8 Guest Bathroom Designs – My Secret Process

Hi Everyone,

As most of you know, I no longer take on new clients.

However, in the past couple of years, I have helped two of my darling clients from circa 2015 or before with Mrs. F’s kitchen in Larchmont, NY.

And Mary’s kitchen in Bronxville, NY.

In truth, both clients did a lot of the work themselves. So, these were relatively easy jobs for me.


Last June, Mrs. F contacted me to help her with a new guest bathroom.


It is impossible to say no to her, so I said yes. And, as it happened, I already had plans to come to New York in early July, so of course, I paid a visit to the site to get a visual.

Well, there isn’t much to see because the guest bathroom doesn’t exist. The bedroom is upstairs, and the soon-to-be bathroom is currently used as a closet. A dormer is going to be added to make the space useable for a guest bathroom.



So, I contacted Mrs. F., and then OMG! found out her basement was flooded due to Hurricane Ida!


Therefore, I didn’t want to bother her too much. But, I asked if there were any elevations for the new guest bathroom, and there were not. However, there is an existing dormer that this one is going to match.


Mrs. F was kind enough to send me a short video. (I did a screenshot of the ceiling angle.) However, I forgot to ask for more info.

Right now, it’s good to have an idea, but it’s not crucial to have the exact measurements.


guest bathroom floorplanAbove, I created a scale layout based on the architect’s drawing. The gray box in the lower corner represents a possible built-in linen closet.

Please note that I realized that the ceiling height where the wall meets the sloped ceiling is only about six feet after doing these boards. So, these elevations will need adjusting. Or, maybe a little more.

White empty room. Classic interior design.
I found an image of some moulding in three sections which I can manipulate in Picmonkey. The middle section is a little larger than the two ends for my design.


Let’s begin with inspiration for guest bathroom #one by Park and Oak.


Please see the Park and Oak Design portfolio here.


guest bathroom inspiration Park and Oak Design - wonderful bathroom - brass fixtures - moulding

I’ve admired this bathroom for at least two years. You can also see it in this post about dark bathrooms.


I could not find this vanity.


Here’s an entire post devoted to custom vanities and more.

But, I did find the mirror and etagere. It is a Laura Kirar design for Baker Furniture, and it retailed for about $4,500.00. Alas, the etagere, which I adore, is no longer being manufactured. Even if it did exist, it’s too large and too expensive.


Okay, let’s see the guest bathroom design inspired by the Park and Oak bathroom.


Mrs. F blue and white walls moulding - guest bathroom


The toilet is Kohler’s Memoirs which comes in several versions. The vanity is from Wayfair. They have thousands of lovely vanities.

The mirror is from Made Goods. And, it’s pretty expensive, but I have to say that I really love it.

Now, for the etagere. This one is the right height at 60″. And, it has that cool detailing. It also comes in a beautiful antique brass finish. And, it’s quite reasonably priced at under $600.00. It’s from Restoration Hardware.


Wait just a redhot minute, Laurel! Didn’t you write a post about five years ago, totally dissing Resto?


Haha. You mean this post- The Shocking Truth…? Well, dissing is your word for it. My aim was to demonstrate that many of their items are sold for a lot less money elsewhere. This is apparently true. I also wanted to convey that they are NOT the luxury brand they portend to be.

Although, if you conclude that they kind of suck, I probably won’t disagree.



Still, it’s apparent that they’re very successful at sucking. (see above; the stock has gone through the roof since my post came out in August 2016.)


So, who am I to judge? Their marketing is bloody brilliant.


At any rate, I looked and looked and looked and this is by far the best option for an etagere for Mrs. F. Plus, it’s reasonably priced, and it doesn’t look cheap.

There’s also the Silas etagere at One King’s Lane. (OKLJOY15 – gives you 15% off!) I love it, but I think it’s too big for this bathroom.


I’m going to be linking to everything in two mini widgets coming up.


The next inspiration for the guest bathroom is by the darling Instagrammer and blogger Alissa Bovino of a Glass of Bovino. She knocked my socks off with this gorgeous jewel box of a master bathroom.


A Glass of Bovino - master bathroom Artemis Wallpaper - guest bathroom inspiration
House of Hackney Artemis Wallpaper - Anthropologie
That is the Artemis wallpaper from House of Hackney and sold at Anthropologie.

So, let’s see what I did here.


House of Hackney wallpaper - Artemis-lavender navy vanity - guest bathroomI did this board before I found the image for the moulding. I kept the navy vanity for this version. And, also put up some art. However, the art is optional. I know that some of you won’t like it, and some of you will.


The mirror is from Ballard Designs; it’s one of my favorites, and reasonably priced.


Ideally, this mirror would be better with a 36″ or 42″ vanity because it’s the same width as the vanity. But, since that’s the width at the widest part, the mirror overall is about two inches less wide. So, I think it would be okay.

The sconces seemed to have vanished. Oh well. haha. I can easily put them back.


House of Hackney wallpaper - Artemis-white floral lavender teal vanity - guest bathroom

Another version has this pretty vanity from Home Depot as part of the Home Decorator’s Collection.


House of Hackney wallpaper - Artemis-white floral lavender teal vanity - guest bathroom

A third version of a guest bathroom has this beautiful 28″ vanity from the Ambella Home Collection. These are much more expensive vanities, many with stylish details. Some of them, I think, are a bit much, but I like this classic style. Interestingly, there are no custom options with these. Although; one can always change the hardware if desired.


(Please click on any image for more information.)



Jasper Wallpaper Grace Cyan_ThorntonHolladay_GuestBath

We also loved this bathroom with Grace Wallpaper in Cyan by Jasper (Michael S. Smith) but feel the paper is a bit heavy for her guest bathroom. I have this image tagged Thornton but could not find it attributed to either Leanne or Summer Thornton. If someone has more information, I’ll be happy to add it.

If that pattern looks familiar, it might be because we saw it here, in the pillow post, fabric, of course on the pretty blue sofa!

Schumacher Indian Arbre - Ambella Home Collection bathroom Vanity


Mrs. F and I had a phone meeting last week, and we both also loved Schumacher’s Indian Arbre wallpaper in Peacock and Emerald colorway. Mrs. F has a lot of green in her home, so this is a natural choice. I don’t think it’s necessary, however, to keep that in the bedrooms upstairs.


blue floral brown vanity Mrs. F
So, we just changed the wallpaper.


Indian Arbre wallpaper guest bathroom
I also did this version without art. No, you don’t have to use Chinoiserie porcelains, either. But, please put your finger over the yellow accent and see the difference without it.


Of course, a rubber ducky could do the trick, too. ;]


(Please click on any image below for more info)



And, finally, we loved these dark bathrooms.


Sabbe-Interior-design-stunning-dark-bathroomsSabbe Interior Design


dark teal blue wall with moulding white vanity - guest bathroom
I added a fancy backsplash for fun, but it’s not necessary.


Mélanie Cherrier of Blanc Marine Living - dark green bathroom via Canadian House & HomeMélanie Cherrier of Blanc Marine Living – dark green bathroom via Canadian House & Home


dark green wall with moulding white vanity-etagere - guest bathroom

Okay, now that I’ve remembered the sloped ceiling, I think the wallpaper might not work so well. For this room, I think I would take the color all the way around.


However, please let us know in the comments which guest bathroom you like the best?


If you don’t like any of them, that’s okay too. ;]

That’s all in good fun. Obviously, it’s Mrs. F’s choice. After she lets me know, I can work on the tub and window elevation. And, of course, the bathroom floor and hardware.


You might also enjoy:

7 of the Hottest Bathroom Trends to Avoid or Embrace.

Affordable bathroom Fixes with Big Impact




Please check out the newly updated HOT SALES!


44 Responses

  1. Beautiful ideas, all of them! I’m a sucker for deep, dark colors and love how you use the yellow vase as an accent in particular. What are your thoughts about using a bright yellow accent with the Artemis paper? I’m considering that exact paper for one wall in my (currently non-existent) office, and I keep coming back to this cute yellow desk on Wayfair:

    The other walls would be neutral (Sherwin Williams Natural Choice), and the adjacent entryway is a lovely purple/brown (SW Plum Brown). I’m usually confident in my color choices, but I’m a bit gun-shy on this one and would love a quick second opinion. 🙂 Maybe I’m having a hard time because I also love this desk and can’t decide between them!

  2. First off, I love the first and last renditions. The lovely wallpapers are too busy for me and perhaps a bit dated. Next, would it be possible to move the toilet to the foot of the bathtub where the built-in closet is proposed? It would hide the toilet and it would give you more room to add either a wider vanity or a linen closet. Also, it may not be possible but in my remodeled bathroom I reversed the swing of the door to allow for more usable space. It wasn’t a problem for me to have the door open into the hallway.

  3. I put my vote in for one of the last 2 pics! But if choosing between the 2 wallpapers, I’m drawn to the Schumacher’s Indian Arbre wallpaper.

  4. Oh yes! We had our house built 25 years ago when I was crippled with a bad back. I finally was able to walk through the framed house and see the powder room layout. The toilet cutout on the floor was the first thing one would see from the hallway. I pitched a fit and insisted that that be changed so that a lovely cabinet for the sink was the first thing seen. So glad I did. Builders can be stupid.

  5. This thought is based on the fact you mentioned there may be a small linen closet. If there’s no linen closet, the etegere makes complete sense. Obviously, based on my idea, the vanity would be larger…and I suppose the moldings would need to be reconsidered. 😉

  6. Great posting! Although I like most of the ideas, your final is a winner in my book. I, too, am working on a Guest Bathroom. I bought an antique chest with a serpentine front and marble top (looks like the one with the Grace Wallpaer in Cyan) that was listed on Facebook marketplace for $220. I had the marble contractor undermount a sink and I’m very happy with how it came out. I’m going to check out your etagere sources because that’s a missing element. Thanks for another thoughtful article.

  7. Love the first version and the serene green. I find the wallpapers overwhelming in this particular space. One suggestion: get the toilet in “comfort height.” I did this somewhat by accident when installing Memoirs and Devonshire Koehler toilets in my house,and it turned out to be a godsend when I later developed knee problems due to (successful)cancer treatment.

  8. I don’t know that I agree with Ruthie, though her reply is very well thought out. I hate not having any space to put towels, soaps and other necessities. I redecorated my first floor guest bath this year. It had space, but NO storage at all. It has a pedestal sink, so not much room even for hand soap. I installed a medicine cabinet and a shelving thingy from Pottery Barn called the Temple Street bookshelf.

    Now, that bathroom really functions and looks pretty and finished. I am still trying to wrap my head around why the window treatment cost so darn much, but it looks charming. Maybe they charge extra for charm?

  9. Ok, I normally love EVERYTHING you do. In fact, your posts, designs, and pic monkey renderings are like banana cream pie for the eyes. I can’t wait for my weekly treats! As beautiful as these are (if I had to choose, it would be one of the dark painted wall options, I think they lend themselves better to the “busier” feel), there is something too…much. You are brilliant at visually balancing a room…and these are definitely balanced. But you are also wonderful at editing. There’s too much going on. Now, personally, if you’re going to have this much going on it needs to be in the sort of English way that only the English can do where there isn’t so much symmetry but it still feels symmetrical. Know what I mean?

    Since the only non necessity is the etegere…then. I think your beautiful vanity and mirror and sconce combination would be all the more beautiful if there wasn’t something competing for the limelight. Tweak it. Just my humble thoughts being shared with the master!!

  10. I certainly agree about seeing the toilet first when one enters the bathroom. We just did a complete bathroom remodel because of that very thing. It is so much better with the toilet somewhat hidden.

  11. Hi Laurel, I’m also looking for an etagere for a bathroom for a client and found a nice one from Jonathan Charles. Not sure if it works with your design but here it is:
    Jonathan Charles Âglomisä & Silver Iron Narrow Four-Tier Ätagere 494329-S

  12. I think I speak for all of us when I say, “Gosh, I wish Laurel couldn’t say No to me!” Lucky Mrs. F. – every single one of your designs is “yes” worthy. I hope her basement dries out quickly.

  13. I love all of them! My favorites are the Artemis wallpaper with the green/blue vanity and the one with the dark blue walls.

  14. Hi Laurel,
    This post couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m starting renovations on my bathroom soon. There are so many things that can’t be selected until I find out what’s behind the walls.
    My favorite bathroom would have to be the dark green one. I love a dramatic bathroom.
    Now I’m going to spend some quality time reading all the older posts that you’ve linked to.

  15. Long time reader (early 2015). Love everything you Laurel! I love the bath with the Artemis wallpaper. That is so lovely with the blue vanity! One thought comes to mind in a tiny bathroom is the steam & practicality. We have a tiny tiny bath in our vacation rental property & when I finally decided to get rid of the outdated peeling wallpaper (from previous owner) I didn’t want pictures that could warp or peeling paper so I went with thin brick & did cut outs in the walls for toiletries & such. Also got rid of tub to open up space a bit. You can view pics on my vrbo sight here.

  16. Where do you put your toiletries bag ?
    Need more shelf space to make it comfortable.
    A medicine cabinet would be nice for aspirin, soap, non visuals.
    Comfort along with calm.
    Nice layout.

  17. These are stunning – all of them! May I add a couple of practicalities that would be lovely to accommodate for? As an occasional user of a guest bath for weekend visits, my wish list includes the following: room for extra TP, plunger, cleaning supplies (I like to tidy up before I check out), as well as some counter space to put my makeup/lotion/toothbrush/etc. Maybe the etagere is OK for toiletries, but that would mean leaving empty shelves instead of styling them all. Love your blog Laurel!! 🙂

  18. What loveliness! You’ve brightened my morning. I love the dark green but I don’t know that I would love it in a room with a sloped ceiling. I think it might feel a little close. So in this case I’d go with the white walls dark vanity. Personally, I’d love wallpaper in a powder room but not in a bath where there’s steam and I like to wash the walls frequently. Good luck choosing Mrs F. Can’t wait to see pictures when it’s done.

  19. All are undeniably beautiful and as I scrolled through your boards I clearly gravitated to the restful dark blues and greens. I guess that is why some people call these “restrooms”. I also loved the splash of colour the yellow vase provides, heightening the interest level of a lovely little room.

  20. I have to agree with others who favor the dark green painted bathroom without wallpaper. Yes, the Restoration Hardware etagere is very nice. You may want to consider an etagere that has two bottom drawers, for example, the Maitland-Smith Amadeus etagere. More storage can be useful even in a guest bath.

  21. Laurel,

    I just love your posts! Always so informative. My daughter is right in the middle of planning a move into a new house and remodeling the powder bath. So hard to pick a favorite, but the first one is gorgeous! That Artemis wallpaper with the navy vanity and gold accents is outstanding! It pulls it all together. Thanks for sharing!

  22. I have a Koehler toilet with side flush. If you press down briefly, you get a short flush. But you can also press longer, and the toilet will continue flushing. The toilet is 16 years old; I’d guess that just about any toilet made these days would have such a watersaving feature.

  23. I love the green with the molding. I am drawn to dark bathrooms, but when decisions are made, I can never do dark, it does not seem to fit the remainder of my homes. Love, love your blog. Thank you

  24. Whenever I find one of your posts in my inbox I am thrilled. Today’s discussion of guest bathrooms was wonderful.
    I do have a couple of questions: the first is about walking into the guest bath with the commode being the first thing you see. Would you consider putting the commode on the other side of the vanity, against the end wall and the étagère on the side where you enter? Even with your inspiration photos, the one where you see the commode through the open door seems a little offputting to me.
    Secondly, I’m not sure I like a nice vase sitting on the back of the commode. What if you added a small shelf above the commode, possibly at the level of the bottom of the vanity mirror, and put the vase on that. You might have to slightly adjust the arrangement over that vase if you changed its position.
    I will tell you honestly, I read so many blogs and never make a comment. To even comment on yours means I am very engaged and enjoyed it very much. Thank you for all.

  25. What a fun post! So pretty! I have to say I love the dark bathrooms best, for many of the reasons given…I had a nightmare bedroom with three floral wallpapers that my sister lived with for years…until she painted it blush pink…whew!
    And when you have a migraine or morning. sickness…enough said!

    I LOVE the yellow vase! Surely it is just on the commode for the style board…it could always move to the etage, or up on a small shelf. I love the ” cover test”…thanks for showing us how to see what is missing, Laurel!

    When I was a kid, yellow was my favorite color…my crayon box was never complete if I lost or broke my yellow crayon. I still put a hint of yellow wherever I can. My husband loves the Pacific Northwest ( greys, greens, blues, dark colors), but has promised me only to visit, not live there, since I am a sunflower who wilts under too many clouds!

    Silly for sure, but I do love sunshine, butter, daffodils…thanks for such a lovely post, Laurel!

    PS: So sorry you NE folks got so much flooding! We in the Alabama rainforest are accustomed to it, but all that water is so scary and destructive. Praying for speedy returns to normal!

  26. The last pic of dark green is my favorite…hands down. The white fixtures balance the dark green beautifully and the gold tones add elegance. This bathroom is a little more “restrained” than the others which also lends more elegance. I’m interested in what you would do with the opposite wall which will be reflected in the mirror.

  27. Hi Laurel: I have admired your wonderful blog for years. I too am a designer in Omaha NE and recently finished DIY my small bathroom. It is very relevant to your post. Thought you might enjoy taking a look. Have a great week and thank you for always sharing with grace and enthusiasm.

  28. Absolutely beautiful all of them! I love how you added these mouldings. Your picmonkey skills are amazing btw. I enjoyed all that beauty so much. I’d have to come back and pick my favorite when I calm down. Love that expensive vanity to be honest and it’s reasonably priced lol. Such a classic beauty. And the Schumacher wallpaper. Gorgeous colors! And that trick with yellow vase is magic, wow!!! I’m so impressed how this vanity looks with the faucet shape, extremely gorgeous. So many lessons, thank you for them. My bathroom floor tile is Carrara marble basketweave with black dots and it’s so interesting what kind of wallpaper colors could work. This blog post is very helpful, can’t thank you enough.

  29. Laurel, I think the Artemis wallpaper with the navy vanity from Wayfair is beautiful, but I probably wouldn’t do it. I papered my bedroom in a similar pattern back in the 90’s and I regretted it after about a year! Sooo busy! At least this is a guest bath so one wouldn’t be in there a lot.

  30. Definitely love the green wall option. The wallpaper feels way to busy, while the white feels less somehow than the beautiful green walls. I personally would never put a ginger jar on the commode or anything that could be bumped by a large man using the facilities.

  31. I’d love to have any of them. The dark green walls always catch my eye! And, the commode urn creates great balance, but could you suggest something smaller (less likely to get knocked off) for that space?

  32. I’ve always loved the Artemis wallpaper from Anthropologie, but I’m worried the size of the pattern would be too much in my small bathroom. It seems like it might work in Mrs. F’s, though, especially with all that moulding. The other issue with the Artemis wallpaper is that it has a 72 inch horizontal repeat (27 inch vertical), so in a bathroom with a lot of short vertical runs, such as over the tiled tub or shower, there is going to be a lot of waste. It’s hard for me to spend that much money on a room I enter maybe twice a month, as much as I would like to after reading this great post!

  33. The two bathrooms I like best are the first (white panelling) and the last (green panelling). One thing I always think about with striking patterns is, how would these affect you if you went to the bathroom feeling unwell. Some of the floors I see out there would guarantee feeling worse, with unmentionable consequences.
    And while I’m at it, I find all these loos with things on top of the water tank rather bizarre, as here in France, the flush mechanism is always on the top, either to one side or in the centre. With all these side handles, do you have a variable flush option to save water?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome To Laurel Home!


Hi, I’m Laurel, and Laurel Home is the website and blog for Laurel Bern Interiors.
I’ve been creating new-traditional interiors since 1988. The blog is where I share all.

New Edition, November 2022! Get The Indispensable Guide For 100s of Home Furnishings And Interior Design Sources That Everyone Is Raving About

laurels-rolodex-final-book-cover-master 9th edition 22-23

laurel home archives


Please click the image below for more info about my rockin’ Interior Design Guides for 2023!

Laurel Home Interior Design Guides 2023
Amazon ad

please click below to check out my favorite decorating & design books

Laurel Bern's Favorite Interior Design and Decorating Books
Subscribe To The Laurel Home Blog And You Will Receive A FREE Guide Where I Share How To Get Your Paint Colors Right, The First Time.