The guest bathroom should be a welcoming and comfortable place for guests to relax. Designing a bathroom that fits in with the home and with guests’ needs is the key.
For homeowners that entertain a lot or host out of town guests on a regular basis, having a designated guest bathroom can help make everyone feel more at home. Design a bathroom for guests that not only matches the home’s décor, but that allows a guest to temporarily personalize the space while they are there.
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While it can be tempting to create a bathroom for guests that is beautiful and impressive, remember that guests may not always treat it the way that the homeowner will. For this reason, avoid using natural stone tiles or countertops in the guest bathroom. Toothpaste left sitting on a marble vanity top will etch the stone, while temporary hair color being rinsed in the shower may stain; don’t leave the guest feeling uncomfortable about making a mark in the room.
Porcelain tiles, ceramic tiles and glass tiles can all be used to create a beautiful, low maintenance bathroom design. This can allow a guest to relax and not have to worry about trying in vain to clean up after themselves when temporary hair dye or makeup after a party has stained the room.
Allow a guest room to unpack toiletries and make herself at home by providing ample storage space. This does not necessarily mean including a large vanity or linen tower; niches inside the shower walls for shampoo bottles, hotel shelves full of towels and a glass shelf installed above the sink and below the mirror can allow a guest the space to unpack and relax without cluttering up the room.
Universal design is the concept of creating a space that can be used by as many people as possible. Keep toilet and sink heights at “comfort” or “universal” height; slightly higher than traditional to assist those who may have difficulty bending over.
Install faucets with lever handles, rather than cross handles, as a lever handle does not need to be griped to be turned on. Small children and the elderly, as well as those users with dirty hands, will have an easier time moving a lever handle to start the water running, than a knob they will have to grip.
Keep shower thresholds and curbs to the minimum height possible, and install a grab bar in the shower for those who may need assistance climbing in and out. Providing a non-skid surface for the shower and bathroom floor will also be beneficial to guests.
Keep the color pallet of the guest bathroom in line with the rest of the home, but be sure to choose colors that are light or bright in color. This may mean toning down vivid colors or brightening up dark ones that are used in the rest of the house.
The guest bathroom should feel welcoming, so avoid stark whites or overly bright and trendy colors. Warm colors and tones work well in guest bathrooms, as they tend to visually contract when viewed, providing a cozy feel.
If the guest bathroom will be used full time by others in the home on a full time basis, then tailor it to the needs of the most frequent user, and add accommodations for the guest such as extra shelving and universal design elements. Designing a bathroom for guests does not have to mean designing a bathroom that would not fit in with the house; keep the style cohesive with the rest of the home while keeping the guests needs and comfort level in the details.
Design a guest bathroom that is welcoming, comfortable and easy to care for today and enjoy the company of guests and their well being for years to come.