I have never been a fan of the obvious theme room. I don't think a bedroom needs to have palm tree bedding that matches the window treatment that matches the wallpaper border that coordinates with the artwork that plays off the lamps. I also don't think a kid's room or bathroom needs to have a Winnie-the-Pooh shower curtain and matching border to prove it's meant for kid's. Now, do I get that it's the easy way to go and fairly fool-proof? Yep. Do I understand that kids like Disney characters? Sure do. I just don't think we give children enough credit when it comes to decor and I wonder if we actually do them a disservice by surrounding them by such obvious elements. It becomes even more complicated when you have to design a bathroom that is used by both your children and your guests...complicated, but because it forces you to think a bit more outside the box full of Disney characters, it's when you can actually create a space that will truly feel playful and creative, which is really what a child's space should be about in my opinion.
So, how exactly can we create a bath that both our kids and our guests will love? Think color! Think pattern! One of my favorite tricks is to pick a bold color your child loves and paint the walls with it. Then tone it down by using mostly black and white for the rest of the decor.
For example, I might select one of my favorite kid-friendly bathroom colors called Benjamin Moore Pear Green. It's fun and fresh, but adults love it too. Here it is in a bedroom:
Then I'd start to add some black and white. Here is one of my favorite shower curtains. Simple and classic, you can monogram it with your child's initials (which they LOVE) or you can have something like "Ha Ha Ha" monogrammed on...or you could even cut a silhouette of your child or children out of black felt and Switch Witch them on the shower curtain. Need a rug or two? You don't have to buy a rubber duckie or Sponge Bob one to make the kids happy. Read them a story about an African Safari or a zebra and then show them their new zebra rug inspired by the animal in the book!
One of my favorite tricks of the trade is to always use a curved shower curtain rod. It makes the shower look bigger and more custom and is just a little added bit of sophistication where you can sneak it in.
So, this might sound like an odd idea, but I came up with it for a client who was having a really hard time potty training and was at the end of her wits. I had her purchase a similar door knocker to this one and she installed it below the light switch. Each time her son went "#1" he got to make one peck of the door knocker. If it was "#2" he got to make two pecks. Shocking, but it worked.
Then just start to add in some accessories that are functional and interesting in the black, white and metal color palette.
(above all from anthropologie)
Of course, if you have a large unframed mirror that needs updating, you'll want to either replace it with one or two more interesting mirrors or you can even hang a couple new ones on top of the existing one for an interesting look.
For artwork in this pear green bath, I'd love to see some fun black and white photography framed in some contemporary white wood frames. I particularly love these prints.
The one above is of children's different reactions at a puppet show when the dragon is slain and the one below is of kids at the movie theater.
Love this little guy who just made a strike at the bowling alley.
(all 3 prints from art.com)
So, there ya go. You can take these ideas and switch them up with a different base color and of course, different accessories. You can have a big plastic tub with the bath toys that stays in the bathtub hidden behind the shower curtain when not in use and of course make sure to have fun washcloths, toothbrushes and bring in the characters they love in the shampoo, hairbrushes and bathrobes...all of which can be kept in drawers.
Need a few more ideas? How about these?
(Scalamandre wallpaper. Custom shower curtain.)
You could adapt this and use chalkboard paint that the kids would love to write on and pop all that black and white with turquoise or coral.
Hope these helped, Jamie!