Page 7, 13th December 1968

13th December 1968
Page 7
Page 7, 13th December 1968 — A BATHROOM should be a place to which a sybarite

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Organisations: De La Rue House


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A BATHROOM should be a place to which a sybarite

can retire in comfort. It should be a resting place from the household chaos, a steamy paradise in which to laze at peace. In fact, it tends to be' a battleground littered with tired plastie ducks, grimy "battleships" and old plastic salt containers and squeeze bottles that once held washing-up liquid.

Having a bath in our bathroom is hell for any adult. Move the soap rack and slimy cold water from the soap dish trickles over your knees while polythene objects rain upon you like hailstones.

Move a foot and it gets entangled with the stockings hanging from the shower fitment which, naturally, is no use if you actually want a shower. ideal for hair-wash ing it turns the whole room into a pond if you attempt to use it for a shower.

At least the room isn't cold, though the heated towel -rail is rarely hot unless you remember to let the air out — "bleeding" is what the professionals call it. Anything less comfortable than our bathroom I can hardly bear to imagine.

Not that it is badly designed, it isn't provided you don't expect people to use it. Allow people into pristine, beautiful rooms and they soon ruin a delightful picture.

Look at the one pictured above. Finished in nothing but Formica — no problem with condensation or re-painting the walls every five minutes — it has racks for only two towels and think of the clutter that would be over that elegant vanitory unit in seconds. And where do you put all those beastly bath toys?

1 must now confess that this particular bathroom has been designed not for a house but for an hotel of the future and is on show with other bedroom and bathroom designs at De La Rue House, Regent Street, until February 14. But you don't even have to imagine the difference between this beautiful room and the apologies for bathrooms that are put into new homes.

Designed for a private house this bathroom would be superb, but I'm willing to bet that it .wouldn't have been any different in design, though there might have been another towel rail if you were lucky.

Designers of pretty well everything, including schools, don't seem to believe in the existence of children. And it would make life so much more livable for parents if they did.

The fascinating thing about this particular bathroom is the use of plastic laminates for practically everything in it except the taps. They must be the wall coverings of the future.

Marvellous for the children's room, no matter how many sticky fingers plastered their way over it or how much paint went astray on 'some artistic

kick — wipe it over and I'd be laughing. ..

Unlike the shiny, clinical laminates we have got used to this is a thinner material with a textured finish made to look like hessian or leather or any fine woven fabric. Obviously expensive,' it has to be produced in the kind of pale, neutral colours, grey, blue, magnolia that -make a restful background.

Perhaps if enough institutions will use enough of the material the ' price might eventually come down to something the rest of us can afford. Builders of new houses should have the sense to use it too for you can do away with plastering by using it instead.

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