections/ Early Settler and costing only $99 in a sale. Tapware and assorted fittings are from Astra Walker and are in the same style used elsewhere in the house, but in unlacquered brass, which has now aged down nicely to match in with the patina on the mirror.

And as for the mirror, well that was the part that took the longest. I wanted to find an antique gilt mirror. I like things with a bit of age, and didn't want something super shiny and new looking. Unfortunately supply in Australia of old mirrors is fairly limited. A lot that are available are far too large for this little space, or the ones that were the right size were very, very expensive. Additionally while I love old mirror glass, sometimes it starts to become so distressed or foggy that you can't see in it properly. This wouldn't be a problem hanging elsewhere, but in a powder room it wasn't so ideal. Finally I found the mirror at a local Estate Auction, and it's perfect. 

As for lighting, I've kept it simple. There was wiring done for sconces on either side of the mirror, but I changed my mind when the wallpaper started going up, so they're sitting there behind the plaster. I thought they'd be just a little bit too much. The room is lit during the day by a fixed velux skylight (clear so you can see the sky through it). There are two LED down lights for night, and that's it. 

So, the littlest room in the house completed at last.


Handbasin - "Manhattan" from Recollections/ Early Settler
Taps & accessories - Astra Walker 'Classic' range in unlaquered brass
Toilet - Duravit
Wallpaper - Schumacher Celerie Kemble "Hothouse Flowers" in Fog
Mirror - Small & Whitfield estate auctions
Floors - Spotted Gum wide floorboards

Apologies for the photos not lining up - blogger seems to be having a few hiccups and won't let me align them tonight. I'll try to fix them up again later.


  1. Another room done!

    I think for lips that side panelling is needed truth be told just for cleaning purposes. I prefer it that way and I actually like the wallpaper very much and adore CK's range. The loo looks like it was always there too instead of a recent addition. You must be chuffed with it x

    1. I've ticked off a few the last month - so funny the way things in progress can come together all at once.
      I think it looks like it was always there too. And yes to the cleaning with the wallpaper going all the way to the skirting. It was a good practical solution to have the dado panelling. Even though it's for adults, some men aren't the best at aiming….

  2. It looks fantastic Heidi. The mirror is perfect and was worth the wait, I'm sure. I love the wallpaper you've used. My guest powder room needs some serious love but I need a new roof on the house before I start thinking about papering as that room had some horrible damp spots on the ceiling when we moved in. For now I've just tried to make it look more inviting with accessories. xx

    1. Thank you so much Charlotte! I'm afraid new roofs aren't the most exciting part of a house redecoration project, so you have my sympathies. Our new roof was our 10th wedding anniversary present to each other (tin!), before we moved into the house. Necessary due to the amount of water damage in the house, but definitely not exciting! xx

  3. This room turned out 11/10! The mirror is perfect- your patience was rewarded. What a good surprise to see the skylight, how smart to allow some natural light in the room. I also love the brass taps with their patina. And the fact that the sink is big enough to allow for a bouquet of flowers: it's perfection. XOX

    1. Thank you so much Dani, I was so pleased to finally find the perfect mirror at the auctions. I do love to do a skylight with internal rooms, it just makes such a difference. I also get the benefit of borrowed light into the hall from it, although the hall is not that dark at any rate. xx

  4. Beautiful! I loved the fact that you held out so long to find the perfect mirror. I decorate that way too. I could live in a bare space for years knowing the perfect something is out there for me, and I'll find it eventually. My mother was the same way. My father, however, was not. Mind you, he was the wallpaper hanger in our house (being a tailor and all) so we'll forgive him for that.

    I love the dado and paneling and it was such a clever solution to making your gorgeous wall covering work for you. Your beautiful old door is exactly what we had in our house growing up. I used to love locking and unlocking those heavy doors and eventually my mother had to hide the key in case it went AWOL.

    The brass fittings really warm up the space and add the perfect touch Heidi. Well done!

    1. It's a funny thing, I don't feel particularly fussed in waiting for something to be right, but I understand that others do not feel the same way and want it to look 'done'. I have a client at the moment like that, they want the house finished in 3 months, which is possible but I do feel that sometimes the best result comes from waiting for something special to present itself.
      I love the old doors, and was so happy to be able to reuse them, they really do make the difference. Our first house had all the internal original doors removed, so one of the first things we did was to replace them with salvaged ones. I just added a bit of patina to the house, which I love. xx

  5. It looks like a wee mini spa with that restful white, love it. You're so clever with your wallpapering. Isn't it amazing a how a big wallpaper pattern (albeit not busy) like that can made a small room look bigger and more interesting? Those high ceilings of your are just so fab, we just have the mingy eight-ten ft ones.
    The mirror is perfect, at first I thought it was see through but now I see its reflecting the back wall. (you see the encroaching lack of cognitive whatsits in this comment). So clever too that you chose a gold mirror that than doing white or silver, which would have just blended. The texture and difference in colors is great. Well done you, yet again.
    I've wanted for a long time to do a wallpaper for our downstairs loo (or powder room as they call it here.) was very keen on having some sort of Paua shell (abalone) swirling greens and blue but no such wallpaper exists, thought for a while about that Beverly Hills banana leaves one, but its too done.
    A friend suggested blurry big dots like you get from traffic on a dark rainy night, but husband put the kaibosh on that.

    1. I think big patterns in small spaces always work better than the reverse Jody, it's a funny thing that the reverse of what you might thing is best doesn't always work so well in practice. Scale is a strange thing! I think you should definitely go with it with the wallpaper. While the banana leaf is a bit done in blog land, in the real world it isn't! It would suit your house too… I'd go for it! xx

  6. it's beautiful! funny how you bought the taps 5 years in advance! x

    1. So agree! Mark of Heidi's brilliance! So clever, H! Who else would have a five year plan - and buy so far ahead at such a good price!
      Love that powder room, wall paper, wall panels (v true about little boys/guys missing the mark) - and especially the new mirror and the patinated taps! Pammie

    2. I have so much stuff stashed away for the future FF! From food, children's clothes... I buy my own clothes often out of season… and things like the taps etc too. One day it all gets used up! But if its a bargain I can't pass it up!
      Thank you Pammie, the mirror is the perfect finishing piece. I remember you commenting ages ago before you came to visit that you'd look forward to seeing what I'd chosen by then! I'm afraid it took a little longer.. slow decorating around here! But it will be ready for your next visit! xx

  7. It's a very swish dunny. I hope I get to use it some day so I can bask in its glory.
    Hope you are holding up well at this pointy end of the year xxx

    1. It's my favourite room Cilla! Would love you to get to see it all in person. It's been a fairly frantic few weeks - I'm hoping it all starts to calm down a little over the next week as work finishes up and children have finished school. Hope you're feeling the Christmas cheer xx

  8. Love it. I adore gold and grey together; and so well punctuated by the crisp white. You're smart to not overly trim the toilet wall. The only people who should do that are lesbians who only have lesbian friends. Men are simply not to be trusted with lovely trim on a toilet wall. Also love your little bouquet!

    1. Thank you Stephen Andrew and your comment has made me laugh and laugh. While I've banned the boys from using the bathroom the adult males aren't to be trusted either - especially after a boozy dinner! xx

  9. Looks great I love the wallpaper. We have a similar renovation of our powder room we finished over a year ago but we still haven't found the perfect sized mirror to hang or painted the new door .... a project for the Xmas break I think to finish this off!

  10. Such a lovely little room!! From the wallpaper to that mirror, amazing job, Heidi. And funny coincidence that we both blogged about our powder rooms :) Cheers, L


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Architect & Interior Designer. Mother of three. A sometimes Cook, Baker, Reader, Gardener, Fashion Lover, Renovator, Writer of random things in South Australia email me on
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