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The holidays are almost here. Do you have guests coming to stay with you this year? Much of Collin County's housing was built in the last twenty to thirty years, and the area's builders have largely stuck to a guest bath scenario that included a small room, a bathtub without a surrounding enclosure, and a small window. While practical for some homeowners, this setup is lacking for many others. How can you update your guest bathroom to feel larger and more inviting to your family and visiting friends? Here are some tips:

Ditch the Shower Curtain

There are several advantages to upgrading your guest bathroom shower enclosure. If there is only one window, you don’t want to block its light. Also, a shower curtain visually cuts off the space in the room and closes it in, making a small room feel even smaller. The transparency of glass enclosures doesn’t take up any visual space. The eye can travel the full length and width of the room and the bathroom feels much larger as a result.Another advantage of updating your bathroom with a glass shower surround is to showcase beautiful tile and fixtures. The appeal of attractive tile and elegant fixtures is all but lost if they are hidden behind a shower curtain. Glass enclosures and doors put your tile design and fixtures on display.

The seamless look of a floor-to-ceiling glass enclosure on your shower is stunning, or you can customize your enclosure to compliment whatever style you have in mind for the guest bath. However, it's important to ask questions and get references from any potential glass installer. "Cutting corners is unacceptable especially when it is a safety hazard," states Chrissy Hood of Liberty Glass and Mirror in Frisco. "Frameless shower enclosures must be measured accurately and professionally installed with the correct hardware. These are not just cosmetic issues - these can be safety hazards." Be sure to play it safe and choose a reputable company. 

Consider Converting

It’s worth considering whether you really require a bathtub in your guest bathroom. If you have multiple bathtubs in your home, another may not be necessary. You could choose to go with a larger shower or utilize some of the space for built-in towel storage. Converting to a shower only will give your bathroom more visual space and give your guests more physical space to change and get ready for their activities.

Cabinet Re-configuration

In many of the homes built in the last thirty years, the guest bathroom has a large vanity or cabinet under the sink (or sinks) as well as another directly over the toilet. These take up a lot of visual real estate, especially if they are a medium to dark color. While white cabinetry can help make the space feel more open, re-organizing your bathroom items and reconfiguring the cabinet arrangement might be a better solution for you.

Streamline Your Supplies

Over-the-showerhead or corner organizers take up shower space and make your shower look cluttered. Adding a recessed cubby in a tub or shower surround is much more visually appealing. If kids will be using this bathroom, you may want to consider adding another recess at a lower height for their use. If adding a cubby isn't an option, check The Container Store in Plano, across from Stonebriar Mall. With thousands of space-saving solutions, The Container Store may have a budget-friendly option that can give you all the extra shower room you need.

Although guest bathrooms are smaller than most master bathrooms, renovating them involves the same kind of changes: plumbing, fixtures, tile work, etc. so renovation costs are still a significant expense. You want to be sure to get the most bang for your buck. Some smart planning will help you transform your guest bathroom from a dark, constrained space to an open and welcoming oasis for family and friends this holiday season.

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