In a paragraph from a recent blog post concerning items you can most likely make-do without, I called out numerous, dedicated towel sets as items to consider:
"If you’re a serious beachgoer or beach athlete, then that’s one thing. But for most of us, the occasional outing— or even weekly visit— to the beach doesn’t have to require its own set of goods. Turkish towels or linen throws are incredibly versatile. They can be used as spare towels when your primary set is in the wash, when you’re hosting overnight guests, and when you visit the pool or beach. Great news— they can also double as tablecloths, throws for chilly evenings outdoors, and fort toppers for your kid(s). They fold up smaller than standard bath or beach towels, dry quickly, and only get more beautiful with every wash."
I've received numerous requests to show the types of towels we have, since they're used so versatilely here and stored in compact and/or decorative ways. We've had all of these textiles for years.
(spare towels / guest towels / beach towels / decor / tablecloths / throw blankets)
I found two of these handmade, linen towels on ETSY in early 2013, and they've only gotten better with every wash since. (I never use bleach on anything. I tumble dry sometimes, but prefer to hang-dry via the Cottage clotheslines to conserve energy.)
When my bath towel is in the wash, I'll use one of these. If we have guests in need of full-sized towels, these are what we provide. When we take a trip to the beach, we bring these along with us. (I also use a lightweight, foldable water-resistant mat so we can save the towels strictly for post-swim purposes.)
This fabric, which is weighty yet slim, folds up compactly enough to be stashed in the simple mop bucket on a shelf in our bathroom, but is also lovely enough to display on our walls. These textiles also become tablecloths, couch covers, and wrap blankets at the Cottage when necessary. (While the original vendor appears to no longer be selling online, this listing looks similar in terms of material and versatility. But search for a texture, price-point, and color combo that works best for your small space!)
TOWELS FOR THE LIL' ONES:
I bought two of these adorable, handmade, waffle-weave baby/child towels from ETSY before West was born, and they've been perfect every step of the way thus far.
We use these daily when he splashes at his water table, and we use them as his bath, pool and beach towels. They're absorbent, fast-drying, and wonderful to the touch. (Plus, they're completely adorable.) They roll up tight, so they're easy to tote, and they have a loop for suspending from a hook when drying.
MISC. MINI TOWELS:
Adam and I are both tall (he's 6'2" and I'm 5'11"), but we find standard bath towels to be sufficient, and less space-consuming and faster-drying than oversized bath sheets. We only have two total-- one for him, one for myself. If we need a spare, we use the linen throws mentioned earlier in this post. Bath towels are so fluffy (meaning they eat up inches) and slow to dry, so I'm not much of a fan of having spares around. We care for them as needed, so they've lasted us for years and years. If they're not drying, they're always hanging from our towel rack in the bathroom.