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Living Well

How to Build the Perfect Towel Wardrobe

[Posted April 1, 2013]

Do you feel like you never have enough of the right towel when you need it? Maybe your linen closets are overflowing with a mishmash of sizes and styles? We asked Boston-based interior designer Kathie Chrisicos of Chrisicos Interiors how many of each towel type a well-stocked home should have.

Suggested Inventory – How Many Towels Do I Need?

  • Adults: Four bath and two hand towels per week, plus two washcloths per day.
  • Kids: Four bath and four hand towels per week, plus two washcloths per day.
  • Guests: Two bath and hand towels for each guest, plus two washcloths daily.

If you do laundry weekly, double those numbers. The grand total of towels needed for a family of four is eight bath towels, twelve hand towels, and 28 washcloths. For guest towels , add four bath and four hand towels per person, plus 14 washcloths (if you’re hosting for a week).

If you have a pool or go to the beach regularly, aim for 10 to 20 personal fine beach towels, plus half a dozen extra large towels for spreading out on the sand.

Household hint: Chrisicos offers this advice: Take laundry frequency into consideration when choosing towel color too. Whites must be washed separately from color saturated darker toned towels. For easier upkeep, consider picking towels in the same color family for everywhere in the house.

Inside scoop: At home, Mindy and George Matouk use Matouk “Cairo” with straight piping and a tone on tone monogram. Mindy says, “I like Cairo because it's soft but has a good texture for those who like more of an exfoliating dry-off.” Their kids, on the other hand, like Matouk “Milagro,” because, says Mindy, “Those are super soft, fluffy, and absorbent. They say those feel like a teddy bear.”  Click over to “Ask Mindy” for Mindy’s towel storage tips.

Photo gallery: There are tons of ways to store towels in plain sight. Some require forethought, if you happen to be remodeling, but some are easy to incorporate anywhere. Here are eight ideas:

Fabulous built-ins in what looks to be a very big bathroom have drawers and shelves. Photo by Sam Gray.
Many contemporary vanities have open shelving underneath. Interior design by M. Elle Design.
This marble niche is an extension of the walk in shower. Interior design by LaPlace & Co.
A chair tucked next to the tub holds a clean stack. Interior design by Barbara Colvin.
Industrial style wire baskets show off crisp white linens. Interior design by Isabel Lopez Quesada.
Rolled up in wicker baskets. Interior design by Jenny Wolf.
Or use a clean wastebasket for storage. Interior design by Kathie Chrisicos.
A vintage rolling cart provides plenty of portable, pretty towel storage. Interior design by Kelly McGuill.

Shop the Story

Milagro Towels

$11.00 – $88.00
+19+23 colors

Milagro Rug

$108.00 – $135.00
+4+8 colors

Guesthouse Towels

$9.00 – $85.00
+2 colors

Guesthouse Rug

$59.00 – $75.00
+1 color