Decorating a kid's bathroom is a fun endeavor for many reasons: It's a perfect weekend project, a great testing ground for beginners, and it's virtually guaranteed to impress your audience.
The kid's bath in your home should include color. The toys they play with, the books they read, and the TV shows they watch feature eye-popping hues in a constant barrage, so children are comfortable in a color-rich environment. The hues can be wild or mild, but don't be tempted to give the kid's bath a mature palette just because it makes you comfortable. Try enlivening neutrals with contrast, such as pairing deep chocolate brown and pale sherbet pink, or paint stripes in a jaunty pattern. Older kids should be involved in the decision-making process, but add your own limits as necessary. If they choose lime green and purple and it sounds appalling to you, try a compromise that suits everyone: white upper walls, violet below the chair rail, and fluffy towels in shocking green.
No amount of encouragement or nagging will keep a kid's bathroom clean and tidy at all times. Kids are naturally messy. Make picking up easier for them by building storage into the decorating. A pretty ledge above the sink is a handy spot for toothbrushes and drink cups. Plastic bins for toys should be close to the tub. Install pullout shelves lined with colorful cups and bins in the vanity cupboard so it's easy to tuck away hair ties, brushes, and sprays.
Paramount in your bathroom decorating plan is safety, but safety doesn't have to be ugly. Utilitarian items can work hand-in-hand with decorative ones. Check that the bathroom tap is not scalding (set your water heater to no more than 120 degrees) and stick on non-slip pads, which come in fun colors and shapes. Pick a bright, round, non-tipping step stool with non-skid feet. Make sure window glass is tempered, but then dress it with a pretty curtain. Let the kids dump toys into the bath, but then keep a large basket, caddy, or mesh bag handy to corrall them and keep them from becoming trip hazards. For wee toddlers, install a toilet lock and don't keep buckets of water around, but pick large fuzzy towels in cheery colors to wrap them up in after a soak.
Motifs can be a fun way to make a bathroom kid-friendly. Try incorporating the logo from their favorite snowboard company or the colors of the basketball team they follow. Select a motif that will go the distance with your child as he or she matures such as a general natural, sports, or outdoor activity theme.
Finally, think long-term when decorating a kid's bathroom. As much as we wish it, they won't be this age forever. And their passion for a cartoon character will wane -- maybe as soon as next week. Avoid investing in a scheme that looks outdated and childish by not letting their current passions set the tone. It may not be best to choose Sponge Bob wallpaper; work instead with a yellow-and-blue color scheme and put a toothbrush holder with his likeness on the counter. Better yet, project a few years out and predict their needs then. If your daughters are school age, carve out a spot for a vanity. If your son is growing inches a week, mount the mirror higher above the sink.