Kids’ Bathroom Inspiration


First, sorry for the two weeks without posting! I had some computer difficulties that are now (I hope) fixed. Second, I’ve been spending some time thinking about re-doing my kids’ bathroom when we re-do our kitchen. We have a very slow but steady leak coming from somewhere behind our bathroom wall (could be interior or exterior), so we have to tear out some bathroom walls to find it. If we have contractors in to do our kitchen this summer, it seems like a good idea to get it all done at once, given that the bathroom and accompanying leak sits above the kitchen. To that end, here’s some fun things I’m thinking of for a kid-friendly bathroom that fits in with our antique home …

So many traditional bathrooms out there skew Victorian. Here’s a beautiful example:


I’d SO love to do a claw foot tub! However, it’s not the greatest for the next few years of kiddo bath time (that’s a long distance to lean in and wash hair and toes), and since this bathroom is also the one that guests use, it has to have a shower. There isn’t the space for a stand-alone tub, so there has to be a shower/tub combo. Yes, technically the tub above IS a shower/tub combo, but have you ever showered in a claw foot tub? The curtain has to sit fully inside the whole perimeter of the tub or water gets everywhere. And when you have a curtain around the whole interior of a tub, the plastic gets gross and moldy unless you pull it out to dry each time, which is no small feat and gets water everywhere. Plus, you have very little room to move around while showering because of the tub’s shape. Not practical, though that styled shot above makes it look so glamorous …

Also, I’ve heard claw foots are really not great for resale, even as stand alone tubs. All this tells me though is that people have bad taste. I’d love it as a stand alone in a master bath!

Here is another idea I like:


This bathroom has a great utilitarian style sink combined with v-groove paneling. I’m not in favor of the busy floor or color combos, but the panels combined with a more rustic style sink would work well in our house. That said, how to transition from wall paneling to shower tile? Could look not so great unless done right. They didn’t have to worry about that here because the paneling goes all the way behind the tub.

This is my favorite sink (also in the cover image):


This looks great, and has a utilitarian farmhouse vibe that reminds me of the antique slop sink in our laundry room that I love. I think it’s cute for a kids’ bath, and would look good in our house. That said, it provides no storage. And when I say no storage, I mean NO storage at all. Like, not even a shelf to put a toothbrush on, or for a bar of soap. That’s rough, because while you could put in nice medicine cabinets or a shelf, kids really can’t reach that high.   I could flank a sink like this with drawers or cubbies (it looks like they’ve done that here), but … that really detracts from the look, and we don’t have a huge amount of space to work with!

One feature we currently have in our bathroom is a shaker peg rail that runs along the whole of two walls, about ¾ up the wall. It is absolutely something I want to keep. It is so consistent with the look of our house, and insanely practical with kids. Towels, robes, pajamas – everything can be tossed up there out of the way. It’s crazy hard to find examples of peg rail in bathrooms (clearly there’s not as many people who have realized how nice it is or else it would be in like every bathroom ever), but here’s an example of what I’m talking about in a bedroom:


Rather than shaker peg above classic narrow beadboard, as above, I would love to do it above v-groove paneling or above a wider beadboard.

Another thing I’d love to preserve from our current kids’ bathroom is that there’s a nice big built-in cabinet behind the door. It’s where I keep everything from washcloths to bath toys to their night diapers. A lot of un-fancy kid bath junk can be hidden away in there, in other words.

One thing I’m obsessed with is this star tile from Popham Design, a British company, that you can find sold in the US via Ann Sacks. You can combine any of their colors, but most places you see it it’s in blue, for the obvious reason that their blue is super dreamy:


It’s really so wonderful. You can arrange the tiles yourself so that some are blank, and others have one of three sizes of star:


It is, as my mom used to say, “A lot of look.” BUT, it’s a look I love, so I’m tempted to go bold. The problems are: (1) a lot of look can be tough on resale, especially since American taste skews so darn boring, (2) these are concrete tiles, so in a bathroom there could be a lot of staining over time with water, spilling, etc., (3) if I used these on the shower walls they might not be great with the constant water flow, because you should only use very mild, non-abrasive cleaners on them (and grout sometimes needs serious scrubbing!) and (4) these are large-ish tiles so if used for the floor they could be seriously slippery.

A way to get a similar look with less cost and less permanency would be to use a star wallpaper above the shaker peg rail. I love this one:


However, it’s very strange how the image above and the image where you can actually purchase the paper are seemingly totally different colors. I’d like blue and white.

There’s also this classic star wallpaper:


It’s not the deep blue I’d prefer, but with its metallic stars is still a lovely option.

I do worry how well wallpaper would do in a bathroom vs. a powder room, which gets much less water. Making painted stars in this style would be pretty easy with a simple template, though, and would also be a great economical option!

Finally, much like lots of folks in the 18th century (when my house was built), I’m a huge fan of chinoiserie. I’d adore going whole hog with faux bamboo, chinoiserie wallpaper and some classic styling … but that’s for another post!