Monday, October 13, 2014

Entertaining with Ease: Powder Room/Bathroom

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends!

I hosted my family's get together this weekend, which is usually pretty stressful for me.  My place is pretty small and I have a tendency to feel overwhelmed when my space is a mess or there are things out of order - as is the case when you have a house full of guests!  This year, I decided to try and minimize stress for myself and made things super easy by going super minimal, and you know what?  Everyone had a great time!  They had everything they needed and they were a lot more comfortable and that in turn, kept me calmer.

While I am no Martha Stewart, friends and family often comment that I am a great hostess, so I figured I'd share the tips that made this year the easiest for me.  Today, I'm sharing on how to keep your Powder Rooms & Bathrooms ready for guests!

1.  Keep it simple! 
This is undoubtedly the theme I went with this year.  While I LOVE  a home that is decorated to the nines for a holiday, I quite frankly just don't have the space to create all sorts of amazing looking vignettes, so I kept things super subtle décor wise.   Plus, it isn't overwhelming for my guests!

In the powder room, all I did was pop this gold Target pumpkin on the counter and swap out the plates on my Partylite Lantern to the Harvest plates and called it a day!

It was hard to get a picture of the illuminated lantern since I use flameless candles that flicker, but the image is super pretty...
Other than that, there is little else in the way of tchotchkes or anything cluttering my washrooms. 
2. Stock up on essentials!
Even when I am not entertaining, all my washrooms always have more than enough towels, toilet paper, soap and any additional necessities a guest may need.  While I am not typically a fan of having everything out there in the open, I keep my cabinets organized but in a way that a guest wouldn't feel obtrusive about opening a cupboard door to find what they need.
This is what the powder room cupboard looks like AFTER my guests were here for 3 days.  Still tidy, but you can see that people helped themselves to items!  I like this under the sink organizer for to help maximize space!
The top shelf keeps extra towels, toilet paper and a basket of candles.  You can see, there's only one roll left (usually I put about 3 or 4 here) and people are able to grab a fresh towel if they need it!

The lower portion houses cleaning products and various air fresheners, extra hand soap, candles and a basket with feminine hygiene products for guest use. 
**Not shown:  I also keep a clean plunger in here. There's nothing worse than being at someone else's house and having any sort of washroom emergency and having to ask/bring it to someone's attention -  some people might disagree but I know as a guest I've appreciated this!!
My powder room also has a weird alcove next to the cabinet, so I found a cute little shelf thing for rolled towels and guests can help themselves!
In the upstairs bathroom, I put out stacks of bath towels for people to use.  As there were 4 people sharing this washroom, I found it helpful to put non-matching towels so that people weren't worried about whether or not they were using someone else's towel.
My shower stall always has a shampoo, conditioner and body wash available for guests who have forgotten their own.  Full admission:  Sometimes I buy a product that I just don't care for - it gets relegated to the guest bath for other people to use up!  :)
**Not shown:  My medicine cabinet is also in the guest bath.  They can help themselves to first aid items and general "medications" like antacids, anti-histamines, cough drops, Pepto Bismol , pain relievers, etc.  The basket under the sink also holds extra wrapped tooth brushes, cotton pads (so eye makeup removal doesn't end up on my towels) and other toiletries.
3. Leave it to the Guests!  
 I don't use the powder room or guest bathroom when I have guests.  I have my own washroom in my bedroom, which I prefer to use.  Plus, this keeps it free for my guests. 
I also ensure they have counter space to put out their belongs if they choose to do so.
4.  Pop in 2 - 3 times a day to see if anything needs assistance! 
I usually try and sneak a few minutes when my guests are out or busy, to pop in quickly and assess the situation.  Empty the garbage, stock any toiletries that are running low, quickly tidy the counter/mirror/toilet and swap out any used towels for fresh ones!

Thankfully, always ensuring my washrooms are fully stocked and cleaned, meant the only thing I did this weekend was swap out the towels!  Using a wet towel is just one of my pet peeves so I always make this a priority.  I didn't have a single request for any washroom related item, so that's always a good sign in my books!
What special things do you do to make your guests stay more enjoyable?

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