• Charlotte Mackay

The downstairs loo. Go hard or go home.

Updated: Feb 22, 2019

I would absolutely LOVE a downstairs loo. Seriously. I'd bloody love one. Not because nipping upstairs for a wee is a nuisance; we only live in a small house and there are only two of us. It's because I just think a downstairs loo has such scope to be EPIC.

Cuckoo 4 Design

As the smallest room in the house and the one you probably spend the least amount of time in (but also the one that your friends and family are going to see whenever they come round) it's the space where you can really go to town and importantly, not necessarily spend that much money on (compared to the rest of the house...).


You can be bold and ultra stylish, you can go over the top, you can be kitsch and humorous. You can use the tiles and wallpaper you saw in that shop and loved but just thought, "Mmmmm I love it but I might get fed up with it in the bathroom or kitchen". Voila! Use it in your downstairs loo! It's the one place in the house where you can really think, "Oh fuck it, why the hell not. It's only small and if we hate it it's not going to cost the earth to re-paper or re-tile. Let's be bold for once Geoffrey!"


Although there are lots of practicalities to think of, this blog will just focus on the aesthetics...

"Deco Monkeys" wallpaper - de Gournay

Wallpaper. Yes, wallpaper! Wallpaper is having a rather good time of it of late. With so many choices out there, it won't be whether you want to decorate with wallpaper it will be which one to go for. Whether you go graphic, geometric, botanical or animal print, a bold print will create interest and will be such a treat for the eyes. You can go all out and do floor to ceiling paper (although you'll probably need to tile the splash back behind the sink), or tile/panel the bottom half and go nuts up top.

Divine Savages wallpaper

Gucci wallpaper

Tiles. White metro tiles most definitely have their place and are a stylish and safe bet, I have them in my kitchen and bathroom, but... those pink dandelion tiles you saw on Pinterest but thought wouldn't match the rest of your house. Here's the thing. They don't need to. I kind of think of the downstairs loo like The Vatican. I mean, it's kind of part of Italy, but it's kind of not. They speak the same language (mostly) so they have a common thread but they're also independent. Think of the WC like that; minus the housing of The Pope.


Leclair Decor

It's part of the house but also kind of it's own entity. It should be the place where you are able to let your "interior design" hair down and show people the real you - the party you! Tiles come in all shapes and sizes and your dream tile is just waiting to be found. Maybe also consider the way you lay them out on the wall. Think about tiling vertically or in a herringbone pattern.


When it comes to flooring the possibilities are endless. Maybe you want to continue the wooden flooring from the rest of your house, maybe you want a plain wall so fancy a statement floor. Nowadays you can have various floor materials ranging from ceramic to vinyl to concrete. Find what's right for you. If you've not been to a tile shop recently then you are in for an absolute treat.

Harvey Maria vinyl floor tiles

Panelling. It doesn't have to look like an 80's sauna or an alpine ski lodge, some panelling is exquisite. If all over wainscoting (technical term) is a tad overkill for you maybe go half panelling and half paint or wallpaper. Such choice, I'm so jealous.


Lighting. There is nothing wrong with your standard down lighter, it's very practical but if there is room, something else besides this will really bring the room together and make it look thought through. Some of your loo's visitors will be using the room to check their make up so good lighting is a must. If you can install wall lights either side or above of your mirror that would be ACE as it will really flatter the face and your guests will love you forever. They needn't be expensive but they should attempt at being gorgeous and interesting. If you've got pendant lighting just make it a really fit one.

Lighting - industville.co.uk

Paint. Again if you don't have natural lighting then think outside the box with paint. White paint really needs bright light to work otherwise it just looks dull, I'm therefore a big fan of painting small rooms in anything other than white. Who are we kidding, it's not going to look any bigger, really it's not, so instead of trying to make it look more spacious aim to make it more interesting. You're only going to be in there for 5 min at a time after all (mostly...).


Mirrors. Mirrors are the best as they really CAN make a room double in size. Let's be honest, most people won't want to watch themselves on the loo so maybe don't place a long mirror on the back of the door if the loo is facing the door but a mirror somewhere is vital in a WC so make it a considered purchase.

West One Bathrooms

Hardware. Go to town on the taps! There are only two of them and there's nothing to match them to. Vintage, chrome, black! Have fun picking. And check out places like eBay and those second hand websites. Bargains to be had.

Bert and May taps

If your walls aren't too crazy already why not think about some artwork? A gallery wall is very popular or why not hang a huge piece if there is room? Even a little framed cartoon might be fun and quirky. Give your loo's guests something nice to look at.

Ham Interiors

A downstairs loo really can be a case of pick n mix. Pick an element you like the thought of and give it a go. Have fun with it. Be bold, be brave! The room will give you joy every time you walk in it and your home should make your smile. And until I get a downstairs loo of my own I'm going to live vicariously through yours.

de Gournay wallpaper

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