- Pet Peeve #1. Window in the shower
- Pet Peeve #2. Broadway-style light fixtures
- Pet Peeve #3. Toilet in plain view
- Pet Peeve #4. Centered shower drain
- Pet Peeve #5. Insufficient exhaust
Pet Peeve #1. Window in the shower
It's common to have a window on the shower wall for good reason: a window lets in light and provides ventilation when mechanical ventilation isn't permitted or possible. The height of the window is critical. When the windowsill is too low or too close to the showerhead, water splashes and settles there. Many people also use the windowsill for storing shampoo and soap. These bottles act as a dam and prevent water from draining and evaporating. Over time, mildew and mold start to grow—an unsightly and unhealthy problem.
Solution: Avoid setting the window too low or too close to the shower spray.
Pet Peeve #2. Broadway-style light fixtures
These fixtures are great at lighting faces in a backstage dressing room, but they are too harsh in a residential bathroom. Imagine stepping into your bathroom first thing in the morning only to be hit in the face with blinding lights. Not a pleasant way to start the day.
Solution: Choose light fixtures with shades to softly distribute the light and illuminate your face evenly. If you can't have lighting at the same level as your face, select fixtures that distribute light downward as much as possible so you can clearly see yourself in the mirror.
Pet Peeve #3. Toilet in plain view
Many bathrooms have the toilet placed in direct line of sight for all to see. This is unattractive and bad feng-shui, which holds that your fortune will be flushed away if the toilet faces the door. Placing a toilet center stage also leaves the user feeling vulnerable, especially if the bathroom is large.
Solution: It is a better design aesthetic—and more comfortable for the user—to showcase a beautiful vanity and tuck the toilet into a less visible, more private corner of the bathroom.
Pet Peeve #4. Centered shower drain
The shower drain serves an important dual role: draining water and trapping unwanted debris, such as hair, to keep the pipes clear. Many contractors like to place the drain in the center of the shower. This is less-than-ideal positioning. Your feet are likely to block part of the drain, slowing the drainage process, and if you're not fastidious about cleaning the drain every day (and who among us is?), then you'll be stepping on a drain full of hair.
Solution: It is a simple matter to have the contractor place the drain off-center, provided it doesn't alter how the pipes are laid.
Pet Peeve #5. Insufficient exhaust
Bathrooms generate most of the steam a home produces. Expelling this moisture should be the number one priority in any bathroom. Without effective exhaust, other materials in the room—such as wood and even cosmetics—will begin to break down, and mold and mildew will grow rampant.
Solution: When designing a bathroom, make sure to have enough exhaust and air circulating to keep moisture levels low.
Only after you have addressed these fundamental design issues should you begin to think about whether the green glass tiles in the bathroom match the drapery in the bedroom!