A bathroom that is shared by several family members is a hardworking space that has to cater for a range of (ever-changing) needs. Is it possible to create a room that meets the very different requirements of little ones, teenagers and grown-ups, often all at the same time? With a little planning, we think it is!
The first thing to note is that a family bathroom has to withstand heavy use, so it’s worth investing in robust, high-quality sanitaryware that will stand the test of time. Catchpole & Rye products are built to last by master craftsmen – they can cope with the inevitable knocks and bumps that come with hectic family life and still look their best.
It is, of course, important to ensure that the bathroom is a safe, fun environment for the smallest members of the family – bathtime should be a pleasure, not a chore. But the option to transform the space quickly and easily into a relaxing, clutter-free sanctuary once they’ve gone to bed is also key – you don’t want to share your precious ‘me time’ with a mountain of plastic toys, after all.
Three words spring to mind: storage, storage, storage! There are lots of clever solutions on the market, from open shelves and mirrored cabinets to beautiful vanity units that will bring style and substance to your scheme. We’re fans of low-level storage because it’s easily accessible to all, making it handy for towels and toys. (Needless to say, don’t use it for cleaning products, medicine and other items that need to stay out of the reach of curious kids.)
If you have the luxury of space, a wider unit means twice the storage – trust us, you’ll need it as the children head into the teenage years… Twin basins will also save time during the busy morning routine – two sets of teeth can be brushed in half the time!
Alternatively, consider an extra-wide sink that can accommodate two without elbow wars breaking out: this one is a metre wide.
Baths and showers
The bathtime ritual is important for families with young children, so a bath is a must. A Catchpole model in cast iron, brass or copper is a practical option – these metals are great insulators, meaning they will keep the water warmer for longer, allowing the kids to stay and splash (or you to laze and linger). Le Piaf is a great option for a growing family – it’s shallower than our other models, which makes bathing little ones easier; it’s the perfect height for resting one’s arms when reading; and its generous length means it can even accommodate a strapping teenage rugby player!
Pair your chosen bath with a stylish mixer tap with hand shower – it makes cleaning easier and, if you’re in the toddler phase, hair washing becomes less of a battleground.
Of course, older children and adults often prefer showers – sometimes there simply isn’t time for a long soak. A separate shower cubicle offers greater flexibility but if space is limited, an over-bath shower is the obvious compromise.
Think about practical accessories, too. An anti-slip step stool means toddlers can reach standard-height fixtures and fittings without adult assistance, and a bath caddy means they have the necessities (soap, flannel, toys) close to hand and won’t have to lean out of the bath to reach for items they need.
If you’re refurbishing your bathroom from scratch, consider underfloor heating – as well as providing warmth and comfort underfoot, it also ensures that any water on the floor will dry quickly, reducing the risk of accidents. A heated towel rail is a must – choose one that is large enough to fit four or more towels. No more excuses for leaving soggy towels in a heap on the floor (well, we can live in hope)!
And finally, don’t forget to have a bit of fun. Towels and accessories in bright colours will immediately lift a scheme and can easily be replaced when you fancy a change. Our baths can also be painted in any colour of your choice, which is a great way to individualise and add personality to your room.