Here's why your downstairs toilet should be your pride and joy. And how to do it!
Not everyone has a downstairs loo / toilet / bathroom - not everyone has a 'downstairs,' I get that, but for those that do, it's a largely under-appreciated room. It might be otherwise known as the broom cupboard, storage room or 'toilet off the kitchen'.
It exists, but you're not proud of it. It's small, it's a toilet, you hide things like the old washing machine in there until you can get rid of it (yes, guilty, I've done that) and therefore you're a little embarrassed about it.
Honestly, it was this that struck me when we moved into our house. We had the luxury of a downstairs toilet (one that wasn't huge - but also wasn't box room), but it soon became nominated to host the 'dead' washing machine until we could dispose of it. And it hit me that this was a room everyone was going to go in to - everyone! So why should it be the embarrassing storage / functional room?
So here's why the smallest room in your house shouldn't be the bottom of your priority list:
All your visitors are going to see it.
1) Yes, EVERYONE who visits you will use your downstairs loo. The colleague who's picking you up before driving to your meeting in the midlands, the plumber who's stopped by to fix your boiler leak, your BFF's who've come round for your epic new years bash.
Yes, you may have spent £5k on revamping your tired bedroom into the ultimate stylish boudoir - and that's great, honestly, for you and your partner it is, but really no-one is going to see it unless you deliberately invite them in.
Your downstairs toilet however - you've got no choice, after all, 'when you've gotta go, you've gotta go!'
So, for me, it's worth making the effort to make it BEAUTIFUL. Spend the time in there to really make a statement - whether thats through great art, maximalist wallpaper or a really high-end finish. Still not convinced..?
Going high-end, won't hurt your pocket.
2) ...well, broadly speaking the massive advantage to going all out on your downstairs toilet decor is that it's a small room. Small room = minimal square footage and therefore if you're working to a budget, this is the room in which you can opt for the more expensive tiles, wallpaper, paint and finishes in - for the simple fact you've got a far smaller area to cover. What better reason to make the most and go all out! This is the room everyone who enters your home is going to visit, and the one you can afford to make a statement in.
Make it entertaining!
3) Yes, arguably, if you're a big fan of hosting and your parties have a waitlist then true, when people are round your house, they're not going to want to miss a beat, so they'll be in and out before the track on the Sonos changes.
However, honestly speaking, people will spend at least a few minutes in your 'little room' with not much to occupy their attention - so use it as a showcase of your personality, your passions or the extremes of your taste.
- Go maximal with the wallpaper.
- Take over a wall with art or photos.
- Tastefully select a few visually indulgent books; think fashion, interior or travel photography.
Don't forget to make the necessities top notch; the soap, the hand lotion, the plants - it all serves to make your guests experience one of the best.
Lastly, a heated floor - don't underrate it. It didn't even cross our mind when we decorated our downstairs toilet and now we've put in underfloor heating to our main bathroom we're gutted we didn't go for it downstairs! So again - small square footage, go for it!
And finally, to help you on your way to creating a 10/10 downstairs look, here's some brands / products I love;
Sevin London; their soap smells amazing, it's plastic free, uses natural ingredients, it's chunky, aesthetically pleasing and it's now the only soap I'll buy for our house. Yes, I have had compliments on how great peoples hand smell after they use it (they also make the most amazing candles, but that may be a little excessive for your loo - save that one for your master bathroom!).
Cole & Son; here comes the wallpaper! Honestly, if you have even a slight niggling penchant for colour and pattern - but not enough for a big wall space - don't be afraid to add some of this amazing wallpaper to all four walls in your toilet. It's a myth that you can only go 'big' in a 'big' room. I'm a big fan of their 'Egerton' and 'Balbina' range.
Vintage art prints; I had a stall at a Christmas fair a few years ago and happened across a stall selling vintage Vogue prints and I snapped up 4 that are now displayed in our downstairs loo! Hey, I practice what I preach (or maybe its the other way around). I sadly can't remember the name of the stall but there are a few awesome Etsy shops where you can get your hands on similar! Shop independent if you can.
There you go. Just a few thoughts on how you should view the smallest room in your house - next time you head in there (which I know will be not long after you finish reading this post), have a look - tell me what you would do!