A Bright Bathtime Oasis for Kids
A savvy mom helps perfect a spot that's comfortable, safe, and just plain fun
If you want to design with kids in mind, ask an expert. Former preschool teacher Nadia Blair knew exactly what to put where—and why—when she and her husband, Aaron, added a bath for their boys to their Austin, Texas, house. She put a premium on safety, choosing a low tub, sink faucets that help prevent scalding, tub-shower controls out of kids' reach, and textured floor tile. "The grout is dark because, you know, they're boys," says this very practical mother of Townes, 2, and Hayes, 6 months. Working with CG&S Design-Build during a whole-house redo, Nadia also lobbied for extra space alongside the tub to ease the bathtime routine. "You want to be able to lift a kid out and turn around without bumping into the sink or the toilet," she says. As for finishes, "I wanted the bath to transition with the kids, to be fun and cheerful but not childish." A lively paint scheme was a given, but "later on, if the kids are like, 'Mom, I'm so over turquoise,' we'll just repaint it," she says. Right now, it's just right.
Shown: A second-floor addition gave the kids a bath of their own. Single-lever faucets have to be pushed back to switch to HOT. Bronze finishes and custom window screens reinforce the house's Craftsman style.
Bubble tile adds an effervescent touch. The 14-inch-high tub is easy on parents' backs and safer for stepping in and out.
Homeowner tip: "For safety reasons, we asked our plumber to place the tub and shower valves above kid height. Be sure to make a request like this before the wallboard goes up!" —Nadia Blair, Austin, Texas
The 81-square-foot space maximizes function with a double vanity, built-in storage, and a tub-shower combo.
1. A partition wall that frames the tub alcove adds privacy—and a spot for built-in storage.
2. A to-the-ceiling built-in holds not only the hamper but also towels and linens for overnight guests.
3. Tub and vanity are 3 feet 4 inches apart for extra bathtime maneuvering space.
4. A half wall obscures the toilet, provides a hidden spot for the TP holder, and allows a tile backsplash to wrap around the vanity.
5. A west-facing window in this new space channels light to the sink area.