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Renovating an existing bathroom space or designing a new bathroom from scratch can be a fun adventure. It can also be a power struggle — especially if you are choosing a design for teens who share a bathroom! If you have that ultimate challenge — teen girls and boys who share a bathroom — finding a design theme that each can live with may ratchet up the challenge another notch. As a parent, you want your teens to be happy and comfortable in their private space, but you also need to find a theme that works with your home décor and budget. The following are some great, gender-neutral bathroom themes that can be as affordable and flexible as you need them to be.
With a beach theme, you can create a gender-neutral bathroom that revolves around an activity that both teens enjoy. If your bathroom is big enough to allow each teen some wall space, you can even install a cork or patchwork board where your teens can put up their favorite pictures from their summer beach adventures. As well, a beach theme gives enough color flexibility that if each teen wants to pick out some accessories they like for the bathroom vanity or countertop, the chances of finding something that color-coordinates with the theme as a whole is high.
This classic theme is also popular enough that your teens are likely to accept it without quarreling, yet flexible enough to allow for splashes of gender-specific color. With a black-and-white theme, if you have houseguests, you can feel comfortable opening the bathroom up for guest use without them encountering the “teen bathroom.” Finally, because the black-and-white theme is so trendy today, it is one of the most affordable themes.
Nautical (or Seaside) Theme
A nautical or seaside theme naturally incorporates gender-neutral colors like forest green, gold, navy blue and deep red yet still gives the bathroom a distinct personality. With a nautical theme, you can incorporate natural wood, seashells, anchors and pulleys, lighthouses, seagulls, dolphins, fish and other marine staples.
The one requirement of a half-and-half theme is that you have a slightly larger bathroom space that incorporates some personal wall and counter space for each teen. With a half-and-half theme, you literally allow each teen to select his or her personal theme for half of the bathroom. While you may emerge with two conflicting themes design-wise, this choice also gives each teen more of a feeling of having a say in their bathroom design and more control over keeping their personal items separate.
The “Boho” Theme
The boho (short for bohemian) theme is popular today because it is a way to seamlessly transition from childhood to adolescence, then into the younger and later teen years without having to redo your bathroom décor accordingly. You start with a neutral or white color scheme. This allows you to change artwork, furnishings, counter accessories and other pieces as your teens mature. Because the boho theme blends formality with whimsy, maturity with playfulness, you can accommodate a few favorite treasures from childhood into an ever-maturing overall design.
If you go with a sustainable theme, you will entirely sidestep the gender issue. You can incorporate earth tones, eco-friendly woods like bamboo, sustainable materials like hemp and organic cotton, low-flow toilets, showers and sink faucets, CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) light bulbs, recycled toilet paper and tissues and other earth-friendly options. This fun, feel-good theme teaches your teens about their roles in saving the planet and gets them involved in a mindset of sharing that can also (ideally) translate into a peaceful bathroom coexistence!
With these six gender-neutral bathroom designs, you are sure to find a theme both teens can agree on that you will also love.
About the Author: Helen Abbe is a professional interior designer who specializes in bathroom/bedroom remodels. She particularly loves working with her clients dreaming up fanciful designs for kids and teens.
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