10 guest bathroom decor ideas that create a luxe, welcoming ambience

Make your guests feel a million dollars.

With visitors due to land on your doorstep, it’s time to spruce up your bathroom to make them feel welcome from the moment they arrive. With a few clever guest bathroom decorating ideas, you’ll be able to create a luxurious sanctuary in no time at all. And the best news is, it won’t cost you a fortune. Let’s get started!

1. Pare it back

Start with a thorough declutter. “Pull everything out of one small space at a time and sort into three piles – remove forever, remove for now and stay in there,” says decluttering coach Rebecca Mezzino.

Anything old, expired or damaged goes in the bin. “Remove things you don’t want your guests to see, such as medications, wart cream, prescriptions,” adds Rebecca. These go in a temporary bathroom storage box along with half-used packets and the bathroom scales (no need for those at holiday time!).

A white bathroom with a double timber vanity and panelled wall detailing.
(Credit: Photography: Louise Roche / Styling: Studio Haus Co)

2. Make a clean start

It’s now time to make the space sparkle. “Start by dusting and vacuuming the whole bathroom, including inside the drawers and cupboards,” says Cathy Littlejohn of Platinum Staffing Agency, a Sydney-based provider of premier cleaners. Next, she recommends putting product on your grout so it has at least half an hour to work its magic. “Once you’ve cleaned each area, wipe it with a damp cloth followed by a dry microfibre cloth for a streak-free look,” says Cathy.

Bathroom cleaning tips

3. Get sorted

After you’ve tidied and cleaned the guest bathroom, you can begin to look at some new storage options. “If you only have one shelf in your vanity, try stacking tubs with lids,” says Rebecca. “If you’ve got two shelves, then open baskets are the best.”

In your drawers, perspex or bamboo dividers are great choices. “The bamboo looks a bit trendy and the perspex looks clean, clear and smart,” says Rebecca. “Clear perspex containers also work really well if you have a mirrored bathroom vanity cabinet.”

Powder room with green bamboo wallpaper.
(Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Corina Koch)

4. Buy luxe products

Spoil your guests with top-of-the-line accessories. “Beautiful hand soap and matching hand lotion in stylish bottles can help to transform a space to feel extra luxurious,” says interior stylist Fiona Gould. “Aēsop or Jo Malone are my go-tos.”

Fiona recommends grouping items on a marble or brass tray on the vanity. “A ceramic tumbler makes a gorgeous toothbrush holder,” she adds. Also supply guests with a hairdryer, toilet paper, a pretty box of tissues and items they may forget, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Guest bathroom decor essentials

Check in on the guest bathroom regularly. “Do a daily clean of the toilet and wipe down the sink area and mirror,” says Cathy of Platinum Staffing Agency. “Every couple of days, refresh the towels and give the floor a mop with really hot water.

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5. Splash out on towels

Switch out any old towels for fresh smelling new ones. “I always select a plush towel in Egyptian cotton as they’re extra soft,” says stylist Fiona. “Look for options with a textured pattern or a detail like tassels.”

Once you’ve chosen your towels, it’s time to style them. “Folded neatly over the bath or towel rail so that tassels are showing at the bottom will give that straight-out-of-a-magazine look,” remarks Fiona.

An all-white hallway with a checked floor leading to a bathroom.
(Credit: Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

6. Create chic vignettes

Now it’s time to use guest bathroom decor ideas to recreate the look of a hotel bathroom. “Presentation is really important because that creates the ‘Oh, wow!’ reaction in a guest,” says Susy Soria, housekeeping manager at Park Hyatt Sydney. “For example, in our bathrooms the bath mat is folded and sits on a small tray beside the bathtub and in the centre of the tray are the amenities, like it’s a picture frame.”

Replicate this kind of precision at home by aligning items on your vanity exactly and arranging by size.

For tough grout mould, try toilet cleaner with bleach in it. “If you leave it on there for about half an hour you hardly even need to use the tile scrub at all – it just comes away,” says Cathy of Platinum Staffing Agency.

Expert tip

7. Bring the outside in

Lift your bathroom to another level by adding indoor plants. “A pop of greenery is a must for a burst of freshness sitting on the vanity or in a medium pot on the floor if you have enough space,” says Fiona.

Be sure to select plants that are lovers of humidity, such as a phalaenopsis orchid or a maidenhair fern.

A white bathroom with casement windows and a free-standing porcelain bathtub.
(Credit: Photography: Mindi Cooke / Styling: Tahn Scoon)

8. Have a spa zone

Think beyond the functional to create a luxe spa feel. “Start with an incredible scented candle, bring in decorative accessories and art to style the space with love like you would the rest of your home, and always include a relaxation ‘me’ zone by the bath with a stool for bath salts, a book and a glass of wine,” says Fiona.

Ensure all items can handle humidity and the occasional splash.

Use a larger space outside the bathroom for the decluttering process to make things easier. “Our bathroom is near our dining table so I pull the contents of the drawer out and put it on there,” says Rebecca.

Expert tip

9. Add scent

A pretty fragrance will make the bathroom feel extra special. “My secret to ensuring the space always smells beautiful is to hide a reed diffuser above or below a cabinet,” says Fiona. A posy of sweetly perfumed flowers is also a nice touch. However, select subtle perfumes as some people can be sensitive to strong smells and let your guests know that they can be removed if the fragrances are too much for them.

“Some people will feel like they can’t change what’s in there because it’s not their house,” remarks Rebecca.

(Credit: Photography: Simon Whitbread / Styling: Heliconia)

10. Give a five-star welcome

Just before your guests arrive, do a last sweep of the bathroom. Make sure it’s spotless, empty the bin and add a quick spritz of essential oil.

Then leave a small welcome gift for them to discover – a little collection of reusable bottles filled with shampoo and conditioner set out on the vanity usually does the trick.

“Materials like marble, timber, brass and ceramic really help to add a sense of luxury to the space,” says Fiona.

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