Oh how I have needed help with a couple of bathroom issues – well not necessarily that room but a water department matter arose last month that needed call out of the engineers. Because there’s been a huge amount of rain, followed by snow and ice, more rain and so on, we’ve had an unbelievably challenging time wih waterlogged sewer outputs and the like. It has made using the bathrooms and loos a bit awkward at times. It’s only when you’ve had this problem for several days athat gets sorted out, that you appreciate a well designed bathroom – installed by a professional bathroom installer and craftsman. My showers are top notch, electronic on-off operation with very little movement needed. the taps are all lever type that can be operated with elbow or chin if needed. Such ease of use is critical when mobility is affected by a medical handicap and I for one always recommend seeking a professional installation!
One of the more annoying aspects of living in an area that has much clay and also very hard water is the messy build up that gets deposited all over the bathrooms and kitchen areas. Most folk try to keep up with the cleaning routine on a regular basis and after a few years of fruitless scrubbing and scraping they then give up in despair and just try buying new of everything. That idea does appeal but is sometimes not possible from an economics point of view. However there is light at the end of the mucky tunnel. There is one particular limescale remover spray on the market that is absolutely fantastic at removing these deposits. I’ve seen it in action on basins that look dull from using other products and the taps in this house shine as if brand new. It even works on glass flower vases, dulled by hard water. It is a wonder product and worth every penny!
I like very plain bathrooms and ensuites. Not for me the frilly roman blinds or gingham curtains. Certainly no place in my abode for dolls with massive knitted ‘crinolines’ to cover the spare toilet rolls. No, le’s be honest and have a basket stacked with lovely clean sparkling white loo rolls. I do have a set of tiny display shelves next to the mirror in the main bathroom. A clever way to utilise the space between mirror and wall mounted cabinet. I had the bathrooms totally gutted and updated a few years ago and I still love the modern clean feel – they haven’t dated at all – modern chrome fittings, pure white porcelain sanitary ware and very well constructed shower cubicles help to give the feeling of pure luxe quality in design and installation. It was not a cheap transformation but it’s proven to be the fantastic value for money over the years.
I’ve been the very proud owner of smart bathrooms and ensuites for some years now. I had a broken shower that somehow led to me having all of my facilities ripped out and replaced with amazingly modern cabinets; inset basins with press down plunger plugs and lever taps; press button flush loos; whirlpool bath . . . . and fabulous push button power showers in generous easy clean cubicles. I had first thought about going ‘wet room’ but I had expressly wanted the hotel style cabinetry to hide away all the gubbins you inevitably collect over time. The only drawback now is that my main ensuite basin plunger plug has packed up and although it was replaced with similar a few years ago, this one has also broken. I shall have to find an old fashioned rubber plug on a chain! But other than that, it’s been a most wonderful decision to upgrade and still fills me with joy every time I use one of the rooms – and even more so when I show guests or envious friends!
If ever there was a reason to keep one’s bathrooms and ensuite in tip top condition, the sudden arrival of the neighbour to look at your layout is it. We had this somewhat humilitating experience recently. Knowing our neighbour was seeing her architect about an extension project, we’d mentioned how our washrooms had been updated a few years ago and extended an invite to ‘pop round any time’ to look. . . . Well they did just that and of course, the house, particularly those very washrooms, was in dismally grubby and untidy! Anyway, tactfully not noticing this, our neighbour was in raptures at our still truly fab designs. The ultra slim but essential counter tops with inset basins and beautiful wooden cabinetry were very much in their plans – the walls and floors are fully stone tiled and my double shower unit is ultra spacious but not cumbersome. The shower themselves are operated by illuminated on/off push button and have separate pumps in the loft. It’s some years since our upgrade but it’s still a joy every single day we live here!
One of the soul destroying things about living in houses built on mass production basis – everything bought in bulk, so my house was originally exactly the same as two thirds of the rest of this estate. Immediately after a major upheaval some four years after moving in, two events converged . Firstly, stuck in traffic on my drive to work, I spotted massive Sale signs in a very smart bathroom/kitchen showroom. Intrigued, I strode along that lunchtime to investigate – instantly falling in love with fabulous gleaming white and shiny chrome . . . Spacious modernity captured me forever! Then the same week, my ensuite shower packed up and I knew not how to fix. I called a family acquaintance plumber/bathroom installer for advice. He came, inspected and having temporarily fixed the shower, asked if I’d thought about updating . . . I told him about my sorti to the bathroom shop and it went from there – I’ve been the constantly thrilled user of my own two cathedrals of sanitary splendour. The best investment I’ve made so far!
It’s funny how every few years there’s a very strong sea change when it comes to decorative themes and schemes promoted by the big diy superstores and magazines. I was looking at my long subscribed family orientated magazine and yes, they too are featuring a newly refurbished family bathroom with refreshingly bright and cheerful spring look. I note they all show romantic pstel and floral colour ways for walls, tiles and accessories. This is a most welcome change from years of hard chrome / grey / black and stark white clinical sanitary ware on offer. True the pure white porcelain does always look clean and safe, but it can be cold and utterly characterless. Adding an attractive set of cherry blossom patterned accessories instantly brings it to life. I note also that all the bathrooms feature a welcome trend towards smaller modern style baths – thus introducing the idea of cutting water consumption without shouting about it. Very clever and to be applauded!
It always seems strange when I enter a bathroom and find we’re back in the dark ages with separate taps and no mixer. It’s impossible to get one stream of perfectly temperatured water for starters. If you try to run your fingers under the hot tap for a quick rinse, they get scalded and it’s hopeless trying to rinse your hair under a two tap system is the shower isn’t working! Getting the bathrooms and ensuites updated with modern sanitary ware must be one of the priorities when anyone moves into a property. Obviously when you’ve fought to get that mortgage and eventually once everything has been searched and signed, the joy of moving can take up so much energy that you don’t really appreciate how ghastly are those bathroom taps! Checking out bathroom supply sites will give a good indication of how much a small make over will be and if planned for, can be achieved in a very short time. Making the entrance into the new house that little bit less of a hassle.
It’s really not easy to get excited about bathrooms at this time of year. It’s the festive season which takes a lot of energy and concentration to get all those activities running smoothly – food and drinkies coming very close after the supply of presents. . . . Then there’s the weather – it’s usually cold in the winter and these days we keep a weather eye out for snow. They tend to threaten activity but on a long string so you’re never safe until the start of summer! So spending a lot of time up on the bathroom or ensuite does not take priority. However, one direct result of it being Christmas time is the arrival of at least two really superb gift sets – very prettily packaged and fabulously smelling bath and shower products are now displayed around the bath and shower cubicle. The widow sill is laden with similarly smelling delights – candles and pot pouri spill out from baskets and ornamental carryng devices. I find that soaking in a hot bubbly bath does take my mind off the fact that the nice shiny towel rail is not quite as efficient at filling the cokckles of my heart as the bath bombs are!
The fashions in bathroom and washroom facilities don’t have a lot of opportunity to change in the grand scheme of things. It takes a while for new ideas to filter through and in all honesty, today’s schemes are very much geared to saving water and not wasting as much as we do. I have very modern push button showers that warm upreally quickly so I don’t waste so much water getting to the point where I can jump in the cubicle. I don’t have to take a chance – as soon as I press On, the button edge is illuminated in flashing blue, becoming static once at my required temperature. I’ve had these nearly 15 years and they’re so easy to use that when I go away in hotels or on a cruise, I have to ask the steward how to use any other design. I did have to have a new pump fitted last year and the technician informed me that the new generation design of my shower now has statutory eco operation to use far less water pressure and thus less water.