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Balboa Powder Room: Before, During & After

The tour of our Forever Home Fixer continues with the powder room.

We bought our new home, our #foreverhomefixer, in the summer of 2020 -- during the most uncertain times of the pandemic.

The home itself is 3160 square feet and built in 1978. It had 3 bedrooms and 3 baths when we purchased it. We added a powder room half bath. It is on the golf course in the historic Indian Canyons neighborhood of Palm Springs, which was first developed in the 1960s and boasts the first 18-hole golf course in Palm Springs.


Before & After: The Entry Foyer + Unused Hallway

Above: This is a photo from the first time that I toured the house. It was the summer of 2020, in the depths of the COVID pandemic.

There was no formal powder room, which on our list is a bit of a "must" - given how we like to entertain.

The home's entry had wasted space with two hallways side-by-side, separated by a single wall.

I may have brokered the deal to buy the house without telling David... but it was David who, in his best Joan Crawford Mommie Dearest voice, raised his first and proclaimed, "I am putting a powder room where a powder room ought to be!"

Above: the formal entry features wallpaper by Porter Teleo, a brass and black credenza from our Retail Studio, and a vintage lamp and mirror from Antique Galleries of Palm Springs.

Now, there is a powder room behind that handsome green wall.

Let's take a look, shall we?


The Process: It gets worse before it gets better

Where the hard-working man in the black shirt is grinding the floor...that is our future powder room! The built-in cabinet behind him became the entry to our kitchen. The doorway next to the gentleman goes into a guest room that became our media room. (Click link for that full story.) We relocated that doorway into the media to blank wall shown at left.

Adding plumbing for a sink and toilet to an area that previously had neither was not particularly easy.

A very deep trench was dug to add the plumbing and to connect it to our drains that lead to the street.

With the trench and hole filled, we could move on to drywall and the fun stuff!


The Floor Plan: Before & After


Creating the new powder room involved several other floor plan revisions:

  • Bedroom 3's ensuite bathroom was also used as the home's powder room. We relocated the entry door to this room, which we use as our TV room

  • We moved the laundry room into our primary bathroom. The laundry room became the entry to our kitchen and a butler's pantry / wine bar

  • We sealed off the door to Bedroom 2. This guest suite is now accessible only from outside, which here in Palm Springs we call an "attached casita"

  • An expanded bar



Here is the "after" in more detail with an early furniture plan..

You will see that we opted to use the formal dining room as a lounge, placed our dining table in the large living room, and had already taken to calling the butler's pantry the "wine room"...


The Design Plan

The new powder room itself is about 5' x 7' with a 46" wide vanity. A wonderful design element is that it has a 12' tall ceiling because it is part of the vaulted main living area of our home!

I believe in having fun with powder rooms! This is a chance to surprise and delight your guests -- and yourself! In a light and bright house, sometimes I like to make the powder rooms a little darker and moodier.

My first purchase for our powder room was a beautiful emerald green marble slab. I saw this beautiful "Esmerelda" slab at Formation Stone and knew that I had to have it. I joke that they gave me a good deal because no one else was crazy enough to want it!

The second design decision I made for the room was the faucet. My friends at Brizo had recently launched a Frank Lloyd Wright collection of plumbing, which I found super exciting. I wanted to be an architect since I was about 12 years old, which is around the time that my dad gave me my first book on FLW I still have that book, and I think of him often when I see it, so I knew that I had to have a Frank Lloyd Wright collection faucet.

I love that Brizo created architectural models to launch their Frank Lloyd Wright bathroom collection. It reminds me of school days. This particular faucet is inspired by his masterpiece, Fallingwater, and it is the faucet that I selected for our powder room.

Next, it was time for all the details.

Our design studio does not like to leave anything to chance. Chris Porter on our team creates detailed architectural plans to communicate our design intent to our clients and the contractors who bring our visions to life.

The dashed lines in the plan below represent the new walls.

Below: an elevation of the vanity wall, detailing our design including the faucet, mirror, and light fixture -- making sure everything fits perfectly.

Below: we designed a custom countertop with an integrated sink to really showcase the beautiful Esmerelda slab! You can also see how dramatically the FLW faucet cantilevers from the wall!


The New Powder Room!

All the work and planning really came together and we could not be more pleased with the results.

Have I mentioned that green is my favorite color?

The artwork is called "Spring Awakening." It is part of my collection for Wendover Art Group and is available here.

Monica Stone Fabrication did a beautiful job of bringing our custom vanity-sink to life! We wrapped the stone around the "Embrace" Mirror, available through or retail studio or here. I wanted to bring the stone high up the wall, because I love it so much, and it reminds me of old fountains in Europe, with the spigot coming out the wall... but in a modern way.

The final piece of the design puzzle was the wallpaper. Did I want more green? I wasn't so sure. I considered both black and brown, or a pattern, but nothing felt right. I finally decided to keep with the monochromatic theme. I brought home dozens of green wallpapers, but most did not match. The Esmerelda stone is a very unique shade of green!

Then one of my favorite designers came to the rescue. Her name is Catherine Martin, and her husband is film director Baz Luhrmann. Ms. Martin has designed all the incredible sets and costumes for his movies, including Moulin Rouge, The Great Gatsby and Elvis. She now has her own line of wallpapers and fabrics, available through Mokum Textiles. They are some of my favorites to use in projects.

The wallpaper in our powder room was inspired by The Great Gatsby -- it looks like silk but is in fact durable and scrubbable vinyl -- perfect for a bathroom! I love how the slub design in the wallpaper echoes the veining of the marble.

I think of my dad -- and another one of my heroes, Frank Lloyd Wright -- every time I use this faucet.

How wonderful is that? It makes it so much more than just a bathroom.


I hope you enjoyed this tour!




Photography: Public 311 Design

Styling: Keith Fortner




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