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The Ultimate Guide


10 Thoughtful Touches for Your Guest Bathroom

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When guests come for a visit, they'll feel more at home if they can have a little privacy. Sharing the main bathroom with the host family is fine if nothing else is available, but having their own bathroom can make them feel more comfortable, and their visit more enjoyable.

Want to make your guests feel welcome, appreciated, and well taken care of? Try some of these special touches.

  • 01 of 10

    Brighten Up the Space

    bathroom white light traditional
    Jeff Mindel/100 Layer Cake

    Dark bathrooms can seem dank and depressing; bright, clean bathrooms are refreshing and relaxing. If your guest bathroom has windows, open up the blinds and let some natural light in. For privacy, you can add light-colored drapes that will still let the light in, without letting people see inside.

    If your guest bathroom is in the basement, make sure that there is plenty of lighting. Clean the light fixtures and change the bulbs if necessary. Even adding an extra floor lamp for the length of your...MORE guests' stay can make all the difference.

  • 02 of 10

    Invest in High-Quality Towels

    towels in bathroom
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    It's always a good idea to have a stack of new, fresh towels for your guests. Nobody really enjoys using old, threadbare towels!

    Even if it's just a washcloth and hand towel for a half-bathroom, make sure you have new (or almost new) items to provide your guests. Get something luxurious and soft; Turkish cotton makes the best luxury towels. We have a handy guide for the best towels to buy depending on your budget and preferences, too.

    To avoid potential skin reactions, wash your towels...MORE with a hypoallergenic detergent. Fold them neatly in a pile (or make a swan if you can!) and place them on the toilet seat or vanity. 

  • 03 of 10

    Provide the Necessities

    provide shampoo and conditioner
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    If you've ever traveled anywhere, you know that someone always forgets something, be it toothpaste, shampoo, cotton balls, or nail clipper. The best hotels have handy toiletry kits for guests, why not you?

    In fact, you can now make use of all the hotel toiletries you've brought home over the years!

    If you have kids, have them help you prepare a little kit that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste, a travel-sized soap, moisturizing cream, cotton swabs, and anything else you think your guests...MORE might find useful. Pack them together in a fabric pouch, tie it with a beautiful ribbon, and place it on the vanity. Repeat for the number of guests you are welcoming home so that everyone has a kit of their own.

  • 04 of 10

    Add Fresh Flowers and Plants

    traditional powder room with cut flowers
    Lisette Voute Designs

    Nothing makes a space feel like home like a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers. Set up beautiful blooms just before your guests arrive. It will make them feel special, and it will give your guest bathroom a style boost.

    White and pastels are classic and foolproof, but you can also dare with a bit more color if it suits the space. If you know your visitors' favorite flowers, it could be a good choice too.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Create Storage Space

    towels hanging in bathroom
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    Before your guests arrive, have a look at the guest bathroom. Are there hooks and shelves where they can hang their clothes and store their toiletries?

    Begin by removing clutter and any personal items from the guest bathroom. You probably will not use it while your guests are there, and this will give them more space for their own items. 

    For clothing storage and towel hanging, you can use a simple over-the-door hook bar, which you can remove once the visitors are gone, for a cheap and hassle-free...MORE solution. If you don't feel like installing shelves on the walls, think about using a space-saver shelf that goes over the toilet tank. It's another low-cost, no-hassle solution for more storage space.

  • 06 of 10

    Add a Plush Floor Mat

    shag bath mat
    Julian James Ward/Moment/Getty Images

    Another quick and low-cost way to spruce up your bathroom's style is to change an old, boring bath mat for something a little more colorful, plush, and soft. Since nobody likes walking on a cold floor in the middle of the night, it's also a matter of comfort for your guests.

    A simple, non-slip microfibre shag in a color that matches your bathroom is the easy choice. They're very versatile, feel very soft underfoot, and the microfibre dries quickly, which means less moldy odors.

    Another...MORE choice is memory foam bath mats, which are very comfortable to stand on over longer periods of time. If your guests spend a lot of time doing their hair or putting on makeup, this kind of mat would be best. 

  • 07 of 10

    Make It Smell Good

    scented candle int he bathroom
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    A moldy-smelling bathroom isn't very attractive. Even a few days of accumulated humidity can make a bathroom smell a bit musty. Avoid this by airing the room before your guests arrive, and also by providing air fresheners while they are there.

    Candles are excellent to make bad smells disappear, and it's a lot less artificial than sprays. You can also provide a lighter, a few sticks of incense, and an incense holder. 

    Reed diffusers also subtly enhance a room's smell without needing to...MORE light or spray them. Just put your reed bottle somewhere hard to reach, since the oil can be toxic to the skin. 

  • 08 of 10

    Add Some Decorations

    Because it is used less often, the guest bath may not have been decorated to the same extent as the other rooms in your home. To create a more warm, welcoming space, add a few decorations before your guests arrive. One idea: add a tray, set up a few candles, decorative items and bottles to create a pretty display. Don't forget to leave a matchbook nearby, should they want to light a candle during their stay.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Hang a Robe and Slippers

    hanging robe in bathroom
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    One of the nicest luxuries in hotels is a soft, warm, plush bathrobe, and matching slippers. Keep your guests warm by leaving a fresh robe on a hook in the bathroom with a soft pair of slippers. Bonus: provide a towel heater so your guests can warm it up while they shower or bathe.

    That way, they won't have to scurry around the house wrapped in a wet towel, and their feet won't get cold as they walk to and from their room. 

  • 10 of 10

    Leave a Personal Note

    woman holding a card
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    If you really want to impress your guests, leave a small, personal note on a beautiful card, maybe among the items on your vignette, or on top of the stack of towels.

    Even a "Welcome to our home! Let us know if you need anything" will make your visitors feel like special and valued guests, and leave them with a wonderful impression of your hospitality.