a white two piece powder room, guest bathroom with sink and toilet

Powder Room

Originally contributed by Jeff Butler • last updated 12/28/2020

Interestingly, the term “powder room,” was used in the 18th century to describe a small private room where wealthy people would apply powder to their wigs or hair — a type of makeup room. However, the term, in the sense of a restroom for women, typically in a public area, didn’t pick up popularity in the US until the late 1920s.


A powder room, sometimes referred to as a half bathroom or guest bathroom, typically has only two of the four main components that a full bathroom would — the toilet and the sink. A powder room is usually located near the entrance on the main floor of a home so it is accessible to guests and family who don’t require the use of a full bathroom.

How To Decorate A Small Powder Room

Powder rooms are incredibly useful if you have the extra space. However, their small spaces can lead to fewer design choices:

  • When planning the layout of your powder room, keep things simple by placing your plumbing fixtures on the same wall when possible. This can make your sink and toilet installation much easier.
  • Speaking of your sink, save space and open up your powder room with a pedestal sink. Vanities are great in bigger bathrooms but not entirely necessary for a small guest bathroom.