You want to know why the half bathroom –or guest bathroom –is called “powder room”? Yes, the term tracks back to Victorian times when women used the room to apply powder to their noses. Since “powder room” sounds more discrete than “bathroom,” the term stuck. However, the importance of this place resides not on its name but on its role in your house décor. These small places represent the ideal opportunity to show off your design style. Moreover, if you want to keep things neutral and traditional in the rest of your house, you will have the opportunity to display your creativity in the guest bathroom.
Most half bathrooms are basic, small spaces that include a sink and a toilet. You could see this as boring, but nothing could be farther from the truth. First of all, if you are entertaining, most likely, your guests will use it. What do you want your half bathroom to say about you?
Stop ignoring that tiny place, and visualize it as it is: a small treasure box ready to be discovered. Here are a few tips to make your guest bathroom the most exciting, enchanting, and inspiring place of your house without hurting your wallet.
- Make sure everything is functional. Before unleashing the artist in you, aim for practicality. Is everything up and working in your bathroom? Check for flushing problems, leaks, lighting issues, and such that can make your guest’s experience awkward and unpleasant. This should include odor problems and troubles with the door lock. Potpourri or scented sprays are recommended for the smelly bothers and for the later… get it fixed! Privacy is everyone’s primary concern.
- Now, hands-on the job: visualize and create a concept. Do you want to make this space ocean thematic? (In case you live by the beach); do you want it to be a display of elegance? Or just a fun space? What colors and textures do you picture in it? Once you have a somewhat-defined idea in your head, it will be easier for you to align the rest of the items to it.
- Color is all! Like we said at the beginning, we usually stick to the neutral side of the palette when we choose colors for our bathrooms and bedrooms. Well, forget about the myth of having everything in light shade –or white! Deep, vibrant colors are in fashion (including the ceiling). Since paint is not that expensive, our advice for you is to experience and reach for limits on this one. Maybe painting the main wall in a bold, glossy shade; or chose one intense shade and lighter versions of it for the rest.
- Rethink the idea of wallpapers. You hear wallpaper, and you get transported to your grandma’s living room adorned with golden teacups and flowers on the wall, right? Think again! The newest trends in wallpapers are a great way to display awesome design into your walls. A quick tip: choose a water-resistant wallpaper –vinyl –not only due to possible splashes but because some papers can be damaged due to humidity. Also, if you are renting the place, make sure you pick removable wallpaper that does not hurt the wall once you have to take it out.
- Tiles are in. While paint and wallpapers can usually be inexpensive, tile on the contrary is. The great news is that since your space may be reduced, there’s not a lot of tiles needed to accentuate your half bathroom. Modern designs include rustic, monochromatic patterns and other bolder and more artistic. If you are settled and in love with tiles –we don’t blame you –pick a wall. For instance, the vanity wall and tile that one up. If you want to save even more, you can choose stone imitations –they look exactly the same –to get the desired effect.
- Lighting. So, you’ve got your functional light and your decorating light. For the first one, stick to bright, cooler-temperature bulbs that help make everything visible in there. For ambiance or mood lighting your options are extensive. You can choose a pendant, wall candles, or a vanity light with a statement. The key is to aim everything towards the same concept. Mixing modernistic lighting with a Victorian-type decoration may be going too far.
Accessories –the key for a half bathroom décor
Now that you’ve made sure that everything is functional and that your walls have been taking care of, it is time to accessorize! Well-thought, small accents can make the difference between an ordinary and a stunning powder room. Here are the key elements that have to be present:
- Mirror. Do not settle for a basic mirror. Cute, artistic frames or a gallery consisting of small mirrors will give the space a unique appearance. Take into consideration that mirrors give the illusion of a bigger space. So put your mind into finding the ideal one.
- Storage. Every bathroom needs storage. There are tons of options to choose from: from wicker, cute baskets, to modern, plastic bins; try to aim for open storage solutions. Remember the bathroom will be used by people that are not familiar with space; they want to find stuff as fast as possible. Remember to arrange your items in a stylish way; you can group them by size or type.
- Towels. If your guest bathroom does not have a shower, the least you need is an excellent set of hand towels. You can have medium size towels for functionality and small ones folded for decorating purposes. Unless you have many, or plan to wash them daily, avoid choosing white as stained towels give a dirty, neglected appearance. Towels with patterns or designs conceal little stains or smear the best.
- Toiletries. Leave the basic soaps for the rest of the house if you want, but the half bathroom deserves a cute, well-arranged set of toiletries. This group must include: liquid hand soap, hand lotion, toothpaste, and if you want to go the extra mile have some hair spray or even a small first aid kit.
- Scented items. There’s no need to emphasize how important it is to have a pleasant smell in your half bathroom. Aside from their primary purpose, these items are decorative accents that embellish the space at minimal cost: scented candles, essential oils, incense sticks, potpourri. If you like even more natural scents, a small flower arrangement provides freshness, a lovely sight, and a delightful aroma.
As you can see, you do not need to break your piggy bank or hire a professional to turn your half bathroom into an extraordinary space. Pick a concept and follow our advice; most importantly, place yourself in the shoes of your guests. What kind of experience would you like to have upon entering your half bath? A pleasant –and scented! one.