I love looking around bathroom showrooms – especially those high end ones in the smarter towns . They exude absolute luxury and offer ideas that even the plebs amongst us can utilise. In fact that’s what happened a few years ago, when I visited such a showroom that I had gone past many times on my way to the multi storey car park that rose above it. I ventured in there one lunch time just because I’d not had the guts to go in such an emporium before. In fact I only went on that occasion because I was looking for ideas to replace the defunct shower in my ensuite. They had he most amazing selection of much more exciting designs, some of those are on the market today but they seemed so futuristic and space age at the time. I didn’t get a quotation from them as it was dauntingly smart in there. But it did inspire me to ring a family friend to ask if her bathroom fitting son in law would care to quote. for the work.
We all love to visit hotels at some time during the year. The chance to sleep in a truly comfortable bed, knowing we won’t be needing to do the housework next day is a supreme luxury, albeit short lived. That frst exploration of the swanky bathroom is exsquisite. doe they offer the top quality shampoo and body lotion – how easy is the shower to operate. That has always been a bugbear of mine. How to ge the damned shower to coe on at the right temperature the second time I use it! I was on a nationwide project for 5 years, staying in all sorts of hotels. I loved it! I had no one at home to miss me and I revelled in each new location. To the point where I knew exactly what I wanted in my bathrooms when I had them upgraded. Fitted cabinets with narrow worktops add such a look of quality. My friends and neighbours still gasp with delight when they’re allowed near!
Ahh, the exciting subject of bathrooms and washrooms. I have had a fabulous pair of ensuite and bathroom for some years now. It all started when my shower packed up in the ensuite – it was flopping and leaking water all over the place and the shower cubicle wasn’t up to much after only 4 years of service. So I asked the son in law of a jolly good pal if he would assist me. A few weeks down the line and several thousand £ later, I was the very thrilled owner of these marvels of sparkling white porcelain and chrome with the addition of fantastic push button electronic pressure showers. I have a pump for each up in the loft and they are still as fabulous to use as they were all those years ago. I keep all the chrome as clean as possible with a specialist limescale remover – in fact the hard warter deposits are minimal in the areas I can reach!
The grimness of having to use the facilities in my mother’s care home bedroom is all to familiary to my sisters and me. We have been visiting this establishment for over 8 years now and the horror comes back every time one of us needs to take a call of nature. Everything else about the bedroom is perfectly adequate. the very hi-tec bed has of of those marvellous bed raiser/lower/tipping hand devices. No, don’t tempt me . . . another very disappointing reception from our ma when I entered the room did make me reach for the controls. But no, I jest.
These facilities could so easily have been built into my own home, just a few thousand to engage the services of a professional bathroom company to modify the second bedroom, adding appropriate shower room with grab handles and all the kit, would have kept her nearer the family. But I have a degree in hindsight!
Bathroom design is not a subject one delves into very often – usually it crops up as a result of the existing facilities suddenly not being the be all and end all of our world. Usually we buy a house – like me, a new one. Everything is already installed and for the most part, work very well and as it should. The ony time you’d destroy that happy situation is to rectify any elements that have stopped giving pleasure. Choosing a new bathroom is nearly as complicated as doing up the kitchen. Slightly less so in fact because the choice of units is more limited in number and design. The shower cubicle is always a thorny subject. I think the tallest & biggst person in the home should be the model for all shower equipment. If it goes round, over, under them. . . everyone else should ignore the rest. Taps are the most difficult. Do we look for chrome, steel, pewter, and is that going to be half cup, full handle, knob? Wooh, the choices are endless!
A chum of mine thinks he’s top dog in home refurbs and compares his home to just about everyone else’s and of course, if there is much of a variance of style then the other party is clearly in the wrong! I notice this when I was honoured by receiving a video of their newly refurbished bathroom. . . . Because they live in an Edwardian era bungalow, which has been added to and added to over the decades, it is now a chalet with dorma windows in the attic bedrooms. The bathroom was put up in the loft conversion and offers velux windows in the roof. The over bath shower is one of those old fashioned chrome ones with an exta head on a small linked hose – absolutely perfect for hair washing without getting everything else drenched by the main raindrop style shower head! They’ve added brick style tiling, offering the extraordinarily popular London underground effect, in dark green ceramic with white grouting. The basin is simple, round and sat on top of a metal framework. All posh but no storage area for all those shampoo and body wash bottles!
We probably all have very differing ideas of how a bathroom should look. I certainly do enjoy having a state of the art shower in each bathroom. I don’t bother with baths much these days – the guilt feeling conjured up by using thousands of litres of hot water is so excessive that any enjoyment is completely dissolved. I know that my stark fuss free showers probably wouldn’t appeal to the person for whom that daily shower or bath invlolves a pamper and total immersion in being good to oneself. Having a quick minute shower is my limit – saving water usage is a priority in my house. One small step to reducing waste. I don’t like fussy blinds or curtains in bathrooms or kitchens. Having to keep them very clean and grub free is impossible in a busy room with lots of folk leaving their grubby fingerprints and products all over the shop. I’m not fanatical about sluicing down everything after use so having my streamlined facilities makes very goo sense!
You know how it is, in the summer months all lovely and warm, hardly a damp day to get in the way of activities. Lots of working out in the garden, tidying up the borders or getting into the veg growing. There are also those holiday hikes to be enjoyed with or without the children. Whatever the activity, the warm, dry weather just makes it so much more enjoyable.
Once the work is done though, whatever the weather, a certain amount of wear and tear catches up with all of us. Those unexplained aches catch us by surprise and take a little longer to leave. Now is the time to invest in a bathroom refit to include the luxury of a whirlpool bath. Talk to your bathroom designer for ideas. Nothing makes you feel more warmly relaxed, but at the same time, rejuvinated as the fiz and bubble of a whirlpool!
I have a chum who is about to buy her first house after many years of sharing with relatives. She’s not a youngster by any means but has a private income and a small fortune set aside for this very task. I’m not sure what has now prompted her to take the leap of faith, maybe realising that she needs to gain independence from a group of family members who never let her think for herself! Anyway I went with her to look at bathroom cabinets and towels etc. It was fabulous fun. We then stopped in a traffic queue right outside a premier bathroom showroom – that was it. Of we had to toddle, round to see the most exsquisite bathroom settings – fabulous basins and taps set into neat but functional cabinets with worktops aside. Shower cubicles that can be opened and closed with the tip of a finger. Electronic showers . . . . . . absolute luxury.
In this extreme heatwave we are experiencing, it can be very tempting to use water for all the things we think are very important. I know someone up the road who, despite their protestations, must be watering their front lawn – it is an unreasonably bright shade of green when absolutely everybody else’s is brown bald and dead. It now sticks out like a sore thumb and the neighbour is feeling smug – until she notices that even her best pals are shunning her. soetimes vanity gets in the way of common sense. I also know a couple of pensioners who won’t hear of having a shower installed. They have always had baths and won’t be changing to these new fangled things. I cannot get through to them how much easier getting clean is with a walk in shower, than clambering up over the side of a bath. And the water savings alone make your eyes water!