A general rule of thumb for creating a shared adult and child bathroom is to add colour without going overboard. No overarching child themes or cartoon characters, please. Your goal is to create a fun and interesting room for your kids that also feels relaxing to you. When a stranger walks into the room, they should see a cohesive style that reads as tasteful with a touch of whimsy.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a step stool for your little one. Bathroom counters are typically too high for a toddler or young child to reach, and a step stool will give them the access they need to brush their teeth and wash up. Since you’re sharing the space with the rest of the family, look for a small version that can easily be kept in a corner of the bathroom. Some stools even fold up for easy placement behind a door or in a small nook, such as between the bathtub and sink.
Towel hooks and bars are usually placed pretty high up in most bathrooms, beyond where the typical toddler or young child can reach. So look for an available space – usually no less than 45 centimetres wide and 60 centimetres long – where you can place additional towel hooks or bars within reach of your pint-size family members.
Hooks are also useful since they don’t take up a lot of room and they allow hung items to air-dry properly. They can also be a practical place to store gear like your child’s robe or bath toys, which can be housed in a mesh bag. The lower part of the bathroom door – on the interior side – can be a good place for children to access a row of hooks.
Young tots like to feel integrated into their parents’ world, but they also take great pleasure in small details crafted just for them. Give your kids a separate toothbrush holder for their toothbrushes. It might even encourage them to brush their teeth.
The bathroom is the perfect room of the house to embrace wire or mesh baskets, because their open design enables fast drying whereas enclosed storage items might get musty or mildewy. These airy containers work great for wet tub toys and even bath sponges. They come in a variety of sizes and are fairly inexpensive. If you have limited space, place baskets on a shelf or mount them on a wall.
Swapping out your ordinary bathroom cabinet hardware for something more unusual is an easy and cost-efficient way to alter the look of your bathroom. Look for designs that are interesting but not entirely juvenile. The coloured Lucite handles pictured here add a vibrant design element without screaming ‘toddler’. They’re also easy for small hands to grasp.
Kids love bubbles and textures. They also love seeing things disappear. Hand soap can provide a little extra entertainment – as well as an inexpensive design element – in your child-friendly bathroom. If you use a soap pump, invest in a character or themed pump that makes you and your child smile. If you prefer a bar, guest soaps come in a variety of small shapes, like fruit or stars. These can make washing hands more enjoyable for your youngster.
Tip: Try refilling your soap pump with a watered-down version of your child’s favourite bubble bath. The no-tears bubble bath formula might come in handy for washing faces at the sink, as well as make some pretty impressive bubbles.
A bath rug can be a fun design element that can be changed out regularly. Textures like shag, bright colours such as vivid blue and fun shapes such as circles give you options to spice up the room for kids.
If your tub requires a shower curtain, it’s probably one of the most prominent features in your bathroom. Unless a bathroom is solely used by a child, I don’t encourage themed or kid-inspired shower curtains. They tend to take over the entire space. Instead, look for a neutral colour palette that will coordinate with all the other elements in the room. Solids or simple patterns like stripes are usually better suited for a small room with a few design elements since they won’t compete for attention with all the different objects.
In the tub is where the action is for most little ones. This is where it’s OK to put that bright green frog suctioned to the wall, or a few rubber duckies and friends. Place these items low so your tots can easily access them. If you have a built-in tub shelf, that’s the perfect spot. Otherwise, two separate bathtub storage holders – one for toys and one for cleaning gear – are usually enough for a fun bath time without getting in mom or dad’s way.
Tip: Look for storage containers that quickly air-dry, clean easily and adhere to the walls to accommodate different heights. Mesh or plastic containers with suction cups are ideal, as they are typically durable and mildew resistant.
Have you had to make any of your rooms more kid-friendly? Share your ideas and photos in the Comments section.