The Smallest Room
I can hear you now. She is writing about what? Well, let me tell you that one of the most important rooms in the house: the half-bath, guest cloakroom, powder room, or downstairs loo, is sadly often one of the most neglected.
For the average guest to lower one's derriere on to the china throne, they will expect, at the very least - cleanliness. But, this tiny throne room could be so much more than just a clean toilet and sink.
Apart from the obvious - all china and glass should be thoroughly scrubbed and spotless - what else should the smallest room offer its guests?
Mirror: seems obvious, right? But, sometimes even the obvious can be overlooked. It should be placed preferably above the sink, but if the area is not conducive (sloping ceiling for example), try to find a straight wall that this important piece can go.
Spare toilet paper: there is nothing worse than discovering that last square of toilet paper on the roll is quite literally the last square in the entire room. However tiny the space, there are numerous way to cater for the toilet roll spare - a small basket could be filled with them, a shelf on the wall could have them artistically stacked, a vanity could house them, or quite simply...one could be placed on top of the toilet cistern.
Clean hand towels/paper napkins: a lovely, fluffy, clean towel should be placed close to the basin. It should be replaced every few days, especially if soiled. Some guests recoil at the thought of using a towel used by many others and the North American way of pretty paper napkins in their own tray has always been one of my favourites (and is found in my bathroom). There are so many lovely designs to chose from these days - I found mine in Ikea!
Air freshener: so the little room always smells nice before, and possibly more importantly...after.
Shower: if there is a shower in the room, make sure the glass is gleaming. A spray of white vinegar and water works wonders.
And if you don't have a dedicated guest loo, and your guests have to use the family bathroom - perhaps have a guest towel ready. Deliberating over whether to dry their hands on the corner of someone's bath or face towel is a decision many may not like to make.
Decor: The smallest room can also be the prettiest. It is a great room to experiment with those bold, vibrant printed wallpapers - it's amazing how the room can look with some dramatic effects!
And, finally...if you really want to make your guests feel welcome...I hear that some guest loos have reading material provided... for the slightly longer stay!