Guest bathroom design ideas and inspiration

Getting your spare bathroom ready for guests takes time. But is there a way to speed up the process by future-proofing your space at the design stage?

To help you design the ultimate bathing and showering sanctuary for your guests, we’ve asked the experts for their top tips…

Colourful and blue guest toilet
Astonian Roma 60cm countertop basin in Sky Blue, £844, with wall-mounted WC, £673, Aston Matthews.

Create a universal guest bathroom

When designing a guest bathroom, you must consider who will use the space. Do you have elderly parents coming to stay? Do they have particular requirements that you need to factor in? Perhaps an accessible walk-in shower, a grab rail or easy-to-use taps?

Modern pink and gold guest bathroom
Olivia illuminated mirror in Brushed Brass, £129.99, Bathroom Mountain.

Do you have nieces and nephews visiting you often? Do they need a spacious bath instead of a shower or a dedicated area to change nappies?

Talk to your designer about your potential guests, so they can best advise you on the most suitable layout option. “Multi-generational thinking is high on the agenda when it comes to bathroom design. It is something to keep in mind with your guest bathroom as different ages could need to use the space,” says Barrie Cutchie, design director at BC Designs.

“If you have visitors staying with young children, chances are, they will require a bath as this tends to be the best option when it comes to bath time. However, if the space will be used by older relatives as well, a walk-in shower could be a great option as accessibility is easy. What you will need to think about carefully with both is tile options as with a wetroom, you’ll need a tile that has a really good slip resistance, especially if used in the shower area. Underfloor heating is also great for a wetroom and soaking up water too,” he explains.

Shower attachment in bath
Start single-lever shower mixer, price on application, Grohe.

Where do you put toiletry bags?

Most often, guests pack toiletry bags, and your bathroom design should have plenty of storage space in order to avoid clutter. “Incorporating additional storage and utilising unused space is a great way to get more out of your guest bathroom. And, keep it clutter-free and organised,” says Ronke Ugbaja, leader of product management at Grohe UK.

“Clever storage solutions, such as rails, baskets, and hooks that utilise wall space are a simple and easy way to streamline a bathroom to keep it organised while also adding a decorative touch at the same time,” she says.

Vanity are near a basin in a guest bathroom
Planet II 592 Stromboli vinyl, £35.99, Carpetright.

Shelves and spare countertop space are another great solution. “Providing a wide shelf next to the basin for guest towels and a selection of treat toiletries will help to make your guests feel welcome. A shelf will also provide a useful surface for their toiletry bags. Too many guests, both in hotels and residential stays, end up having to put their bag on the floor,” suggests Jamie Bebbington, managing director at Aston Matthews.

Toasty towels

Heating is vital in any bathroom, especially around winter holidays when it can get pretty chilly. Radiators and towel rails are a must-have. Ensure they are big enough to dry towels effectively while properly warming up the space.

“Having a warm bathroom is one of life’s little luxuries. There’s nothing worse than having a shower and stepping out into a freezing cold room,” says Nick Duggan, managing director at The Radiator Centre. “Today’s modern bathroom radiators can warm your guest bathroom whilst also providing a handy place for them to store towels and robes – with the added benefit that they are lovely and warm when they come to use them.

“There are a wide variety of choices on the market in both vertical and horizontal designs. Many of which include optional extras such as hooks, bars or shelving built into their design for practical storage. Additional shelving such as on the Fender towel rail can make a perfect spot for your guests to place toiletry bags too.”

Large bahroom with freestanding bath and towel rail
Omeara silver dual fuel towel rail, £264, UK Radiators.

The wet zone

Try installing the most straightforward showering system for your guest bathroom. You don’t want to spend half an hour instructing your guests on the myriad of switches and buttons. High performance is essential – but accessibility is a must. “In the shower, opting for shower fittings with additional safety features, such as thermostats which can balance temperature fluctuations in seconds, as well as technology which ensures the outer surface of the mixer stays cool to the touch is a great choice to cater for many needs,” says Ronke.

“For inclusive bathrooms that need to cater for young children, homeowners can opt for shower systems which offer technology that allows you to set a fixed limit for your water temperature. This offers ultimate protection against scalding, giving peace of mind and all ages the freedom to shower independently,” she adds.

Wetrooms are an ideal option for a guest bathroom – plus, they offer your space a boutique-hotel feel. Wall- or floor-mounted shower mixers for your bath will also come in handy.

walk-in shower in guest bathroom
Classica wet room panel in brushed brass, price on application, Matki.

The finishing touches

Fluffy towels, luxurious soap holders, and spare toiletries are essential, but a couple of final flourishes can make your guest bathroom feel more homely.

British textile designer and printmaker Molly Mahon shares her top tips: “For me, a guest bathroom is all about creating a welcoming, warm, and cosy space where guests can feel truly at home. I particularly enjoy introducing soft details into more typically practical rooms. I like to treat them just like any other room, with layers, textures and plenty of floral patterns and colour.

“The feeling of a fluffy rug underfoot is comforting. If you’ve got the space, it’s fabulous to be able to include somewhere for guests to sit. In my bathroom, I’ve covered a sweet little vintage chair in our joyful Berry print for an extra touch of freshness and modernity.”

Need help with designing a guest bedroom? Here are 15 tips for creating a welcoming scheme

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