Create a home-away-from-home feel for your overnight visitors.
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Perfecting your guest bathroom means paying attention to even the smallest details, from perfectly folded hand towels and extra bars of soap to subtle fragrances and natural light. "Guest bathrooms are a soothing space away from the rest of the home and can be a real refuge for guests whilst visiting," says color expert Annie Sloan, creator of chalk paint. But soothing doesn't have to mean dull. "It's important that these spaces don't overwhelm, but that doesn't mean they need to be characterless or bland," says Sloan. Try these three palettes to update your space—and make your home as comfortable as a four-star hotel.

bathroom update round mirror red cabinets
Credit: Photo by Katie Charlotte courtesy of Cortney Bishop Design

Olive and Saffron

For Sloan, a guest bathroom calls out for deep, saturated tones—perfect for a space you don't need to see every day. "I love rich shades in bathrooms. They're still soothing because they're earthy and deeply pigmented, but reassuring in a way which traditional bathroom whites and blues rarely are," says Sloan. "Olive green paired with a saffron—like Carnaby Yellow—makes an incredibly confident and stylish statement without being in any way aggressive. Think of the bathrooms of the '70s, but steer clear of avocado fittings; traditional white bathroom fittings add to the elegance of a sophisticated, rich, organic color palette."

dark green bathroom wall with white flooring and ceiling
Credit: Courtesy of Lowe's

Earthy Green

While restful green-and-blue shades are traditional for bathrooms, the small size of most guest baths—and their relatively infrequent use—make them an ideal place for switching up your color palette to stick with the trends; this year, that means nature-inspired greens. "The guest bathroom has long been a space for experimenting, which makes it a perfect spot to play around with sages and grayish greens, like Benjamin Moore October Mist and Sherwin-Williams Evergreen Fog," says Patricia Greco of Datacolor, the company that developed ColorReader devices. "Both hues invigorate the senses, the way minty greens do, but emit a serene and stabilizing aura. Silvermist by Sherwin Williams has the same effect but with a silvery undertone, which would complement guest bathrooms with nickel or chrome hardware and finishes, whereas I see October Mist and Evergreen Fog thriving with warmer hardware, like shiny or antique brass."

bathroom with stone trough sink
Credit: Christopher Churchill

Rich Blue

"In a bathroom that's utilized less frequently, I think that's where it's okay to be more adventurous with colors," says Nicole Gibbons of Clare Paint. "People are more willing to go bold because it's not the space they're using every day." She suggests "more saturated" blues, like the brand's Goodnight Moon, a deep navy, or Good Jeans, a classic, medium-tone blue. "It's very easy to play it safe, and you know you can't go wrong—but opting for a color that's more saturated will have a much bigger impact on how your space looks and feels, as opposed to choosing a white or neutral."

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