There’s no denying it, a family bathroom has to work hard. Whether you have children already, have one on the way, or just have a large family that often comes to stay, gathering family bathroom ideas is a must before you set to work. The space has to work for everyone, and just because you don’t need a bath or shower right now, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future so think carefully about what you might require to future proof your family bathroom.

While social media is awash with a tidal wave of gorgeous bathroom ideas, it’s worth taking into consideration your own families need, before you start purchasing all the ‘pretty’ bits.

Sharing one family bathroom between four or more people means you will require a clever design that can cater for so many needs. While you might want an elegant or luxurious bathroom, you will probably also need somewhere to store toys, with a durable design that will withstand regular use and maybe even a little chaos. But get your bathroom design just right and you will be able to create a space that the kids can enjoy, before transforming into a relaxing haven where you can chill out and find a little calm after the storm.

Family bathroom ideas

1. Keep it all white

white bathroom with blue patterned tiles BC Designs

Image credit: BC Designs

Opting for an all-white bathroom will ensure your suite stays looking smart without dating. Painting the walls white too means if it does get cluttered and chaotic, the light and brightness of the room should help to curb that slightly. Add a touch of personality with some colourful tiles to make a feature wall or floor and add brass hardware for grown-up glamour.

2. Make the most of every space

Wooden wall shelf over bathroom door.

Image credit: Future Plc/Tim Young

If you’ve squeezed all the essentials into a small bathroom but have no space for storage, this over-door shelf idea is a great solution to hold towels and toiletries. It’s an idea that can be used elsewhere in the house too, such as a cluttered office or bedroom too.

3. Hang rope baskets for towels

woven baskets hanging on wall with folded towels

Image credit: Future Plc/Carolyn Barber

If you’ve got teenagers living with you, you’re going to need a lot of towels to keep up with their shower habits. These textural woven baskets are both a practical and decorative addition to a family bathroom and can be simple screwed into the wall through holes in the weave of the basket.

Alternatively, use wire storage baskets to create a more industrial look for your bathroom.

4. Use a kitchen trolley as a bathroom caddy

Roll top bath beside grey metal trolley filled with toiletries

Image credit: Future Plc/Carolyn Barber

Rather than having to rummage through drawers or reach for towels while bathing little ones, a compact trolley fits into the smallest of spaces and is perfect for housing all your bathroom items in one portable unit.

Transform an old trolley quickly and easily with just a can of spray paint to colour match it to any scheme.

5. Choose a luxe shower curtain

A family friendly bathroom doesn’t have to look boring, just because it needs to be practical. There are lots of ways to add a luxe look, starting with your shower curtain. Throw out the sad looking white one and opt for a fancier design such as this one. It’s a small swap that will make your bathroom feel more luxurious and less like student halls.

6. Supersize it

Double vanity in bathroom with large mirror on wall above

Image credit: Future Plc/David Giles

In a family bathroom, there will be times when several members are gathered around the basin so the bigger the better is the rule. Try a vanity unit topped with a large trough-like bowl and plenty of surface area to either side for toiletries and toothbrushes. Double basins are a great solution for early morning rush hour, although make sure there’s enough space between them for everyone to fit in.

7. Fit in a bath

Black painted roll top bath with yellow mirror on wall

Image credit: Future Plc/Katie Jane Watson

If there’s room, a bath really is a must for a busy family, particularly those with smaller children. Not having one can also put off potential buyers if you plan to sell in the future. If you have the space, a shower enclosure will be a great addition for those mornings when there’s just not time for a soak. If you’re pushed for space a good solution is an over-bath shower. L- or d-shaped baths with a wider end and glass shower screen are a good choice here as they’ll look more streamlined than an ordinary bath with a plastic curtain. Placing taps in the centre of the bath will ensure there are no arguments about who gets the tap end at bathtime, while a shower mixer tap will make hair washing a breeze.

8. Opt for built-in storage

Country bathroom with built-in storage painted pale blue

Image credit: Future Plc/Colin Poole

A family bathroom that’s used by lots of people can easily become messy, so making sure you have plenty of storage from the start is important. Avoid bottles, bags and brushes cluttering up surfaces by adding cupboards in the shape of vanity units below the sink, hanging cabinet mirrors and fitting shelves where you can. In a smaller room, glass shelves will help to create a sense of space and slim freestanding furniture will ensure you still see plenty of floor, so the room doesn’t start to feel overcrowded.