Create an Inviting Bathroom

Bathrooms are complex spaces. For years, architects and homeowners have been wrestling with how to make bathrooms both functional and inviting, making them bigger, installing spa bathtubs for two, including windows and skylights … But in my opinion it’s the details that make a bathroom an inviting space. When you first move into a place, the bathroom is full of hard surfaces – tile, tubs, sinks, toilets, stainless steel, glass and mirrors. These surfaces can be cold to the touch and lack the warmth needed for a comfortable, inviting space. The good news is, you can make your bathroom an inviting space in your home simply by making good choices with a few key accessories.

bathroom vanity storage
Restoration Hardware Weathered Oak Sink Console

Show Your Bathroom's Softer Side


One way I love to make a bathroom more inviting is my putting some of the soft comforts of the space on display. Get a stock vanity that has some exposed shelves in addition to cabinets. Stack up extra towels here, kind of like you’d see in a high-end hotel but with whatever colors and patterns suit your style. The towels will add a soft, plush feel to the space and will make it easy for guests to home to find an extra towel if needed. If it doesn’t make sense for you to get a new vanity, consider a shelving console appropriate to the size of the room.  Use bins or baskets to store other commonly used items that you are comfortable sharing with guests. And get a soft, plush rug so bare feet don’t ever have to touch that cold tile floor!

warm and inviting bathroom
Bathroom by Emily A. Clark

Evaluate Your Bathroom Lighting


If you are living with the same bathroom light fixtures that were in your home when you first bought it, consider if the lighting could be improved by changing out the fixtures. Often, homebuilders choose inexpensive vanity lighting that has little character or poor color rendition. Choose light fixtures that actually tie into the design theme of your bathroom and use light bulbs that allow colors to look natural, not yellowy or washed out. If your bathroom only has overhead lighting, consider adding wall sconces on either side of the vanity mirror. Side lighting is best for lighting faces!

bathroom lighting - vanity wall sconces

Even the Bathroom Needs Art


Add some culture and style to your bathroom by hanging art on the walls, just as you would do in your living room. If you have a large enough space, you might even consider a three-dimensional sculpture. Art is sometimes overlooked in bathroom d├ęcor, when function eclipses design, but attention to detail is essential if you want to create an inviting space. Art adds character and warmth, sending the message that this space is worth spending time in. Just keep in mind that any art hung in a bathroom will be exposed to moisture, so choose artwork that is moisture resistant by nature (such as a ceramic wall hanging) or that you would be comfortable disposing of if damaged by water over time (such as a poster print).

bathroom art

Bath Salts, Anyone?


Bath salts, specialty soaps, lotions … include some luxury bath amenities in your space, displayed in jars, trays, or baskets. Even practical, everyday items like toothpaste can be purchased on unique and attractive packaging, such as this Marivs Strong Mint Toothpaste. Don't be afraid to treat yourself and show guests your hospitality by inviting them to do the same. Just make sure you keep a steady stock so these are always available and part of the room’s design accessories.

bathroom accessories
Bath Accessories from Pottery Barn Spa Shop

Do you have questions or suggestions for creating an inviting bathroom? Please post a comment below and I promise to respond!

This post was created by Katie.

Related Links:
Budget Bath Remodel
Tips for the Perfect Art Collection
Accessorizing Your Kitchen
Art in Interior Design
Organizing Maintenance 101  Subscribe to list

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