elements of domestic design


The bathroom is at its most basic a place to ‘attend to the needs of the health and hygiene of the body’. It also does offer the opportunity to go far beyond that. The Patrician Romans made bathing a regular and social event where you would purposefully meet at the Bath for business or pleasure. Bathing is subtly different all over the world in different cultural settings and can be ceremonial in non-domestic settings, e.g . sacred settings, and communal e.g. sports settings.

However we are looking more to the Western domestic bathroom. They represent a place for either preparing or energising for a busy day ahead or unwinding and recovering afterwards. The shower being quicker and more stimulating attends more to energising whilst the bath for some is still the ultimate reward. Where space is tight a shower / bath is a good compromise and they are big enough to be enjoyed by oneself or with a loved one. Another option for when the space is tight is to go for a wet-room so the whole space is the shower cubicle and this saves the restriction of the shower cubicle. This is less good if it is a provision which is doubling as a Cloakroom as the wet floor and WC could be problematic. It is best suited to En-Suite settings. There are various systems to make this a safe leak free option.

As many houses now are sensibly allowing for a Ground Floor Study Bedroom for occasional guest use or for someone who may have mobility issues, it is well worth considering having a Cloakroom which incorporates a shower – ideally with a low tray or integrated into the floorscape.

‘Don’t forget, it is a sensory environment combining necessity with indulgence.’

Practicals:
1. Bear in mind that we all need to save water and all appliances being sold now have to reflect that so cisterns are dual flush, baths have lower overflows and even taps and shower heads can be water saving.

2. Adequate ventilation is described in the Building Regulations and is very important to ensuring that humidity leading to mould growth is not a problem. Some systems enable the warm damp air to be processed so that heat can be retained in the building and the humidity removed.