Space and Storage Where There Wasn’t
Many guest bathrooms are multi-taskers: while guests are in town, they are strictly for guest use only, and when a homeowner isn’t entertaining, they double as a storage closet. Most bathrooms don’t have much to offer in terms of extra space. Avoid committing the cardinal sin of doling out your space so carefully that your guests run out of essentials such as toilet paper!
A good idea when organizing a bathroom is to find storage space where there wasn’t any before. Stores like Target and Home Depot offer a wide range of storage alternatives specifically made for bathrooms.
Take advantage of blank wall space. Take, for instance, the space above the toilet. In many homes, an otherwise brilliant decorating opportunity is completely wasted. Hang some shelves to hold extra toilet paper, decorative jars of cotton balls and other bathroom necessities, or even some pretty bath towels. Visit your local home improvement center to find a wide variety of shelves and cupboards made especially for that space over the toilet.
Consider the space you do have and are currently using. Leave the family pictures in the living room. Demote the laundry detergent to its proper place by the washing machine. Don’t use the area under the sink as a spillover for makeup you don’t use anymore but can’t bear to just throw away.
Clean, Bright, Happy: The Mantra of Bathroom Decorating
Dark colors and drama work great for a bedroom or cozy den, but really have no place in a bathroom. When selecting colors for a guest bathroom, be sure to choose lighter shades and brighter colors to make the space feel more open and inviting.
Airy, open spaces make your guests feel more comfortable and make the room feel cleaner (a must for a bathroom).
Leave the heavily perfumed potpourri and floral scents at the store; the scent that should rule in the bathroom should be light and pleasant. Clean linen is a great bathroom scent.
Bathroom Reading Do’s and Don’ts
The jury is still out on the appropriateness of “bathroom reading” in the well-organized guest bathroom. Some guests enjoy a few magazines to look through while they are otherwise occupied while others find it downright offensive.
When leaving reading material in the bathroom, remember that your guests might feel as though the space is cluttered or they might become offended by your – ahem – inappropriate magazines. Rule of thumb: if the material in question can’t be shown in a PG movie produced by Disney, leave it under your mattress.
Making Your Guest Feel Comfortable
Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference; like my father used to say: “the devil’s in the details”. Small, decorative soaps are pretty and smell nice, but how comfortable is your guest going to be using them? Impractical “comforts” often just take up space.
Instead, try to make your guests feel at home and invited to use whatever they like. Offer a small selection of quality bubble-bath soaps or a neutrally fragranced moisturizing soap in a pretty pump bottle. Keep your extra touches practical and of high quality.
Sometimes guests forget to pack key toiletries. In order to save a trip to the local drugstore at night or early in the morning, keep a stock of extras such as new toothbrushes, shampoos and conditioners, toothpaste, and feminine hygiene products.
In the end, it really is about your tastes and the extra thought taken to make your guests feel welcome and comfortable. Think about what you would like to see and use when visiting a friend and organize your guest bathroom accordingly.