12 Little Things to Keep in Your Powder Room That Guests Will Love You For

published Oct 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Lauren Kolyn

Outfitting your powder room is an exercise in putting yourself in your guests’ shoes. What do you wish you had when you were at a friend’s house? When have you been caught in an embarrassing situation? You run through all the possible scenarios and use your own home’s half bath as an opportunity to create a comfortable, pleasant place to spend a few minutes.

From giving guests an easy answer when they’re wondering whether they can use the hand towel to providing plush toilet paper and just enough noise for privacy, here are the 12 things to keep in your half bath that your guests will thank you for (before stealing the idea for their own powder room!).

1. A Candle

When you’re a guest, there’s something so luxe about walking into the powder room and spotting a lit candle flickering on the countertop. Not only does it create a scent experience that’s better than your average bathroom, but it also gives your home that branded fragrance feeling (the goal, right?).

Note: Always put the candle away from any potential fire hazards like linens or hair! Never put it on the back of the toilet or close to a hanging hand towel. Use your best judgment when burning it — if you can’t keep the candle in sight, make sure to put it out after you (or your guest) leave the room.

2. A Match Striker

Including a match striker on your powder room vanity not only gives guests a chance to have a match to light the aforementioned candle with, but it also can be an artful moment. A ceramic match striker adds a sculptural, textured moment.

3. Biodegradable Hand Towels

On a day-to-day basis, I prioritize reusable and sustainable towels. But when you’re entertaining, guests can sometimes feel uneasy about using the same damp towel as everyone else. Not to mention, there’s always that, “Is this a towel I can use? Or is it decorative?” conundrum. You know you’ve been there.

Biodegradable hand towels are the solution for those occasions. They feel nicer than paper towels, but are sanitary and clearly meant to be used.

4. Plush Toilet Paper

I’m not going to start a debate over toilet paper preferences today (those who prefer a thin, gas-station grade, I know you’re out there!). For powder room purposes, plush toilet paper is the way to go. It’s a small expense that makes guests feel like they’re being pampered.

5. Floss Sticks

Imagine you’re at a friend’s house for a lovely dinner party. You’ve made your way through charcuterie, soup, salad, and the delicious main course. Then, you go into the bathroom and realize your teeth have fallen victim to an herby salad. Desperately, you try to get the pieces out, but they’re stubborn. If only you had floss! This is when floss sticks can come to the rescue. Keep a few in a charming little container (like a thrifted shot glass) and save your guests’ teeth.

6. A White Noise Machine

If your powder room has a fan, you’re covered. If it doesn’t, this demure white noise machine could come to the rescue. Guests hate feeling like everyone can hear them in their bathroom — especially if it’s right off the main room. This white noise machine adds just enough privacy. 

7. Hand Lotion

Right next to your soap (an obvious must-have), it’s nice to have a pump bottle of hand lotion. Whether your guests feel as if their hands are dry or just want a quick shot of scent to freshen up, hand lotion is an indulgent extra to keep in the powder room.

8. Good Lighting

Have you ever snuck into a powder room to straighten your hair or touch up your lip gloss only to realize you can’t even see yourself in the mirror? Help your guests avoid that finicky process by installing bathroom lighting that, while soft, is still strong. Try a sconce with at least two globes.

9. An Eye-Catching Mirror

In the same vein (there was an opportunity for a vain pun there, for sure), you don’t want to have a powder room without a mirror. Add a modern mirror for both function and a styling moment.

10. A Trash Can

Don’t leave your guests in the awkward position of looking for a trash can outside the bathroom. Choose a pretty waste basket that will tuck right into this small space without being an eyesore.

11. A Shelf

Make sure guests avoid their phone ending up in a bag of rice by providing somewhere to set their phone, purse, or anything else in their possession. A wall mounted shelf makes for the perfect ledge and it guarantees a dry place to land, rather than risking a wet sink counter.

12. Poo-Pourri

And, of course, what would a powder room essentials list be without the iconic Poo-Pourri? It’s a game-changing addition to any bathroom, and your guests will love you for it.