What Has Happened Before
Welcome to the first installation of the bathroomgurureview design training series.
In this series we have broken down the design process into four main categories
1. An introduction to bathroom design
2. Refining the design process
3. Planning your design project
4. Construction and execution techniques
This module is entitled: Looking Back on Bathroom Design
In order to get the full benefit of designing and remodeling your bathroom you need to first understand where it came from and where it’s going:
“Summary: Bathrooms used to be very predictable and ordinary in layout and execution. A prevalent trend in design is the personalization of the space. Homeowners want a beautiful and exciting planned bath that is visually integrated into the design of the rest of their home.”
A Brief History of Bathroom Design
So, before we actually begin the design process let’s briefly take look at how the room has changed over the years and why homeowners are remodeling the room. It should come as no surprise to anyone that technology has been a major influence in the evolution of your bathing area. It started out as a convenient space for performing personal hygienic tasks and has progressed over the years to become a room of rejuvenation and relaxation but for the most part, to be realistic, the bathroom itself is still a room where privacy has always been a requirement.
Baths of Distinction
That of course would all depend upon who is using the facility and is also dictated by lifestyle adaptions. Couples for example would be more willing to openly share the space whereas individual family members might be a bit more modest, so you have to take this into consideration when coming up with a layout that will work for everyone.
I believe that one of the most noticeable changes to the bathroom in the latter part of the century is the fact that lavatories used to be very predictable and ordinary in layout and execution. Nowadays, for the most part, bathrooms have developed into showcases of distinctive design ideas and have gone the route of greater individualistic expression.
We can really see this change if we look back at how the typical home was laid out. There were the characteristic entertaining areas such as the dining room or living room and then there was the bathroom, yeah that room, the room hidden away at the back of the home where people did their unmentionables. It was all hush, hush. You went in closed the door did your duty and nobody talked about it unless it backed up or broke down.
This mentality for the most part was the reason why home decorators primarily concentrated their design efforts on the more public areas such as the living room, parlour and entry to the home. As families began to cocoon their lifestyles, due to economic slowdown or political unrest around the world, other areas of the home such as the kitchen, bedrooms and family room also garnered some stylistic attention as it became chic to turn your home into a personal refuge.
The family home became a dwelling to focus and center your universe; a calm place in the midst of the ever prevalent chaotic steam of life. Family sought stability. Instead of starting the home buying process by purchasing small and selling your home every couple of years, each time buying a bigger home, families were now staying put and instead chose to expand and improve upon their present residence.
Where to Draw the Line?
Eventually this new train of thought spilled over into the bathroom to overcome the utilitarian mindset and spur on a creative revolution of high styling and chic decorating ideas. The spurned love child now became the cherished prodigy as it came of age showing its true colors. In some bathrooms, the fine line between the bathing area and the rest of the home has all but disappeared with the inception of open concept layouts such as wet rooms.
In other cases the distinction between the bathroom and other rooms is greying, or to be more precise, more colorful and integrated as master bathrooms are progressing forward to reflect the same color schemes, flooring and furniture as your bedroom or living room. And the size of the bathroom doesn’t matter either. Guest baths and powder rooms are receiving the same “Trump” treatment as their more expansive and luxurious bathroom counterparts to leave a more positive impression on visitors to the home.
Going back to the whole concept of open spaces where living rooms, kitchens and dining rooms have become multi-purpose gathering areas where family members can spend quality time together, there seems to be a kind of backlash against this movement. Recently, mainly prevalent in family domiciles, adults have come to the realization that while family time is a great nurturing experience, they also need a quiet place where they can collect their thoughts and relieve the stress form work and family life. The bathroom, already being a personal and private place, was the most logical choice. Hence, the likely explosion and demand for master bathrooms when buying a home.
Comfort zones are a natural progression as society as a whole has become more conscious of the benefits of personal hygiene and physical heath. The Japanese have known this for centuries and the bathing ritual is well integrated into their culture. The bathroom offers us not only a place to bathe but also embodies a space where its therapeutic value has increased dramatically over the years. Mental and physical relaxation have become more prevalent in our society as media has educated us on the health risks of too much stress in our daily lives and in the end made us more fitness and body conscious.
Another trend in bathroom design is the personalization of the space. Long gone are the days of cookie cutter styled baths as homeowners are creating bathrooms to reflect their personalities and lifestyle preferences. Following the trends and “keeping up with the Jones” is not so much a necessity anymore.
This can be seen in the more eclectic floor plans of recent years. In some designs, the walls that once divided a bathroom from a bedroom or a bathroom from an outside terrace have all but disappeared or in some cases, replaced by sliding doors, to give a sense of privacy when needed. Then there are those homeowners who have gone the opposite direction and compartmentalized their bathroom layouts to create areas of segregated tasks.
No matter how you look at, people are no longer satisfied with the sterile “straight out of the box” bathrooms anymore. They want a space that is more than just functional, they also want a beautiful and exciting space that is visually integrated into the design of the rest of their home.
Why are you remodeling your own bathroom? Are you trying to create a personal retreat? Or maybe just want to update an outdated design? Whatever your reason, you want to make the best use of the space. Your bathroom should be efficient, decorated in colors you enjoy, be well lit and ventilated but above all be a place that you enjoy going in and out of on a daily basis. This course on bathroom design and remodeling was created to help you meet those goals.
Putting it all Together
This concludes the first module: Looking Back on Bathroom Design
Stay tuned as bathroomgurreview teaches you how to build a bathroom that is right just for you.