Outfitting the Busiest Room in the House: The Bathroom

By Liyya Hassanali

Who said bathrooms couldn't be both functional and stylish? The Bosque floor plan by William Lyon Homes in Austin, TX.

Photo: William Lyon Homes

Ahhh...the bathroom. That little necessity, tucked away behind closed doors, is often last on your list of decorating to-dos, but if you’re expecting to entertain in your new home, you’d best move it up to the top of the list.

Whether you give it a second thought or not, the bath deserves the same kind of care and attention that you give to the more public areas. And like those areas, the bathroom should be welcoming and fit with your sense of style and home décor.

The Shower

The shower is often a focal point in a bathroom, so you’ll want to keep up with the cleaning, especially if you have tile. Mold and mildew can build up and be difficult to remove from grout once it has taken hold. The easiest way to prevent this is to spray the shower down with a tile cleaner once a day or after every use. Even a simple homemade cleaning solution of white vinegar and dish soap or essential oils will work too.

If you have a glass-walled shower, invest in a bathroom squeegee. These handy tools hang right on the shower wall so you can wipe off water droplets after every shower. According to Merry Maids, squeegees are incredibly effective at "keeping your bathroom walls and shower door free of soap scum and hard water stains."

If you have a traditional shower with a rod, take your time to find the perfect shower curtain. We recommend eco-friendly cloth or linen liners instead of plastic or vinyl liners, which give off toxic chemicals. You can find plenty of fun designs on Amazon and can even swap out your shower curtains seasonally. A holiday themed shower curtain is a great way to bring seasonal décor into what can be a challenging room to decorate.

The Look

Accessories can make or break a room, and that is never truer than in small rooms like the bathroom. Invest in matching accessories — chrome towel bars and toilet paper holders to match chrome shower fixtures, for example. If you have a guest shower, provide soft and comfy towels and washcloths in colors that complement the room. Don't forget the plush rug!

Have you ever thought about adding artwork to the bathroom? If you have some open wall space, consider hanging a framed picture or painting — something under glass is best to protect it from humidity. Or install floating shelves to display knick-knacks. Many plants do very well in bathrooms thanks to the humidity. You can hang them from ceiling hooks or set them on shelves or vanities to bring a touch of nature into the space. And don't forget the windows! Curtains and drapes don't work well in bathrooms due to the moisture, but other options do, such as wood or faux wood blinds or shutters.

The Smell

Sorry, but it's gotta be said. Bathrooms need to smell clean and fresh. While candles are a go-to option, they can be difficult to place safely in bathrooms given the amount of linens and flammable products that can be in there. Potpourri is a safer option for sustained scent but sprays and spritzes are a great way to provide an extra boost of scent when needed. Regular cleaning of the toilet, floor and tub/shower will help, too. Another trick for adding fresh scents: Sprinkle a few drops of your favorite essential oil into the inside of the toilet paper roll. Every time the roll gets used, it will release some scent.

The Necessities

Don’t get so focused on décor that you forget the basic needs of a bathroom. Always make sure you have plenty of toilet paper, tissues, towels and washcloths. You'll also want to ensure there is a waste can, a plunger and even some cleaning wipes. A non-slip mat in the tub can help prevent slips and falls, and a rug outside the tub provides a soft and comfortable place to dry off. Over-the-door or wall hooks offer a convenient place to hang towels, robes and clothing while hampers keep dirty clothes out of sight and off the floor.

The Little Extras

Little extras can really make a bathroom look and feel more welcoming. Special hand towels, linens or napkins add a touch of luxury to any powder room. If you have a lot of guests, provide a basket full of mini-toiletries and must-haves like shampoo, conditioner, soaps and body washes, toothpaste and toothbrushes, lotions, feminine products and deodorant. Think hotel toiletries. Display them in a cute basket or stock the vanity and make sure guests know where to find them.

Explore Bathrooms on HomLuv

You want your bathroom to be clean, comfortable and functional, but that doesn't mean it can't look great while doing so! Don't skip over outfitting these little rooms to your heart's content. Check out the bathrooms on HomLuv for design and décor ideas, then add your own personal touch! 
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Liyya Hassanali is a Project Manager and Content Strategist for Kinship Design Marketing, a boutique agency that provides marketing strategies and content for architects, interior designers, and landscape designers. She is a 15+ year veteran of the marketing and advertising industry, working closely with her clients to provide written content that supports their brand.

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