Bathrooms are notoriously difficult to decorate (and keep organized), and none more so than those belonging to kids. Some of the biggest challenges bathroom renovations and remodels present are these rooms' limited amount of real estate, non-negotiable basics — sink, toilet, and bathtub/shower — and heavy storage demands. So, needless to say, a successful layout comes down to meticulous spatial planning.
If you're embarking on a complete overhaul, or you're remodeling to make an existing bathroom more family-friendly, you'll want to strike the elusive balance of kid-appropriate and enduring. To state the obvious, bathroom renovations are pricey, so stick to tried-and-true combinations that have longevity and then infuse inspiring pops of color and pattern for that youthful flair. Of course you want kids' bathroom ideas that appeal to your little ones' sensibilities — without sacrificing your own style — so look to accessories like towels, mirrors, and even light fixtures that are relatively easy and affordable to swap out down the road. Still stumped? We've got you. Check out our overview on decorating bathrooms for your kiddos.
Bathroom Styles and Colors
Color is a great, low-cost way to bring a childlike vibe to any space, particularly bathrooms, where there are limited opportunities to make an impact. With their small footprint and secluded location, bathrooms are safe places to go bold and push the boundaries of your design. The most obvious (and easiest to change) place to add color is on the walls. Blues and greens are natural choices for bathrooms with their reference to cool water. White is a no-fail foundation for its clean, bright, and easy-to-coordinate versatility. If you go with white walls, use colorful towels and shower curtain, if applicable, to infuse pops of color that appeal to the younger set.
Not too long ago white and wood were the default options for sink vanities. More and more designers are now choosing to paint cabinets a stand-out hue for added personality. This is a bit more of a commitment, but color change is possible if you tire of your selection.
Go ultra-feminine with a pink vanity that surprisingly functions as a sophisticated neutral when paired with white walls, classic nickel hardware, and timeless Carrara marble countertops. Courtney Bishop chose wood accents for warmth, abstract cement tile, and a bubble pendant light for a whimsical touch, creating a WC any youngster would love. Designer tip: A step stool is an indispensable accessory to have on hand in all kids bathrooms. If you're going the custom vanity route, you can have one built-in like a drawer that can be pulled out as needed; otherwise, off-the-shelf works just as well.
Young or old, you can never overdo it on bathroom storage. Kids come with almost as many grooming products as adults, so outfit their loo with as many storage solutions as possible: Think niches in showers and recessed shelving and/or medicine cabinets near sinks. A combination of closed and easily accessible open options helps add visual interest to an expansive vanity, and will help little ones feel self-sufficient in accessing towels and supplies on their own. Wall hooks are also a helpful kids' bathroom idea. In addition to installing them behind doors, hang some on the side of the vanity or attach them to the walls, at a height your little ones can reach.
Daleet Spector manages to create a kids' bathroom for two that's equal parts youthful and refined by combining timeless elements with unexpected pops of color. White subway tile used on the tub surround, and as a backsplash, is a modern take on a ubiquitous material that tempers colorful hexagonal tile, while walnut mirrors and a vanity cabinet (with plenty of storage) have a rustic note that adds warmth.
Bathroom fittings include all things related to controlling the flow of water, like sink, bath, and shower handles and faucets, as well as the hidden parts like drains, valves and traps. A variety of finishes are popular today from traditional metals like nickel and chrome to more contemporary ones like copper and matte black. Fixtures are pricey and difficult to change, so we recommend selecting timeless profiles in enduring finishes.
A handheld shower is a helpful kids' bathroom idea for showers and baths alike. Babies and small kids are known for disliking water in their faces, and a handheld shower can rinse and clean their hair without getting soap and water in their eyes.
Sinks, and accompanying vanities, will do a lot of heavy lifting in a kids' bathroom. Aside from making a design statement and setting the overall tone, these cabinets also function as a main storage hub. But before you settle on a sink or vanity, there are some things that you should consider. Is this bathroom just for kids or will it function as a shared space for adults and guests? Do you need the space under the sink to function as the central storage area, or is there ample storage elsewhere in the bathroom; like a linen closet? Are you outfitting a Jack and Jill bathroom, or a space shared by multiple kids? There's no shortage of sink options available depending on how many people are regularly using the space, the impact you're looking to make, and your overall storage needs.
Trough sinks are larger, single basins that can easily accommodate two or more wash stations due to their size. The ability to support multiple faucets makes them an ideal choice for kids. Designer tip: Leave ample counter space on either side of the sink to corral oft-used items like toothbrushes and soap. Most trough sinks are custom and can be anchored to the walls or set atop a cabinet.
With their hard edges and clean lines, trough sinks naturally lend themselves to modern interiors. RailiCA Design installed a custom cement trough sink and personalized it by engraving "bros" for a one-of-a kind sweet statement. She completes the look with graphic cement tiles, and adds contrast to the neutral space with groupings of mini pendant lights hanging from red cords.
Wall-mounted sinks have been around for years but are enjoying newfound traction as living quarters get smaller and smaller. They're a welcome addition to kids' bathrooms for their timeless appeal and youthful vibe. Just bear in mind that they leave virtually no space for any countertop items or storage below. Baskets can serve as makeshift towel storage or for organizing bath toys.
Classic wall-mounted sinks have an elevated aesthetic as proven by this cozy refuge with white walls and blue floor tile for a tried-and-true combination.
Bathtub, Shower, or Both?
When space is at a premium, as it often is in bathrooms, you may be forced to decide between a shower and a bathtub or opt for a two-in-one combination. We're gonna level with you: Bathtubs make bathing babies and little ones much, MUCH easier. If you're looking to forgo a bathtub in your child's space for design or personal reasons, make sure there's one elsewhere in your home, like the master bathroom.
Wet kids are a bit like slippery fish — they can easily slide around when wet. Add non-slip mats to tubs and showers to prevent tumbles. We also like the look and convenience of a built-in shower bench. They're great for storing toys and extra bath products, and for getting little ones out of the way of direct water pressure.
Meet all of your bathing needs even in space-constrained areas by installing a shower/bath combo. like Amber Lewis did just that in this narrow shared space. She keeps the space light and bright with a skylight, white walls, and white countertops, while Spanish floor tile and marble shower tile add texture and visual interest.
Walls and Flooring
Moisture and heat are unkind to many materials, so be thoughtful about your selections. Tile is a natural choice for floors and walls in bathrooms, with porcelain, ceramic and vinyl topping the list for the most practical and durable options. Designer tip: Tile on floor can be a danger to quick moving wet feet. Matte and textured tiles are less slippery than high-gloss options and make a safer option in bathrooms used by kids. Grout lines are naturally slip-resistant, so smaller shapes like penny tiles, which require more grout, are a great option for kids' bathroom ideas.
Wallpaper can make a big impact in bathrooms, too. But before you install it, make sure you have good ventilation so moisture and humidity don't get trapped. Or, look for newer and more durable vinyl options.
Where to Shop for Kids' Bathrooms:
Now that you're fully versed in all things kids' bathroom-related, here are our favorite places to shop: