Instead of that Elmo wallpaper, follow these steps to a fun design that will last

Kids get grubby, grimy and more than a little germy (thank goodness they’re cute!), which makes a dedicated children’s bathroom a smart idea. Here are our top tips for designing a kids’ bathroom that grows up as fast as they do. Clean kids last only minutes, but their bathroom should survive a lot longer.

1. Consider the Space

Whether the space has to accommodate siblings a few years apart or triplet boys who fight over the last drop of hair gel, you won’t regret having two sinks if you can swing it. “But even if kids share a sink, you should still give each their own special space,” says Rebecca Hawkins, an interior designer in Birmingham, Ala. “Their own set of drawers, a mirror, and especially for girls, a medicine cabinet for each to store all of their own products as they get older.” It goes without saying, but all medications should be stored out of their reach in your own adult bathroom.

2. Don’t Cut the Design Short

Resist the urge to make every element of the bathroom pint-size—especially the sink and vanity area, which eats up a not-so-pint-size portion of your budget. “If you’re going to spend the money on a bathroom renovation, you want it to last,” Hawkins says. “Make the countertops and the toilet normal height, and incorporate great step stools.” Together, your vanity and countertop should measure between 32 and 36 inches high. And unless you love wiping up toothpaste splatters, skip vessel sinks, which are too tall for kids.

3. Make It Last

Fact: The same child who begged for a ballerina bathroom will want purple ponies in a month. Achieve themes with easily swapped accessories; even a paint change is manageable. The key is to select durable materials that mature with your kid’s tastes. Hawkins likes concrete and honed marble countertops, which stand up well to constant use. She also pushes for neutral cabinetry that will coordinate with whatever the latest cartoon craze is.

4. Finish Strong

Complete the room with functional fixtures fit for tiny hands: Affix easy-to-use cabinet pulls (think chunky knobs), hang towel hooks within kids’ reach, and install a no-fuss faucet. Hawkins recommends a gooseneck design with a single lever, as faucets with knobs for hot and cold water are difficult for kids to master (plus, that’s one more dirty handle to clean!). Better yet, consider faucets equipped with Touch2O® technology. Children can tap the faucet anywhere on the spout or handle and the water flows like magic.