Give your bathroom a glamorous update in ten easy steps

If there’s one thing that everyone can appreciate, it’s a glamorous bathroom. Think sparkling fixtures and luxe materials with a restful polish and you’ve got the makings of a bathroom that oozes glam style. “With glam, there will definitely be a feeling of excess,” says Toronto interior designer Mimi Pineau. “It will be a bit more risqué and over-the-top than creating a purely luxurious interior,” she says.

After years of safe, borderline-sterile bathrooms, interiors dripping with glamour appeal to the many opulence-lovers among us. Although glam style is often thought of as synonymous with Hollywood Regency style, that’s not necessarily always the case: it’s a far broader designation nowadays. The versatility of glam is that it can infuse and overlay many design styles. “Glam style can designed in many ways: modern or retro, luxuriant or minimal,” Mimi says. Retro-style sinks can mingle with crystal chandeliers, clean-lined fixtures can be juxtaposed against an ornate mirror with glittering details. Shine and sparkle are key. “With glam, the decor would most certainly include several reflective or high-gloss surfaces,” including metals, Mimi says.

Here are 10 ways to get the look:
Go big at first, and scale back if needed. “I generally plan on a number of dramatic elements, then scale back as needed, to the point where the client feels comfortable, but the space still feels ultra-stylish,” Mimi says.

2 Light fixtures should be dramatic. Forget simple, go for impactful, “be it a chandelier, large scale pendant, or eye-catching sconces.”

3 Dress the walls richly. You need a dramatic colour, wallpaper or sparkly tile. These add immensely to the overall mood and can create a moody jewel-box feel, or depending on the colour scheme, a cooler glam effect, says the Toronto designer.

Get curvy and shapely accents. “With glam, I think of accessories and hardware with a feminine frame of mind: curvy or mirrored accent furniture and accessories such as shapely perfume bottles that add interest to the decor.”

Avoid white on white … on white. White walls, white fixtures, white towels create a clean, restful and spa-like vibe but they don’t shout glam. Lush jewel-tone hues, ripe pinks, rich creams and even black (think Chanel’s black lacquer cosmetic cases) do.
6 Add metals. Gold still seems daring, but it has been back in style for years now in bathrooms. And the warm tones of brass and copper are coming back in a big way, says Mimi.

7 Luxurious stone is the way to go. In relatively small space like a bathroom, gorgeous natural stone like marble and granite make a splashy, glam impact whether it be for flooring or countertops.

8 Pick a big mirror. “A dramatic mirror as big as the wall space will allow is a must,” Mimi says. Reflective surfaces, shine and sparkle all contribute to glam style, and a big mirror will help you achieve this.

9 Don’t forget the soft touches. In a glamorous bathroom, Mimi says she would display some tactile, softer elements such as very plush towels to contrast with the harder lines of the fixtures and finishes.

10 Remember that glam doesn’t mean gaudy. You’re aiming for a look that’s polished, classy yet alluring. Would a modern-day Audrey Hepburn look at home in the room?  If you’re in doubt, get a second opinion from a fellow glam-lover (or, just check out these glam bathroom decor accessories to get inspired).


The History of Toilet Sanitation: Sanitation’s Ups And Downs

Would you have guessed that the flushing water-closet is already several thousand years old? Even though it may not yet have been conclusively established whether it was 4,000 or 5,000 years ago that the Indians, the Chinese or the Sumerians used the first flush toilet, one thing is completely certain, and that is that the Greeks possessed toilets and sewage systems as early as 2500 B.C. Around a thousand years later, the Romans built the Cloaca Maxima, Ancient Rome’s huge drainage system. In addition, the Romans had latrines, the use of which was reserved solely for the rich, who met in these informal setting to discuss and do both their big and small business.

The fall of the Roman Empire also marked the end of this early sanitation culture. As flush toilets and sewage systems didn’t exist in medieval Central Europe, it stank to high heaven. Calls of nature were answered al fresco, or the faeces were simply poured into the gutters.

This situation didn’t change until the end of the 16th century, when the English poet Sir John Harington invented the first “modern” water closet – an undertaking assigned to him by his famous aunt, Queen Elizabeth I. Harington’s fellow countrymen ridiculed the invention as a sick joke, and although Harington drew up a precise construction manual, the first water closet of our modern age fell into oblivion.

Then, around 200 years later in 1775, the Scottish inventor Alexander Cummings invented a water closet which presented the S-shaped trap still used to this day, and was awarded the patent for it.
From then on, there was no stopping the triumphant advance of the “Water Closet”.

In the second half of the 19th century scientists, such as Louis Pasteur, began to recognise the relationship between disease and hygiene – as a result, the demands for more hygiene became increasingly louder.

At a very early stage, ceramics specialist Villeroy & Boch saw the market potential of the sanitary-ware sector with its bathtubs, sinks, toilets and tiles. By 1870 Villeroy & Boch was already equipping public swimming baths, private bathrooms and hospitals with easy-care tiles. As early as the mid 1870s, the company was offering a small range of urinals and toilets.

Developments made in the area of production methods and materials soon facilitated industrial production. Thanks to fireclay, Villeroy & Boch was able to produce sanitary ware and so-called “washing ware” in such large quantities, that these items became affordable for broad strata of society by 1899. Bathing culture and hygiene were thus democratised.

Despite this fact, however, around 1950, the majority of homes in Germany didn’t have an own toilet, at best a washing room.

This situation remained unchanged until the 1960s, when bathrooms were equipped as functional wet cells for personal hygiene and concentrated primarily on practicality and space-saving measures.

In the 1970s people began discovering the bathroom as a place to regenerate. In 1975 Luigi Colani created an absolutely revolutionary bathroom concept for Villeroy & Boch.

This was the first time a designer had actually focused on bathroom products and the toilet. Taking into account ergonomic standards, Colani’s designs displayed soft shapes that were created to accommodate the body perfectly.

Today, a wide selection of toilets can be found in a great variety of shapes and colours and offering additional comfort. They can be floor-standing or wall-mounted; a combination of toilet and cistern, or with pre-wall installation systems; washout toilets with ceramic ledges, or washdown toilets with direct access into the trap water.

And there’s even more: in recent years a whole series of innovations have been developed particularly in the area of WC comfort. In view of the increasing scarcity of water resources, Villeroy & Boch now offers modern, environment-friendly flushing systems, such as Omnia GreenGain, which function with as little as 3.5 litres to 4.5 litres of water per flush. Extremely convincing qualities are also displayed by the ceramic surface finish, CeramicPlus.

Its easy-care properties help reduce the amount of water and cleaning agents needed. ThePurAir WC opens up a totally new dimension in WC comfort. Thanks to its integrated technology, it is able to actively combat and banish bothersome odours.


Bad Toilet Habits: Are You Doing Any of These?

You probably do not know it, but you might have habits that may have negative effects on your sensitive areas. Proper toilet practices do not only involve cleaning yourself after you have bowel movement. There are other practices that are needed to be done in order to avoid health risks. Some of these are:


  • Straining excessively or sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods. Toilet paper use is also one of these unhealthy habits. It is advisable to switch to using a bidet.
  • People with conditions should be careful because excessive toilet paper use can make bacteria spread. Toilet paper can leave behind germs from urine and fecal matter. Plus, its coarse nature can create skin irritations or, worse, abrasions. Bidets can clean more thoroughly than toilet paper because they use water to clean the genitals and anus. Water can relieve pain and itching coming from conditions like hemorrhoids and yeast infection, as well as prevent the spread of bacteria.
  • Because it does not completely remove germs from waste, there is a possibility that using only toilet paper can lead to stains in your underwear, which can be a hassle. Using toilet paper can also increase your hands’ contamination from urine and fecal matter.. In addition to this, toilet paper use can cause clogging of drainage systems. You can avoid the limitations of toilet paper use by using a bidet spray or a handheld bidet.
  • Always remember to allow your body to work naturally and only go to the toilet when you feel the urge to go. Only exert very gentle pressure for no more than 30 seconds per attempt. Focus on doing your pelvic and abdominal muscles. Similar to straining, delaying your trip to the toilet is also an unfavorable practice. Doing so can cause or aggravate constipation or even bladder problems. It is also not advisable to force your body to have a bowel movement.
  • People who have hemorrhoids should try squatting when they go to the toilet. When you squat, your body will be in a position it was designed to be when you’re having a bowel movement. Studies have shown that hemorrhoids have low occurrence in countries where people squat. By squatting, patients had complete and sustained relief from pain and bleeding. You can try certain devices that can simulate the squatting position instead of adjusting your entire bathroom to accommodate this habit.

8 Easy Tips for Bathroom Maintenance

Regular bathroom maintenance is an essential part of housekeeping. It will save you a considerable amount of money over the long run because you can avoid problems related to plumbing, leaks, mold, and mildew. Some easy tips for regular bathroom maintenance are listed below.

Ensure That the Grout and Sealant Are Intact

The grout and sealant around the tiles over a bathtub or in a shower cubicle require frequent inspection. Due to the constant exposure to heat and moisture, the grout often wears or cracks. Ensure that the grout is intact and free of mold or mildew. To clean mold, mildew, or grout stains, use oxygen bleach. If you find any evidence of missing grout, you must clean the area, dry it, and apply new grout.

Look for Leaking Spouts or Pipes

Leaks around a pipe or spout must be remedied as soon as they are detected. If left unattended, they could progressively become worse and cause problems such as moisture accumulation behind the walls and underneath the floor. Contact a plumber if you are unsure of the extent of the leak.

Look for Signs of Leaks Around the Bathtub and Toilet

The toilet and the bathtub must be securely caulked to the bathroom floor; otherwise, these fixtures will leak. Ensure that the toilet flush works properly and that there are no blockages.

Look for Signs of Rot or Decay

Do a regular examination of the floor, wall, and corners of the bathroom. Look for signs of dampness, wetness, and rot on the surfaces. Any such problems must be remedied professionally.

Check for Loose Tiles

If you have a shower enclosure, ensure that the tiles are in place and caulked properly. Also ensure that there are no signs of shifting tiles on the wall or floor. If you see any such signs, remove the tiles and install new ones or reinstall the same tiles. Reapply the grout after removing the debris between the tiles.

Inspect Under the Sink

Look under the sink for leaks and moisture accumulation. Corroded pipes or cracks in the connections cause leaks that can spread to the wood under the counter. It can also damage the foundation. Replace any damaged pipes or connections promptly.

Use Drain Covers

Drain covers are an important defense mechanism because they block the flow of hair, dirt, and other particles that can clog the drains. If you notice that the flow of water has slowed, clean the drain and the covering grill.

Clean the Bathroom Weekly

Clean the bathroom at least once a week. Clean the bathtub, shower enclosure, toilet, wash basin, mirrors, and the floor. While doing so, perform a thorough inspection of all the nooks and crannies. Wash the rugs before they accumulate too much dirt or moisture. Never leave moist clothes or rugs in the bathroom.