Challenges: Bathrooms Evolving

Bathrooms have certainly come a long way from the crescent moon carved in the door of the quaint (if scented) privy out on the south forty, and the communal tub by the kitchen fireplace!

a sink and a white tub sitting next to a window: (Photo courtesy of Robert Boccabella) Function can include beauty — even in our most personally pragmatic Interior space!

© Provided by Lake County Record-Bee
(Photo courtesy of Robert Boccabella) Function can include beauty — even in our most personally pragmatic Interior space!

Time passed, and in many of the stately old Victorian homes, the “evolved” bathrooms consisted of several small rooms in close proximity; one for the water closet and commode, one for a sink with counter and cabinets and one for the bathtub!   Of course, there were variations on those themes and configurations, in order to accommodate all the functions of ablution at that time in history.

The logic applied then, and the design rationales, were partially related to the difficulties of heating, the conservative values concerning segregation of the genders, and the need to accommodate multiple requirements simultaneously – and with due modestly.

As more time passed, bathrooms came a long way from the privacy disciplines and design approaches of the Victorian and subsequent eras.

Contemporary bathrooms would no doubt astound our great grandparents!    Even in the most modest of homes or apartments, modern plumbing, electricity, new materials and fixtures have transformed mere necessity.  Bathrooms no longer just “meet the basic needs.”

Rivaled only by the kitchens, the bathrooms of homes (and businesses) probably receive the toughest punishment, more consistently, than other rooms and areas.  The good news is that when a well trafficked and weary bathroom is ready for remodel, clients have many, many options whether the goals are modest or upscale.

Client expectations have risen in keeping with what the marketplace has made available.  A bathroom remodel sometimes means a renovation!  To install some of the newer components such as a large, jet-fitted spa tub or a roomy walk-in shower, your older bathroom might require enlargement.

There are many new materials and fixtures to suit any design and budgeting level.   Your professional design team has access to the many resources needed to update and fit your new bathroom vision.  Once just a necessary evil, residential bathrooms have evolved into “comfort zones.”

Where the architecture and finances permit, bathing may include beautiful views out atrium bubbles, providing comfort and privacy, his-and-hers sinks, fog-free mirroring  — to name just a few of the new twists available.  And don’t forget, a TV imbedded in the mirror!

For more modest budgets, excellent amenities can be incorporated with completely pre-formed bathing and shower units that are outfitted with jets and other amenities.  Something for everyone!

Business and public restroom facilities were once notorious for their harsh, utilitarian character.   We have all had the experience.  It, too, has changed – although, it is fair to say that it is a work in progress.  Public entities are realizing that if accommodations are more inviting and less daunting, it follows that the users prove to be more conscientious.  A bathroom is a bathroom, after all.  Conveniences such as diaper-changing tables are now routine in public restrooms.

In business and public environments, restrooms must conform to ADA standards, and that means more space than previously required.  Health conscious innovations such as heat blowers to dry hands, motion-detector faucets and self-flushing commodes are all part of the progress toward better hygiene, convenience and comfort.

Robert Boccabella, B.F.A. is principal and founder of Business Design Services and a certified interior designer in private practice for over 30 years.  Boccabella provides Designing to Fit the Vision© in collaboration with [email protected].  To contact him call 707-263-7073; email him at [email protected] or visit  or on Face Book at Business Design Services.

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