You’ve probably outfitted your own bathroom to your exact needs and taste—but what about the guest bathroom? The second bathroom in a home is generally given a little less love—but when guests come for a visit, they'll feel more at home if they’re able to use a bathroom that has been curated to their own creature comforts.
Whether you’re working on sprucing up your guest bathroom to cater to impending guests or you’re looking for little details to make sharing the main bathroom more comfortable, we’ve rounded up some of the best ways to make your visitors feel welcomed, appreciated, and taken care of.
Read on for expert-approved tips and special touches on making a guest bathroom as comfortable and luxurious as possible:
01 of 28
Get as much natural light as possible.
Marc Dobbels, managing director at Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa, suggests working with your existing layout to filter in as much natural light as possible—whether by using airy details to evoke a sense of lightness or by optimizing your bathroom window to allow more light to flood the space.
“The design at Le Barthelemy embraces the natural surroundings and evokes a sense of lightness, with an open-air vibe and continuous flow between each space,” explains Dobbels. “Natural light fills the bathroom, and is the key to unlocking bright, fresh and renewing energy.”
02 of 28
Consider replacing your shower head.
You don’t need to replace your entire shower in order to give your guests a hotel-like experience—but replacing your showerhead with a massage or rain feature might be a nice option to consider. “We've outfitted each bathroom with spacious rain showers so that guests can feel the tropical essence while rinsing off the salt after a day at the beach,” explains Dobbels.
03 of 28
Don’t overlook the little details.
“The best bathroom design embraces minimalism and warm halogen lights and decor items that reflect the environment around them,” says Dobbels. “We want guests to have that jaw-dropping moment when they venture into the bathroom—every single detail matters and conveys a sense of place.”
Think about the aspects that you appreciate most about staying in a hotel and try to emulate them in your own space. Is it the sense of minimalism? The lighting? The amenities? Those small details are going to play a much bigger role than any renovation you could do.
04 of 28
Splurge on nice towels.
Karin Sun, founder of Crane & Canopy, suggests outfitting your bathroom with plush towels. “Bring the spa experience to your guests by setting out clean, soft towels for their use,” she suggests. “Your guests will be thankful for the possibility of a hot bath or shower at the end of a long day, and luxury towels in a soft white will lend your space the air of a boutique hotel.”Continue to 5 of 28 below.
05 of 28
Get rid of all signs of clutter.
“Make sure to keep things clean and clutter-free,” says Sun. “Before your guests arrive, take time to put away loose items and give your space a light dusting. These simple actions will make your space look tidy and put together, and it will also allot your guests space to settle in and store their own essentials.” An uncluttered space will allow guests to feel like your guest room is truly their temporary home.
06 of 28
Create an amenity kit.
If you’re planning on sharing the bathroom space with your guests, you can still foster that hotel feel by creating a bathroom amenity kit and placing it on their bed. “Keep organization easy and employ a stylish basket or tray option to store bathroom items,” suggests Sun.
07 of 28
Set the mood.
Sun suggests preparing the bathroom mood in advance of your guest’s arrival. Consider lighting a candle with a subtle, fresh fragrance or dimming the lights to create a more cozy environment before they even drop their bags in your home.
08 of 28
Usable storage for guests.
“Guests really need places to put their stuff,” says Beth Halpern Brown, founder of Beth Brown Interiors. “Incorporate furniture or accessories that they can actually use, like a small corner chair, a jewelry hanger, as well as a storage hanger on the back of the bathroom or closet door to provide additional storage space for guests to use.”Continue to 9 of 28 below.
09 of 28
Art that reflects the hosts.
Even though the bathroom is for guests, it should still encompass a host's personality with pictures of their favorite places, children's art displayed, etc. “You don't want the room to feel sterile or generic, but instead thoughtfully incorporated into the rest of the home and reflective of a personal aesthetic and taste,” suggests Brown.
10 of 28
Stock the little essentials they may have forgotten.
“I keep Q-tips, tampons, cotton balls, extra contact solution and case, and lotion below the sink,” says Brown. “Small extras like this make guests feel welcome, thought about, and ultimately appreciated.”
They also ensure a guest is able to find something they need in case they forgot to pack or bring something with them. “It's small touches like this that make all the difference for guests who are staying somewhere that's not their own home or space they're comfortable in,” adds Brown.
11 of 28
Keep hotel-quality shampoo on hand.
You might assume that your guests will travel with their own shampoo and conditioner—but it doesn’t hurt to make sure your guest bath is outfitted with some high quality products just in case. “Having good quality shampoo, conditioner, and body wash available is a friendly touch and also won't break your bank since you won't have to replace it that often,” says Bre Hance, principal designer and owner of InHance Interiors.
12 of 28
Add a signature scent.
The top hotels and resorts around the world have a signature scent. Create one in your bathroom with candles or room spray. "For the ultimate at-home welcoming retreat, indulge in scent stimulating products,” suggests Silvia Tun, director of services at JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa. “Aromas such as lavender, mint and eucalyptus promote relaxation and stress relief and will transport those visiting to a blissful escape.”Continue to 13 of 28 below.
13 of 28
Consider adding softer lighting.
Of course, they’ll want bright light during the day as they get ready to go—but not all of the time. Adding a dimmer switch or softer lighting options on the vanity will help foster a sense of relaxation in the evening. You could also consider adding a plug-in night light to the space to allow them to comfortably find their way to and from their new surroundings at night.
14 of 28
Fluff your linens.
Making sure you have nice towels is one thing—but ensuring they’re ready for guests is quite another. Geneva Aaron, founder of TheHouseWire, suggests giving your towels a little extra attention before adding them to the guest bathroom. There should be fresh, fluffed, and folded towels available for them to use every time. If you want to take it up a notch you could consider giving them a gentle spritz of fabric spray.
15 of 28
Add fresh flowers.
Placing a vase of fresh flowers in the guest bathroom is one of the easiest ways to give the space a pop of color while also offering that "wow" factor as guests arrive. You can always attempt to find out their preferred flowers—but whatever you end up selecting is sure to make guests feel special and welcomed.
16 of 28
Consider adding a bidet attachment.
Bidet seats, particularly those that are easy to use are a fantastic option when trying to make a bathroom more welcoming. “Many of the bidet seat additions come heated, so even if the guest does not want to use the bidet functions, the seat still provides extra comfort,” explains Daniel Johnson, founder of ManyBidets. “Installation takes about 15 minutes, and simply replaces the existing toilet seat—so it’s really a breeze to set up.”Continue to 17 of 28 below.
17 of 28
Pick up a robe and slippers.
One of the nicest luxuries in hotels is a soft, warm, plush bathrobe and matching slippers to slip into at the end of the day. Keep your guests warm by leaving a fresh robe on a hook in the bathroom with a soft pair of slippers at the ready.
18 of 28
Because it is used less often, the guest bathroom 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. Add a tray or a stool, 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.
19 of 28
Update the bath mat.
Another quick and low-cost way to spruce up your bathroom's style is to change an old, run down bath mat for something a little more colorful, plush, and soft. A simple, non-slip microfiber mat in a color that matches your bathroom is the easy choice. They're very versatile, feel very soft underfoot, and the microfiber dries quickly—which means less moldy odors for you (and your guests) to have to deal with.
20 of 28
Consider a towel drying bar.
If you have the extra wall space, consider providing a towel heater so your guests can warm it up while they shower or bathe. This little luxury will make their post-shower experience much more pleasant—especially in the colder months.Continue to 21 of 28 below.
21 of 28
Leave a personal note.
If you want to impress your guests, leave a short, personal note on a beautiful card, perhaps among the items on your vignette or top of the stack of towels. Even a message like "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.
22 of 28
Make sure there are plenty of mirrors.
Whether you’re working with limited natural light or your guest bath is flooded with sun, it’s important to have plenty of mirrors available. Not only do they help to make a space feel brighter but they’ll also allow your guests plenty of options to work with when getting dressed, shaving, or applying makeup.
23 of 28
Have fun with wallpaper.
Guest bathroom decor can sometimes be an afterthought—but one of the easiest ways to give your second bathroom a refresh is with the use of a fun wallpaper. Consider going bold with hotel-inspired banana leaf print or bright geometric shapes to add the initial wow factor.
24 of 28
Add some greenery.
The best way to add some warmth to your guest bathroom is by placing a couple of houseplants. Consider adding something that doesn’t require too much maintenance, like a spider plant or zz plant, so you don’t have to worry about running into the bathroom to water it while guests are in your home.Continue to 25 of 28 below.
25 of 28
Don’t overlook a laundry basket.
You might not think a laundry basket will be of much use to your guests, but having a spot to place used towels will save them from having to leave them on the bed or the floor. If your guests are staying long term it might also be nice for them to have a designated spot for dirty clothes as well if they have an extended stay.
26 of 28
Make space for toilet paper.
All the fancy hotel amenities in the world are going to be super well-received, but nothing will replace having an extra roll of toilet paper when your guests realize they’re running low. Find a spot to stock extra rolls or present them in an artfully arranged basket behind the toilet so they never have to mention they’re running low.
27 of 28
Add a carafe for water.
Most hotel bathrooms are equipped with a small glass or two on the bathroom sink for late night sips or water or for facilitating brushing their teeth. Consider adding your own display with a small glass and a carafe for water.
28 of 28
Make sure the space is immaculate.
You’ll want to make sure that, if all else falls, the space feels as clean as possible for your guests' arrival. Give the entire space a deep clean—from the shower head to the toilet bowl—and don’t forget to wipe down the mirrors to ensure they’re sparkling clean when your guests first arrive.