5 Secrets to a Smooth-Running Family Bathroom

Whether it’s individualized storage spaces or clever details that will speed up your family’s morning routine, here are five features that pros say will help you get more from a shared bathroom. If you’re planning to remodel a family bathroom, read on.

1. Generous Storage

With a busy family and everyone having different bathroom products and needs, clever and abundant storage solutions in your bathroom are the key to functionality. Plus, they will also beautify your bathroom.

Being able to store and hide your everyday items is a must when multiple people use the one space. Consider large mirrored cabinets that run right to the ceiling. There are many styles today that can be inset into the walls for a slimline look. Many also have finger-pull or push-to-close doors, meaning you don’t have bulky handles overcrowding the space.

A good top-mount vanity cabinet will help you organize your bathroom and everyone can have designated shelves within the cupboard.

Under-sink storage is also essential. Be wary of floating vanities that may only give you half the storage capacity of a design that goes right to the floor.

And don’t forget that the sink plumbing will take up a good portion of your vanity. For this reason, I always suggest the largest vanity possible for the space, with adjustable shelves so you can customize the interior.

You can also find storage systems that will keep your storage organized. For example, mini stacking shelves, acrylic containers and small storage-compartment units that fit inside cupboards and drawers to keep bathroom products and beauty items organized. These will help the kids find what they need and assist in the overall tidiness of your cupboards.

Bathroom storage can extend to standalone items too, such as over-the-toilet shelving systems and beautiful hampers for storing laundry or used towels.

Also consider what is on your bathroom vanity. Seek out pretty yet functional decor accessories such as canisters to hold cotton balls and nice vessels for toothbrushes. Grouping like items together on small trays is a good way to reduce visual clutter.

2. Double Sinks

Whether you’re a large family of five or six or a small family, a double-style sink set-up is essential. It allows two people to use a basin at once, saving you time and streamlining the flow of your bathroom. On busy mornings when everyone is in a rush, this can be a lifesaver.

3. Heating

As we settle into the colder months, a well-heated bathroom will be appreciated by the whole family. There are three main options.

Underfloor heating. If your budget allows, investing in underfloor heating is a luxury worth having, especially if you live in a cooler climate. For bathrooms, I would recommend an electric underfloor heating system. It goes above the waterproofing in your floor but below the tiles, so can fairly easily be retrofitted. Being close to the surface, it means your bathroom floor will heat up quite quickly.

Three-in-one heaters. These provide an exhaust fan, lighting and heating in a single unit. They’re a simple and affordable way to keep your bathroom toasty and warm.

Heated towel rails. Ideal for keeping your towels warm and fluffy and reducing the need for constant washing. They can be plugged in or wired.

4. Considered Lighting

I am big on good lighting in a bathroom as it doesn’t just improve the functionality of the space, but can set the right mood too. I don’t like harsh artificial lights in the bathroom, I prefer natural light in the day. At night, I favor soft LED lights that cast a warm, diffused glow. In my home, we have LED lighting under the basin, in the shower recess and above the bath.

In my view, a shower recess is another must-have feature in a family bathroom as it allows you to keep shampoos nicely displayed and not cluttered on shelves or on the floor of the shower.

And I prefer sliding glass shower doors over hinged styles as they’re far easier to clean.

5. Vanity Drawers

Vanity drawers are preferable to cupboards as they provide more user-friendly and accessible storage — and often up to 30% more storage, according to some cabinet makers.

Using bamboo boxes inside your drawers is a great way to divide items internally so everything has its place. If you have multiple people in the family using the drawers, give everybody their own box — you can even try labeling them to separate items and prevent arguments between siblings.

Overhead mirrored shaving cabinets are a great way to store lots of products. With their shallow shelves, items are easy to see and access.

Including an electrical outlet in your shelving cabinet is a smart upgrade as it allows you to keep your electric toothbrush off your vanity top, and it will always be fully charged.

If space in the bathroom permits, another great option is the inclusion of a tall storage cabinet, which you can use to store spare towels and toilet rolls.

Your turn: What’s your one must-have for a smooth-running family bathroom? Tell us in the Comments.

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