What Not to Do Deux

Posted on March 20, 2012


Today’s topic is something that has bothered me for a while. Bathroom accessories. Why is it so hard to find bathroom accessories that don’t look completely out of place or are just plain ugly. I notice it all the time. There will be a beautiful, clean, sleek modern bathroom and next to the toilet will be some ugly wicker trash bin. WHY? These things are all a part of a bathrooms design. They HAVE to be in there, so why not design them into the project?

Let’s deconstruct the photo above. Obviously a fair amount of thought went into the design of this bathroom. It has a very cool counter and sink, some nice tile on the floor, wall and ceiling and a neat little pebble detail along the wall on the floor. Unfortunately, there are three things that deuce on everything that was cool about this bathroom. Can you guess? I’ll wait….It’s the toilet, the toilet paper holder and the waste basket.

Let’s start with the toilet. It’s not an accessory, but it’s one piece of bathroom design that’s severely lacking. Why do toilets look the same as they did 50 years ago? They’re so big, bulky and ugly. Their design looks like what their receiving. Traditional toilets, in addition to being horribly ugly, are too bulky and hard to clean. Just think about the last time you cleaned yours and all the little nooks and crannies on them.

We should  move towards a wall hung, concealed tank system. They’re so sexy. Just look at it how it floats off the floor so nicely. No chunky back tank to ugly up the wall, eliminating the dreaded upper decker. The bowl itself now seems becomes a sculptural piece without all the obnoxious accoutrements of the traditional toilet. With this toilet, that pebble detail in the bathroom above can work beautifully as the toilet is able to gracefully float over the bed of rock and not sit on top of it like an unplanned accident. Using these types of toilets are sure to make a splash in any design.

Toilet paper and its holder are a necessary evil for any bathroom. I don’t think Americans are quite ready to switch over to using a bidet. First of all, any time something that’s a permanent fixture of a space (such as a tp holder) is just plopped down as free standing after thought, it’s a bad thing. You will always need toilet paper in this bathroom, so the toilet paper holder should be a built-in, integral design item. There are plenty of options for a sleek modern toilet paper holder. I’m partial to the kind below. A simple metal bar. It’s all you really need.

If you would like to have storage for extra toilet paper, build a small shelf into the wall. It’s that easy.

The last and most difficult piece of this puzzle to solve is the waste basket. I have yet to see a really clean and modern solution for this. Obviously, do not put a teak or hay waste basket in your fancy bathroom. Just don’t. Seriously. Stop. If it’s in a bathroom that’s mostly used by one person or family, hiding the waste basket under the sink or in a cabinet would work. For public restrooms, I would just use a recessed, wall mounted waste receptacle. They make versions that aren’t too industrial looking. Other than that, you should find a trash can that is appropriate to the style of your bathroom and place it where it doesn’t conflict with the overall design. The one’s below are pretty simple and unoffensive.

That’s it for this post. If you have any tips on toilet accessories, leave it in the comments.

Can you count how many toilet puns I threw in there? Poo many to count. That was way more fun than it should have been. Hope you enjoyed it and if not, sorry for grossing you out.

Posted in: Architecture, Rant