Smart Solutions: Room in iconic Clue game gets an update

By Jeanine Matlow
Special to The Detroit News
A captivating powder room in Marin County, California, was the creative source for the latest update to the Clue Mansion, celebrating 70 years. The nostalgic wallcovering from Cole & Son (that has since been discontinued) turned the powder room into a jewel box.

Though interior design projects often provide inspiration for other people’s homes, it’s not every day a unique space inspires the classic backdrop of an iconic board game. That’s exactly what happened when home remodeling and design site Houzz teamed up with toy and game company Hasbro to renovate the hall in the Clue Mansion in honor of Clue’s 70th anniversary.

From late August to early September, people were given the chance to vote for a guest room, drawing room, bathroom, or an updated version of the hall. Now that the votes are in, a luxurious bathroom will replace the hall on the Clue game board. The new design that was inspired by a powder room by Ann Lowengart Interiors will be the first bathroom to be included in Clue’s Tudor Mansion. An updated version of the board game featuring the new space will be available next year.

Homestyle reached out to the San Francisco Bay area designer via email to get some background information on the winning space. Lowengart, who owns Ann Lowengart Interiors in San Anselmo, California, says the project for this Marin County home that was built in the 1940s began as an update of the guest house before evolving into a full remodel.

New bathroom from Clue game, inspired by a real-life design.

By taking the building down to the studs, they incorporated the guest house into the main home and added a second story. The homeowners’ penchant for a particular hue would lead the way to their new look. “Drawing on the couple's love of bright blue, we punctuated the airy, white spaces with cheerful pops of color and added custom architectural details,” she says. 

Additional inspiration for the winning space came from the fact that the husband had a personal connection to the property. “He grew up in the neighborhood, and the house reminded him of his family home,” says Lowengart. “He wanted a powder room that was reminiscent of the one he knew as a child with a scenic wallpaper in blue.”

Hall from the Clue board game.

As the designer explains, the nostalgic wall covering from Cole & Son (that has since been discontinued) turned the powder room into a jewel box. A pair of polished nickel wall sconces from Circa Lighting punctuates the classic pattern along with a mirror that features a bamboo frame. Custom cabinetry adds a deluxe touch below.

Lowengart was thrilled that her project was selected as the winning room in a game that she enjoyed as a kid. “I played Clue all the time in grade school,” she says. “I'm honored to be part of this cool and nostalgic initiative.”

Her clients were also pleased that the powder room in their 1940s home was the inspiration for the new room in a game that debuted in the same decade.

As for Lowengart, she still has her original Clue board game, which can now be found in her son's room. “One of the things I loved most about the game was the Clue Mansion and its beautiful rooms,” she says. “It was a foretelling of my career as an interior designer.” 

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Jeanine Matlow is a Metro Detroit interior decorator turned freelance writer specializing in stories about interior design. You can reach her at