Each room in your new home together is important and says a lot about you. This includes your bathroom. Your bathroom (or at least the one your guests see) is probably the most scrutinized space in your house, because the door is closed when your guests are in there (and yes, they are looking inside your cabinet!). A full set of beautiful towels gives your bathroom a coordinated look and inviting feel, and there's nothing like a plush, thirsty towel to wrap yourself in after a shower.
Up to the early 19th century, bath toweling (as it was known) was made from hand-woven linen, which was not very absorbent. In the 1890s, absorbent, soft terry cloth replaced linen. Known for its absorbency, terry cloth is a type of loop or pile fabric made from cotton or cotton-polyester that is woven on a special loom. Available in general stores or through the mail, terry cloth was purchased by the yard, and housewives at the time made their own towels. Times have certainly changed!
Just as linens have a thread count; towels have their own measurement of quality. Towel weight or "density" is measured in grams per square meter, or GSM. Lower GSM towels are lighter, thinner and less expensive, like low-cost beach-towel weight. A heavier, thicker towel (higher GSM) is generally more expensive and plush so you will want to register for those. While all towels don't list their GSM, we all basically know a good towel from a cheap one just by picking it up.
Basic cotton is probably the most popular choice when it comes to towels. Velour (usually made from cotton or from synthetic materials) has a very different look, while still having the same benefits of cotton. Not only is velour plush-looking, it absorbs well and is very soft. The dual nature of velour is that one side is sheared and the other is looped. The side with the loops is the absorbent side and the sheared side is just dreamy!
The bathroom is the easiest room in the house to make an instant visual transformation. Once you have registered for a good base set of towels (preferably neutral colors), add some style by simply layering a coordinating set of colored accent towels over the neutral ones to create a whole new look. It's called wardrobing. This is a great way to instantly and easily transform the look of any bathroom. I like to change mine out by season.
When you think of your bathroom's decor, think of accessorizing. Add itemslike picture frames, candles, bath soaps and even potpourri to complete the look, and switch them out seasonally, as well. Plants thrive in bathrooms because of the increased humidity, so register for coordinating pots for plants in your bathroom.
Love your new initials? Why not register for monogrammed towels? This represents your name together, so put your monogram on everything from towels to sheets to stationery and even china. There is nothing like a set of monogrammed towels to brand your bathroom. Just remember, these are for your personal use, so make sure to register for another set for your guests. You can find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond, Target, Lands' End, or even Neiman Marcus.
Here's what to register for (two to four per bathroom for each below):
- Bath towel (27" x 52")
- Bath sheet (35" x 70") Larger than a bath towel. Wrap yourself up!
- Hand towel (16" x 30")
- Washcloth (13" xx 13")
Based on the number of bathrooms you have, I recommend at least two complete sets of towels per bathroom. If you have only one bathroom, then register for at least four sets so you have enough for your guests.
Register for six to eight guest towels (fingertip towels) in coordinating colors for each guest bathroom that you have. Fold and stack them neatly by the sink for your company and place a small basket nearby for collecting after use.
If you have, or plan to have, a pool or a spa or live near the beach, consider registering for an extra set of towels just for that purpose. I recommend bath sheets in a medium weight.
Here are your fabric options: cotton, cotton-poly blend, Egyptian cotton, Modal(rayon-like fabric and Egyptian-cotton blend) and Supima (one of the softest cottons available). If you are eco-conscious, look for organic-cotton towels or towels made from bamboo. Believe it or not, these have a looser, velvety-soft texture compared with basic cotton towels. Bamboo towels, along with the newer hemp towels, have a natural, mildew-resistant quality, and both are sustainable.
Other things for the bathroom:
- Bathroom rugs. They come in various sizes and looks. Match them to your accent colors.
- Shower curtain, liner and curtain rings. Your shower curtain is the largest visual element in your bathroom. Register for a different one for each accent set.
- Curved shower rod. It transforms any tub space into a mega-space shower, elbow room and all (available at Bed, Bath & Beyond).
- Hamper. No one wants to see your unmentionables!
- Shelving unit or cabinet. A must if you have a space-challenged bathroom.
- Coordinating Accessories (match to your accent towel colors)
- Trash Basket
- Toothbrush Holder
- Soap Dispenser/Dish
- Tissue Holder
- Register for four to six sets of towels.
- Wash your towels without fabric softener. The chemicals in softeners actually make them less absorbent.
- Towels can multitask. Great for mopping up a big spill or protecting your floors from muddy feet and paws during bad weather. You can never have too many towels!
- Register for shelves or a cabinet for your bathroom. You'll welcome this additional space to store towels and display some things that will tie in your design theme.
- Register for a real treat -- a towel warmer. Amazon.com has an amazing selection ranging from under $70 to $400+. A rack (freestanding or wall-mounted) warms and dries every size towel. Brookstone features a great towel spa (a tabletop towel warmer) that lets you roll up two 40" x70" towels and heat them up nice and toasty in less than five minutes. Ahh!
DON'T FORGET THE RUBBER DUCKY