Wednesday, 03 February 2016 00:31

Bath-Time & Beyond

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Bath-Time & Beyond

Always a hive of activity, it is said the kitchen is the heart of the home, but with young children around, the bathroom is a strong contender for that title. Hannah Pronesti guides you in designing a bathroom that will fulfil the needs of your growing family – to bath-time and beyond!

The bathroom is where it all happens; bathing, washing, showering, drying, combing and toileting. Being a room in which each member of the family spends a substantial amount of time daily, it’s important to create a clean, safe and accessible environment for both you and your bathing babes.

Keep in mind when designing a family-friendly bathroom that your children will eventually grow up. Though the bathroom should be inviting for them, you also want it to remain relevant as they get older. While it can be easy to get carried away designing a bathroom that will appeal to young kids, the bathroom can still have a fun vibe without succumbing to primary- coloured feature walls and miniature hand basins. By keeping the bathroom itself neutral, you can decorate with non-permanent décor that can be changed or removed later on.

Vibrant towels and non-slip bath stickers can be a fun way to get kids interested in bath-time, and bath toys are a saviour when it comes to keeping children occupied.

SLIP AND SLIDE

The bathroom floor is an important consideration in any family-friendly bathroom. Children love to run, but on slippery, wet floors, running can cause all kinds of catastrophes. Often sensible flooring is overlooked in favour of something more fashionable, but non-slip flooring can prevent a lot of bathroom-related accidents. Never fear, this doesn’t mean you have to cover your tiles in ugly foam mats. Textured mosaic or tumbled marble tiles are a great option, and still manage to look stylish, with a natural finish.

CUT THE CORNERS

This one may seem fairly obvious, but sharp corners are a hazard for children. Selecting fixtures and furnishings with rounded edges and curved surfaces will reduce injuries in the bathroom, while maintaining a modern aesthetic. Durability is especially important as kids cause a lot of wear and tear, so you need materials that will last. Easy-to-clean surfaces require less maintenance, and will help to keep your bathroom tidy and sparkling, even with grubby hands and feet in the picture.

ON TAP

When installing taps, there a few things to consider. Firstly, think about investing in a hot water system that can be thermostatically controlled. This will allow you to set the water to a specific temperature, so that even when the hot water is running, the temperature will be perfect every time. In a bathroom without controlled water temperature, the taps themselves can become a danger, especially to children. Taps that have recently run hot water can scald the skin, but thanks to new technology there are now bathroom fixtures available that create a barrier of cool water around the hot water supply, ensuring that the outer surfaces of taps aren’t hotter than the temperature of the water inside.

Another important tap-related issue is ensuring that taps are at a reachable height. Steps can be a good way of allowing children to reach taps, while not making any drastic changes to the bathroom that won’t be necessary as the children grow up. Accessibility to taps will encourage children to develop good hygiene practices and help them to feel independent.

MIRROR, MIRROR

At this stage, your kids won’t be needing a mirror to prepare for a night out (although that time will come!) however a mirror is extremely important in helping kids perform daily tasks like brushing their teeth, combing their hair and even simply drying off after a bath.

RUB-A-DUB-DUB

Of all the features in a family-friendly bathroom, an actual bathtub is a must-have – it is called a bathroom after all. Children tend to love bath- time with their siblings, and having a bath big enough for more than one child will save time.

Flat plastic plugs are a good idea if there is to be more than one bub bathing at a time, as these sit flush against the bath’s surface and won’t cause discomfort to whoever has to sit on top of it. A tap that swivels out of the way is a huge plus, and can prevent anyone bumping their heads on the protruding tap.

Don’t forget, bath-time isn’t all about the kids – you are the one bathing them. A bath’s edge can be very uncomfortable to sit on or lean over for long periods, so choosing a bathtub with a flat edge wide enough to sit on comfortably will benefit you in the long run.

SHOWER POWER

If your beauties prefer not to bathe in a bath, a shower can be just as efficient. A fixed showerscreen is a safe option, as glass doors with moving parts can shatter if banged. Just ensure there is plenty of room to get in and out to avoid any collisions. A showerhead with adjustable height will make things easier and encourage kids to wash themselves. A hand-held style is a good choice; just make sure the fixture is fitted high enough on the wall that the showerhead won’t smash on the ground if dropped.

TOY STORAGE

Family bathrooms are often overflowing with bath toys, but all those rubber duckies need a home! Ensuring your bathroom has plenty of storage will help to keep it tidy, and leave more space for the duties that do not involve rubber ducks. Drawers or shelves fitted with waterproof containers will prevent slightly wet toys from making puddles and damaging the furnishings. Having storage at two different levels is also a good idea, with things the children might need – like spare towels – kept at a reachable height, while medicine, beauty and cleaning products are kept at a higher level, away from the hands of little people.

Eventually your children will transition beyond bath-time and the rubber ducks can go over the hill and far away (and stay there), but in the meantime, enjoy your bathroom bonding sessions and rest assured that your family- friendly bathroom will age just as gracefully as your children.

 

Read 259120 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 February 2016 23:00