Any writer or student – in fact, anyone at all who has ever tried to make a pithy point in a piece of writing or discussion – will reach to those classic quotes that everybody knows. Books of aphorisms do a roaring trade, mainly because not all of us have the unerring and eidetic recall ability of a Clive James or Christopher Hitchens, for example.
One of the foremost and most quotable of writers is Oscar Wilde, and one of his very best witticisms jumped into my mind when I was coming to prepare this piece:
“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”
It popped into my head through experience, both personal and with members of my own family. How many times have you completed decorating a room, or wore a new dress or something similar (should state I have never worn a dress here – making an example!) and almost instantly have decided it has to change! It might not even be due to the Wildean intolerable ugliness, just simple curious human nature.
The one thing you have to do if you decide to undertake a room overhaul is to prepare. But what form should this preparation take? Well, out of the goodness of my heart, I have thrown together a gallimaufry of hopefully useful points to consider for you geared towards putting together a bathroom renovation.
Budget – Time & Money
We were talking about phrases above, so here’s another that will stand you in good stead in all areas of your life: the five Ps. Some of you will be narrowing your eyes there, having heard of the six Ps; not to worry, it’s the same thing, I’ve just excised one of the Ps to keep this thing clean!
The five Ps, then, for those who don’t know: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. I learned this at the (very) few army cadet training sessions I attended, and it is vital here. Measure up the room accurately, and sketch it. Decide what you want from the bathroom, as in, do you want a wet room or a shower room? A toilet or a bathroom?
Once you know what needs to be done, see what can be accomplished with the budget you have. Build some flexibility into that budget, as while things can rarely and welcomingly come in cheaper, they are more likely to run over. Then, decide on your contractor for the more technical installations and get going.
This is arguably the easy bit! Set out with a theme, as there is nothing worse than a higgledy-piggeldy, thrown together bathroom – you know the type, dark designer radiators thrown together with classic brass taps, that sort of thing. Don’t just consider baths, toilets, showers and colours, but take into account the walls and floors, too. All must match, or at least offer a counterpoint that is charming but not jarring.
What you actually want your bathroom to do for you, as alluded to above, is another set of decisions that are implicit in the planning process. Do you want the ease of a thermostatic shower or the savings offered by a standard valve? How much storage do you need and how will you fit it, wall mounted or floor standing? Do you have adequate ventilation through your windows or do you require fitted fans? Even little things: mixer taps or monoblock on the sink? It might even come down to big decisions of whether you go for a bath or a shower, with space and/or money at stake.
I’ll leave you with another Wilde quote: ‘I can resist everything but temptation’ – thus my final advice to you is not to yield to the temptation to change your bathroom a few days after your new one goes in!