Summer has arrived (finally!), bringing with it celebrations, family visits, barbeques … basically a constant stream of guests into your home. Is your house ready? Most importantly, is your guest bathroom ready? As much as you might want to think it is, it may be time for a little spruce. Here are some tips for a quick renovation, readying your bathroom for all of its summer guests:

Update Your Vanity –
Generally, the vanity is the major focal point of a bathroom, and it says an extraordinary amount about the person living there. While built-in vanities do have an enormous amount of storage, they tend to come across as bulky and strictly utilitarian. So why spend the money when you can use something you may already have?

Try repurposing an old piece of furniture – a hall chest, dresser, nightstand, chest of drawers – as the vanity itself. A sink can either be incorporated into the piece itself, or a vessel sink can be placed on top. Chests and old cabinets tends to have a more elegant, detailed, and softer look than just a standard vanity piece – and they store just as much! For an even homier or rustic style, visit a used furniture store for a more “broken-in” piece. If using the furniture’s wood as a countertop, make sure to treat the top with a waterproof finish.

For the smaller toiletries on top of the vanity, try placing them on decorative trays and dishes you might have from an old silver or tea set. They organize the clutter without any bulky boxes or compartments. Have an old cake platter? Place your soap and toothbrush on top to eliminate water drips on the vanity’s surface. Extra tea-plates work well for soap dishes as well.

Love that beautiful, expensive tiling? Use it for the backsplash, right behind the sink, below the mirror. Then use the cheaper tiling for the floor and shower. This is also a great place to use a bright color or pattern without it being too overwhelming.

Accessorize – 
The bathroom is not the most decorative or elaborate room in the house, but that does not mean you cannot have fun with it! Hang the towel bars lower down, leaving the wall space for art pieces or wall-lamps. Use brass elements – brass is one of the biggest returning trends for 2013, but used best when subtle and not overbearing. Try implementing the brass for towel bars or drawer knobs.

Make it warm and full of life! Bathrooms are comprised solely of hard surfaces – tile, metal, porcelain. Add natural elements to soften the look, such as wood furnishings, and plants (yes, even fake or silk plants add a sense of life). Place towels in wood or wicker baskets. Make it cozy – use white, fluffy towels and bathmats. The warmth of the wood and towels will contrast well with the hard surfaces of the room.

Brighten it up – 
Finally, choose a color palette that will be the most flattering in all lighting, from sunrise to sunset. Stick to neutrals, like white or cream, and avoid colors that may reflect poorly on your skin, like greens. Lighter colors will reflect more natural light, brightening your bathroom overall. Also, try incorporating candles to the top of the vanity. Not only will candles add a softer light during the nighttime, but they also look and smell warm and inviting. . ,