If you’re in those early days of home ownership or have just begun to grow your family, this bathroom style guide is all about you.
For those of us on those first few rungs of the property ladder, taking that tentative step into the world of home improvement can be a little daunting. With so many unknowns to contend with, not to mention the need to balance the budget, redecorating can often be a stress, rather than an enjoyable shared experience.
In many cases, the bathroom in your new home will be passable. However, with so much wear and tear, it won’t be long before it needs a refresh, giving you the opportunity to put your own unique stamp on it. Plus, with potential new additions to your family, you may even need to adapt your bathroom to make it baby-safe.
With the cost of living going up at an alarming rate and your outgoings on the increase, cost will undoubtedly feature heavily in your plans. In this guide, I aim to help you create a fun yet functional space that will suit your fledgling family, even as it grows. Plus, with my top tips, I’ll help you stick to that budget without compromising on quality or style.
A typical family bathroom layout
General guidelines for your family bathroom
With so many demands on our free time these days, whether it’s long hours working or caring for our children, the family bathroom is more important than ever. Offering a sanctuary from the hustle-bustle of modern life, it also serves a vital function as the place where we get ready in the morning and wind down in the evening. Whilst you may find that your own bathroom isn’t exactly cavernous in size, this needn’t mean skimping on style.
Whether you share your home with a partner, children or even both, your bathroom will need to deal with high volume usage, which means products, walls and floors that are built to last. Next things next, you’ll want to consider your storage needs. With family homes shrinking in size over the years, you’ll want to maximise every square inch to ensure those essential items (you know, towels, toiletries and, yes, even toys!) can be concealed from view, reducing clutter and keeping things calm and considered.
Once you’ve worked out your bathroom layout, including what can be fitted into your space, you can then set your mind to styling. Unless you live in a quaint, period property (perhaps you’re updating a Victorian home?) or really love classic design, you’ll most likely opt for a contemporary style bathroom. However, a small selection of traditional items can help to give your bathroom an eclectic feel—something which we’re seeing more and more of these days.
When working to a budget, it can be hard to strike a balance between price and quality. However, we would recommend any of the bathroom suites and furniture from Clarity—a brand which offers superb value for money, without skimping on style or durability.
So, where do you start? Well, one of the best ways to approach this (and it’s something I swear by) is to create a mood board. You can do this online on Pinterest or apply pictures of your favourite products, colours, textures and materials to a large piece of cardboard. Here’s one I made earlier…
A mood board, like this, is a great way to capture all your favourite elements
Of course, you’ll want to see how all of these products, colours and patterns fit with your existing bathroom, which is where our 3D bathroom planner can prove invaluable. In just minutes, you can create a realistic 3D representation of your bathroom, swap products in and out and see how different wall and floor coverings look. It’s, quite literally, fun for the whole family, as you can get the kids involved if they’re old enough.
Once you’ve had fun playing around with our bathroom planner, it’s time to share some of my top tips for fledgling family bathrooms like yours.
My top 5 tips for your family bathroom
From single occupancy homes to those with multiple children, a family bathroom must perform a wide range of roles. So, here are 5 top tips to consider when planning:
- Keep your colour scheme bright and simple—think cheerful but not overstimulating
- Choose a fresh, contemporary style that will feel modern, not old-fashioned
- Go for easy-clean items like a back to wall toilet and vanity unit—minimise dust traps and hard-to-reach areas
- Make sure you have enough storage for your needs—use your walls if necessary to keep clutter to a minimum
- A shower bath helps to cover all bases, especially if you plan on having, or already have, younger children
The perfect bathroom for a fledgling family?
Next, let’s take a look at the products I have selected for our fledgling family bathroom.
The best bathrooms for fledgling families
Save space with a shower bath
One of the easiest ways to future-proof your bathroom (just in case your little family unit is set to grow) is to install a shower bath. These multi-purpose tubs-come-enclosures cover all bases, allowing you to switch easily between your morning shower and your evening soak. Plus, if you do already have young children, bath time is a great way to have fun and create long-lasting memories.
From Clarity, this straight shower bath is easy on the wallet, yet tough and durable enough for even the busiest of family bathrooms. Made from 4mm acrylic, which is highly resistant to stains and scratches, it also comes with a hinged screen manufactured from 5mm British Standard safety glass, so peace of mind is assured.
To complement your bath, you’ll need a stylish yet reliable shower—which can be expensive. However, if your water pressure is adequate (which should be the case in most modern homes which don’t rely on a system with a tank in the roof), you can save a bit of cash with a combined tap and riser kit. I’ve picked out the Clarity square head riser kit (see below) which allows you to switch between an overhead shower and a handset—handy for washing hair and cleaning the bath itself. The shower can be fitted to most shower mixer taps (we’ve gone for the Derwent waterfall bath shower mixer tap) and can even work with a top outlet bar valve, if you prefer your water temperature to be absolutely precise.
Enjoy the best of both worlds with a multi-functional shower bath
Basin and storage
You needn’t go overboard when it comes to storage in your fledgling family bathroom. Just enough to ensure you can keep those essentials concealed from view, to help maintain a relaxing and stress-free environment.
In our bathroom, I have selected the Clarity Compact satin grey floorstanding vanity unit, which, at just 215mm deep, helps to save on vital floorspace. Despite this, there’s plenty of room to store items beneath the compact resin basin, whilst still allowing for pipework and plumbing. The satin grey finish is very much on-trend and works well with a range of colour palettes. To bring a touch of zen to proceedings, I have paired with the Wye waterfall basin mixer tap. Both items combined come in under £175*, meaning you needn’t stretch your budget too far.
Should you need to add to your storage, things are looking up! I’ve used the wall space towards the end of the bath and fitted 2 of our Accents slimline open storage units. Again, these are a more cost-effective option than full storage cabinets, allowing you to keep toiletries close at hand and display those treasured possessions. With a durable semi-matt grey finish, they easily coordinate with the rest of your furniture, including your toilet unit (more of which I’ll talk about next).
Just the job…stylish yet simple storage for your family bathroom
In any family bathroom, it’s the toilet that takes the brunt of all the activity! With the toilet seat being raised and lowered multiple times a day, you’ll need something that doesn’t just look stylish but really is built to last. At the same time, consider the amount of cleaning that’s required, especially if you have younger children who, let’s just say, aren’t too careful with their toilet habits.
One of the best ways to minimise maintenance is with a back to wall toilet and unit. This ultra-modern toilet design has been gaining popularity in recent years, due to the absence of dirt and dust traps. We’ve opted for the Eden II back to wall toilet from Orchard Bathrooms, which is contemporary in style, complete with a soft close, slimline seat which helps minimise the risk of trapped fingers. This has been paired with the Clarity satin grey back to wall toilet unit which, at just 200mm deep, takes up very little space. Coupled with a modern concealed cistern, complete with dual flush, it’ll help you save water and money on your bills as your family grows.
A modern dual flush toilet will help you save water and save cash on bills
Walls and floors
Judging by the number of blue bathroom ideas that can be found online, this bold yet simple colour scheme continues to prove popular, especially for families.
As mentioned in my top tips, a bright, cheerful palette is certainly the way to go when decorating any shared space. Whilst greys and monochrome schemes remain on-trend, they may be a little too cool for school, if you know what I mean.
To help save on costs, why not consider fitting shower wall panels as opposed to tiles in splash zones? They can be installed up to 6 times faster than tiles, often coming in at a lower price per square metre. As you can see, the Showerwall Custom Navy shower wall panel replicates the appearance of tiles in a gorgeous herringbone pattern, which would take plenty of time and could only really be achieved by a specialist tiler.
Around the floors and part the way up the side walls, we have gone for a light grey stone effect tile, bringing a more natural feel to your interiors. One top tip, if you do have younger children, is to pay attention to the R rating. In other words, the slip rating for any floor tiles.
Another good way to future-proof your bathroom is to simply paint the remaining walls. That way, should you want to change your scheme to something that meets the latest bathroom colour trends, you can do so, quickly and easily.
A mix of shower wall panels and tiles may be the most cost-effective approach
Heating, lighting and accessories
Of course, no matter how modern your home may be, we always get those annoying little draughts or cold spots which can make the winter months a little uncomfortable. To save you from over-spending on heating bills, it pays to choose an efficient and stylish towel heater that is right for your room. Before you buy, pay close attention to the BTU output and ensure the size you choose closely matches your requirements. The Heating Co. Chrome heated towel rail comes in a variety of sizes, so you can be sure you won’t be wasting cash in the long run.
These days, many homeowners opt for a fancy LED mirror complete with demister, but this can be an unnecessary luxury, especially if you’re working to a budget. We’ve kept things nice and simple with the Accents bevelled edge rectangular mirror which comes in at a very reasonable price. If you do wish to make a feature of your lighting, we’d highly recommend swapping out an existing ceiling fixture with something a little more on-trend. We’ve chosen the Eglo Townshend 3 light pendant ceiling light with its subtle industrial style.
As with any family bathroom, you’ll need the odd accessory to keep surfaces free from clutter. We’ve opted for something a little more organic in the form of the Bora Bora accessory range from Accents, complete with soap dispenser, tumbler for toothbrushes, plus that all-important toilet brush and holder. Add in a few personal touches, a quirky sign or piece of wall art, plus a pot plant or two, and there you have it… a fine family bathroom for you and your loved ones.
With an efficient heated towel rail, you can keep your heating bills down
Taking that first step on to the property ladder is an exciting yet daunting experience, especially when your new home is in need of an update. However, as my style guide has certainly proved, there are ways to cut costs and still create a stylish space that’ll serve you (and any future additions) well for many years to come.
Need help designing and installing your bathroom?
If you’re planning a family or simply keeping your youngsters out of mischief, planning your bathroom can feel like an uphill task. However, with the Victoria Plum Design and Installation, we’ll do all the hard work for you. Whether it’s a free no-obligation design you’re after or full installation by experienced and fully accredited fitters, why not enquire today? Simply click on the image below.
For no-nonsense products, designed to stand the test of time, why not browse our Clarity collection. Whilst Clarity bathrooms may be low in price, they are high in quality, coming complete with reassuring guarantees and available exclusively from Victoria Plum. Click on the image below to begin shopping.
*Prices correct at time of publication