Guest Bathrooms

Gather information on guest bathrooms so you can create a welcoming and efficient bath space for your home.

Contemporary Bathroom With Aqua Tile Backsplash

Contemporary Bathroom With Aqua Tile Backsplash

This guest bathroom features a gorgeous aqua tile backsplash. Two tiled niches on either side of the mirror provide storage space for towels and glass pendants give the space a soft glow.

By: Sean McEvoy

Guest bathrooms can give you the perfect opportunity to create a bold entertainingly designed space that's welcoming for visitors to your home. These baths are often unbound by the constraints of other rooms, since they tend to stand alone in hallways or near guest bedrooms (which also present opportunities for bold design choices).

10 Big Ideas for Small Bathrooms

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Architectural Distraction

Designers Mark Edge and Amy Wikman collaborated to turn Mark's narrow yet tall master bathroom into a classic, masculine retreat. By cladding the walls with dark paneling and freeing the sink from closed-in cabinets, they minimize the space's shortcomings and shift focus to its architectural interest.

Bold-Colored Bathroom

As this 6-foot-by-7-foot Atlanta bathroom demonstrates, sometimes bold color is all you need to make a big statement. Although this space receives no natural light, the bold Kelly green walls give it fresh personality. The ultra-white floor and wainscoting counterbalance the green's intensity.

Less Is More

In the main bathroom of her family's Georgia home, author and stylist Amy Flurry took a less-is-more approach. Although the space is narrow, the eye is drawn upward to its generous 10-foot ceiling, first by a splash of cobalt blue concentrated on the center of the walls, then up toward the ceiling with a classic chandelier.

Grounded With Graphic

The basket weave-pattern tile in this bathroom by designer Betsy Burnham demonstrates how a statement graphic and high contrast can pack visual interest into an otherwise tiny space. Although Betsy uses graphic tile on the floor, she keeps the walls simple and bright with a smart choice of white subway tile.

Packed With Pattern

When remodeling daughter Carson's tiny bathroom, Betsy mixed contrasting yet coordinating patterns. The cheerful Katie Ridder wallpaper is much larger in scale than the mirror's snakeskin framing, allowing the two prints to coexist harmoniously, while the unstructured pattern of the Roman shade strikes a balance by accentuating the black and white tones.

White on White

Playing with available natural light is key in small bathrooms. When remodeling son Will's modest en suite bathroom, Betsy used a white-on-white color scheme to reflect and refract light from the tiny window all around the small space.

Hard-Working Hardware

Although it's often a DIYer's afterthought, hardware can make a huge impact in a small space. By keeping cabinets simple and light, then splurging on high-end, statement-making hardware, Betsy played with shape, sheen and scale to pack style into this bathroom without taking up valuable space.

Go With Glass

For the remodel of his midcentury-modern Atlanta home, designer Keith Brown camouflaged the bathroom's size by maximizing all available natural light through windows and a glass partition. By keeping the shower area open to the rest of the bathroom with a generously sized interior glass wall, the otherwise darkly decorated space feels spacious and airy.

Floating Free

To make his master bathroom feel slightly larger in space, Keith repurposed an IKEA media cabinet into a floating vanity. The creative spin on a traditional fixture freed up floor space, creating the illusion of more square footage.

Open Entry

Located just off his master bedroom, Keith's master bathroom feels much larger thanks to its open entry. The absence of a door opens the rooms into one another, making them feel like one large space and allowing light to flow freely between the spaces.

Before you approach style questions for your guest bathroom, you'll want to determine the layout. If space is an issue, consider a three-quarter bath containing a sink, toilet and stand-up shower. Most guests won't be taking the time to luxuriate in a bathtub, so this efficient design can give them all they need in a small space. Additionally, guest bathrooms generally don't require as much storage space as other baths in the home might, since guests won't be storing large quantities of bath accessories and linens over long periods of time.

Once you've decided on a layout for your guest bathroom, it's time to design. There's no requirement to go bold in a guest bathroom, and proximity to other areas of the house, like a living room or a guest bedroom with a particularly distinct design may make you want to continue a different style thread into the guest bathroom. However, if your guest bathroom is somewhat standalone, you can certainly experiment with bold colors and patterns, wallpaper and unique furniture and fixtures.

A guest bathroom should be welcoming and comfortable. However, you also want your guests to feel entertained and have fun, and the design of their bath space can contribute to this overall goal.

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