Kids Bathroom Makeover – The Design Plan

Kids Bathroom Makeover – The Design Plan

Our Kids Bathroom (also the Guest bathroom) is under renovation (you can read the background story here), and today I am excited to share the design plan with you!  I want to tell you how and why I chose the tile I did, and how I tied in other elements of the space.

Choosing a tile scheme for a bathroom can be difficult because there are so many choices – I mean, so so many.  It is easy to get overwhelmed, and it can be a lot of pressure.  Tile is not easily changed like a rug or a lampshade, so you know you need to love it for at least the next ten years.  As a designer, I am well aware of all of the amazing options I could choose, but I happen to love looking at tile and imagining all sorts of scenarios.  Truth be told though, it is still always a hard choice.

I think the best advice I can give regarding tile choice is this…

1.  Choose a tile with at least one classic element whether it be shape or color.

2.  If you go with a color, choose your consistently favorite shade.  (i.e. don’t go with green because you are going through a green phase but you are typically a “blue” person)

3.  Mix shapes.  If you want a classic white subway brick on the walls, change it up on your floors.  Use a curvy pattern or add some colorful hexagon tiles.

Our Kids Bathroom has nearly doubled after our expansion (40 sf to almost 80 sf), but is still not large by today’s standards.  We live in an old 1920’s house (a definite fixer upper), so I wanted to stay true to the vibe of our home, but give it a modern spin.  I love graphic tile patterns, and that’s what I envisioned for the space, but I wanted to make sure to keep it classic and not get too crazy.  When I saw Mission Stone & Tile’s Hex Appeal, I was in love.

My husband liked the idea of wrapping the hex appeal tile halfway up the wall and using it on the floors, and although I was thinking of separate wall and floor tile originally, I came to agree with him.  Graphic patterns like this can really pull the eyes out, making a space look bigger.  Plus I liked that the pattern was classic, yet glamorous.  That touch of glamour was important for the space to not feel too juvenile since it is a guest bathroom also.

The spaces I design typically have a glam/sophisticated factor, along with a natural, woody element.  I envisioned a vanity made of salvaged wood, and when I found this image, it gave the exact feel I was looking for.  Almost like an antique apothecary meets general store seed counter.


Since an old hallway was becoming a vanity space, I knew it would have to be custom as the vanity depth is pretty narrow (only about 18″).  I gave the above photo to my carpenter, and after he brought me some samples of salvaged wood, I approved one – a gorgeous pine.  (we sealed it for durability with a matte sealant)

For vanity hardware, I wanted to do something different than typical bathroom knobs.  I found an Ebay listing for “rusty bin pulls” that were the exact shape and style I was looking for.  Note the label holders!  Can’t wait to put these to use!

bin pulls

You can see in the above photo the before and after of the pulls after I cleaned all of the rust off.  My thought was to add copper accents to this bathroom to give a little sparkle to the black and white hex tile, so I thought I would copper wash these pulls after I cleaned them.  But lo and behold, as I was scrubbing them, I noticed they had a copper gleam already!  Providence I tell you, providence.

copper bin pull

I wanted to separate the vanity area from the rest of the space and make it a real focal point.  So along with the gorgeous vanity and apothecary pulls, I decided to use this textured pinstripe tile behind the sink all the way to the ceiling.

I did not want to use a typical white subway tile so I adore the subtle texture of the pinstripe.  It is so chic!  Not only that, it is a really unusual size, 4″ x 5″, so that adds some extra visual interest.  Across from the vanity is the shower so I decided to repeat the pinstripe tile on the shower walls.  Keeping the space bright was a definite goal in this small space.

Mission Stone & Tile has several other textured patterns in their Essentials line, including pinpoint, honeycomb, diamond, and hexagon.  It was a tough choice!

Because I needed a lot of sink real estate for my four littles, I finally got Kohler Brockway sink I had been dreaming of for years.  Remember when I wrote this post way back when?

brockway sink

When you see the Brockway sink in photos, you will notice homeowners often choose a bright, fun color to paint the bottom of the cast iron where it is black.  I like this idea, but in my mind, I thought bringing in a splash of verdigris would tie in beautifully with the tile and the copper accents.  (verdigris is aged and patinaed copper)

Daryl McMahon-Door-Knob

Although I love to paint, I was skeptical I could pull off the look I was going for.  Therefore, I turned to an amazing local painter, Patti, at Simple Things Furniture.  I sent her a few photos (along with the photo above), and what she created is nothing short of incredible.  I can’t wait to show you!

Bathroom art can be a tricky thing, and since this is primarily a kids bathroom, I wanted to bring in something with quirk.  I found these vintage French “Classroom Elocucion Cards” and fell in love.  They are a large size (39″ x 25″) and double sided (which is fun if you want to change it up someday).  The colors are so vivid, and when I found the one below on Etsy, I was giddy.

vintage french school poster

I’m still not over how perfect that red and white striped suit is!

The wall immediately to the left when you walk into the bathroom was a quandary because it did not really necessitate tile, but I thought it would look strange blank.  So I decided to make it a photo wall featuring a customized mural from Murals Your Way.  You simply upload a photo, choose your dimensions, they send you a proof, and it comes in the mail for you to hang.  I also got them to cover it with a special glaze to resist water.

I was hoping for a Slim Aarons feel, and I immediately thought of this photo I took while in Seaside, Florida last summer. The lighting and background had just the ambiance I envisioned.  Plus those are some cute kids.  ; )

slim aarons kid photo

Just like every old home renovation, this one has been met with challenges (see this Instagram post), but a thoughtful, personal, and creative design plan coming to life is always a rewarding feeling.  We have some details to finish (those last few things always take the longest, it seems), but the reveal is coming soon!

I did want to share some other tile patterns I loved from Mission Stone & Tile.  They have such an amazing selection, and I really enjoyed working with their team.  They were so helpful with my questions and selection ideas!

I am drawn to light and bright tile designs, and these styles will leave you feeling fresh from the beach year round.

beachy coastal tile

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7

If you favor striking and glam, yet classic schemes, these are some beautiful choices.  I am seriously crazy for that cement hex tile!

glam bathroom

 Cement Hexagon Floor Tile  /  Pinstripe 4×5 Tile  /  Pinstripe 2×5 Tile  /  Classic Hexagon B&W Tile

If you are not a huge fan of color, and like your tile neutral, here are some choices that stay true to your palette, but have a uniqueness to them.

neutral unique tile

1  /  2  /  3  /  4  /  5  /  6  /  7

It has been so fun finally getting to share my plan with you today!  Have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend!

Written by Grace

*Special thanks to Mission Stone & Tile for collaborating with me on this project.


  • Lisa
    Posted at 14:04h, 04 September Reply

    The whole plan looks amazing! Your brain!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:45h, 21 September Reply

      Thank you, Lisa!

  • Tonya
    Posted at 14:20h, 04 September Reply

    Wow, these are some beautiful tiles! Thank you so much. We are in the midst of pondering renovating a couple of bathrooms, and this is so helpful. It is hard to know where to start sometimes.

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:44h, 21 September Reply

      Tonya, I think you could easily take a combination of these boards and create a gorgeous bathroom! Give Mission Tile a call, they are always super helpful. xo, G

  • Amber
    Posted at 14:35h, 04 September Reply

    Grace love your blog! I have a question. I noticed the floor tile you chose is Marvel, how do you feel about that in the kids bathroom? Are your kids just extra clean, or do you feel like it will be durable in a long run?

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:43h, 21 September Reply

      My kids are regular kids. 🙂 This marble is considered polished so it will be a bit more durable than honed marble. I actually do not like super shiny marble, and I LOVE how the sheen is ever so slight, but you still get the benefits of the polish. I’ve already made rules about muddy shoes etc., but I think it will be great! Marble that is imperfect is always more beautiful to me than untouched marble. Great question!

  • Amber
    Posted at 14:36h, 04 September Reply

    Sike! I meant marble.

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:43h, 21 September Reply

      Amber, I think I love you. “Sike” is my favorite long lost word. 🙂

  • Kristin
    Posted at 16:19h, 04 September Reply

    Oh, I love all the details you shared. Can’t wait to see this space unfold Grace 🙂 xo

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:41h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks Kristin! Hopefully soon!

  • K
    Posted at 16:34h, 04 September Reply

    I’m such a fan of your work! Can’t wait for the reveal!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:40h, 21 September Reply

      Thank you K!

  • Emily
    Posted at 17:32h, 05 September Reply

    I love how you are staying classic, but throwing in sophisticated kiddy themes. Perfect combo for your growing kids, and guest bath. The copper coming through on the hardware. I would have squealed out loud! Love it! You have the best eye and I can’t wait to see it all come together. Good luck!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:40h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks Emily! It has been tricky balancing the sophistication and kids, but I think I finally have the right balance. Can’t wait for it to be done! xo, G

  • Kelly Kay
    Posted at 19:49h, 06 September Reply

    Aaaah! I’m SO excited to see the reveal! HURRY!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:39h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks KK! I’m trying. 😉 xo

  • Sheri
    Posted at 07:39h, 09 September Reply

    What a lovely brain you have Grace! I CANNOT wait to see this thing all finished!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:36h, 21 September Reply

      Thank you, Sheri! I can’t wait for it be finished too, haha. 😉

  • liz cook
    Posted at 13:09h, 09 September Reply

    Beautiful! Love it!!

    • Grace
      Posted at 08:35h, 21 September Reply

      Thanks Liz! xo

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