Quick, off the top of your head: what one space in your business is the least considered, yet it’s one of the most used rooms in your whole business?
The answer: your restroom! The success of a business is really in the details, and this is one detail you shouldn’t overlook because just about everyone is going to have to spend some time in this space at some point. This may include your employees, your clients, and you. So, if your bathroom doubles as a storage closest or could seriously use a makeover, here are some ideas to get you started.
Powder Room Power
Think about your guest bathroom at home – it probably has a nice soap dish, maybe some decorative hand towels, and perhaps a candle. It’s likely cleaner than your personal bathroom, since you anticipate that guests will venture in there. You want them to have a good impression, right?
Now think about the bathroom at your office. What does it look like? Is it nicely decorated and inviting, as the guest bathroom in your home, or is it dirty, cold and stuffed to the brim with supplies? If even the thought of your company bathroom makes you grimace, then it’s time to get to work! A more welcoming restroom can instill pride in the office environment and ensure that clients have a better experience. Here are some tips to whip this space into shape:
First, ask your colleagues or employees what they think. It might be that the other office bees have been too embarrassed to bring up the state of the bathroom or don’t think that anyone else cares about how it looks. Bring it up at an office meeting. No doubt people will have ideas about how to decorate the bathrooms and make them more inviting. A brainstorming session can help solidify how to makeover the bathroom.
Second, clear out as much clutter as possible. Is your office bathroom covered in papers, posters and old marketing materials? Are there ancient computer monitors and broken chairs shoved into each corner? If so, you and your team probably need to take a day (or longer, depending on the mess) and get the bathroom looking less like a storage closet and more like a bathroom. If you really must use part of this space for storage, then figure out how to physically separate the storage space from the restroom area. You can do this by purchasing cabinets or storage tubs and creative shelving.
Once the bathroom is rid of clutter, clean it! This is not some spot cleaning job. You will want to start decorating with a clean, blank slate. Depending on how dirty the space is you have got to go over it from top to bottom or at least hire someone else to do it. This should be a thorough cleaning, including scrubbing the bathroom faucets and sinks, wiping down baseboards and mopping the floors.
Now, get to work redecorating. Once the bathroom has been cleared out, the next step is to begin decorating. The overall “feel” of the bathroom depends on your business type; colors, wall decor and other decoration matters should also reflect your business and its personality. Consider your company as a whole. A bathroom for a law firm might end up being decorated differently than a bathroom at a magazine office. Can you be creative and quirky with your decor or should it be more conservative in tone? Decide on a color scheme and theme and even on the scents that will pervade the space.
Business Bathroom Decorating Ideas
Painting the walls. For an office environment (particularly a conservative one) it’s a good idea to have fairly neutral wall color – think eggshell, gray or tan – and to add bits of color with the accent items. However, if you work at a creative firm, you may want to make the walls brighter or bolder. Don’t feel that you need to stick with a plain white or beige; most colors can be toned down to an acceptable hue for a business bathroom. For example, if green is your color of choice, an olive tone can work well in the space.
Putting in accents. Have fun with accents. Choose one or two accent or complimentary colors that go well with your main wall color. Use these colors in small amounts throughout the room to tie the scheme together. After walls and fixtures have been updated, you can create a little bit of personality with accents. You may want to try:
- Silk flowers;
- Colorful paintings or framed posters;
- Interesting hand towels that match the accent colors
Pay attention to your fixtures. If the office bathroom has outdated, rusty fixtures, consider an inexpensive upgrade. Metal faucets and towel racks can make a bathroom look modern and appealing without breaking the bank.
Adding little touches. You want your office bathroom to make your employees and clients feel comfortable, and a few little extras can go a long way. These include items such as:
- Nice hand soap
- Hand sanitizer
- Candles with fresh, neutral scents
- Air freshener
- Facial tissue
Keep in mind that if you wrinkle your nose every time you venture into the company bathroom, or you feel that it needs a shot of personality, your employees and clients will likely have the same attitude. Upgrading the company bathroom may be a bit of a project, but it will make you and your visitors feel more comfortable, and that impression is an important one.