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Room of the Month - Green Bathroom

By Sarah Van Arsdale on February 28, 2007

At NYIAD we teach our students a simple Three-Step Method for designing every room they create:

  1. A successful room is functional.
  2. A successful room expresses a mood.
  3. A successful room exhibits a sense of harmony.

This simple Three-Step Method is the secret of every interior ever designed. We teach our interior design students to consider these three steps every time they look at a room. You'll find the great home decorating ideas in our Room of the Month series as well as in the design tips on this site helpful in creating outstanding room designs.

When our students mail in their interior design project for analysis by their instructor, the instructor starts by commenting on these three Guidelines. Of course, the instructor analyzes other elements of the project too – decor, layout, furniture, style etc. But the key to good decor – and the essential element of every great interior design – is adherence to these three NYIAD Guidelines.

How do they work? How can you apply them? It's beyond the scope of this Web site to teach you every nuance, but you will get an inkling from the Room of the Month Analysis that follows.


Each month, here at Designer Monthly we analyze a room in terms of the NYIAD Guidelines to Interior Design: function, mood, and harmony. This month, let's take a look at a bathroom decorated in greens and teals.


First, the function of all bathrooms is pretty much the same: it has to serve as a comfortable place for taking care of one's personal hygiene. But while that function can be served in as plain a room as a truck stop restroom, any bath that really functions will be designed with the details of convenience and comfort in mind.

Here, the room is big enough for someone to be able to shower and prepare her toilette in comfort. The extra-wide countertop has plenty of room for soaps, make up, and even a candle and a few decorative items. The lamps above the mirror give plenty of light to work with, and the towel racks are convenient for either stepping out of the bath or just finishing up at the sink.

The function is further provided here with the toilet tucked around a partial wall behind the bath, so that two people could actually use the room at one time.


While this room is perfectly functional, it's the mood that really makes it come to life. It is one of the most elegant baths we've seen in some time, with the lush peacock wallpaper on one wall, the matching teal sponged walls, and the deep maroon accents in bathmat and towels.

The harmony of this room is difficult to separate from the mood, as everything in the room speaks to this elegant feeling. The lamps over the sink, the rich mahogany vanity and mirror frame, and the curling brass towel racks all echo the elegance of a bygone era.

The fresh plants, one mounted in a wall vase, one on the corner of the sink, bring in a bright note and bring out the green of the wallpaper.

This bathroom is testament to how even the most useful and utilitarian room in the house can be a showcase for a decorator's talent.