In stores that carry home goods, entire aisles are filled with products designed just for the kids’ bathroom: bright fuzzy floor mats, submarine towel bars, and monkey-shaped soap dispensers all promise to delight. However, the reality is many families do not have a bathroom that is just for kid use; for various reasons, adults and children share a room. In that scenario, decorating can be tricky. Many fun bathroom accessories are made for kids, but adults would never choose to use most of them in their own bathrooms. However, the discerning designer will find that it is possible to decorate a bathroom that appeals to all ages.
Safety is an important consideration for any bathroom that will regularly be used by children. Any items chosen to decorate the room should be resistant to breakage and placed out of reach of curious little hands. Safety products such as cabinet locks should not be overlooked just because adults use the room.
Kids need more than just safety features in their bathroom, such as step stools and toy storage. These items may prove to be inconvenient for adults; the thought of soaking in a bubble bath loses some of its appeal when surrounded by rubber duckies and plastic boats. However, there are ways of including these child-friendly elements without completely offending adult senses. One way to do so is to bypass the kids’ bathroom aisles entirely and find items elsewhere. Instead of the glaringly green frog step stool, select a pleasantly neutral wooden one. A shower curtain can be both fun for children and appealing for adults, but it may take some searching to find one. If the goal is to create a room that is functional and pleasant for both children and grownups, accessorize with items that are bold, cheerful and little funky rather than downright childish; they will be more widely enjoyed.
It can be a challenge to find wall art that appeals to people of all ages. Most items designed specifically for children are borderline obnoxious for adults and items created for adults can be uninspiring for kids. A compromise is in order: Deviate from traditional bathroom decor entirely or use homemade items. Choose some prints that follow a theme, such as birds, to hang up. Find some that are more childish in nature and others that are realistic or modern; frames in the same color will tie them all together. Movie or travel posters work well too. One way to be certain the kids will appreciate the decor is to involve them in it: Ask them to draw pictures depicting bath time scenes and hang them in nice frames. Or, create a display of photographs of the children being bathed as babies.
Resist the temptation to buy that six piece dinosaur bathroom set; remember, no child relies on it for emotional well being. Kids can thrive, be creative, and get clean in a bathroom that does not feature cartoon characters, and adults are more likely to as well.