Kids' Bathroom Decorating Ideas

Try decorating an old-fashioned white claw-foot bathtub with giant polka dots. extend some of the dots the walls of the tub. See more pictures of kids decorations.

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.

Bright and Bouncy Kids' Bathroom Decorating Idea

Vibrant colors on a white background are a can't-miss way to liven up the bathroom, as you'll see in this idea.

Light and Lively Kids' Bathroom Decorating Idea

This decorating idea shows you how to avoid costly renovations and work with existing tile to spruce up a bathroom.

Miniature Marvels Kids' Bathroom Decorating Idea

Even the fixtures are designed for children in this innovative design.

Begin injecting life into your child's bathroom with the design on the next page, which creates a bright mood with simple features and bold colors.

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Colorfully patterned letters dance along a cheerful shower curtain, making this room as much fun as a circus. Retailer: Garnet Hill.

If you've got a child's bath you just don't know what to do with, give everything a clean coat of white. Then, spark it up with your child's favorite colors.

These days, it's easy to convert nontraditional items, such as these toothbrushes, into useful hooks or pegs.

Simpler yet, decorate with an array of bright primary and secondary colors. They're fun and reassuring for kids of all ages.

Then, carry out the simple energizing look with an array of easy-to-love motifs. The room in this design uses polka dots, green grass and a few other easily identifiable designs. You might prefer stylized blossoms, stars, rainbows, or other elements that appeal to your child.

Throw in a few alphabet letters or numerals in a range of colors. Spell out your child's name and you've got a proven winner.

If you have mostly tile instead of paint on your walls, you can still breathe some life into your bathroom. Find out how on the next page.

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Liven up plain white tiles with accents that are self-adhesive, washable, removable, reusable, and water-resistant. Manufacturer: Blonder Wallcoverings.

Although repainting the walls is usually the easiest, most economical way to change the look of a room, that's not always true when much of a room is tiled.

Rubber duckies stenciled onto a shower curtain repeat the bright yellow note of the walls. Stencil artist: Chris Bjorkeson, Stencil Planet.

If your child's bathroom tiles are in reasonably good shape, you can add color and pattern to them with stick-on accents or you can stencil small designs at random points using china paints.

Then, extend the look with more stenciled designs on the shower curtain, toothbrush holder, step stool, towels -- whatever suits your fancy.

If you don't want to get too carried away with repeating a pattern, look for a related pattern; for example, if you're using mostly flowers, throw in a butterfly here or there.

Repeat a color note in several spots around the room for a charming coordinated look that's fresh and easy.

The next step in designing a bathroom for kids is to make the fixtures themselves suitable for the little ones. See some examples on the next page.

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A bath of his own is a luxury, but a bath filled with fixtures sized for a preschooler is a dream come true. Manufacturer: Chamber Tots.

At one time, a bath designed just for children was a novel idea, but today, many homes have a bath reserved just for the family's children.

The next step in kid-size luxury may be bath fixtures that are sized for youngsters. Instead of step stools to reach the sink and plastic contraptions to make the toilet seat fit a child better, a suite of fixtures actually designed for young children is safer and more comfortable.

Choose a system with a sink and tub that have antiscald devices and one in which all fixtures have conventionally sized plumbing so you can switch them out when your kids get bigger.

Deep, rich colored walls set off the fixtures' lighter hues. Choose fixtures you can replace with conventional-size pieces later. Manufacturer: Chamber Tots.

In a supremely kid-friendly bath like this, the only thing that remains the same as in a conventional bath is the ironclad rule: Never leave a child in the tub unattended for even a moment.

Making a bathroom fit for a kid can be done on the cheap or as a wholesale refurbishment. Use the ideas in this article to find the best method for you.

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Mary Wynn Ryan is the author of numerous interior design books including The Ultimate Kitchen, The Ultimate Bath, Cottage Style, Fresh Country Style, and Garden Style. She has written about home furnishings and interior design for various magazines and served as Midwest editor of Design Times magazine.

Heidi Tyline King is an accomplished writer and editor. She has written extensively about America's arts, culture, history, nature-based attractions, and decorating projects, including All About Paint and Wallpaper, Beautiful Wedding Crafts, Pelican Guide to the Florida Panhandle, The Unofficial Guide to the Southeast with Kids, and others.