15 guest bathroom ideas to wow your visitors

Pull out the stops with our expert guest bathroom ideas

Plum bathroom with painted walls and door, hint of bath to the left, vintage cabinet with vase of flowers
(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Create a lovely warm welcome with our guest bathroom ideas that will wow your visitor from the moment they arrive. Aside from the bedroom, the bathroom is the next key space to get up to scratch when friends and family come to stay. 

Don't worry, our ideas won't break the bank. in fact, simple changes and quick updates are the name of the game when it comes to making this room feel homely. Storage is key and we cover that below as well as top tips, all from our interior pros. 

Washrooms can be a tricky space depending on their size, but it doesn't take much to impress your guests with these expert designer bathroom ideas, we promise!

15 of the best guest bathroom ideas 

Our guest bathroom ideas include top tips and expert advice on how to transform a tired space into one that's stylish and make your guests feel at home.

Where our designers have suggested products, our expert shoppers have curated picks to help you shop the guide.

Prices were correct at the time this article was published.

1. Fluffy towels are a must

Guest bathroom with white and wood, built in bath with wooden panels, stool with white towels, plants, toiletries

(Image credit: The White Company)

Possibly the most thought of item when it comes to guest bedrooms is the towels, and if you want to really push the boat out hang up a towel robe or two — the  fluffiest, best towels you can source, of course. Keep extras on hand and store them in baskets, such as these wicker baskets from Amazon.

“I often happily confess my bathroom is my haven at the end of the busy day, so I always think investing in really lovely towels for me, my family, and my guests makes moments of time spent there extra special," says Chrissie Rucker OBE, founder of The White Company.

If you have frequent guests it's definitely worth investing in good quality towels that can cope with regular washing, such as these highly-rated cotton towels available from Amazon or this super-soft towel set from Saks Fifth Avenue.

Chrissie adds, "I love highly absorbent, fluffy, super-soft white towels with their spa-like appeal it’s like being enveloped in a cloud when you step out of the bath or shower."

image of Chrissie Rucker, owner of The White Company, a blond woman wearing a white sweater
Chrissie Rucker OBE

Chrissie Rucker OBE, started The White Company in 1994, when, unable to find well-designed, beautiful quality white bedlinen that were affordable. Today, it's one of the fastest-growing multi-channel retailers and trusted lifestyle brands in both the UK and US. 

2. Don't forget the core essentials

Bold colorful bathroom with bright Chinese inspired wallpaper, rattan mirror, tissue box and basket, wall lights, marble basin vanity unit

(Image credit: Schumacher / Colleen Simonds Design / Emily Gilbert)

The smaller details are really important when it comes to guest bedroom ideas — a box of tissues for example, a basket for laundry, hand soap are other bath and grooming items can all be considered essentials.

Katie McCaffrey, owner and principal of McCaffrey Design Group says, "Don't forget fresh soaps or freshly filled soap pumps. I like to have a hand soap and lotion side by side on the counter. 

"There is something really sad about a semi filled soap pump (if it’s clear) so keep extra soap on hand for quick refills or go with an opaque soap pump. I love the Urban Apothecary Oudh Geranium Luxury Hand & Body Wash, which comes in nice black bottles and smells marvelous."

image of interior designer Katie McCaffrey from McCaffrey Design Group
Katie McCaffrey

Katie McCaffrey, owner and principal of McCaffrey Design Group, is a San Francisco Bay Area native who infuses her client’s contemporary spaces with color, art, antiques, and a joyful soul. She offers clients her iconic contemporary style which blends fine art, great design, and clients’ need for a comfortable space.   

3. Invest in a vanity unit with storage

Neutral bathroom with small herringbone wall tiles, round mirror, vanity with yellow patterned basin, brass taps and towel rail, towels in bottom of vanity

(Image credit: London Basin Company)

Unless your guest bedroom is teeny, it's worth investing in a brilliant vanity unit that holds a basin and has great storage. Double-use furniture is essential in bathrooms because it's both practical and space-saving. 

"Creating an inviting and well-planned guest bathroom helps to ensure your guests have a comfortable and enjoyable stay," advises Anna Callis, founder and designer of London Basin Company.

"One of the easiest ways to do this is by having enough storage space for items that guests might need, and keeping it stocked with bathroom essentials."

Look for vanity units that have great storage options like the three below.

headshot of Anna Callis, founder of London Basin Company, a blond woman wearing black
Anna Callis

Founded by interior designer Anna Callis and her daughter Nathalie, London Basin Company makes richly decorated porcelain basins, reinventing a classic art form for contemporary bathrooms and cloakrooms.

4. Wallpaper one wall

Guest bathroom with yellow paneling and coral floral wallpaper, monochromatic small tablecloth, vase of flowers, artwork, wall light

(Image credit: Little Greene)

As well as the smaller details like accessories, perking up a wall or two with small bathroom wallpaper ideas will give your guest bathroom a smart upgrade. It could be you have a roll leftover from another room in the house, so it needn't be something that costs much but will make a large impact. 

"Wallpaper is a wonderful way to add texture and character to a guest bathroom, adding a sumptuous and enchanting feel, creating a space for guests to relax and unwind and deliver a sense of escapism," says Ruth Mottershead, creative director at Little Greene.

Jamie Watkins, co-founder, Divine Savages agrees, "We even wallpapered the ceiling in the shower enclosure of the guest ensuite in our home — the perfect place to add a little color and personality when everything all around is so practical and sometimes a little sterile in feel." 

expert headshot Ruth Mottershead
Ruth Mottershead

Ruth Mottershead, creative & marketing director of Little Greene, has been working in her family’s business for 12 years. She writes content for the company’s marketing material, manages photoshoots and communicates with Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library’s customers.

Jamie Watkins
Jamie Watkins

Divine Savages specializes in creating exquisitely crafted wallpapers, fabrics, accessories, and limited edition art prints for the brave and bold.  It was founded by husbands Jamie Watkins and Tom Kennedy in 2017.

5. Add some beautiful blooms

Plum bathroom with vintage cabinet with vase of flowers on it, hint of bath on left, Farrow & Ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Perhaps one of the most simple yet effective ways to welcome your guests in both their bedroom and bathroom is to add a pretty bunch of flowers. 

This could be a trio of bud vases on the side of the bath, basin, or if you have the space, on top of a storage cabinet.  For something low-maintenance, you can go for artificial flowers such as faux lavender, available on Amazon.

“Nothing is more welcoming than fresh flowers. If you lift another finger, your guests will still feel honored and cared for with this simple gesture. If you really want to impress them, replace halfway through the visit with a fresh bouquet," suggests Daniel Ian Smith, principal, Village West Design

This flowering, potted azalea from Plants.com will be the gorgeous guest room gift that'll keep on giving. 

Danile Ian Smith, princial, Village West Design
Daniel Ian Smith

After our founder and principal was awarded a Master of Architecture degree from New York City’s Parsons School of Design. With over 25 years of professional experience in both architecture and interior design fields, Daniel leads all projects with passion and dedication.

6. Hang a good sized mirror

A blue bathroom with a gold mirror, white sink, and gold towel ring with a white towel

(Image credit: MBC Interior Design / Lauren Taylor Creative)

A good-sized mirror is one of the most important accessories when it comes to guest bathroom ideas. It needs to be large enough for them to be able to use it for makeup and it will help to reflect the light around the room — especially important if the bathroom is on small size.

Make sure you choose one that looks right proportionately in the space you're working with.

7. Pop in some pattern

Bathroom with coral wall tiles, shower above bath and Divine Savages shower

(Image credit: Divine Savages / Always Sunday Boltholes)

Shower curtains are must if you don't have a separate shower cubicle and have the 'shower over bath' method in the guest bathroom.

Gone are the days of the pale translucent white designs that stick to you once wet, now you can get beautiful bold designs that tie in with the rest of the scheme. 

"Adding a luxury, patterned shower curtain to a bath, is also a low-cost way to make an immediate striking change if the room needs a refresh before welcoming guests. The guest bathroom is a great place to have a bit of fun and experiment," says Jamie.

We love the yellow striped design from Quiet Town.

8. A rug will add coziness

Pastel colored bathroom with blue coral wallpaper, pastel green bath panels, pink rug, shells, plants, artwork

(Image credit: Molly Mahon)

Bath mats are of course a necessary addition to any bathroom, and you can go one step further by choosing a larger rug to add color, pattern, and as a design feature, such as this colorful bath rug from Target.

"For me a guest bathroom is about creating a welcoming, warm, and cozy space where guests can feel truly at home," says textile designer and block printer, Molly Mahon.  "I particularly enjoy introducing soft details into more typically practical rooms and I like to treat them just like any other room, with layers, textures, and plenty of floral patterns and colors.  The feeling of a lovely rug underfoot is comforting."

headshot of Molly Mahon
Molly Mahon

Molly Mahon is a British block printer and textile designer who marries the traditional craft of Indian block printing with a modern English aesthetic.  Molly Mahon Studio began in 2012 as a passion project, and today is a global lifestyle brand whose mission is to keep the art of block printing alive. 

9. Remember to add extra seating

White bathroom with stone colored bath panels, cream metro tiles, toiletries, rustic stool, towel, bathmat

(Image credit: Mylands)

Having extra seating, however small the space is, can be a really useful thing to consider. It could be a small stool (such as the bestselling rustic reclaimed wood bathroom stool at Pottery Barn), bench or vintage armchair. They're useful for placing towels on as well as your clothes. 

The size of your bathroom will dictate the kind of seating you choose, check out our three ideas below.

10. Tiered storage on wheels

A bathroom with black and white wallpaper, a window with a black and white checked curtain, a white bathtub with a pink towel, a white and black bath mat, beige flooring, and an open door

(Image credit: Future)

Storage of any kind is worth buying for a guest bathroom but look for practical designs that won't add clutter.

Guest bathroom storage is more about surface requirements rather than long term, so a good tired storage trolley that comes on wheels will be a good idea such as Wayfair's Margurite cart with wheels.

11. Ensure you have good lighting

Modern bathroom with terrazzo tile backsplash, large mirror, wall light, artwork in mirror reflection, toothbrush holder, hand wash, black fixtures

(Image credit: Original BTC)

Just as we need in a kitchen, investing in good bathroom lighting is essential.

“In an ensuite bathroom, overhead lighting from a central pendant will light the entire room, but when it comes to looking your most attractive, side lighting is your best friend," says Charlie Bowles, director, Original BTC.

"Flanking mirrors with a pair of wall lights will avoid unflattering shadows on the face, allowing you to shave or apply makeup like a pro,”

These wireless rechargeable wall sconces from Amazon are easy to install if you're hesitant about tackling wiring. And, if you don't have space for a pair of wall lights then one will easily suffice. Simply match the design to your scheme for cohesion.

expert headshot of Charlie Bowles, director, Original BTC
Charlie Bowles

Charlie Bowles is the director of British lighting manufacturer Original BTC after he took over from Peter Bowles his father and the company’s founder in 2012. With its New York showroom opening in 2017, Original BTC also has showrooms in London, Paris, and Taiwan. 

12. Extra towel storage is important

An off-white bathroom with a towel ladder, a white sink unit with decor on it, and a mirror on the wall

(Image credit: Future)

Once you've bought your luxurious fluffy towels, like these organic towels from Banana Republic, you'll need somewhere to store them. There are plenty of options even if space is super tight. 

Towel ladders are a great invention and you can layer various towel sizes on the different rungs (we particularly love Walmart's metal blanket and towel wall ladder) peg rails are a good perennial favorite too and definitely have their place. Or, if you can, fold them up on a shelf or pop them in a drawer. 

13. Make it feel homely with artwork

A dark green bathroom with cabinet shelves, wall art, and a blue and white table with decor on it

(Image credit: Future)

We tend to think that artwork is reserved for every other room aside from the bathroom but in fact, it works fabulously in bathrooms and can add much needed color and pattern to an otherwise plain scheme.

We recommend the great prints at Desenio's, including their new Studio Hollywood range starring Sofia Richie

14. Keep it private but pretty

A bathroom with light gray walls, a green bath with a scalloped shower curtain, and brown tiles

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

Privacy is definitely something to consider and there are several options. Blinds and shutters are both practical and add style, and if you love sewing consider making your own bistro-style curtain that could match your shower curtain.

Another idea is window film. Target have a great selection, such as the Fablon set of two bamboo designs.

15. Focus on the finer aesthetics

Blue bathroom with ensuite, blue wallpaper, white bedding, rug, white ensuite

(Image credit: Barrett Oswald Designs)

If you're lucky enough to have an ensuite attached to your guest bedroom, then you can really go to town with the aesthetics. 

"Everyone loves the feeling of a luxurious hotel bathroom, so we keep that in mind when designing a home's guest bathroom," says Barrett Oswald, partner and principal designer, Barrett Oswald." Classic marble tiles and sleek finishings during the design phase are great options. Since storage is not a daily need here, we can primarily focus on the aesthetics."

If you're renting, bring in that touch of luxe with peel and stick faux marble tiles  from Amazon.

Barett Oswald adds, "For example, we love a streamlined pedestal sink in a smaller guest bath (we would be more hesitant to use one in a daily bathroom). You can place a basket with rolled towels next to the sink if you need space for linens.

"We also recommend a stylish medicine cabinet (such as the gorgeous gold Erma wall mounted bathroom cabinet from Anthropologie) if space allows. It's an ideal place to store extra toiletries as a thoughtful gesture."

image of interior designers Barrett Oswald, two women standing together one wearing black, the other black top and jeans
Barrett Oswald

Barrett has always had a passion for style and design. Her love of interior design has been a natural progression – from a teenager who mixed toile wallpaper and band posters in her bedroom, to a graduate of the Fashion Institute in NYC, and eventually to the stylist of a commercial, oceanfront condominium in Florida.

Creating the ultimate guest bathroom is about paying attention to the finer details as well as the decor. 

Ensure you create a homely feel with comforts such as fluffy towels, beautifully scented hand wash, shower gel and extras like hairdryers will make guests feel immediately at home.

Our pros have also covered how to maximise space with their expert and awesome narrow bathroom ideas.

Sophie Warren-Smith

Sophie has been an interior stylist and journalist for over 22 years and has worked for many of the main interior magazines during that time both in-house and as a freelancer. On the side, as well as being the News Editor of indie magazine, 91, Sophie trained to be a florist in 2019 and launched The Prettiest Posy where she curates beautiful flowers for the modern bride.