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!
I had my ensuite and bathroom updated 12 years ago. The facilities built in to the house looked exactly that, bulk standard and common, so I had my friend’s son in law come and quote. He had just started his bathroom and kitchen refit business out on his own having worked as a contractor for another big supply company. It was a marriage made in heaven – his work and my money!
I have never actually got over the joy of going into my washrooms – every single time I get the same thrill of seeing a beautifully installed shower and bath and the fitted cabinets are beautifuly practical and streamlined. Everything was chosen with ease of use – the plumber knowing my rapidly deteriorating arthritis, fitted easy on/off taps and stylish grab handles on the bath to look like a design feature. The stone tiling all round still looks ultra modern and the professional finish remains – worth every penny!
Funny isn’t it, when the rain comes down continually, day after drizzled day, the need for gorgeous and comfortable bathroom fittings seems more necessary. Must be a rather peculiar train of thought on my part. There is though nothing more ghastly than having to go to outside facilities in any weather these days. No excuse at all. The old outside lav is almost a thing of the past. There are a few stalwart meanies out there. The eccentric old biddy who refuses to spend any money on such frivolous luxury . . . . . I do know one such old bird in a village near here. She resolutely refused to be modernised and have the outside loo brought inside a small internal extension to the main building. Once she departed though, the next owner ha the most wonderful bathroom facilities installed – they chose the claw foot roll top bath. The swanky all singing, all dancing power shower cubicle with steam. The lot!
The good old US always advertised that everything they did was bigger than us, bigger cars, bigger people, bigger land and space per head and of course, bigger houses. Their house design is different again, with most being made of wood and a few bricks, not the tremendously safe houses we enjoy. The bathroom arrangements do seem to be a good idea though. I’ve been to several US houses and they have their bedrooms place around an upper sitting quadrant, and there is one bathroom sitting between two bedrooms. It’s very sensible and I have yet to find a house with a completely separate bathroom.
I mention these points because when families ove into bigger more comfortable houses, they always desire the ensuite bedroom. A jack and jill arrangement ensures two rooms are each ‘ensuite’, sharing one between them. The very best facilites can be installed – together with lockable side doors for totally happy family baths!
I had the opportunity to look round a neighbouring houses the other week – and help the owner make a very critical last minute change to his techno lifestyle. I graciously accepted the invite because I had been spotted taking rather too much interest in the goings on there over the preceding weeks. There is something fascinating about watching a bunch of workmen traipsing in and out of a property isn’t there!
Having been caught in conversation with the very proud owner of the house, discussing the merits of cabinets in bathrooms and ensuites. I was able to tell him how much I enjoyed my own facilities that I’d had updated 10 years ago and invited him to view my own rooms. The chap gasped and admitted he’d not thought about such a useful addition. I noted with glee that these were frantically added to his ‘to do’ list by the end of my whirl wind tour.
Top choices for bathrooms and esuites is entirely a matter for personal choice at the end of the day. However, there are some very interesting things that can come out of a ’round the table’ discussion amongst friends and colleagues on this very subject. Some years ago, I happened to be stuck in a queue of traffic to get to my office – caused by an accident further down. This wouldn’t normally cause any second thought, but on this occasion, I was parked outside the newly refurbished bathroom showroom. My eyes lit upon the most glorious bath – it seemed enormous, but it ws the whitest, shiniest article of domestic gorgeousness that I had ever seen. I then decided to take a closer look during a free lunchtime.
This was the start of a bathroom installation adventure which I have never regretted and has added immensely to my house value and my rating in the neighbourhood!
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!
When visiting some aged relatives earlier this year, it struck me how ghastly their old bathroom was and getting up to wash in there was the least appealing part of my stay. To start with, the room was tiny, up in the ‘east wing’ of their dark and somewhat dingey old house. The room always smelt cold and damp, probably because there was only one very small, single glazed frosted window. There was no separate shower unit, just a plastic hair washing hose with a rickety hook and peg system to hold it up if a hands free shower was to be attempted.
After the relative passed away, the next owner wasted no time in getting a bathroom design studio in to completely rip it out and perform a miracle. The result is stunning – all stone tiled wet area with a curved screen protecting beautiful cabinets with white fitments. Plus two convector radiator towel rails – luscious heat !
The ensuite bathroom here was just a large shower unit, basin, toilet and no built in cupoards or space to put anything. The same as the bathoom, except that had the bath as well. After a couple of years, when some money became available, a bathroom and plumbing specialist was consulted to provide design ideas to bring things up to date and reflect the rather gorgeous ensuites I came across in many hotels throughout the year in the course of my job at that time. I got to the point where I was noting the hotels and marking them by the quality of their ensuites and just about nothing else.
The designer was an absolute whizz – he put forward ideas that I assumed would only ever be pipe dreams and available in £300 per night boutique hotels around London. But with careful planning and budgeting, I got these delights in my very own house. They’re still fantastically gorgeous even now.
Now that autumn has shuffled in to replace those heady hazy days of warm summer sunshine, thoughts generally turn at this time of year to Christmas and other Festivals leading up to New Year and beyond. There is the main business of the celebrations to be organised, the all important main dinner – more important than any other dinner of the year. The guest list is organised for the busy hostess who does the most socially during this busy social period. But there is another matter that should occupy the busy hosts’ minds – how about making sure the bathrooms and ensuites are really up to date and luxurious for their guests.
Engaging the services of a dedicated bathroom designer and installer is by far the best and probably economical idea. They are absolute experts in making the most of the space available and can offer the most up to date layouts that are often very energy savvy too.