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The smallest room in the house can also be one of the trickiest when it comes to making it a family-friendly environment.

It has its own unique set of issues unlike any faced when looking at other rooms, such as bedrooms, which are usually designed either for adults or kids. Of course, permanent fixtures also complicate matters.

This article offers advice on how to design a bathroom that is perfect for adults and kids alike.

Think long term

Kids grow up quickly, seemingly in the blink of an eye. Installing fixtures that are kid-sized may seem like a good idea at the time but will soon be outgrown and merely take up valuable space.

A better solution is to design an adult-sized bathroom and then accessorise it for your kids. A pull-out step that is enclosed in a cabinet under a sink is a great way of making a sink kid-friendly or simply have a stool handy that can be used for both the sink and the toilet.

The shower can also be made kid-friendly without too much inconvenience. Adjustable height showerheads that can be lowered to child size is a great option.


Bathrooms can quickly become cluttered, especially when kids are involved! Incorporating plenty of storage for all those rubber ducks and plastic submarines can be tricky in smaller bathrooms. In smaller rooms using combo-units that combine sink space and toilet space with storage are great options.

Bright but simple colour scheme

Theming your bathroom towards your kids is not a practical idea.

Keep the colour scheme bright and subtle, with the whole room themed on one or two primary shades. Character and colour can be quickly added by adding brightly coloured accessories. This has the added advantage of making it easy to change the entire look of your bathroom easily in the future.

Bath or shower

For many of us, part of growing up was the bath time ritual. There is something magical for kids and parents alike to have fun splashing about in the bath. Whilst this isn’t an essential feature, it is a great option when space is available.

A combination bath and shower is the best option for smaller bathrooms, but remember that this isn’t always convenient for elderly family members.


Where kids are involved, safety is paramount. The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the house, so safety should be considered at every step of the bathroom design process.

Non-slip floors are important to ensure everyone’s safety. Most of the injuries that occur in bathrooms are attributed to slippery floors.

Another consideration, especially where kids are involved, is ensuring that all cabinets, vanity units, etc., are securely fitted. It is also a good idea to make sure the taps are prominently colour-coded for hot and cold, as kids will quickly recognise red and blue as hot and cold.

Add some kids touches

Kids love to feel all grown-up. Simple things like installing their own glass holder and towel hooks help make them feel included and encourages them to tidy up after themselves.

Establishing some independence from an early age is a great way to help them feel part of the adult world.

Easy to clean

Now, we’re not saying that kids are messy, but let’s face it – they are. Wipe clean surfaces that use large format tiles is a great starting point. Also, try to design out possible dirt traps, decorative cornices might look fantastic, but they are difficult to keep clean.

When it comes to keeping the floor clean, consider installing a wall-hung WC, this makes sweeping and mopping the floor so much easier.

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