Powder Room Panache

Ready for guests? As the party season nears, these two designers share their tips for making one of the most frequently used spaces pretty — and practical.

AK Design & Accents

Who: Armina Kasprowicz, ASID, is a Rochester Hills-based award-winning designer who, for more than a decade, has created harmony between function, aesthetics, comfort, and lifestyle in her designs. Kasprowicz’s clients appreciate her eye for quality and respect her attention to detail, and they value the time and expertise it requires to execute a masterful design. With regard to her design philosophy, the designer says, “Interior design is much like a masterpiece painting; it’s highly personal and multilayered, and should evoke a strong feeling of appreciation.”

Inspiration Reflection: A simple, yet beautiful, mirror with an interesting textural pattern set the design tone of this elegant powder room in a Rochester Hills home. “The mirror was the inspiration for the room,” Kasprowicz says. “Then we opted for  a mixture of materials to create a powder room that exemplifies modern simplicity.”

Info: 248-853-6387, akdesignandaccents.com

“A powder room is a place (where) you can really design something a little different. Consider a bold color or texture, or go for a patterned wallpaper.” — Armina Kasprowicz

Tray Bien: Bone gray tray (for linen towels), $155, Restoration Hardware, Somerset Collection, Troy. “Thoughtful accessories,” Kasprowicz says, “always create an inviting space for guests.”

Pretty Pewter: Apothecary pewter accessories — soap dispenser, $119, Restoration Hardware, Somerset Collection, Troy

Clearly Gorgeous: Clearlight orb, Barbara Barry/Global Views, $198, AK Design & Accents. “I love how the  light creates shadows,” Kasprowicz says.


Barbara S. Bell Design

Who: Designer Barbara S. Bell received a Bachelor of Science, Master of Architecture, and Master of Urban Planning — all with honors — from the University of Michigan. After working with other firms, the Bloomfield Hills-based designerwent out on her own in 2003, and she recently won a first- place Detroit Home Design Award for kitchen design. Her philosophy: “From traditional small-town main streets to larger urban infill projects, one common theme remains: People want to feel a sense of belonging. People want to feel a sense of ownership and pride over the spaces in which they reside.”

Info: 248-703-2664, bsbdesigns.com

Mesh With Modern: “The goal for this powder room,” designer Barbara Bell says, “was to create a sleek and modern look for homeowners Meagan and David Tessler that is crisp, inviting, and clean for guests, yet still ties in with the modern industrial interior design of the rest of their Birmingham home.” Of note: the eclectic Kaiser Suidan jack created by Kaiser Suidan Next Step Studio & Gallery, Ferndale (nextstepstudio.com). “There are several more jacks hanging on a second-floor wall.”

When she was asked to help create a glorious summer home in Boyne City on Walloon Lake, Cynthia Evans, owner of Cynthia Evans Interiors in Birmingham, already had a head start. Having worked with clients Pam and Bob Granata on multiple projects, the designer was well aware of Pam’s exuberant passion for color and pattern. “She wanted to have a home on a lake, not a lake home,” Evans says about her client’s sophisticated style, which invigorates each space.Colorful art led the way for the lively palette used in the 9,500-square-foot new-build situated on a scenic waterfront lot. An abstract graphic from Troy’s Michigan Design Center, displayed in the foyer, became a jumping-off point, with shades of yellow, blue, and pink that pop against the crisp white walls and dark wood floors. Further inspiration came from an oil painting in the great room made by Pam’s college sorority sister; the piece features gorgeous hues of pink and aqua that echo the changing colors of the lake.The sky-blue exterior of the three-story structure, with an architectural nod to New England, speaks to the lakefront setting and sends a cheerful message that extends inside. “Overall, the interiors are traditional in style, with unexpected pops of color and a nod to mod,” says Evans, referring to refreshing elements like the custom-sized raspberry shag rug in the great room that lends color and texture in spades. “It exudes a vibrant personality, like Pam — it’s happy, fresh, bright, and cheery. People love that rug, and everyone loves that it’s so soft.”A pair of pink upholstered benches by the stone fireplace accommodate the couple’s frequent guests, who can also congregate on the lower level and the spacious deck. “There’s plenty of seating and it’s a great place to entertain,” Evans says. Bursts of pink provide an element of surprise, while the dark wood ceiling highlights the coffered details. The textured fabric on the chairs shares the same aqua color with the sofas, which are upholstered in another fabric.Pam’s penchant for pink isn’t at all limiting; it plays well with other colors, like the green walls in her husband’s home office, which pay homage to his alma mater (Michigan State University). Green also appears on the stools in the kitchen, repeating one of the colors in the abstract graphic that got the visual ball rolling. White Shaker-style cabinets with beadboard details provide contrast, along with the aqua-colored island and the glass subway-tile backsplash.In the dining area, whitewashed wood furniture strikes a subtle note alongside animal print upholstery and a crystal light fixture above. A screened porch provides a bonus spot on one end of the expansive deck.Blue wallpaper with a floral motif perks up the powder room, while a bold pattern makes a splash in the master bathroom against the white countertop, cabinets, and trim. Cozy as could be, the main-floor master bedroom gets a comfort boost from an upholstered bed and an acrylic bench topped with faux fur. Mirrored nightstands add symmetry to the soothing space, which features pale blue walls and overlooks the deck and the breathtaking lake.On the lower-level walkout, a comfortable sectional offers a place to chill. The lower level also includes a guest bedroom, as well as a colorful bathroom that sports green-and-pink floral wallpaper. Other convenient features of this quintessential vacation home include a three-car garage, a boat garage, and a fire pit near steps leading down to the lake.Evans says she enjoyed working with Pam on the distinctive details. “It’s a very collaborative relationship,” she says. The feeling is mutual, says Pam, who loves making the selections that Evans turns into a cohesive whole. For this project, Pam envisioned a more elegant aesthetic than the nautical or cottage décor often associated with a lakefront dwelling, and she says her husband has become accustomed to her vibrant style. Besides, she adds: “Pink is the new black. Men are wearing pink shirts and ties.” She likes the bright, energetic feel the hue conveys, and wanted to create that type of atmosphere in their home.With three daughters in college, entertaining is a given come summertime, and Pam says people have been known to fall asleep on the plush rug in the great room. The response to the couple’s dynamic environment has been overwhelmingly positive. “The house is extremely well-designed, just the way it flows and the functionality,” Pam says. To make sure the space is perfect for years to come, the architect incorporated little nursery rooms inside the bedrooms, for potential grandkids.While people drive by on boats and wave, those who enter the home know they can expect visual stimulation indoors as well as out by the lake. “I love how great it is for entertaining, and we can sleep so many people,” says Pam, who loves hosting family and friends — which is never a problem, with five spare bedrooms including a guest suite that can sleep six. Finally, she says she treasures the location: “I just love it. Walloon Lake is so tranquil and the house feels that way, too.”

“With a door swung open against a wall, and direct access to the main foyer, a powder room can sometimes give one of the first impressions of a home.” — Barbara S. Bell

Light the Way: Spillray wall sconces, Y Lighting, $389/ea., Barbara S. Bell Design. “These are simple,” Bell says, “and can transition between two styles (the house has a farmhouse exterior/ industrial interior).”

On Tap: Grohe Essence Widespread (three-hole basin) Faucet in chrome, $479, Advanced Plumbing, Walled Lake. “This is modern and sleek,” Bell says, “in keeping with the industrial design of the home.”

Editors’ Picks: Up the Luxe Factor

Basil Bergamot hand wash and hand lotion set, $59, Holly Beth Organics, hollybethorganics.com

Welcome Home Hands cleansing gel, $22, metro-area L’Occitane stores, loccitane.com

Winthrop cup dispenser, $13, Bed Bath & Beyond, metro-area stores, bedbathandbeyond.com

Luxe vanilla bean candle, $65, Henri Bendel, Somerset Collection, Troy

Antica Farmacista Prosecco body moisturizer, $25, Lori Karbal, Birmingham