Meet my family, in our annual “Turn the Couch Around Easter Photo.”
Notice that I am the only female in the picture? Yep, I am surrounded by boys. Even my dog and cat are males.
This picture is a slightly more accurate representation of what things are usually like around here 🙂
So now that you have a good picture in your mind of the daily craziness that is my house, you will understand why one of my missions is to have my house be as kid-friendly as possible.
By “kid-friendly,” I don’t really mean toys everywhere and washable fabrics . . . What I’m really going for is a home where the basic functions can be worked by both adults and children.
I want to teach my kids independence, and that they are capable of doing things without always asking for Mommy and Daddy’s help. Plus, sometimes I just need a break from the craziness 🙂
The bathroom is traditionally one of the least kid-friendly spaces in any home. There are all sorts of gadgets in bathrooms which are hard for kids to maneuver. Yet kids use the bathroom all the time, every day . . . So why not make it easier for them to use?
One of my big DIY home projects last year was making over my boys’ upstairs bathroom.
There was so much about this space that was just, well . . . ugly. But even more than updating it to be stylish, my greater goal was to make it as kid-friendly as possible.
There was so much about this space that my boys couldn’t really manage on their own. Towel bars that hung over the toilet, shower curtains that never closed properly, toilet paper holders that confounded their little hands . . . My thought was that if I could make this space easier for my boys to manage, then it would be more likely to stay neat and picked up.
So with that said, here are my 5 ways I not only added style to my boys’ bathroom, but also made it kid-friendly.
1. Swap Towel Hooks for Towel Bars or Rings
This is such an easy update to make! Instead of a hard-to-reach towel bar, I added kid-height hooks for each of my boys’ towels, along with a hook for the hand towel next to the sink.
Voila! No more towels on the ground.
2. Replace 2-Handle Faucets with a Single-Handled Faucet
Kids get really confused by 2-handle faucets–you know the ones that have separate hot and cold handles?
It’s best to use warm water to wash your hands, but my kids would literally never turn on the warm water. And when I would try to show them how to turn both the hot and cold water on, the art of mixing water temperatures was a little more than they could handle. Then there’s the problem of if they do turn on both the hot and cold water, they almost always turn off the cold water first, leaving the scalding hot water pouring out of the faucet!
A single-handle faucet is a simple fix.
No more mixing temperatures . . . Just keep the handle in the middle and you get warm (not hot or cold) water. So much easier for kids to manage! This is the faucet I used in my bathroom, and it is simple enough for my 3 year old to manage, as well as very stylish and easy to clean–bonus!
3. Separate the Decorative Shower Curtain & Curtain Liner
My kids always had trouble with the “one curtain stays out of the tub, one curtain stays inside” policy when showering–the curtains either wound up both inside or both outside, for either a soaked decorative curtain or soaked floor.
Solution–I mounted fixed decorative panels on a curtain rod, then added on a separate rod for just the functional shower curtain liner.
The curtain liner always stays inside the tub, and it is the only thing they ever had to slide open and closed. No more soaked shower curtains, no more soaked floors!
And, the decorative panels look great too!
4. Replace Spring-Bar Toilet Paper Holder with a Lift Bar
Why in the world are not all toilet paper holders lift bars? Does anybody really enjoy fumbling around with that spring-loaded contraption?
My kids could never get the spring bar off and back on to load on a new roll of toilet paper, but with the lift-bar they have no issue replacing the roll (and neither do I, for that matter!)
These are just genius. You should go change out every toilet paper holder in your house right now if you don’t have these.
5. Update the Vanity, Don’t Replace It
I knew I wanted to change up the honey-oak vanity cabinets and faux-marble shell sink of this bathroom, but was hesitant to undergo a full rip-out and replacement project at this stage of our lives.
While all 3 of my boys are living here and using this bathroom, it’s going to take a beating. I would rather wait to spend the money on replacing the vanity and countertop with a higher quality material until they are older and this bathroom will suffer less wear and tear.
I did have to purchase a new sink, but that was about $125, versus the much larger cost of buying an entire new vanity and countertop (plus the renovation and instillation costs).
The rest of the vanity updating cost me about $40. If $40 worth of work suffers some wear and tear over the next few years, my heart’s not broken (*and for the record, both the painted vanity and cedar top have held up very well over the past 8 months!*)
So there you have it! My kids’ bathroom is now stylish and much more functional for them to use on their own. And I made those changes for a minimal cost, so that I’m not investing a ton of money in a space that is going to receive a lot of wear and tear.
Thanks so much for following along with me today! Please share this post with others if you found it helpful 🙂