My Design Plan for the Kids’ Bathroom

It’s an exciting day because I’m finally kicking off my posts for our upcoming bathroom renovations. Even though we’ll be renovating both our main bath and the kids’ bathroom at the same time, I’ll be sharing them separately so things don’t get too confusing around here. So first up, the kids’ bathroom design!

The Bathroom Before

Guest bathroom before
Photo from MLS Listing in 2019

This is what the bathroom looked like when we bought our home. Functional? Sure. Cute? Not so much. Our entire second floor was added on in the 90s and everything on this level was incredibly dated with floral tile, cheap vanities, and yellowy oak everywhere.

The Bathroom – Phase One Makeover

Bathroom refresh to add value to your home

After living with the bathroom for a year, I decided to do a budget-friendly cosmetic upgrade. I stenciled the floors and immediately fell in love with painting all of the floor tile in our house. I then painted the vanity, upgraded the mirror and vanity light, and even painted the bathtub and shower.

Our kids' bathroom design plan

Those inexpensive fixes made such a difference and the entire space looked brand new. (You can find all of the sources and tutorials in this blog post.) It was the perfect overhaul to last us until we had the time and money to renovate it the way we wanted. I highly recommend any of those projects to give your bathrooms some TLC. You really can improve the look of a space, on a budget, with a little DIY.

My Pain Points

So let’s talk about some of the things in here that I don’t love that we’ll be fixing with the upcoming renovation.

Toilet Placement

Large space between toilet and vanity

For some reason, the toilets in our house are scrunched right up to the side walls in every.single.bathroom. Sit on a toilet in our house and you’ll feel like you’re in the middle seat of a crowded airplane.

toilet close to the wall

I asked my contractor about moving the toilets during our renovations and he is hopeful that they’ll be able to move them. It really depends on the placement of the floor joists and they won’t know exactly until they open everything up.

Splash Marks

Adding subway tile to the walls for a kids' bathroom design

Finn is in charge of Rory’s bath nights, which happen every other night, and whoa…those two have a rowdy good time. The aftermath is bubbles and water everywhere! Because this is the kids’ bathroom and we will have hundreds of future bath nights in here, now that we have two kids, I want to make sure the space is conducive to splashing!

Have the tile go all the way up to the ceiling

First, we’ll have the subway tile in the shower go all the way up to the ceiling. Right now, it stops about a foot down and that wall has gotten so gross from all of the moisture in the shower. It drips, and the paint job looks bad, even though I’ve painted in here twice!

Second, we’re going to have white subway tile halfway up the walls, all the way around the room. This will make for a nice backsplash on the vanity and it will protect the walls from all of the bath time ruckus. Not to mention, it will make the space look clean and bright. Yes, please!

Lack of Vanity Storage

Lack of bathroom storage

The painted vanity looks so much better than it did before, but the cabinets were crappy to begin with. They’ve been banged around a lot and they’re composed of cheap particleboard. Plus, I’m all about drawers when it comes to vanities. Sometimes items can get lost in cabinets, so drawers are much easier for me to keep organized.

Our new vanity will be navy again, but this time it will be a high-quality wood (mahogany) and it will have more storage with drawers. For the top, we’re going with the feathered white quartz, so we have the look of marble without the maintenance, which is a must in a kids’ space. I’m also swapping out the hardware for these cute brass knobs.

Old Bathroom Fan

old bathroom fan

Most of the items in this room are almost thirty years old, so we’ll be replacing the little things, like the overhead bathroom fan. It doesn’t work very well and we need a powerful one because it can get so humid in here! I was able to find a good alternative.

Old window in the kids' bathroom

Oh, and we’re also upgrading the window in this space, since it is old and janky. The new window will have a privacy film on it so you won’t be able to see into the space but we’ll still get the gorgeous light shining through!

Peeling Bathtub

peeling paint in a bathtub

I’ve already touched on this a few times, but I didn’t do an amazing job when I was prepping to paint the bathtub and shower in here. The shower walls still look perfect. However, the tub is peeling in a few spots. It’s gotten so bad that we’re actually bathing the kids in the first-floor bathroom.

Replacing the bathtub with the new kids' bathroom design plan

So, naturally, we’ll be replacing the tub here. I opted for a deep soaking tub so I can potentially use it for baths for me, since we will be ditching the bathtub in our main bathroom. It will be fresh, modern, and deep. I’m excited about it!

Uneven Floors

uneven floors in a bathroom

For some reason, the floors in the upstairs bathrooms are set a few inches lower than the hardwoods in the other rooms. It’s a big tripping hazard and I’m excited for the floors to all be level and at the same height once we redo them.

Re-Using Some Upgraded Items

Brass vanity light

Because I just spruced up this space two years ago, I still really like the bathroom mirror and gold vanity light, and I’ll now have gold shower hardware to match! To save money and waste, we’ll be re-using those in the space. I also may still use the bathroom shelf and towel hook, but I’ll see how it all comes together in the end. I’m just excited that the old items that are really beat up will be replaced with higher-quality ones that should last for decades.

The Kids’ Bathroom Design Plan

Because the layout is staying exactly the same, it really came down to just choosing new and improved products for the kids’ bathroom design. I wanted it to feel clean and bright, but also have a bit of fun with the blue color.

kids' bathroom design plan

Floor Tile // Shower Tile // Bathtub // Vanity // Mirror // Vanity Light // Gold Shower Hardware // Cabinet Knobs // Faucet // Toilet // Shower Curtain // Teak Step Stool

What’s Next?

Kicking off a kids' bathroom design plan

We don’t kickoff demo for a few more weeks, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have things to share. I’m dedicating an entire post to the tile, how we chose it, how to figure out how much you need, grout, spacers…all.the.things!

Then, I’ll slowly share the process as we create a wonderful bathroom for our kids. Be sure to let me know if there are any specific topics you want me to cover as I share progress. I want to make sure I’m really taking you along for the ride…


Catch Up On The Bathroom Renovation

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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