10 Little Ways To Pretty Up Your Bathroom For Guests

Despite the fact that I live in a teeny apartment, I had houseguests this past weekend. And seeing that it’s getting to be the holidays, I’m sure to have more before the year’s done. Oh, and don’t forget about having people over for holiday drinks—I’m totally throwing some sort of mini-bash.

Whenever someone who doesn’t live with me comes over, I spend serious amounts of time doing a big bathroom clean and prep. I figure it’s the one place where guests are by themselves and able to really look around at their surroundings uninterrupted. Now, my bathroom is a rental apartment bathroom (that there photo above? Clearly not my WC), meaning I don’t even have a single pretty marble tile or the hope that my grout is anywhere near a white color, but that doesn’t mean I can’t upgrade the space a little bit so friends and guests feel “at home” during their time in there. (Apartment Therapy feels the same. Today, they got into little bathroom upgrades too!) Here’s the plan of attack …

  1. Scrub. Scrub for dear life. Everywhere. And don’t forget the bathtub. You think that shower curtain hides all soap scum and mildew? Think again, people love to peek behind it. Don’t make them wish they never did. I recommend the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser if you’ve got a white tub or tiles. The thing is a godsend (you can clean without all those insanely toxic liquids and work your triceps all at the same time). Also, while you’re at it, check out your shower curtain liner; is it tinted more black than white? Off to Bed Bath & Beyond you go.
  2. Replace all the hand towels with clean ones. I’m not saying you have to go out and buy “guest towels” that you only reserve for times like these, but by putting out a stack of new and clean towels, there is less of a chance someone will wipe their hands on your shower towel (ew). Just this past weekend, I used cute kitchen dish towels. They looked great stacked next to the sink and totally did the trick.
  3. Another note on towels: If you have friends staying the night, just make sure you give them their own, fresh towels to use. Nothing says great host like fresh towels for shower time.
  4. Load up a basket or container with extra toilet paper. This way, people don’t: A.) Get stuck rummaging around (and freaking out) your cabinet for TP, mid-pee, and B.) have to ask you for a new roll—it’s not exactly a conversation starter.
  5. Look into buying a candle or a mildly scented reed diffuser. Bathrooms should smell good. No matter the state.
  6. Flowers. This isn’t as obvious as you may guess. For some reason people don’t think about putting a small bunch of flowers in the bathroom. I love buying cheapie baby’s breath (near me, a big thing of it costs $2!) and arranging it in a low and tight bundle. On its own, baby’s breath looks adorable.
  7. Tidy up the medicine cabinet. This is another place that people tend to snoop! That box of Gas-X? Not the impression you want to make to any would-be snoopers.
  8. Another practical medicine cabinet trick? Put the Tylenol, Advil and band-aids in a readily accessible place—you never know what may happen. This way that stuff is front and center.
  9. Get yourself a lock. Is there anything worse than sitting there, pants around your ankles, scared sh**less that someone is going to come (mistakenly) barging in on your toilet time? No lock? Devise some sort of “occupied,” “not occupied” sign system.
  10. Do you put your hand soap in a pretty pump bottle? Great! Just don’t do the same with your body lotion and leave the two side by side. Nothing worse than trying to wash body lotion off your hands. Or vice versa.