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Decorating a kid’s bathroom is a fun endeavor for many reasons: It’s a perfect weekend project, a great testing ground for beginners, and it’s virtually guaranteed to impress your audience.
We often wonder why bathrooms get overlooked in the decorating process. You start and end your day here, so it should be a sanctuary of sorts for you—and the same goes for your kids! When decorating a kid’s bathroom, you must take their age into consideration. Soothing neutrals and sleek designs may seem boring to them, just as exciting bright colors may look overly flashy to you.
This is a great time to have a conversation with your child about decorating for long-term enjoyment. Invite them to come with you to the store as you lightly monitor their style choices. Together, you can make something you both love! Below, we have a few tips to get you started.
The kid’s bathroom decor should include color. The toys they play with, the books they read, and the TV shows they watch feature eye-popping hues in a constant barrage, so children are comfortable in a color-rich environment. The hues can be wild or mild, but don’t be tempted to give the kid’s bath a mature palette just because it makes you comfortable. Try enlivening neutrals with contrast, such as pairing deep chocolate brown and pale sherbet pink, or paint stripes in a jaunty pattern. Older kids should be involved in the decision-making process, but add your own limits as necessary. If they choose lime green and purple and it sounds appalling to you, try a compromise that suits everyone: white upper walls, violet below the chair rail, and fluffy towels in shocking green.
No amount of encouragement or nagging will keep a kid’s bathroom clean and tidy at all times. Kids are naturally messy. Make picking up easier for them by building storage into the decorating. A pretty ledge above the sink is a handy spot for toothbrushes and drink cups. Plastic bins for toys should be close to the tub. Install pullout shelves lined with colorful cups and bins in the vanity cupboard so it’s easy to tuck away hair ties, brushes, and sprays.
Most kids dread getting ready for school in the morning. Boring white walls definitely won’t help their enthusiasm! To make the mornings slightly more exciting, decorate their bathroom with a bright, funky accent wall. Something like this paisley-inspired print is perfect for bringing out accent colors in towels, wall art, and other accessories. Since wallpaper isn’t easy to remove, be sure to pick a pattern that will grow with your child. A dinosaur phase may not last past 6th grade, so instead choose a broader theme.
Think outside-the-box with the bathroom accessories, too. Swap out a flat, rectangular mirror for a round mirror with a border. Thrift and vintage stores are great places to find kid’s bathroom art that’s unique to your child’s style.
Safety Is Key
Paramount in your bathroom decorating plan is safety, but safety doesn’t have to be ugly. Utilitarian items can work hand-in-hand with decorative ones. Check that the bathroom tap is not scalding (set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees) and stick on non-slip pads, which come in fun colors and shapes. Pick a bright, round, non-tipping step stool with non-skid feet to set on top of the kid’s bath mat. Make sure window glass is tempered, but then dress it with a pretty curtain. Let the kids dump toys into the bath, but then keep a large basket, caddy, or mesh bag handy to corrall them and keep them from becoming trip hazards. For wee toddlers, install a toilet lock and don’t keep buckets of water around, but pick large fuzzy towels in cheery colors to wrap them up in after a soak.
Kid bathroom themes can be a fun way to make a space uniquely their own. Try incorporating the logo from their favorite snowboard company or the colors of the basketball team they follow. Select a motif that will go the distance with your child as he or she matures such as a general nature, sports, or outdoor activity theme. Kids’ bathroom sets are commonly tied to themes, so you may want to bring them along to the store to see which one they like.
It’s no secret—kids smell. If you have athletes in the family, the smell can be extra-strong. Give your kids a clean space to wash off after practice with an athlete-approved bathroom. This one, connected to the mudroom with locker storage, always has fresh kids’ bath towels within reach. A hamper sits in the corner ready to catch and hide dirt-stained clothes. (Be sure your hamper includes a lid to lock in the stench.)
When decorating, incorporate the colors of your kid’s team. A strong, bold red will inspire them for pre-game rituals and a framed logo of their favorite team will encourage them after a tough loss.
Every family is prone to a little sibling bickering. Grumpy mornings certainly don’t help, either. Start the day peacefully with a double-sink layout for your kids. Make sure each sink is equipped with its own toothbrush holder, hand towel, soap, and mirror.
This bathroom is also decorated in a theme suitable to both girls’ interests. With two individual tastes to work with, choosing a kids’ shower curtain could be hard, but not impossible.
Editor’s Tip: With more than one child, it’s smart to make a chore chart for the bathroom. Switch off tasks every month so one kid isn’t always stuck cleaning the toilet.
Finally, think long-term when decorating a kid’s bathroom. As much as we wish it, they won’t be this age forever. And their passion for a cartoon character will wane—maybe as soon as next week. Avoid investing in a scheme that looks outdated and childish by not letting their current passions set the tone. It may not be best to choose cartoon wallpaper; work instead with a yellow-and-blue color scheme and put a toothbrush holder with his likeness on the counter. Better yet, project a few years out and predict their needs then. If your daughters are school age, carve out a spot for a vanity. If your son is growing inches a week, mount the mirror higher above the sink.