Monday, October 4, 2010

Room of the Month - The Guest Bath

Everyone knows the cozy, intimate feeling you get when you use “the facilities” at a friend’s house – especially during a thunderous get together.  Once the door closes behind you, the world becomes quiet and serene.  Just you, a mirror, “the facilities” and the sink.  It’s often times your chance to breathe a little easier while you re-evaluate your lipstick.  Aside from this oasis, the guest bath also offers a glimpse into what the homeowner considers inspirational.  Some guest baths have scripture or pictures of exotic destinations.  Some have special hand towels (the kind we forbid the kids to touch) or a yummy smell wafting in the air.  Whatever the case, the guest bath is a destination that guests either love or hate.  Since this hidden area of the house doesn’t get used very much (thus, the name “guest”) it’s often times the last area of our home to be inspired.  With so much potential, the guest bath is the one place in a home to go crazy!  Let loose with your funky style.

No regrets.  That would describe your decorating mantra when staring at your blank guest bath.  This is the opportunity to try something totally new.  For instance, you covet the lilac paint that adorns the walls of your favorite boutique.  But hubbie is giving a thumbs down on incorporating this trendy color into his cave that he shares with you.  Why not try it here?  Remember the wallpaper with monkeys riding on elephants backs with a zebra stripe background that cost more than your first car?  Try it here – no regrets!  In guest bath world, the sky’s the limit!

Take this Scalamandre re-issued wallpaper – perfect example of no regrets.  It comes with red or green background as well.  For more details, see the peak of chic blog.  Since you will only need 1 or 2 rolls for your tiny bit of paradise, it makes it fun as well as affordable. 

Sure, it’s the Guest Bath.  But then again, it’s the Guest Bath!  All those luxury upgrades you just can’t afford, try them out here. 
Place a marble sink or countertop here in the guest bath.  It’s a minimal price adjustment from a ceramic sink and proves to be more impressive.  Coupled with fine hardware and you’ve created paradise for your guests.  Remember, smaller equal less expense for faucets, towel bars and knobs.  Throw in a smattering of monogrammed linens and you’ve got yourself a haven.

Monogrammed towels on the upgraded towel rack is perfect…especially with an upgraded countertop in marble.

Black paint on the walls?  Why not.   Here’s the place to do it with only a can of paint.  If you’re a person who likes punches of color and geometric, this look is for you.  Buy two hand towels – one for the laundry and one to put out.  Unleash your inner wild child – no regrets.
It’s small.  So keep that in mind when planning out your space.  Although that 8 square foot baroque mirror looked great in the showroom, don’t pick it up for your guest bath.  It’s too big and I haven’t even seen it.  Keep everything to a minimum in your guest sanctuary.  That includes counter space and accessories.  Leave room for your guests to spread out a bit from all the coziness of being at the part.  A trash can with a heap of flair is fabulous in your guest bath.   

Spice up your shower a bit (if your guest bath has one…) with your curtain.  No discount fabric here.  Splurge for a yard of exquisite fabric that you have always wanted to purchase.  A wee bit of sewing and some liner and poof!  Instant elegance with minimal cost. 
Pardon me, Kelly.  I realize that this is last year’s fabric but personally, I’m in love….

We briefly touched on the value of providing a haven for your guests.  After all, since they are the ones using it most of the time, it’s really all about them.  Sure, they will be stunned by your walls and such but the guest bath should also provide some functionality.  Must haves in a guest bath:  uniquely scented soap, clean linens and counter space (for purse and lipstick).

Consider fresh flowers the night of your fun party.  It keeps the bathroom smelling great (and looking great) without having to worry about an overwhelming smell or unmonitored flame.

So, rule of thumb for guest bath:  no regrets, let loose, go crazy.  Take some time to ponder what’s most inspiring to you and let it seep through in your guest sanctuary.  I can’t wait to hear your success stories!  Need more inspiration?  Give me a shout, I’d savor the chance to delve into it with you….

To guest baths and all they inspire –

P.S.  It’s my lucky day!  I actually won a $25 gift card to Homegoods on another blogger site.  A special thanks Kyle Knight, a fellow designer and blogger of Knight Moves who sponsored this contest.  

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