Here’s How to Design a Kids’ Bathroom That’ll Grow With Them

published Oct 12, 2022
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Credit: Lana Kenney

Ready to redo your kid’s bathroom? When it comes to designing a bathroom with your home’s littlest residents in mind, Texas-based designer Shannon Eddings advises a multi-purpose approach that’s fun, playful and anything but juvenile. “Kids grow up,” she says (sigh, I know). “And updating a bathroom can be an extensive investment for a style that isn’t going to stick around.”

Follow along as Shannon walks us through important elements to consider in kid’s and family bathrooms and dishes designer secrets for creating a great-looking space for bubble baths, tooth-brushing, hair-braiding, and more.

Slip-Proof Floors

For little feet, go for flooring with good grip. Shannon likes a classic penny tile or marble mosaic. She suggests avoiding large, polished slabs, which can be slick underfoot, and materials like ceramic (which can crack) or cement (difficult to clean).

Easy-to-Wipe Walls

Kids like to splash, so be strategic with your wall treatments and choose materials that are easy to wipe down. For a tiled wall, which is great around wet zones like the shower/bathtub area or the toilet, subway tile is a classic and affordable option. Shannon also advises against wallpapering right around the shower, tub, or toilet, which can cause wall coverings to peel or bubble. (For a cheeky touch, consider having the bathroom ceiling wallpapered.) If painting, ask your paint store for the best finish for bathrooms (likely satin, semi-gloss or glossy) – you’ll want something that’s moisture-proof, long-lasting and easy to clean.

Chaos-Proof Cabinetry

Considering cabinetry, if you have the budget to go custom, kit out a family vanity with cupboard space for linens and dirty laundry. Shannon also loves to include drawers and suggests having a separate drawer for each family member. If you’re optimizing an existing bathroom for your little ones, use baskets to maintain order and label with each child’s name.

Clever Storage

Hanging a medicine cabinet or a wall shelf is an ingenious way to add extra storage in a small space. Make use of side walls and the space about the toilet. Line shelves with baskets for extra storage, as well as decorative objects and artwork.

File this under, “why didn’t I think of that?” Installing hooks instead of a towel rod allows towels to dry better and, let’s face it, kids usually just throw towels on the floor – having designated hooks means there’s at least a slim chance they’ll hang them up. Stagger the heights to boost their odds.

Doses of Fun

People often forget to decorate the bathroom. Shannon loves hanging artwork and incorporating mementos or nature finds in the space. “Get creative and think of something you’ll enjoying looking at every day,” says Shannon. Mirrors and hardware are places to have fun, as well – that is you can experiment with different trends or styles without the splurge. For items with a bigger price tag like lighting and fixtures, opt for more timeless finishes. “Antiqued brass isn’t going anywhere,” says Shannon. “And polished nickel is a classic – it looks nice and is at a good price point.”

Bottom Line

Think of who is going to use the space and how. Will guests use the kid’s bathroom? Do you have older or younger kids? If your kids are younger than five, for example, you’ll want to make sure your home has a bathtub somewhere. “Consider the needs of your family, and how you live and will use the space,” says Shannon. This will ultimately help guide how you set-up the space, and create a fun and functional retreat where your family begins and ends their day. 

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