Written by Catherine Wilson
The working day is over - you’ve made it! You log out of your computer’s account, leave your post or hand over your patients, and breathe a sigh of relief as you find your tunes for the journey home. But alas, you’ve made a rookie mistake and spend the commute thinking that you should have peed before you left. As much as you may be looking forward to some leftover lasagne or the latest drama series, one room gets priority when you finally make it home. Bathroom, loo, WC, lav...
Whatever you call it, it’s the most essential of rooms, meeting our needs at the most basic level. As we strip things down to the basics of the bathroom, we think it’s time to hark back to designs of old. Maybe not so far back that you have to venture outside into the winter night to use a bug-infested loo at the bottom of the garden, but just far enough that it’s a simpler affair with pretty taps. Read on as we take you to the bathroom of your effortless Edwardian dreams.TILES
Tiles are ideal in bathrooms as they are water-resistant and therefore a practical and long-wearing choice for the only room in which it’s acceptable to have a puddle on the floor. Subway tiles were first created in 1904 for the New York City subway. They made their way quickly into domestic homes and have recently become a modern classic. Their distinctive shape means they’re effective for a whole statement wall but can be paired easily with a more eccentric border tile to bring colour and contrast. Plus, if you choose a glossy option, they’ll reflect some light to make your space feel bigger. If maximalism is more your style, you’re in luck because the current trend in bathroom tiles seems to be ‘go big or go home.’ We see clashing colours, checkerboard floors against herringbone walls, and personalised mosaic features. The options are endless, although we’d recommend stopping short of anything that will make sunglasses a bathroom necessity.SCENT
Let’s do a little #selfcaresunday with a treat for the nose and mind. The classic scent for relaxation is lavender, well known for its calming properties but not a universal favourite (as some people do not like it). Great alternatives like bergamot and frankincense will improve relaxation and reduce restlessness, whilst wild orange can ease anxiety and give an energy boost. If you want to go all in with the essential oils, a diffuser could be a beautiful addition to your space. They’re economical, using just a small amount of oil in water to produce a fine mist that will evoke all the spa vibes, and with mood lighting options galore, you may never want to leave your peaceful sanctuary.STORAGE
In all honesty, is there anything more satisfying than having a perfectly organised tampon drawer? Or an easy-access basket which holds your perfectly tessellated daily essentials? Organisation in general, or a lack of clutter, can bring great peace to the bathroom. Decreasing clutter goes hand in hand with increasing storage. Mirrored cabinets are a great two-in-one option for small spaces. Researchers at Yale School of Medicine found that we get stressed when we have the potential to lose something, with clutter representing items which could potentially be lost. It’s interesting that the less we have, the less we stress. We’re not suggesting though that the answer to a spa-like bathroom is to cut down to a bar of soap and a single flannel, but a little measured consideration could make your life much simpler. Read on for a few extra tips on decluttering your loo.SOAP ETC
According to Eurostat, we use 50kg of plastic packaging per person every year. The bathroom is a real culprit for waste. It’s estimated that 200 zero-waste shops are up and running in the UK with 50% of those opening in the last year alone, so it should become easier and easier to find low-waste options. One such option is to use cotton or bamboo make-up pads which can be thrown in with the usual load of laundry - you may never have to buy another packet! It’s also becoming more popular to hail back to a good old-fashioned bar of soap. Facial cleansers, shampoo, conditioner and shaving bars are all available now, or choose an all-in-one if you’re going minimalistic. It’s easy to get eco-anxiety these days, so don’t panic. Just make one or two changes at a time, use up products you already have, and be kinder to both planet and your surroundings.HARDWARE
Let’s talk taps. No longer simply a water delivery system, these vessels can be a sculptural statement in your WC. A streamlined matte black will create contrast against any background whilst a Victorian style brass fitting will bring shape and a nod to a by-gone but always chic era. Not only visually pleasing, the texture could be just as important. With so many of our daily experiences being digitised, we access maps, finances, pictures and so much more through the smooth cold object that is the smartphone. Design magazine ‘Smashing’ talks about haptic memories which are created by our tactile experiences of the world around us. Although these memories only last for 2-3 seconds, they boost our understanding of the world around us and are on the priority list for design teams. The bathroom can never be fully digitised and is the perfect place to increase interaction with your living environment and provide some screen-free grounding for the day. Boost the tangibility of your space with a rough stone light-pull or a soft wooden soap dish.