Sharing a small bathroom between kids and adults can seem daunting, but with clever design and spatial planning, it is possible to create a functional, bright, and cheerful room that meets everyone’s needs. This article will explore how one family managed to transform their cramped 40-square-foot bathroom into a space that both kids and parents enjoy using.
We’ll look at the layout and design choices that optimized the compact footprint, allowed for adequate storage, introduced fun details for the kids while keeping a clean, contemporary aesthetic for adults, and integrated brightness through lighting and mirrors. Insights from an interior designer will help us understand the thought process behind the design decisions.
Layout and Spatial Planning Maximizes a Tiny Footprint
One of the biggest challenges in such a small bathroom is figuring out the layout to accommodate all the necessary fixtures and create a logical flow. Here are some of the layout strategies used in this bright, shared bathroom:
Strategic Placement of Each Fixture
The designer carefully planned where to place each fixture – toilet, shower, vanity – to maximize the compact space.
- The toilet is tucked into a corner nook with a narrow space on each side. This gives enough clearance while taking up minimal footprint.
- The shower is along the longer wall which allows a wider door opening and more elbow room inside.
- The single vanity is on the shorter wall with the door opening, to allow door clearance.
Floating Wooden Vanity
Choosing a floating style wooden vanity visually opened up floor space since it doesn’t touch the ground. The floating design also facilitated easy cleaning underneath.
Recessed shelves in the shower replaced bulky corner shelving. This recovered precious floor space while still offering organized storage.
Barn Door for Space Savings
A sliding barn door eliminated the need for any door swing radius within the bathroom itself. This recovered a couple more inches of floor space.
Mirrored Cabinets Optically Expand Space
Mirrored cabinets on either side of the vanity added storage without expanding the footprint. The mirror effect also makes the compact bathroom feel larger.
Clever Storage Solutions for a Family Bathroom
In a shared family bathroom, storage is paramount. Here’s how this design incorporated smart storage formultiples users:
Floating open shelving above the toilet provides storage for extra rolls of toilet paper, towels, and bathroom baskets. The open design keeps the space feeling airy.
Drawers in Vanity
Multiple drawers in the vanity optimize space for every family member’s toiletries and supplies. This keeps everything organized and hidden.
A medicine cabinet above the sink offers a perfect spot for adult medications and toiletries to be stored out of sight.
Wicker baskets on open shelving camouflage messy clutter. Kids can easily grab what they need.
Metal Wall Cabinet
A metal cabinet mounted on the wall creates more organized storage without taking up space. This holds spray bottles, Qtips, cotton balls and other bathroom essentials.
Design Elements Appeal to Kids While Keeping Adult Aesthetic
Sharing a bathroom with kids presents a design challenge – how to add playful details for kids while maintaining a clean contemporary look appealing to adults. Here are some of the strategies used in this bathroom:
Whimsical wallpaper with a subtle pattern adds just enough interest for kids without overwhelming the space. The neutral tone keeps it sophisticated.
Vibrant Shower Curtain
A vibrant patterned shower curtain adds a fun pop of color and youthfulness. It can easily be swapped out as kids grow up.
Simple black frames around youthful artwork introduce a kid-friendly element that’s still designer-approved. The black frames keep it looking polished.
Ceramic Animal Sconces
Ceramic animal sconces add a touch of whimsy while providing much needed lighting. The natural material and simple shape make them suitable for kids and adults.
A spotty rug with bright colors adds softness underfoot and a fun flair. The small scale keeps it feeling contemporary.
Brightness Bounces Around This Tiny Bathroom
When dealing with a windowless interior bath, it takes strategy to make the space feel bright and open rather than dark and closed-in. Here are some of the techniques used:
Satin Nickel Fixtures
Satin nickel fixtures reflect light better than darker metals like bronze or black. This maximizes brightness.
Placing sconces strategically on each wall bounces light throughout the space from multiple angles.
Recessed Ceiling Lights
Recessed can lighting combined with the sconces ensure the room is uniformly lit, reducing dark shadows.
Mirrored cabinets amplify the light further, making the compact room feel bright and visually expanded.
Glossy White Subway Tile
White glossy subway tile adds even more reflective surface area to bounce light around. Dark grout lines delineate the tile pattern.
The white marble countertop also contributes additional reflective brightness.
Tips from an Interior Designer
We asked interior designer Jane Smith for insights on achieving a shared kids and adults bathroom in only 40 square feet. Here are her top tips:
- Optimize every inch. Look for ways to go vertical with storage using wall cabinets, floating shelves, and medicine cabinets.
- Visually expand space. Use reflective surfaces like mirror, glossy tile, and metals. Float fixtures off the floor.
- Multitask fixtures. Use the shower niche for shampoo storage. Make the vanity cabinet a laundry hamper.
- Love color. Don’t be afraid of color to add personality. Paint the upper walls an energetic hue.
- Easy clean-up. Select durable porcelain tile floors that can withstand wiping up spills and drips. Choose easy-clean rugs.
- Design flexibly. Pick fixtures and finishes that can be swapped out as kids grow up. Paint color can easily be refreshed.
- Consider resale value. Neutral backsplashes and timeless white cabinets make the bathroom appealing to future homebuyers.
Frequently Asked Questions About Small Shared Bathrooms
Here are answers to some common questions about creating a shared family bathroom in only 40 square feet:
How do you fit two sinks in such a small bathroom?
With an extremely compact footprint, there is only space for one sink. The key is then maximizing storage so each family member can have their own drawers and cabinet space.
What type of flooring works best in a kids/adult bathroom?
Porcelain tile is durable and water-resistant, perfect for a high-traffic family bathroom. Mosaic tiles add visual interest. Glossy tiles bounce more light.
Should wallpaper be avoided in a shared bathroom?
Not necessarily! Today’s washable wallpaper makes a great accent wall. Choose pre-pasted paper with a vinyl coating for moisture resistance and easy cleaning.
How do you make a windowless bathroom feel bright?
Strategically place lighting fixtures to evenly illuminate the space. Add mirrors and reflective surfaces. Use semi-gloss and high-gloss paints. Paint the ceiling white.
Should you avoid white in a small bathroom?
No, white tile, walls, cabinets, and counters make the space feel open and airy. Just introduce color through towels, stools, art and accessories.
What type of vanity works best in a kid/adult bathroom?
Look for sturdy wooden vanities with a classic shaker style. Or try a floating modern design. Include kid-height drawers and step stools.
Final Thoughts on Designing a Bright, Shared Kids and Adult Bathroom
Designing a bathroom that works for all ages in only 40 square feet may seem like a challenge. But as this bright and cheerful shared bathroom shows, it can be done through careful planning of the layout, smart storage solutions, and elegant yet youthful design choices.
The key is blending durable finishes like porcelain tile and high-quality wood vanities that appeal to adults with playful pops of color, artwork, wallpaper, and accessories that kids will love. Pay close attention to lighting to combat the windowless interior.
Focus on maximizing every inch of the compact footprint. Conceal clutter in drawers, cabinets, and baskets. Float the vanity and fixtures to expand floor space.
With strategic decisions that allow kids and adults to comfortably co-exist, even the most modest-sized bathroom can become a bright jewel box space the whole family enjoys.
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