If bathroom space in your home is at a premium, your kids’ bathroom may double as the guest washroom. Finding the right balance of playfulness and maturity might seem challenging. A shared bathroom has to be a space where kids can be kids and where guests can feel comfortable and relaxed. Rest assured, achieving this slice of domestic harmony is doable—and without making costly investments. With a handful of design refreshes and organizational upgrades, a kids/guest bathroom—even a small one—can become a simultaneously chic and whimsical space suitable for all ages.
Use Bold Colors, but Not Too Many
For a stylish and cheery bathroom, stick mainly to one or two bright shades. Pops of color in striped towels or flowers will keep the space energetic. Colored vanities could add some flair, too. Just don’t go overboard: Too many colors in a small space can make it feel messy or overwhelming, while an uber-minimal environment isn’t fun for kids.
Make Use of Available Storage Space
In a smaller bathroom, maximizing all the space you have is critical. If your sink has a cabinet underneath, tidy up the jumble of bottles and boxes with an under-sink organizer. Stacking wire shelves, plastic drawers and bins are all good options (plus they’re easy to remove when accessing plumbing). Empty space under the sink is a prime location for stashing a toy- or towel-filled basket. If you find yourself perusing a home store for bathroom organization ideas, look for narrow bathroom storage options that are sized down for tinier spaces.
A perfectly folded towel elegantly draped over a towel bar may be the pinnacle of bath linen sophistication, but it’s safe to say most kids (and many adults) aren’t interested in folding towels with military precision. Individual robe hooks bring a more laid-back vibe to the bathroom without looking sloppy. Anchor them to the wall, or get an over-the-door set if you don’t have the wall space. A bonus is that more towels fit on hooks than rods—a key consideration when your shared bathroom is on the smaller side. Hooks are also great for hanging small bins of bath toys, loofahs or bathrobes.
Climb the Walls with Floating Shelves
When a bathroom doesn’t have a ton of floor space, adding storage that rests on the floor only magnifies the crowding. The solution? Use the walls. Floating shelves come in an array of styles, from funky hexagonal honeycombs to simple yet elegant wood. All are practical space savers, perfect for displaying picture frames or storing bathroom essentials.
Balance Fun and Maturity
A bathroom designed for kids and guests should feel comfortable to both. You don’t want to overwhelm guests with too many childish elements (save the mermaid- or sports-themed stuff for the bedroom). At the same time, an overly luxurious bathroom isn’t suitable for kids and will probably have you worried about them breaking something. A design that’s clean, simple, bold and bright, with elements of fun sprinkled in, is the way to go. Play up lightheartedness with fanciful art, offbeat or colored drawer pulls, wall stencils or small accents with childlike whimsy, like a yellow rubber ducky.
Looking for other ways to prepare for company? See our tips for readying your powder room for visitors and the best ways to make overnight guests feel welcome.