Whatever the size of your house, no room is more influenced by a mixture of lifestyle and efficiency than the bathroom, according to the website 4ecotips.com. It’s now the hub of most households where you can grab a personal moment or two at the start of a busy day or totally relax at the end of it!
Bathrooms equal kitchens in the domestic feel-good factor stakes and are more likely, for example, to clinch a house sale than any other room. Increasingly we use our bathrooms to fulfil a variety of needs including entertainment, rest, relaxation, escapism and look to them for a sanctuary of tranquillity.
That’s not all bathrooms have a crucial water conservation role to play. Two thirds of the water consumed in our homes is in the bathroom. On average each one of us currently uses 150 litres a day and that has to be reduced to 125 litres within the next few years.
As an important part of this reduction process the UK Bathroom Manufacturers Association has launched its Water Efficient Product Labelling Scheme making it easier for householders to identify bathroom products that use much less water than their non-water efficient counterparts.
But, 4ecotips points out, there are lots of behavioural changes too which we can all make to reduce the amount of water we use as individuals. For instance turn off the tap when brushing your teeth, also only part fill the basin with water to shave rather than leaving the tap running. And showering is more water-wise than taking a bath.
Where bathroom trends are concerned 4ecotips.com points that it is as well to always have the “Design for Life” concept at the back of your mind. But shapes have evolved from traditional Victorian lines through to angular minimalist sculptures. Natural materials are becoming more popular as they offer an element of sustainability, so dark wood flooring, slate, wood panelling, marble and stone are appearing more frequently.
There’s also an increasing trend for opening up bathrooms and en suites so that they actually converge onto the bedroom but at the same time retain that special element of privacy with a separate WC.
4ecotips.com suggests that modern, minimalist designs are edging out the traditional Victorian and Edwardian styles, although there is a rising demand for classic style product with a modern twist reflecting a vamp style for glamour and elegance.
If lack of space is a real issue many householders are foregoing the bath and opting for a shower enclosure or a wet room. But where space is not the criterion and the budget presents no problems, free-standing baths of varying capacities remain hugely in vogue with the emphasis definitely on “wellness”, relaxation, luxury and togetherness, as opposed to straightforward personal hygiene. And, of course, there’s always a demand for whirlpool baths.
4ecotips.com says WC’s are the focus of water conservation because between us all in our toilet cisterns we hold enough water to sink the Titanic! So there are serious moves afoot to introduce as standard WCs operating on 6 and 4.5 litres, and this could even go down to 2.6 litres! Also emerging are “super” toilets that wash and dry the user!
These days many showers can be operated digitally from the comfort of your bed ready for you to step under at just the right temperature and at the perfect flow rate. What’s more waterproof technology now allows you to watch TV and listen to your favourite music in the bathroom.
Who says the bathroom is just for bathing?