Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What about the bathroom?


One of the best descriptions of a bathroom in English literature is found in "Possession", a novel by British author A. S. Byatt:
The bathroom was a long narrow rectangle, space saving, coloured like sugared almonds. The fitments were a strong pink, tinged with a dusky greyish tone. The tiled floor was a greyish violet. With little bunches of ghostly Madonna lilies - they were of Italian design - on certain tiles, not all.These tiles extended halfway up the walls, where they met a paisley vinyl paper crawling with busy suckered globules, octopods, sea-slugs, in very bright purple and pink. There were toning ceramic fitments, in dusty pink pottery, a lavatory-paper holder, a tissue holder, a toothmug on a plate like those huge African lip-decorations, a scallop-shell holding pristine ovoids of purple and pink soap. The slatted, wipe-clean vinyl blinds represented a pink dawn with rose-tinged bulbous cumuli. The candlewick bath-mat, with its hide-like rubber backing, was lavender-coloured and so was the candlewick crescent snugly clutching the lavatory pedestal and the lavatory lid. On the top of this, alert for house-sounds, and urgently concentrating, perched Professor Mortimer P. Cropper. It was 3:00 A.M.
Although in the novel, the bathroom in question is in a middle-class English home of Mrs. Daisy Wapshot, reading about it made me think of the tiled bathrooms found in Los Angeles homes of the 1940s and still preserved in good condition. They often have wonderful tiles surrounding the wash basins, and tile-lined enclosed shower stalls.

The photo above is from Liz, at Mabel's House, and she is lucky enough to have one of these classic pink tiled bathrooms. No octopods, but she does have the ceramic fitments and toothmug plates! Go visit her and see what she's doing with it!

My 1962-vintage house's bathrooms are quite boring. Bathroom One - Tub, 2-basin vanity, lemon yellow tiles; Bathroom Two - Shower, 1-basin vanity, oatmeal-colored tiles. Both, of course, have toilets.

I had a plan to remodel them, but, alas, funding was not available. So I did what I could with paint and cabinet hardware, and things to hang on the walls.* I wish I had pink tiles with ghostly Madonna lilies to deal with!

What is your bathroom like? What creative things have you done to make your bathrooms less boring and more like Yours?

*More later about how I decorated my bathrooms.

1 comment:

Liz said...

Aw...thanks for the compliment. I do love my bathroom, but I'll be darned if I've never really had the time to spruce it like I wanted to.