This Funky Kids' Bathroom Channels a Sophisticated Locker Room

Gym locker inspired bathroom with white tile

Design: Etch Design Group; Photo: Sophie Epton

“Most clients shy away from color, but she came wanting color in every room,” says Gillian Blair of Etch Design Group. The clients, a family with two young boys, were doing an extensive remodel and addition of a 1940s bungalow in central Austin and came to Etch in October 2018 to help them envision the interior elevations, wallpaper, paint, light fixtures and furnishings, according to Blair. 

The home, which was originally a three-bedroom, two-bathroom single-story now has two levels and a brand-new bathroom for their boys, one which is spacious and has a design that is equally grown-up as it is whimsical. 

Overview of bathroom.

Design: Etch Design Group; Photo: Sophie Epton

When Blair met with the clients for the initial inspiration meeting, they made it clear that they didn’t want the boys to have a bathroom that felt too cute, but instead one they could grow into. The one they previously shared had black-and-white tile as well pops of a bright blue, which was a good starting point in terms of aesthetic for the new addition. 

The clients also enjoyed layering varying tile—which is where the locker room vision came into play.

“She actually had the idea of an elevated locker room,” Blair recalls. “I really liked that and thought, what a fun concept we could apply.”

The client actually had the idea of an elevated locker room. I really liked that and though, what a fun concept we could apply.

As the house is a bungalow, the tiling felt highly appropriate with the home’s architecture, and Blair went with a stripe of green clover tile from local company, Clay Imports, to accent the neutral flooring and walls.

“The grass-green, emerald tone felt like a nice change and meshed with the rest of the colors in the house,” she says.   

Green tile cutout in shower.

Design: Etch Design Group; Photo: Sophie Epton

Another launching point was Schumacher’s Aviary wallpaper, a funky hand-drawn print from illustrator Saul Steinberg. The clients loved it, but were unsure of where in the home it would best fit—but Blair knew it would perfectly accompany the shared bathroom.

In lieu of a double vanity, Blair went with something more unique: a trough-style sink. “We hadn't done that before, and they can use the sink anyway they want,” she says. While the designer realized using that style sink would take away the storage that comes with a double vanity, the layout allowed for plenty of storage opportunities. 

Trough style sink in black and white.

Design: Etch Design Group; Photo: Sophie Epton

There was a pocket of space they utilized for floor-to-ceiling storage, now used for bath toys, toiletries, and even the family’s bed linens. Furthermore, there was more space between the sink and toilet. 

“You don't often have spaces that are too big,” she says. “You’re usually trying to get more space.” The roomy children’s bathroom also has a pony wall, a half wall for privacy by the toilet, and a bench. 

Black storage cabinet next to shower.

Design: Etch Design Group; Photo: Sophie Epton

“As the boys are mainly still taking baths, we thought it would be nice to have a dressing area,” she says. “The client actually found the bench herself.”

While the project took more than a year to be completed due to the intensive renovation, the bathroom is now one of the starting design moments. Given the client’s open-mindedness, design eye, and Blair’s lead, the bathroom exhibits a timeless style that the family adores.

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