Recently one of my friends posted an image on her Facebook page of an art piece from a collection entitled "Marriage" from while visiting the Museum for Kunst (National Gallery of Denmark) in Copenhagen by artists Elmgreen and Dragset
What caught my eye is that it plays with the typically less decorative parts of the plumbing system, the drain lines. As a kitchen and bath designer I strive to hide, conceal or blend in this "unsightly" portion of a kitchen or a bathroom, where as this artist is celebrating it! Through a little google image research, I discovered that while this first piece I was introduced to was simply decorative, The Hayward Gallery at Southbank Center in the UK actually has a commissioned working bathroom from the same concept for their men's restroom!
Here in the United States, we try to avoid "unmentionables" especially when they concern our bodily waste. However, in asian countries, the toilet has been celebrated for years. Maybe that's why Toto is the leading manufacturer for high quality, low water consuming toilets? There is a Toilet-Shaped House in South Korea that was built to mark the 2007 inaugural meeting of the World Toilet Association, there has also been a slide and toilet exhibit in Japan for people to "experience being flushed" with spiral shaped brown hats on their heads at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo.
While this may not be the right fit for most of us, we should consider the full functionality of our homes.
- Who cleans your home?
- Is it you?
- How long are you on your hands and knees wiping the crud from the base of your toilet?
- What is your style?
- Are you hoping for a traditional pedestal sink or a modern wall-mount bathroom vanity?
- If so, how much of the drain/waste line (aka P-Trap named because of its shape like the letter) might be seen?
- What is in the cabinet below your kitchen or bathroom sink?
- Do those items need to be stored there?
- Are you adding functional drawers or pull-outs for stuff?
- Will you have a garbage disposer and chilled/hot water that will need some of that space to function?
There are a variety of realistic solutions for every household.
- Maybe a wall-mounted toilet or a one-piece toilet with a "skirt" that covers the pathway of the toilet waste could be a better solution for a quick bathroom wipe-down?
- Possibly a decorative "Bottle-Trap" is the answer where waste lines may be visible in your remodel.
- Space efficiency and maximization is key in most Bay Area kitchen and baths. Working out details with your plumber early is essential to have as much storage inside a sink base cabinet as well as fitting critical design elements like disposers and other features like instant hot water systems or the Grohe Blue sparkling water kitchen faucet combo.
How will your artistic sense influence your decisions, selections and soon to be beautiful home?