The Evolution of Bathroom Designs

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Double ended bath

Whilst the bathroom has been a crucial part of household daily life for hundreds of years, the modern bathroom as we understand it today has been largely evolved since the early part of the 20th Centuary although many fine houses had luxurious bathrooms in the 1800’s. The Great Exhibition in 1851 gave the common man on the street a view of what an inside bathroom would be like and many were willing to “spend a penny” by trying George Jennings Monkey Closets in the Retiring Rooms of The Crystal Palace. These were the first public toilets, and they caused great excitement. During the exhibition, 827,280 visitors paid one penny to use them; for the penny they got a clean seat, a towel, a comb and a shoe shine. “To spend a penny” became a euphemism for going to the toilet. During the 1920’s and 1930’s At that time, bathrooms were modest, with only the wealthy able to enjoy a bathroom in their houses at all. Other people met their needs in communal facilities. However, during this time, a group of entrepreneurial minded Europeans began to market the device now known as the tap at prices affordable to wider sections of society.

Art Deco Bathroom.

During the war in Europe in the 1940s, bathrooms remained a room designed for function. It was the washroom for the family, and often for their clothing too. Yet in the post-war boom the development of systems which could easily pipe hot water into bathrooms using gas or electric power revolutionised the process. The instant availability of hot water started to introduce the idea of luxury to the bathroom, making it a place of comfort as well as practicality. In the 1960s, the combined mixer allowed temperature to be easily regulated by one hand, preventing the sudden changes in temperature with which most people were extremely familiar.

A 60's bathroom

A 1960’s coloured bathroom

Much as with other aspects of life in 1970s Britain, the bathroom became more design orientated. Although bathrooms retained their functionality, this was within the much widened concepts of individual taste and style. More colours became available, with a range of fittings to suit personal preferences. The bathroom began to be a place of relaxation and in which people could assert their own needs. This style consciousness remains to the modern day, though tastes themselves have changed quite dramatically.

1970's bathroom

The one other real change in bathrooms since the 1970s has been an awareness of ecological principles in bathrooms, particularly in commercial areas and public facilities. Electronic controls were introduced to taps, helping to successfully manage water consumption. Today, the modern bathroom is aware of fashionable trends in bathroom and interior design, but retains some of the more ‘green’ principles developed in the 1990s. A wide range of new materials are available in a range of styles, and current popular features include the wet room style shower area and the popularity of the free standing bath. These add architectural interest to the room, taking it beyond the mere necessity and into something visually striking. Technological advances have brought rain head showers and digital temperature control, adding further luxuries

Double ended bath

Double Ended Bath

It’s the “Smallest room in the house”, But it’s not the Least Important

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A traditional small bathroom

What is the smallest room in the house? Of course you probably answered the bathroom. While it may be the smallest, it’s not the least important because it’s a place to enjoy a hot shower or a relaxing bubble bath. The design of the bathroom can reflect well on your house. It is a place that nearly everyone goes when they are visiting , so as important as the kitchen or living area are, creating a bold look or a soothing one in the bathroom can be a fun decorating opportunity.

A traditional small bathroom

A traditional small bathroom

There are many options from the basins and toilets, shower areas and luxurious tubs, tile for the floor and possibly the walls. Then there are the fixtures to choose. Some lights have dimmers and then there are track lights and there are even shower only lighting fixtures. The choices can be combined and matched to create a look that is uniquely yours and the best part is that a bit of a facelift can make a big difference in how the room looks and yet can be very affordable.

A fantastic small shower room

A fantastic small shower room

Color is a way to make a statement and tie together the elements of the bathroom. Repainting the room can add a whole different look without changing anything. Accessories like fancy soaps, covers for the soap bottle on the sink and even some flowers or seashells can add a pop of color and connects any color scheme or theme much like picking out pillows that have the same green as in the carpet.

Tile for the floor or for the area around the sink can also add a distinct look to the room with large or small pieces that can be vivid or subtle, plain or floral. Really designs can be as unique as the person doing the designing. Finally, don’t forget the toilet seat. There are several types to choose from for those, as well.

Classic tiles

Classic tiles

In addition to the color scheme and decorations, the overall layout should be functional, if possible. Being able to move about the room in a way that is comfortable can make using the bathroom a more pleasant experience. Since most will not have the luxury to pick how the bathroom is constructed, being able to decorate it as you choose can make a big difference. So consider that it’s the “smallest room in the house”, but it’s not the Least Important by any means.

Why Your Shower Head is More Important than You Think

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Traditional Fixed Shower Head

Taking a long hot shower when it’s cold outside and a cool one in warmer months is something that can make a long difficult day fade away, but most people don’t truly consider their shower head at all until of course, it breaks or a bathroom refurbishment is planned. Many bathrooms come with a microphone shaped shower head as a standard, but when looking to upgrade you may want to consider a different shape and size for your new shower head. Choosing a shower head can be fun because there are a many models available. Some are larger than others and can offer massaging options or pulsating settings as well as the ones that will make it feel as though the shower is like a strong rainstorm. The size is one aspect to consider, but there is also the shape of the shower head. There is quite a variety there, too. Some shower heads are rectangular, some are round and flat like a plate, some have a wand that can move around or are able to be flexed into different positions. Many retailers will sell a traditional microphone shaped shower head, so buying a new shower head can mean that after the new shower is installed, you switch out the standard smaller one for the larger one that you purchase for about £40 more. Keep the one that came during the install so that if there is a problem, there is a spare one to use right away.

Refreshing Shower

Refreshing Shower

Another reason why your shower head is more important than you think is because it can also contribute to keeping your family healthy. If you filter your drinking water, have you considered filtering the shower water, as well? Most times the water won’t truly hurt you, but there can be harsh chemicals that can contribute to making you sick. There are filtering shower heads that are available to keep chlorine levels down in addition to other potentially harmful chemicals.

Traditional Fixed Shower Head

Shower heads are an important part of the bathroom not only for the aesthetics, but for the functionality that it can have. Having a relaxing shower that can soothe aching muscles and possibly filter some harmful chemicals out of the water can be a worthy investment. Being choosy about the type of shower head can add a design element to the bathroom and can let you get the shower you’ve been dreaming about.

The Worlds Most Expensive Bathtubs

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Crystal Bathtub

Le Cob Glass Bath Tub – £22,000

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This minimalist tub is designed to enhance the relaxing ambience within ones bath suite. As you bathe in the ambiance water trickles from the tub onto the strategically placed pebbles beneath the tub further enhancing the overall feeling of calm.

The Diamond Bathtub – £25,000

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This traditionally styled cast-iron claw foot tub has been adorned in 45,000 Swarovski crystals, attached individually by artesian hands – most definitely fit for the biggest of divas amongst us. The cost and attention to detail evident within this bathtub makes it unsurprising that a mini version was Kelly Rowland’s choice of gift to Blue Ivy Carter!

Red Diamond – £30,430

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This domestic lagoon is luxury to the core; including a dual 42-inch waterproof HDTV, a massager, multicolor lighting and a Swarovski encrusted champagne holder. And if that was nit enough the tub itself is built of 42 grams of 18-karat solid gold.

Kalista Archeo Copper Bathtub – £43,627

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This copper masterpiece is handcrafted by the same masterminds behind the restoration of the statue of liberty torch. The elegance of this tub is accentuated with a fluted faucet, handheld shower and a starfish on seashell bath knob.

Serenity Bathtub – £49,504.92

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Not only does this bath tub live up to its name by providing a serene bathing experience but also the chance to bath in this tub is an exclusive event in itself as only a handful were made meaning only the elite of this world are lucky enough to own the beautifully crafted solid bronze with silver and gold accents.

Baldi Amethyst Bathtub – £78,269.26

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In the 18th century amethyst was considered as rare as diamonds. The combination of this fabulous material and the 24 karat gold legs makes a beautiful bathing tub. And if after forking out for the modest price you still have change to spare you can also purchase the matching accessories: tumbler; lotion dispenser and soap dish.

Baldi Malachite Bathtub – £143,364.49

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Made of pure turquoise malachite and standing on 24 karat gold-plated claw feet, luxury Italian designer Luca Bojola offers another stunning bath-tub this time with a distinctive boat shaped design.

Baldi Rock Crystal Bathtub – £510,371.13

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Made of 10-ton Amazonian crystal and with diamond sculpted into the bathtub, whilst maintain a rough outer exterior to emphasis the natural beauty of the crystal only 3 of these baths are known to exist.

Golden Bathtub – £637,390.78

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Weighing in at a flabbergasting 176 pounds is this sold gold bathtub. Even more surprising than the total weight of the bathtub is the fact that in 2007 it was stole form the hotel it use to reside, with no single witness.

Le Grand Queen – £1,097,836.72

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Made from a 10-ton rare gemstone found in the Indonesian terrain, Caijou, was believed by ancient civilizations to have healing properties. Lets just hope those healing properties included healing the massive dent left in your wallet.

Modern Bathroom Designs

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Feature Walls

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Within bathrooms with a neutral colour scheme feature walls are fantastic ways to inject personality and excitement without overpowering the room. Furthermore feature walls give you a chance to experiment with more daring colours and designs without committing it to the whole room. In the simplest of expressions a feature is fantastic way to make a statement and draw attention to the focal point of your bathroom.


Veneer Furnishings

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Last year veneer became a popular choice for kitchen furnishings, in 2013 veneer is set to emerge as an equally popular bathroom trend. Inserting warmth and a sophisticated edge to your bathroom it is understandable why this is proving to be a favourite bathroom choice.


Wet Rooms

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Wet rooms are simple and stylish creating the perfect comparison to our forever-cluttered lifestyle. Wet rooms in the UK refer to an open area filled with waterproof items, including a bath shower, toilet and basin, aside from this a wet room can be whatever you want it to be, small or large, it’s your choice. A further benefit of a wet room concerns its links to spa’s, which means there is a high connotation of luxury that comes with a wet room; this factor is likely to increase the value of your house.


Create a Mid-Century Trend

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The mid-century trend is surprisingly easy to accomplish and is ideal for bathrooms that veer to a more petite label. A monochrome colour scheme, paired with minimal furnishings and tiled wall is simply all you need to accomplish this bathroom style must have.


Frame the Bath

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With baths becoming grander by the day, when you do finally bag yourself the bath of your dreams don’t let it blend in to the rest of the room… make it stand out. Framing your bathtub means firstly making it the focal point of the room. Secondly contrast the colour of your bathtub to the colour of the room. So if your bath is white, redecorate the bathroom in bold colours that serve to accentuate the bath. Also symmetrical designs work quite well as a frame to the bath, as they create a border for your bath to lie in between.


Renovate the Loft into a Bathroom

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Instead of depositing all your old items in the loft why not capitalize on this unused space and build another bathroom. Loft bathrooms can be difficult to design and create, however once done you will have that extra bathroom you always dreamed of in one of the most unique settings you could have ever desired.

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