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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Thursday, August 11, 2011

More On Today's Bathrooms

See my first posting on today's bathrooms at:

This bathroom is really beautiful to the eye. But let's break it down, as I always do.

Do you notice all the open floor space? That's a lot of wasted space that has to be kept clean. They have room for an area rug and a full size chest of drawers!?! Did you notice the beautiful glass bricked shower? Must be a big shower, which means a big one to keep clean! And I can see trying to squirm around to get that tub clean! It's set in a corner! Have you ever placed a bed in a corner and then tried to change the sheets? Same thing. There is no easy way to reach that far corner. Those are nice expensive window treatments. Ever tried to clean those?

Remember, a bathroom is one of the 3 dustiest places in your house! Due to toilet paper and kleenex dust, face powders, talcum powder, hair, hair spray, lint from towels and clothes... and then it all gets damp each time you take a shower and plasters itself on your bathroom stuff. Can anyone say "Ick!" But you know what I mean. It's true isn't it? Now how are you gonna reach those window treatments in that corner over the tub? I guess you have to vacuum them regularly so how are you going to do it? If they come down, then they have to be dry cleaned and how do you reach them? And the more doo dads and "open shelves" you have, the more to be cleaned.

Remember my mantra - You can get away with almost any design as long as you keep it clean! If it's not clean, it's not going to be pretty no matter who designed it.

What do I like about this bathroom? I love the floors. That high gloss marble is pretty in that cream color. I like the idea of a glass block wall, just not in the used, wet part of the shower. It lets in light without giving a view. And I like the colors chosen with the dark wood. Cream, green is very neutral without being devoid of color.

Now, this is luxury fit for a king. And it would take a king's ransom to pay the servants to keep it clean! There is way too much countertop including the center island. You would be wiping countertops all day long! This huge tub is in another hard to reach place. 3 sides enclosed which means you have to literally get in the tub to reach the other side! You can just barely see the window treatments over the tub. Those silk-dry-clean-only expensive ones right above all that splashing and humidity. At least they are low enough to reach if you precariously stand on the ledge of the bathtub.

What do I like about it? The green/white/gold/with-a-little-khaki-thrown-in is different. And I'm all for being different as long as it's practical too. I love the architectural elements like the columns, molding, trey ceilings and the bump out of the oval tub. With all the mirrors (which you have to keep sparkling) you might have missed the drop down flat screen TV in the ceiling. I could get into that! And I love where the closets are. It uses those two corners on either side of the bathtub. A his and hers closet!

Now this I love and I have nothing bad to say about it! The tub is easily accessible to clean from 3 different sides. The fireplace is to die for! And there is a big enough ledge to easily step up and be able to reach the mantle for dusting. I love the box molding around the sides. The vanity seems to have enough storage space and countertop without too much. The Charleston shutters are lovely and easy to clean. Oh, yes, I could get in this tub and relax!

This is a nice setup. The shower is a little too big for practical cleaning and I wouldn't want to have to clean glass block all the time like you would if it's part of a shower. But the tub is easily accessible on all sides. The fireplace is nicely placed. It's a little dark, especially with the dark wood vanity on the same side vs. the glass block shower on the opposite side. Makes the room look heavy on one side. The Charleston shutters were a nice answer for the large window.

I've been seeing a lot of these tubs lately so I thought I would include it. Someone who has a disability or is elderly can open the side like a door and step in without having to lift their legs or balance on one leg while lifting the other. Once inside, you close the door, sit on a seat and let the tub fill up with water. The seat is normal chair height so no lowering yourself down in a tub and struggling to get back up. And notice the handheld shower.

This is nice. Notice the round mirrors again? Very reminiscent of the '30's and popular today. Notice the white pebble floor? I don't know about keeping that clean. I learned a long time ago that white grout doesn't stay white unless you never walk on it! But it does give a pretty effect here. The colors chosen are very popular in decorating today and it gives this bathroom a slightly masculine look.

I wanted to show you another pebble wall. I like small glass tiles but this is a little orange for me. And you can just see the "throne" and it's black. ? Now, to be quite frank, if I was seated on the throne I would be obsessed with the dust accumulating on that un-dustable pebble wall. It would drive me insane! Maybe you could overlook it. The only way I can think of to clean that wall is to vacuum it with a brush and that doesn't go over good. "Excuse me, I can't talk right now, I'm vacuuming my bathroom wall."

And here is your shabby chic! I love the tub and it's right by the bed. Did I say bed!?! Yes, I did. It seems these people want to bathe in their bedroom. I guess I could get past that except for worrying over the splashes and water on that wood floor. Otherwise this is fine by me.

This tub couldn't be any easier to clean could it. Right size, access to all sides. The white marble may yellow in time but otherwise this is a nice design.

I had to throw this one in. Isn't it exotic! Notice the lights on the floor around the tub. Nothing like a little accent light. The fireplace is perfect height for enjoying it from the tub. I like the open windows. Obviously they don't have nosy neighbors sitting in the trees outside the house. If you have that luxury, then leave the windows open (but keep them clean).

This is very easy to clean and efficient. But it also a little sterile. I think it would have done better with a little color.

Now talk about your color! Doesn't this red wall pop against all the bright white!!! Brilliant, vivid red! I like this tub and it's seems easily accessible for cleaning. I like the handheld shower head too!

This lovely egg shaped tub is beautiful. I really like it. Don't do the bamboo at home. Another hard surface to clean. But the tub is great!

This looks like my wooden salad bowl! Although it's striking, I can't imagine really using it. Water and wood don't mix.

Something about this makes me feel like I could dive in head first and swim out to the pier. Oh, there isn't one, is there. It just looks so much like a swimming pool.

A little too glass box for me. How would you keep all that sparkling?

This is a small jacuzzi for people who don't have a large space for one. Very neat and trim tub!

This is so beautiful! But would it really stay "copper" with all the cleaning solutions you use to clean your bathtub? It might not stay so bright and shiny but oxidize and get that green patina.

I love this shower. Just the right size to be comfortable but not too big to keep clean. You don't have to worry about any shower curtains or doors either. It's bright and fun. The only changes I would suggest is make the door a little wider and use a color grout, NOT white.

Another bright shower. This one is a little bigger and might be just this side of being too big to easily clean.

Here is a small bathroom that really works. I'm not into Japanese decor but a lot of people are and this is a neat, trim room. Did you notice how easy to clean the toilet would be. You can even vacuum and mop under it!

This is a nice sized shower and the green, wavy glass removes the need to keep Windex on the shelf for every time you take a shower. Glass showers require a lot of Windexing. Although this tub is enclosed on 2, if not 3, sides, it's not such a gigantic tub that you can't reach it to clean that far side.

This is perfect for your normal homes. If you don't have a big mansion, (I don't!) then this may fit in your bathroom. It gives you plenty of storage space and countertop without overdoing it.

This is nice for those arts & crafts bungalows. Very nice pair of vanities!

This is a very nice urban sophisticated bathroom. If the vanity was mirrored it would be 1930's glam!!

This is one for the log home owners! I think I would have gone with a stone countertop but otherwise this great for the cowboy in all of us!

This is nice for the normal sized bathrooms we all have. I love the ceramic tile...the white subway tile with the green border. Very nice trim job. And there is the glass block used correctly. You get the natural light without losing your privacy. And how easy is that for a window treatment?

For those older farm houses...isn't this lovely! I love the rose wallpaper. Over the last 10 years we've forgotten about wallpaper and I do love it when it's just right. This tub is so old fashioned. And the pedestal sink goes well with it. I love the panelled walls. Ok, OK, I love it all! It's just so sweet.

This sophisticated bathroom is lovely. A little too much open shelving. Remember, open shelving gets dusty so I'd rather have cabinet doors. But the colors and countertop and layout are great! Notice the frosted glass door for the water closet right next to the clear glass door for the shower? I think I would have done another frosted glass door for the shower. The lighting is real good in this bathroom too. It's sufficient without overdoing it. Very subtle.

A great use of a dormer or attic space. Nothing wrong with this!

This elegant bath is nice. I like the tub, although, for me, it's a little short. Also, the drum light should be centered over the bathtub. It's not centered over anything. The shower is too big and has all that clear glass to Windex. I would have opted for a slightly larger tub and a smaller enclosed shower. Also, it seems there may be a pebble floor in the shower. If so, then they have a pebble floor, lg ceramic tile on the floors and shower walls, black granite for countertops and small colored ceramic tile back splash. A little too much in the different mediums. I do like the skylights and the round table. That pull up shade, vs. a pull down shade, is a nice touch too.

Is this a subway bathroom? Why don't I like it? It's got very easy-to-clean surfaces. It would be so quick and easy to wipe down that commode or those sinks. No hidden crooks and crannies. But there is something I don't like about it. The mirrors are too high up for most people. This is probably a man's bathroom. It needs some color or something to soften it a little.

This is a stunning bathroom for a modern home. They obviously don't have neighbors or busy highways to worry about so all that glass can stay free of window treatments. The infinity tub is a nice touch but all that rock around it has to be cleaned. How would you do that easily? Again, for me, this is too impersonal and cold. But for those of you who are purists at heart, this is a beautiful bathroom.

Now here are all your bells and whistles. I can't even imagine what all it can do!

Another great job for an older home. So many people put a modern bathroom in an old house and you lose the ambiance. You can have all the practical things you need but keep the integrity of the home. This is a good example.

A nice affordable bathroom. Notice how the half glass keeps you from having to worry with shower curtains and shower doors and yet it's not walls of glass to keep Windexed.

I really like this sink and vanity and wouldn't it go great with that bright blue round shower above?

Here is a way to fit a shower in an unusual space. And forget the chandelier, deary, unless you want to clean all those crystals by hand. It doesn't match the room anyway.

For a history of bathrooms and personal hygiene check out my post at:

Consider Your Bathrooms

I looked for bathrooms and found some more interesting bathrooms. Thanks to all the people who post photos on the Internet of beautiful, romantic, fun, shabby chic, retro, unusual, colorful bathrooms! I love seeing new ideas. It stimulates my creativity. I have done a previous blog spot on "Bathrooms" and "More On Today's Bathrooms".

My personal tastes can be described as clean and functional first, pretty second. Some people have gigantic master bathrooms. I saw some with not only powder room chairs in them but with whole couches in them. They are decorated with a fireplace, TV and maybe a "water feature". I don't know about you but I still like my bathroom to be private with no one but my husband sharing it. So why would I need a couch. I don't want to prop up on the couch and watch the latest movie. If I'm going to do that, I'll be in my bedroom or living room. I don't see my family sitting on the couch gossiping while I take a bath or worse... I do like having a TV in the bathroom so you can watch the news as you get ready.

I want a bathroom to function well for what we use a bathroom for - waste elimination (did I choose the best way to say that?) and cleaning ourselves. Some women use it as a dressing room and to put on their makeup. They now have items that we can use in a bathroom like a steam room/fancy shower and/or a sauna and whirlpool tub. If I had money, I could see adding those kind of things too. You need some storage area for your bath linens, backup bathroom supplies, makeup.

What I don't want is too much space to keep clean. A bathroom is one of the dustiest rooms in the house because of clothes and towels. Fabric breaks down with each cleaning and it puts fabric dust and fuzzies in the air. Talcum powder, face powder, hair spray will also add to the dust. So I want the bathroom large enough to be comfortable and functional but not so large that it's wasted space or additional space to have to clean. If you have a separate tub and shower, that makes 2 places to clean. If you add a sauna, it adds yet another place to clean. If your shower is big enough for more than one person to comfortably shower, then it's probably big enough to be a pain to clean. You get where I'm coming from? I have to clean it or pay someone to clean it. Either way, it's important to choose your bathroom size, fixtures and layout carefully.

Don't let something "new" and "trendy" sell you a pig in a poke. You think it would be so romantic to have a fireplace in the bathroom and you imagine candlelit nights with rose petals floating in the water as you and the man/woman of your dreams whisper sweet nothings in your ear. I hate to tell you but, "Wake up and smell the coffee!" How often would that happen? Is it worth having to clean it every week of the year for years to come? Do you know that those whirlpool tubs get mildew in their pipes? Etc. So functional and easy to clean should be first and foremost in your mind when you plan a bathroom.

Another thing I saw is a trend to either re-use antique furniture for a bathroom vanity or buy a vanity that looks like antique furniture.

This is very attractive and I can see why people like the idea. But please consider a couple of things before you make that decision.
* Is it so ornate that keeping it dusted is a problem?
* You don't want wood and water to mix. It NEVER works! So make sure you choose a marble or granite top and DON'T use a wooden top.
* Are you destroying a valuable antique? If you bought a vanity would you pay more or less than the antique you are about to destroy? If the value of the antique is more than it would cost to use a nice cabinet, you might want to reconsider.
* Can the antique handle double sinks? Do you need double sinks?
* How will you deal with the plumbing issue? Will you lose drawer/cabinet space by using an antique vs. vanity cabinet?

If you do use an antique, I like the idea of using a bowl sink so that it will look like the old bowl and pitcher that people had to use in the old days. You might even place a pitcher next to your sink.

At least this sink is big and deep enough with the water close enough to the bowl that I would think having a wooden top is OK in this case.

I don't really think this bathroom is decorated well. They used this antique buffet (with wooden top) so I wouldn't have used that tile work. It ends up looking a little too modern for the buffet. But that's my personal opinion. Using a buffet was probably a good idea (no drawers to work the plumbing around) for double sinks. It fits the nook perfectly. Just don't use a wooden top for a counter.

This is a good compromise. The large kitchen size sink is big enough to catch all the splatters. But they used antique cabinets on either side of the sink. I liked the end result.

This cabinet has been distressed to look like an old cabinet or piece of furniture. The top is marble which is good (although white marble can yellow with the use of cleaners, chemicals and age). I think I personally would have preferred bowl sinks but the box sinks aren't terrible. The mirror gives character but is it enough to be functional for shaving and such. The pendant lights are low enough to reach for cleaning but there are too many pieces for easy cleaning. Think carefully before you put a chandelier in your bathroom because it can be hard to clean regularly. Personally, I wipe down my light fixtures around the sink every time I clean the bathroom so you want it to be easy swipes and not windexing individual crystals. Notice the well placed TV?

Have you seen old advertisements of bathrooms? I love old magazines and it fascinates me to see what they found to be modern in those old days? (See my blog post on the "History of Hygiene" to see the development of the bathroom.)

Some people find themselves inheriting old bathrooms when they buy older homes.

This bathroom tile looks great! I would probably go with this and decorate around it. I wonder if they couldn't find a pink commode seat? That could be a problem and if you can't find a simple pink toilet seat then you are going to have to gut the bathroom. That's an expensive toilet seat but think of those things.

I've seen some bathrooms that are fantastically retro and some that are sadly dilapidated. If you inherit a bathroom that is horrible and very faded, cracked, broken, etc. then you might consider a total gutting and remodel. But if you inherit a bathroom where the tile is in pristine condition and the fixtures are working and pristine, then consider just going with it. I did that in our last home. We inherited great tiled bathrooms from 1967. They were in excellent condition so we kept everything except the vanities. We had new vanities installed with new countertops but re-installed the original sinks. We changed wallpaper and lighting fixtures and we had a wonderful "retro" bathroom. Even if it's those odd old colors, as long as it looks good, try to decorate around the colors. Go with the retro look.

This brings about another point... if you are building or remodeling a bathroom think carefully before you buy colorful fixtures like sinks, bathtubs and commodes. They will almost always look dated in the future and can make it hard to re-sell your house because not everyone will love your pink sink, blue commodes or yellow bathtubs. Also, color always shows soap scum and toothpaste splatters more so than plain white. So consider using colors on your walls, floors or accessories instead of in the fixtures.

This is a pretty shower but all I can think of is how much shower there is to clean and all that glass to keep shined up.

Here is your tub, shower and steam room all in one which makes cleaning easier.

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