When it comes to bathrooms, everyone’s happy to chat pretty taps, rolltop tubs and lovely lighting. Pinterest is full of people swooning over sexy sinks, while Instagram only seems to be interested in encaustic tiles.
But despite the fact that using the loo is the main reason we go to the littlest room, when it comes to designing a sanitary space, no-one really talks about toilets. How very British of us!
I’ve definitely been part of the problem, guilty of focusing on those, well, less intimate aspects of a bathroom’s design because I was a) uninformed and b) embarrassed. Whenever I posted a pic of my previous Edinburgh bathroom I chose an angle that focussed on the brass taps, gold fish wallpaper or pretty bookshelf above the loo (AKA the ‘loobrary’). But the loo itself? Barely ever seen.
To be completely honest, although that bathroom was beautiful, it had a serious design flaw, and that was the fact that the toilet was too far from the basin. I’m surely not the only one who, in an effort to clean myself properly, likes to run the loo roll under the tap before using it? But in this bathroom I couldn’t reach the basin while sitting on the toilet.
The alternative was to buy those moist (ugh! That word!) ‘washlets’, but although they call themselves ‘flushable’ they are not an environmentally friendly option.
What to do? Well, now I’m in the process of renovating The Pink House and building a whole new bathroom from scratch, I decided the first step to finding a solution was to start talking about toilets. It’s time to break what I call the ‘loo taboo’ and have a conversation so we can work out what we REALLY need in our littlest room.
Because the fact is, even the most luxurious wallpaper, the most freestanding of baths or the shiniest of gold taps are not going to make your bathroom a truly pleasurable experience if your toilet set-up is, well, crap.
Positioning your loo alongside your basin to avail yourself of the running water is one way of getting cleaner, but anyone who has ever tried it will know that downsides to this approach involves excess water on the floor/seat/yourself, and a disintegrating loo roll situation that is less than ideal.
So what’s the alternative?
Until I started working with Geberit I had never experienced what is known in the trade as a ’shower toilet’ which washes you with water (I prefer ‘fountain loo’ as a more accurate description as the water sprays upwards from inside the toilet, not down from above!).
But let me tell you: it’s a game-changer. I mean, you wouldn’t try to clean your hands without water, would you? So when it came to designing my new shower room (building work has just started!) the first thing I decided on was the installation of Geberit’s AquaClean Sela Shower Toilet, which gives you a fresh, clean tush every time!
Why is it a toilet worth talking about? First of all, it’s designed by renowned London-based architect and product designer Christoph Behling, who has designed ranges for Tag Heuer. Yes, luxury watches. And it shows – who knew loos could be so stylish – or so easy to clean (it has a rim-free ceramic pan and is wall hung so there’s nowhere for dirt to gather). Although I should point out this toilet doesn’t actually tell the time. Instead, its WhirlSpray technology uses a unique oscillating ‘fountain’ spray to make you feel properly clean, with the touch of a remote control button. Plus you can personally programme the toilet to adjust the temperature and pressure of the water to suit you exactly. This wonder loo even has a super-quiet flush and built-in low level orientation light (which comes in a choice of 7 colours – I’m going for pink, obviously) that guides you to the toilet in the night without your having to turn on a brighter light. Both of these functions help you go back to sleep more quickly, and ensure you don’t wake anyone else (our family currently has a ‘no flushing allowed between 11pm and 7am’ policy on our old noisy loo, which I’m sure you’ll agree has its downsides, grimace emoji…).
I should point out AquaClean toilets are not a budget option. But as per my revelations above, is a budget toilet really what you want? The AquaClean Sela in white alpine costs from £2850, and having experienced it myself I have no doubt that it’s an excellent investment. Plus think of all the cash you’ll save on loo roll!
Given that taking a trip to the bathroom is often one of the very few opportunities we have throughout the day to take time for ourselves, I’m convinced it’s worthwhile creating a space that allows us to relax, and that includes having an excellent loo experience. In fact it’s been scientifically proven that mindfulness (wherever you can find it) actually improves physical and mental health, and cognitive performance.
So, with the loo taboo well and truly broken, I have only one thing left to say: welcome to the fLOOture!
This post was sponsored by Geberit, but as always, I only write about brands and products I genuinely believe in, and all thoughts, opinions and obsessions with loos that cleanse your backside are entirely my own.