Six chic design ideas for your downstairs toilet

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Your downstairs loo might not feel like the most glamourous of rooms to get to grips with, décor-wise.

But when you really consider it, it's actually one of the spaces in your house that guests are most likely to use -- especially if you keep the tea and coffee flowing, when acting as the host with the most

What's more, you should remember that those guests will be venturing into your downstairs WC alone (unless you have some very strange hosting practices!) This means they'll have the freedom to appraise the room at will, without the need to adopt any subtlety over judgemental scrutiny of design faux-pas.

But worry not! Despite often being a small room, there are plenty of things you can consider to protect your reign as king or queen of domesticity and interiors. Here are six chic design ideas for your cloakroom, so you can create a downstairs throne room fit for royalty!

1. Cosy but curated

It's easy for a downstairs loo to feel like nothing more than a glorified cupboard. Lift the design credentials of what is often a small space with artwork, paintings or small ornaments. If space is at a premium and you'd rather accommodate soap than sculptures, incorporate an arty touch via other means, such as designer wallpaper. An interesting hand towel can add some dimensions.

2. Floating fixtures

With space often at a premium in a downstairs toilet, you sometimes have to get a bit creative to design a space that is functional and practical, as well as aesthetically pleasing. Floating fixtures can negate the risk of a space with just the basics of a loo, sink and small vanity unit looking cramped. Being able to see the whole expanse of floor can make the space appear larger than it is, and can also make cleaning the floor a cinch, skipping the need to skirt around pedestals.

3. Smart storage

A small space it may well be, but you should still aim to provide for your guests' every need. With hand soaps, moisturisers, loo rolls, hand towels, and maybe even some cleaning products squirrelled away, there's a risk you could end up making the space look cluttered. To negate the risk, make the most of storage solutions, such as under-sink drawers or cupboards (even floating fixtures can incorporate handy storage options!) For your more aesthetically pleasing 'bits and bobs', such as decorative hand lotion dispensers, a chic basket or caddy can keep everything looking organised.

4. Flooring

In a small space, the floor is going to be more telling. A parquet floor or black and white tiles can make a statement, whereas a neutral choice can make it a more calming space. Remember people tend to prefer hardwood or tiled options in cloakrooms for ease of cleaning, but you can always incorporate a small, washable rug for a slightly cosier feel. Just avoid a full carpet!

5. Mirror, mirror

In a small room, mirrors can give the illusion of space. They can also serve a practical purpose, allowing guests to check their make-up or hair before making a reappearance. Hang a well-lit mirror and consider adding dedicated lighting to it to really give the room extra dimension.

6. Reading materials

Some guests can spend longer than others in your downstairs toilet, so give them something to keep them entertained on those longer excursions. Reading materials, such as the latest magazines in an interest area of your choice, or pick-up-and-put-down coffee table books make great toilet literature, and guests will appreciate the attention to detail. It might not seem like a design idea at first, but a few well-placed vintage books with leather-bound spines can add a touch of serious charisma to a room.