According to a report on Bathrooms Design Guide , many homeowners are left scratching their heads when it comes to finding the answers to certain questions relating to the decorating of bathrooms and the use of bathroom furniture in the space available in bathrooms. It goes without saying that bathrooms are one of the most important rooms in the home to get right because it is one of the most commonly utilised rooms, so, it is a good idea to not only make it a comfortable space but also a welcoming one as well. Bathrooms are the one room where homeowners often really let their imaginations run wild and they aim to create a space that is immensely relaxing and which helps them relax from the stresses and strains of an increasingly hectic modern world.
Bathrooms are rooms of immense possibility in terms of design and creativity and this, of course, will leave homeowners with many questions about how to achieve their goals and create dream bathrooms for their homes. Some of the more unusual questions pertaining to bathrooms include:
More and more homeowners are looking to install whirlpool baths in their bathrooms and the good news is, no, you won't need to make any significant alterations to bathrooms to do so as they don't require a special water supply.
When you redesign bathrooms, many homeowners will want to move toilets to a new position in the room to create new space. It is, however, not as simple as that. In bathrooms, toilets are placed next to a soil pipe on the outside wall and whilst it isn't impossible to move them, it is a fairly large undertaking.
Bathrooms are a room that are often difficult to keep looking clutter free but by simply adding some bathroom furniture and storage units, bathrooms can be made to look pristine in no time at all.
Beauty queens have always existed, from the days of Cleopatra, make-up and image have played an important role in female identity. Think of Cleopatra and her role as an Egyptian Queen takes a back seat to the image of her languishing in her bathrooms, taking long baths in milk as part of her intricate beauty regime. But spending hours and hours in our bathrooms is perhaps becoming something of a modern obsession. And more pre-teens are becoming beauty addicts with their parents struggling to get them out of their bathrooms.
Reports in the tabloids have picked on the new trend of girls as young as 11 unable to leave their bathrooms before piling on the foundation and mascara. In fact, one young girl was profiled for her obsession of fake tans by the age of 9 and leg waxing by aged 11. It takes this one girl (profiled in the Daily Mail) two hours to get ready. Spending so much time in bathrooms, aiming for an image of perfection, reveals the kind of pressures young girls feel under in today's celebrity-led culture.
Although anxiety around body image and beauty usually hits in the teenage years, girls are getting younger when it comes to locking themselves in their bathrooms for hours on end. Everything from hair straightening to facials to foundation and lip gloss has become part of many youngster's routines. But spending so much time in their bathrooms is considered to be damaging - especially when many consider these ages to be so young that such adult concerns shouldn't even be on their radar yet. So what are these children doing in their bathrooms? The beauty regimes of cleansing, toning and moisturising may take up to two hours, but reports suggest many are opting for expensive beauty salon treatments on top of their daily routines in their bathrooms. Eyebrow wax, pedicures and hair highlights are just a few of the monthly treatments some children are demanding.
There's a growing concern that not only will all this time spent in their bathrooms lead them to putting their looks before their exam marks, but that the search for perfection could increase the risk of psychological difficulties such as eating disorders. And when children are spending so much time in their bathrooms, the parents need to act. For some, this indulgence is encouraged, one child told the Daily Mail she was blond and dumb: "I don't need brains".
Celebrity homes are an ongoing fascination - the luxurious spa bathrooms are splashed across the pages of celebrity magazines. But their bathrooms are unlike most of ours - with Jacuzzis, steam rooms, hot tubs and marble fittings with state-of-the-art entertainment systems to boot. Size is usually no issue for celebrity bathrooms so they can indulge in stand alone baths and plonk vast sofas in their bathrooms. Let's face it, they're bathrooms are to die for.
Space is often limited for most of us with regular flats and houses, which perhaps explains our fascination for poking our noses into celebrity homes and checking out their bathrooms. And for the huge celebrities like Madonna and Posh and Becks at Beckingham Palace, the number of bathrooms is astronomical. But when space is at a premium, most of us turn to clever design and compact bathroom suites to achieve the desired effect. With some flats, it's hard to swing a cat around the bathrooms, but there are countless space solutions at hand. As property prices escalate, the rise of the micro-home has hit uber expensive spots like London. Curved showers and baths, thin shower units and even putting walk-in showers or stand alone baths in the bedroom are all ways to think outside the traditional bathroom set up.
Budget bathrooms are also important in today's economy, but there are plenty of cost-effective, stylish bathroom suites. And you can install water-saving devices to cut down energy costs to cut your bills and help towards the environment. You can install economy flushing toilets, and add devices that reduce the water pressure in showers to keep water use to a minimum. Some environmentalists take their bathrooms seriously, and even collect rainwater to flush toilets to save water. But simply taking common sense steps on water use, such as not letting the tap run when you brush your teeth will all add up when it comes to paying those all-expensive water rates. No matter what your budget, bathrooms can fit all shapes and sizes, and all salaries. Just because you aren't a celebrity, doesn't mean you can't put some star qualities into your own bathrooms!
Bathrooms can be places we spend ten minutes in before we dash to work - in fact, most of us would rather spend an extra five minutes lying in bed and rush through the getting ready bit. But for beauty junkies, being in their bathrooms takes on a religious fervour. Some women are so obsessed with striving for beauty, that they spend more time in their bathrooms than ever before.
The story of Nicky Taylor, a BBC producer who became a beauty addict during an investigation into the beauty industry shows how vulnerable we are to the pressures. It may seem a waste of energy and time to spend hours in our bathrooms every day, ensuring we look good, but for Nicky Taylor, it was more than just spending hours in her bathrooms - her quest led her into botox and plastic surgery.
Nicky's story was profiled in the Daily Mail, illustrating how a busy career women with barely time to invest in the basic beauty regime, became someone who spent hours in her bathroom. Many of us take time in our bathrooms now and a then to prune and polish ourselves, but for Nicky she moved from simple anti-wrinkle creams, to Botox to cosmetic surgery. But whereas spending more time on our appearances and in our bathrooms should make us look (and feel) better, for Nicky her obsession with beauty became all-consuming.
Although intelligent women who believe you shouldn't judge people on their looks are still finding themselves seduced by the beauty industry, locking themselves in their bathrooms rather than focusing on their careers. The image and message of celebrity culture is that we can only be happy if we conform to beauty stereotypes. But spending less time in our bathrooms and embracing the looks we're born to and the reality of ageing is perhaps the only way to real happiness. Spending time on our looks and well-being is clearly important, but there's a fine line between indulging in our bathrooms now and then and opting for extreme plastic surgery. Although Nicky's confidence has gone through the roof after a tummy tuck, she has said she is now aware that her pursuit for beauty has taken over, and changed, her life.
Ask anyone who visits a friend's house, especially if it's a beautiful, big house, and no doubt someone would have grilled them on what the bathrooms were like. If you take a trip to Buckingham Palace, the poshest restaurant in town or the hippest bar, the bathrooms are often the key talking point. Did they have new, high tech hand dryers? Automatic flushing loos? Were they unisex bathrooms? And, crucially, were the bathrooms clean ? God forbid if the bathrooms in question didn't live up to standards. There's nothing that ruins the reputation of a bar or restaurant more than unkempt bathrooms!
In fact, perhaps tying in with the UK fixation with property - a phenomenon that's been dubbed 'property porn' - bathrooms are something of a national obsession. Bathrooms have evolved from functional places, moving from the spider-infested outdoor lav to bathrooms that feature state-of-the-art spas, power showers, entertainment systems and steam rooms. In fact, the country that probably outshines the UK when it comes to stunning bathrooms is Japan. Renowned for embracing modern technology, the country's bathrooms feature high-tech toilets.
Japan is enthralled with its bathrooms, witnessed by the huge popularity of the superloos - it's been estimated that almost 70% of Japanese households feature the high-tech toilets in their bathrooms. The toilets can warm themselves up before the next visitor sits on them, wash your bottom with warm water once you've been, play soothing music and eliminate bathroom odours. It's little wonder these toilets have taken Japan's bathrooms by storm.
The fascination with bathrooms and toilets certainly seems to cross cultural borders. In South Korea a local politician ran a campaign to improve the public bathrooms across the country. It's been reported that the politician was so keen on bathrooms he built his house in the shape of a lavatory. On a more serious note however, the desire for beautiful (and clean) bathrooms may be derived in the fact clean, functional and sanitary bathrooms are crucial in safeguarding health. It's thought the high death rate in Britain before the invention of sewers and clean water was due to contaminated water carrying disease - issues that still plague many developing countries.
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