Baths used by adults (either parents or guests) and children require some finessing. If this is your situation, the best decorating approach may be grownup but casual. Fussy draperies and delicate, glamorous accessories would be out of place here, but timeless materials and casually elegant touches can please adults and survive the kids, too. A washable poly/rayon shower curtain with the look of raw silk; granite, marble, or ceramic tiles; and washable walls painted with a faux finish design would do the job nicely.
If you're designing a bath for use just by kids, you can take a friskier path. You may want to keep costly installed materials fairly neutral, but you can go wild with everything else. Brightly painted walls make a huge impact, and, even better, they're easy and inexpensive to change; the same goes for towels and nonslip bath rugs. Colorful toothbrush holders and other practical accessories can really enhance your theme, whether it's Barbie or the Great Barrier Reef.
For an amusing one-of-a-kind touch, replace ordinary vanity door and drawer pulls with ceramic ones that match your color scheme. If the bath is one several kids will share, try to provide some privacy, whether it's a semienclosed toilet alcove or simply an opaque shower curtain. Separate storage is important in any bath, even if it's just one drawer or a basket under the sink.
Whether your kids' bath is shared or not, safety will be your primary concern. Just for kids, you'll want a sturdy, low step stool for little ones to reach the sink and rest their feet while using the toilet. You'll also want to use shatterproof acrylic or plastic accessories, such as toothbrush holders and drinking cups. Most other safety features, however, are just as appropriate for baths used by adults or big kids. Rounded corners and edges, nonslip backings on rugs and grab bars in the shower or bath (screwed into a wall stud, not just hung on like a towel bar) are important. Antiscald devices to prevent hot water burns are essential.
Today's families appreciate the value of universal design ideas like these that make a small-fry spa just as useful when Grandma arrives for the weekend. When it comes to the bathroom, safety is always in style. Get tips on both from the pages in this article.
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