9 Tips for a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

Thursday, October 06, 2016

bright colors and patterns, cheery paint color, child locks on bathroom cabinets, bathroom toy organization, towel hooks instead of towel bar, non slip mat or stickers

Today I'm going to share nine ideas for creating a bathroom that is kid-friendly, welcoming to guests and practical. All of these ideas I implemented in our bathroom after much research on Pinterest, Houzz and Google. I'm pretty pleased with how our bathroom redesign turned out on a small budget, especially when I look back at what we started with!

Our Bathroom Before...

beige brown walls, ugly backsplash tile, beige Corian countertops
When we first moved into our house, the bathroom walls were beige. Just like every other wall in the house. And in our previous house. Beige, beige, beige. After two beige homes, I have come to hate beige. It must have been a remodeling technique of the 90's since beige seemed neutral. Thankfully gray has started replacing beige as the favorite neutral color in homes. I suppose it took retrospect to realize that a house could have too much beige!

In addition to the bland, beige walls, the previous owners had at some point "updated" the bathrooms with the cheapest materials possible. The painted cabinets and Corian countertops were workable. The hideous, mismatching neutral backsplash was not. The bathroom was also graced by an oddly placed towel bar, outdated hand towel racks, and peach tile that didn't match the taupe bathtub. It didn't seem stylish or welcoming to anyone, least of all our kids or guests. The only good things about the bathroom were the layout and the size, which was actually lucky since layout and size are the two most expensive things to change in a bathroom!

Our Bathroom Redesign

The first thing that had to go was the backsplash, so I grabbed a hammer and putty knife and started banging. About 10 minutes later, I realized that some of the tile was really stuck on there and it was going to be more difficult than I realized. Oops! My husband graciously took over and about 30 minutes later, all of the ugly tile was down. Once the drywall was patched with spackling, the bathroom was ready for paint. I chose "Faraway Clouds" by Mythic Paint since it was light and bright and looked nice with the decor items I had already selected.

Once the walls were painted, it was time to get the design right! The first thing I had to do was figure out what to do with the largest and most prominent wall. The towel bar that used to be there looked pretty silly, so I took that down and started with a blank canvas. I knew I had to make the wall look cohesive and beautiful since it was a focal point. After spending some time browsing Houzz and Google, I decided on a combination of towel hooks and a wall shelf with a piece of wall art.

Once I got the large wall figured out, the rest of it came together pretty quickly. I chose Target's fast drying towels because they were the largest and softest I could find and only $3.99, and I splurged and spent $9.99 on the hand towel to tie all of the colors together. The last piece was the shower curtain. I tried a plain white curtain since I wanted a light color to allow a lot of light into the shower, but plain white just didn't look right. So I went out on a limb and ordered this one from Amazon. It tied all of the colors and patterns in the bathroom together perfectly!

At some point I hope to hire Miracle Method to re-epoxy the bathtub and tile white, but for now I just cover it up with a shower curtain that steals the show!

aqua chevron shower curtain, IKEA SOLMYRA Owl art, Target Fast Drying Towels on hooks and wall shelf

I was thrilled to complete all of the changes in our bathroom for less than $250! It goes to show that you don't need to spend a fortune to make a huge impact on the look and feel of your bathroom.

Tips for a Kid-Friendly Bathroom

I used my experience with our bathroom and the abundance of research I did to put together a list of tips for creating a kid-friendly bathroom. I hope these help you to create a bathroom that your family and guests can enjoy!

1. Colorful, eye-catching patterns that kids will enjoy. My kids really enjoy the IKEA SOLMYRA Owl art and vintage "bath" clock I found on Etsy! They enjoy looking at them and talking with me about them. Similarly, the mason jars filled with bamboo that I bought on Etsy are a conversation piece for our adult guests that use the bathroom.

vintage Bath clock from Etsy, IKEA SOLMYRA Owl art, mason jar wall vases

2. Towel hooks instead of a towel bar. Not only does a row of hooks for hanging towels takes up less space than a towel bar, it is more kid-friendly. I highly doubt most young children are able to fold their towel nicely and hang it back on a towel bar. Hooks are much easier because the towel doesn't have to be folded, it can just be thrown over the hook. It's much easier for kids to do themselves!

mason jar wall vases from Etsy, IKEA SOLMYRA Owl art, towels hung on hooks, wall shelf, aqua chevron shower curtain

3. Organization for bath essentials and toys. I use this net that attaches to the wall with suction cups to hold bath toys and Command bath hooks for wash cloths and bath hats. This Buzzfeed article provides lots of other ideas, including cute bungee squids to hang kids' bath essentials and a shower curtain bar with hanging baskets for toys. Keep your sanity and keep the clutter organized!

bath toy net organizer with suction cups, Command bath hooks for wash cloths and bath hats

4. Non-slip bath mat or stickers. I love the bath mat I found at IKEA for $5. It gets the job done, but there are lots of other cute options out there for adding traction to the bathtub, even stickers!

5. Step Stool. What you don't see in the pictures of our bathroom is our step stool. If you feel highly motivated, instead of using a step stool you can install a step that pulls out from under the cabinets. However, I like that our step stool can be moved around as needed.

6. Don't forget about the little potties for potty training! My son loved his wall-mounted training "whale" urinal. Although attaching it to the wall probably would have been easier with Command hooks, it made potty training a lot easier and more fun! For a small potty, be practical and choose one that can be easily double as a step stool, like this one.

7. Bright and cheery paint color. This can be any color that coordinates with your décor, but blue, green, yellow or white would match most of the kid's bathroom décor I've seen. I went with a light blue called "Faraway Clouds" by Mythic Nontoxic Paint. I list this at the bottom because there are thousands of paint colors you can choose from to match your décor, so your wall color should be one of the last things you choose.

vintage Bath clock, colorful hand towel, mason jar wall vases from Etsy, IKEA SOLMYRA Owl art

8. Decide what you want to have within reach and out of reach. I put the mason jar vases on the wall above the toilet and candle holders and plant on a wall shelf because I wanted all of those things out of the kids' reach. However, the towel hooks, tooth brushes and other bathroom essentials are within their reach so they can be accessed as needed. Think it through. The Buzzfeed article I referenced earlier mentions a wall mounted fish bowl. It's a super cool idea, but I know my kids. The fish would not stay in the fish bowl or live very long. Think through what your kids might destroy and plan your bathroom design to keep those things out of reach.

9. Don't forget child locks on the bathroom cabinet doors! A lot of people, myself included, store cleaning supplies under their bathroom sink. Keep them out of curious hands by putting the same child locks you installed on your kitchen cabinets on your bathroom cabinets, as well.

What do you think of this list? Is there anything else you would add? Be sure to share it in the comments below!

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