Guest bathroom ideas come pretty high on a must-have list for large family homes that are often used for entertaining. So much so, that once you've had one, the prospect of moving elsewhere without a similar space just isn't worth thinking about.
These bathroom ideas for guests help create a shared bathroom in your home where visitors can have privacy, or to save on limited space within an attic or loft conversion.
The best guest bathroom ideas are loaded with plenty of bathroom storage ideas, easy to clean, and perfect for sharing. As well as opting for functional elements, you can splash out on the fixtures and fittings to help create the perfect ensuite ideas – think vanity unit, non-slip flooring, easily accessible walk-in shower or bath tub.
Guest bathroom ideas – 10 best bathroom designs for visitors
From embracing that bathroom tile you love, to testing out the best bathroom colors ideas deemed too bold elsewhere, it's the room where you can have a little fun. And if it doesn't work out, it's worth remembering that with small bathroom ideas, any decorating fails will be easier to remedy.
So whether you have a clear idea of what you want for your guest bathroom, have notions for something a little bit different, or are starting your bathroom remodel completely from scratch, we've gathered some expertly-designed guest bathroom ideas to help you create the perfect guest bathroom for your extended family and friends.
1. Put the focus firmly on storage
Keep your bathroom essentials firmly under control with design-focused bathroom storage ideas.
An eternal bugbear for interior decorator Nina Campbell (opens in new tab) is a lack of storage space in a guest bathroom. ‘You can never have too much,’ she says. Seamless wall-mounted cabinets behind mirrors are a great way to sneak in some practical toiletry and cosmetic storage. And it’s a good idea to go for drawers in low-level vanity units.
‘They are much more practical than having to scramble around on the floor to delve into the back of a cupboard when you need to find something,’ says Katie Glaister and Henry Miller-Robinson of K&H Design (opens in new tab).
2. Consider a curated color scheme
These days, all-white bathware and restrained chrome-coated brassware risk seeming too cold and clinical. Patterned wallpaper, decorative tiles and marble, bronze and brass finishes and colored baths – yes, even in avocado – are all staging comebacks. En-suite spaces – either for a master bedroom or a guest bedroom – can handle this particularly well. ‘
Steer away from a strictly monochrome palette and lean into color combinations,’ says Kirsty walker, senior product designer of Matki. ‘Striking matt-black framing can bring out rich green marble, while polished gold glistens against warm and rosy tones.’
3. Reach new heights with an attic guest room
Faced with ever-rising costs of moving house, many homeowners have opted instead to stay put and make the most of their existing space to carve out a guest bathroom.
An attic often converts well into an ensuite, but presents a design challenge when it comes to finding sufficient headroom underneath the eaves. One option is to mount the showerhead flush into the ceiling, or choose a lower-height freestanding bath that can fit under the eaves. Go as far as to tape out elements on the floor to be sure of what will fit, recommends Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co Interiors.
4. Invest in a double vanity
Take the pressure off the guest guest bathroom with basins designed for sharing. There's no excuse for disorder in a guest bathroom with a custom-made vanity unit.
'This bespoke vanity is an organizational dream – we ensured specific places for everything the owners use, with drawers configured to accomodate product dimensions,' says Jo Anysley, head of interior design, Jeffreys Interiors. 'Practically speaking, fitted furniture is low maintenance as there are no dust traps and you'll achieve maximum storage in the available space.'
5. Provide a mirror
The space-boosting powers of mirrored glass are well established, and the first rule is the bigger the mirror, the more space it will appear to create.
‘Think about what you are trying to achieve. Tall mirrors can enhance the proportions of a bathroom, making the ceiling feel higher. Likewise, in a narrow space we can trick the eye into thinking the space is wider,’ says Ali Johnson, director, Otta Design. ‘Position a mirror opposite or next to a window to amplify the natural light or place it in the darkest corner of a guest bathroom, behind a light source, to encourage the light’s reach through the space.’
6. Turn a narrow space into a guest bathroom
In a seriously narrow bathroom, it’s worth utilizing every space-boosting trick in the book. Here, a continuous stretch of flooring reaches right to the furthest wall to enhance length, while a slender vanity with slim feet emphasizes width.
‘Creating more visible floorspace opens up the space; we tiled over a wet room tray to achieve level entry. Fitting large format tiles and a minimalist shower screen is visually calmer so also makes it feel bigger,’ explains Irene Gunter, founder of Gunter & Co. ‘Finally, using white paint around the window reveal draws attention to the space outside and reflects the light back in.’
7. Install a bath in the bedroom
An idea that began in boutique hotels has crossed over into many domestic environments. Placing a freestanding bath in a spare or guest bedroom tends to divide decorator opinion: some say it’s the best way to spend time catching up after a long day at work; others say it should be restricted to holidays only. If you are considering installing a bath in your guest bedroom, ensure that you plan the layout very carefully.
‘Begin where people enter the room and plot out the different zones to see what you actually have space for,’ recommends James Lentaigne, creative director of Drummonds.
8. Create a spa-like experience with a wet room
Many people convert the loft into children’s rooms, but the space can also be transformed into a glamorous guest bathroom, a project often done once the children have left home.
‘Side-by-side showers are perfect for guest wet room ideas that are designed for sharing,’ says Emma Joyce, brand manager at House of Rohl (opens in new tab). ‘This allows plenty of personal space while making a bold statement. Try pairing with a freestanding bath to enjoy the best of both worlds.’
In this stylish guest bathroom by Leanne Ford Interiors (opens in new tab), the floor has been raised to accommodate drainage pipes, with a stepped front. The entire space inside was then tanked and tiled, essentially creating a giant shower tray that keeps water completely contained, no matter how powerful the shower.
9. Experiment with interesting flooring
Be brave with your bathroom flooring ideas for a guest bathroom that's eye-catching and unforgettable.
‘When it comes to dynamic floor tiles, pick a pattern you and your guest will truly love as it will be with you for a long time,’ says Emma Deterding, founder and creative director, Kelling Designs (opens in new tab). ‘The key is to let the tiles be the main attraction, so pick something that will introduce a pop of color and pattern, then choose a paint that complements color tones in the tiles to keep the look cohesive.’
10. Add a luxe bath
If space allows, a luxurious bath idea will secure your guest bathroom’s sanctuary status. ‘The bathtub is perhaps the one space in a home without interruption from the outside world, so we always recommend making it as indulgent as possible,’ says Louise Lythe, associate director, David Collins Studio (opens in new tab). ‘Facing the bath to enjoy views outside can enhance that sense of drifting off, creating time to fully recharge.’
How do you make a welcoming guest bathroom?
The best way to ensure that a guest bathroom feels warm and welcoming is to go for statement fixtures and fittings. 'Make a guest bedroom more personal by upping the design not only in terms of cabinetry, mirrors and fittings but also wallpaper, rugs, choice of towels and art,' says Barbara Sallick, co-founder of Waterworks and author of The Perfect Bath.
How do you make a guest bathroom private?
To make a private guest bathroom or ensuite, it can make sense to carve an area from the bedroom space, building a stud wall between the sleeping and bathing areas. But if the guest bathroom doesn’t have a window, chances are that it could be a dark and uninviting room.
Interior designer Irene Gunter of Gunter & Co recommends using a floor-to-ceiling wall of ribbed glass as a room divider between bedroom and ensuite to let the light flow through the spaces. ‘It makes a design feature with its alternate panels of horizontal and vertical ribbed glass and black framing, and offers some privacy in the bathroom,’ she explains.
Privacy around the WC is another important consideration. 'It makes sense to make the loo as discreet as possible, perhaps tucked behind the entrance door or hidden behind a full or half-height wall,’ says Louise Ashdown, head of design, West One Bathrooms. ‘The screening of a door or wall provides privacy and also ensures that the loo isn’t the focal point of a bathroom design, a position better occupied by a beautiful bath or luxurious shower.’
Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.
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