Bathroom design for children

Creating an interior space for children can be a difficult design project. But it doesn’t have to be.

Professionals and DIY designers must balance making space welcoming, safe and enjoyable for young children, yet sympathetic to adult design sensibility. Something to remember when decorating or designing space for children; is children don’t stay children forever. Employ flexible, clever design strategies and your bathroom will appeal when your children are little, and stand the test of time as they grow up.
Bathrooms are key learning areas for young children. You don’t want to transform your bathroom into Disneyland, yet, at the same time cold minimalism is not an inspiration environment to learn toothbrush skills. This week I’m going to provide some advice on how to give you and your children, the best of both worlds in the bathroom. Create a fun exciting space, capable of standing the test of time.

1. Safety first

This one, hopefully could have gone without saying. Number one when building, or renovating to suit young children, is safety. Bathrooms are dangerous surface emporiums, filled with sharp edges, glass and slippery floors. Often you will be with your child, but as your little one grows, they will want to feel more independent. There will come a time when going to the toilet and brushing teeth, will become solo tasks. Here are some ideas to assist in minimising risk and maximising safety.

  •  Framed shower screen: Frameless glass shower screens look amazing, but when designing for children, I recommend investing in framed screens. Exposed glass edges are difficult to see. Frameless glass, with young children is a disaster waiting to happen. Richters offer a range of framed shower enclosures, perfect for minimising bathroom risks.
  • Rounded vanity: When selecting your vanity and basin, choose products with smooth edges to avoid nasty bumps.
  • Big bath mat: Ensure stray splashes and spills are taken care of. Invest in a larger than average bath mat to minimise wet and slippery surfaces.
  • Non-slip flooring: Not all residential floor finishes are non-slip. When selecting bathroom flooring, no matter what material, aim for at least an R11 slip rating.

2. Colour

Children love bright splashes of colour. Cheerful tones will automatically make your bathroom inviting and interesting. The key to using colour, is keep it bright, but simple. Keep your palette to a maximum of two colours and one shade. Following this formula, your interior will be less likely to date over time. Finding balance between colour and shade will allow your interior to present joyful in a mature manner. Opt for timeless colour combinations you find appealing and your bathroom will stand the test of time. Some of my suggested colour combinations are:

  • Aqua and crisp white
  • Lime, stone and cool white
  • Orange, maroon and warm white
  • Lemon, stone and cream

 3. Be fun, but don’t be foolish

Accessories are the best way to cost effectively transform any room into a child friendly space. The advantage of quirky children’s bathroom accessories is they’re not permanent. You can update regularly with minimal financial impact. There are incredibly cute bathroom accessories available, bath towels plugs, toothbrushes and bars of soap – your options are endless. Increase bathroom enthusiasm, give your children the opportunity to select their own bathroom accessories.

4. Storage for you and them

Children love feeling part of the ‘big kids club’. The last thing you want is to create an interior where all a child hears is “no”. “No you can’t touch that”, “No you can’t open that” – it’s all very negative. Enable children to feel permission and responsibility in the bathroom by incorporating easy to reach storage options. Open wall storage provides children easy to access lower level nooks for bath toys and towels. Higher shelves can be used by adults to store bathroom products best kept out of reach. Allowing children access to their own towels, bath toys and hairbrushes will give them a sense of ownership and pride in the bathroom. They will also truly feel like on of the “big kids”.

5. Make it easy to use

All residential bathrooms, even new builds designed with children in mind, will be proportioned to suit adults. Allow easy, safe basin and toilet access via bathroom stools. Invest in products specifically designed for bathroom use. These stools have multiple step options, non-slip feet and they make an adorable addition to bathroom décor.

Avoid using chairs and generic stools, these are more likely to slip out from under a child, because they’re not designed for this application

Image Source: Bliss, Lesley Graham, thewhitecompany, apartmenttherapy, EliethFox on Pinterest, BostonGlobe

Glass shower screens are brilliant, and this is why…

In any renovation or build, selecting bathroom fixtures and finishes can be a difficult and sometimes stressful task.

You’re prepared to invest serious money in your bathroom. You want to make sure every selection will be fashionable for many years to come. You also need to select products complimentary to the space you have to work in, and of course you need to harmonise each individual element.

To make this process a little easier, today, let’s sort your shower specification. No matter your bathroom style, a quality glass shower screen is a must. The advantages associated with framed, semi-framless and frameless glass shower screens are enormous. They will benefit every bathroom they’re installed. For anyone stuck in bathroom design decision making mode; stop what you’re doing, tick one thing off your list, and discover the many reasons why you need a glass shower screen.

You need a glass shower screen to let your tiles shine, shine, shine!

Glass shower screen = feature tile’s ultimate companion. The beauty of glass is it’s transparent. Transparency allows other bathroom features to dominate, creating interior focal points. If you’re considering a dominant colour, or bold patterned tile, you can’t go past teaming up with Richters’ Momentum semi-frameless sliding screen Momentum will allow your shower recess to maintain definition, without detracting from feature surface finishes.

Following K.I.S.S? You need a glass shower screen.

Keep It Simple Stupid. We have all heard it before, but how often do we actually listen and apply? Not enough DIY interior designers remember to keep design simple. Simplicity doesn’t mean boring, it means tasteful and selective. Applying outrages finishes to any interior can be difficult for professionals to master. Secure bathroom success, opt for simple and effective design solutions. Frameless glass shower screens are the ultimate in sophisticated bathroom specification. Richters offers a range of hardware, such as hinges and brackets for frameless shower screens.

You need a glass shower screen to make your bathroom bigger.

Paramount in small bathrooms, but also an advantage in larger rooms, a glass shower screen will always make space appear larger. Opaque materials, or shower curtains are interior obstructions. A glass shower screen allows the eye to travel through space and process a full room. Floor to ceiling shower curtains break visibility, always creating illusions of less bathroom space. Richters’ Evolution semi-framless shower screen, enables interior visual flow.

You need a glass shower screen to make your bathroom brighter.

Unless extremely fortunate, chances are your bathroom has a small window or skylight. The last thing you want is to fit your bathroom with anything that could potentially prevent natural light from saturating your interior. Bathrooms are predominately used for grooming, they require quality lighting. Natural light is the best light for personal grooming. Glass shower screens provide definition of shower space, without reducing light flow

You need a glass shower screen for timeless style.

‘What will still be in style 10 years time?’ Even professional interior designers don’t have a crystal ball to answer this one. However glass shower enclosures, are a safe bathroom investment. Clear glass, generally won’t date. The inherit benefits of a glass shower screens will always remain, and by selection simple glass hardware, you can reduce the risk of falling out of fashion.

A glass shower screen is almost guaranteed to compliment any bathroom décor, no matter what your chosen design style. Simple, effective and timeless, the glass shower screen is must for all bathrooms.

Keep your shower screen looking sharp

You followed my advice and went with a Richters shower screen. Congratulations! Glass shower screens have so many features and benefits, unfortunately self cleaning is not one of them. When it comes to cleaning your screen, consider products and their impact on our environment. Harsh cleaning chemicals can compromise frame finish, not to mention toxic products, post cleaning, flow into our waterways. Keep your shower and the environment looking ace with environmentally friendly cleaning recipes.


Vinegar is the one item that every household should have. It is effective and safe in cleaning a number of different things and your glass shower screen is no different. Simply put white vinegar into a spray bottle and spray onto the shower door. Scrub the mixture onto the screen with a non-scratch cloth before rinsing off with warm water.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is another magic cleaning solution that will not only clean the shower but also deodorize your bathroom. Get your shower screen wet before wiping the shower screen with baking soda on a cloth. You can expect a paste to form on the door when you mix the baking soda with the water. Rinse off with warm water after.

Lemon Juice and Salt

This is the most effective option if your glass shower door frames are made out of metal. Over time you may notice that rust forms which can make your shower look dirty and old. Combine one tablespoon of lemon juice to two tablespoons of salt and form a paste. Using a toothbrush, scrub the mixture into the corners where the rust is forming. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

(Cleaning recipe source: Stay At Home Mum)

(Images: JelanieShop, JJLocations, StockholmVitt, HomeLife, DecorPad, ArchDaily)

Six tips for DIY bathroom renovators

Renovating: everyone thinks they know how to do it, almost everyone discovers it’s not as easy as it looks, and they have no idea what they’re doing.

For a small room, bathroom renovations cost a pretty penny, they also involve serious construction work. If you’re thinking about a DIY bathroom renovation, and you haven’t renovated before, my first piece of advice would be, make sure you have a good plumber on board, and possibly a cabinetmaker, or builder. If you’re new to the reno scene, don’t attempt to do everything yourself. Bathrooms can’t be updated every year. You need to take some key steps to ensure you create a successful space you will love for years to come. From seasoned ‘ren0spert’ (a renovation expert) to rookie renovators, here are six bathroom renovation tips I would advise any DIY-er consider.

1. Make a bathroom wish list

This might seem daggy, but I promise, when you have a clear idea of what you really want in your new bathroom, you won’t be regretting this step. My advice is write a couple of bathroom wish lists. Note down what you currently don’t like about your bathroom. List what fittings and fixtures you want in your new bathroom. Think about what you feel are top priority items, and try to forecast potential problems – oh, and of course make a list of design features and styles you like.

These lists will eventually form a design concept, timeline, shopping list and renovation budget.

2. Samples and mood boards

Don’t let professional designers have all the fun! Today, through sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Google + and Instagram you can access an incredible amount of design inspiration. Create a board on Pinterest to gather images, or dedicate a folder on your computer to your bathroom renovation. For the technically savvy renovator, use a creative program to bring your images together on one page. For those less across image editing software, there’s nothing wrong with printing images and gluing them onto paper. Magazines are perfect for this. Interior designers seeking inspiration actually follow this process, so if you think it sounds a little like glorified scrap booking, think again. Mood boards are significant styling tools, allowing you to determine what goes with what and an overall theme.

After your bathroom mood board is complete, collect as many paint, tile, and fabric samples as possible. For fittings and fixtures, make sure you get to showrooms and view each product in person before making any decisions. Remember, everything has the potential to look totally different in the flesh.

3. Tile planning

There is a reason tiling is a profession it its own right. A high level of skill required to getting tile configurations spot on. When tiling, you want to ensure you minimise wastage and tile pattern compromise. The best way to go about tile planning is to take the measurements of your walls and floors, along with your selected tile. Use these to grid in scale, each interior wall elevation, and the floor plan. Identify where wall features such as cupboards, hooks, rails and mirrors will  be placed, and think about what percentage of the room you want tiled. I suggest always having a tile professional look over your plans to avoid disappointment. Pre-planning tile configurations is a cost effective way of trialling different designs, and great preparation if you do attempt to take this part of the renovation on yourself.

4. Plumbing position

Please, please, please, DIYers, keep your plumbing where it is. Save yourself a small fortune and many grey hairs, don’t move your existing pipes. Only if absolutely necessary (I’m talking, toilet literally in shower type scenario) would I suggest moving pipes.

If you have to move anything, call a plumber and don’t attempt it yourself. If you’re unhappy with your current bathroom, chances are the room falls short as a result of design and décor, not plumbing layout.
5. Test a tub

Just like a mattress for your bed, a bathtub needs to be lay in before purchasing.  It’s important to get a feel for how it suits your body. A tub might look spacious and curvaceous, but this doesn’t mean you will find it comfortable. Don’t hold back when you’re walking around bathroom showrooms, kick off your shoes and test a tub!

6. Plan a ‘wow’ shower

It’s safe to assume we all use our shower at least once a day. If you’re going to the effort of re-modelling your bathroom, explore every opportunity to increase shower footprint and maximise luxury. A double shower would be my first recommendation, however if your floor plan doesn’t allow, use a frameless or semi-frameless glass shower screen to create the illusion of a larger shower cavity. For an extensive range of shower screens, visit Richters.
Image Source: Realestate.comPlacesJournal, ALifeWellLived, Decorgirl, Castlehaunnblackhouse

Mirrored wardrobe doors, a fresh look on an interesting design feature

After a short stint spent in the bin of “holdover of ’80s design”, sliding mirror wardrobe doors are back in vogue.  They are now seen as a new classic because they offer so many benefits. A mirrored wardrobe door makes a room appear larger and they reflect the natural light.  This adds brightness and dimension to the room, making it feel more spacious. They offer a fresh take at a truly interesting design feature.

Practical Wardrobe Design

Homeowners choose mirrored wardrobes for their practicality as they save floor space by becoming part of the design vision for the room and the full length mirrors get frequent use.

Successful installers understand the need to pair the mirrors with strategic location to make the most of a room’s natural light. Some areas accommodate mirrored doors better than others. Learn how to use this for design advantage.

Having mirrored doors for the bedroom furniture can have advantages both in terms of functionality and style. Large mirrors allow the home’s residents to better assess clothing choices and ensembles. This is particularly helpful in the home without a dressing room or a large walk-in robe.

Contemporary spaces

While mirrored wardrobes look prefect in contemporary spaces and with minimalist design trends where every feature must have purpose, they blend equally well with classic, art deco, industrial, traditional and shabby chic decorating.
An easy choice

Richters mirrored wardrobe doors offer a low maintenance, easy-to-clean option to change the look of a bedroom. They look amazing and perform effortlessly for years. You can gain even greater design options and mix and match mirrored panels with others to have one, two, three or more panels mirrored.

Talk to an expert at Richters today

Image Source: KatrinaChambers

Tips on Renovating a Kitchen

When renovating your kitchen it is important to keep three things in mind:

1. The outcome you want
2. The use your kitchen will provide
3. How you would like your kitchen to look

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes, which accounts for a lot of their challenge — and a lot of their appeal. The same cabinets, appliances, and surfacing materials can look entirely different in someone else’s home than in yours. Stock cabinets can be given a unique look with virtually unlimited specialty finishes and a change of hardware. If your renovating budget can accommodate custom cabinets, your choices are even greater. Countertop materials already come in a great array of choices, but they can be customized even further with special routing or inset bands of another color or material. The same goes for renovating flooring, walls, and in-kitchen dining furniture. So even if your kitchen is small and ordinary, it’s not hopeless!

Allow for enough bench space

Bench space is often one of the most important factors when designing a new kitchen, not only for ease of use but for safety. Remember the appliances you choose will affect how much space you have for benches. Look to leave free space on either side of the cook top and sink.

You can transform it into a remarkable space unlike anybody else’s. Manufacturers and designers have seen it all, and the end result is that you can have all the amenities you want and need, even in a tiny kitchen. Savvy, space-saving products are available for the owner of the apartment-size condo, co-op, or townhouse kitchen. You’ll find that convenience doesn’t have to come only in the large economy size

Allow ample space for doors to swing

Refrigerators, dishwashers and ovens need to have ample space for the doors to open inside the kitchen.

To create a distinctive space, your first move is to look at your kitchen with an eye to what might serve as a focal point. A large window, or long wall can be the start. Take advantage of a bank of beautiful windows with an eye-catching counter that runs the length of the window wall. If you love to entertain and are lucky enough to have ample space, consider setting your room up to include two back-to-back kitchens; one with a full-size range, a fridge, ovens, and a sink, and the other with an ice-maker, a wine chiller, a second sink, a mini-fridge, and a microwave, plus an abundance of storage. Pretty much anything you dream up can be executed with the help of a talented design team. It’s up to you

Think about lighting and ventilation

Look to keep your kitchen well ventilated and lit. Working in a shadow makes it more likely that accidents will occur. Be sure to position lights above any high traffic work areas when renovating. Good ventilation in the space will ensure you have a comfortable space to cook in and will reduce the likelihood of fires.

Whether your space is large or small, light or dark and whether the end result you want is pretty or pretty wild, you’ll do best if you stick close to the following basic recommendations:

Try to keep the straight-line distance between the sink, fridge, and cooktop between 12 and 23 feet.

Position the sink between the other two appliances, since it’s used most often. (The sink’s location may depend on pre-existing plumbing lines.)

Allow for 36 inches of counterspace to the right and 30 inches to the left of the range and sink if at all possible; if not, allow a minimum of 24 inches and 18 inches.

It’s tempting to place a tall fridge and built-in wall oven next to each other, but try not to; each needs its own landing space on both sides of the appliance for safety.

Try to include a minimum of 10 linear feet of both base cabinets and upper cabinets.

Utilize lazy Susans to make potentially wasted corners fully functional.

Use pull-out drawers rather than reach-in, conventional cabinets for greatest convenience. If you’re retro-fitting existing cabinets, have pull-out trays installed.

But in the end if you want some advice on your kitchen call us we will be more than happy to come out to your place and help you with any questions you may have.