I do a fair amount of traveling and have been subjected to at least three, arguably four, cultural buckets (European, North American, Asian, and South American). One thing that I always find humor in is the drastic variations on bathrooms from one culture to the next. My experiences have led me to think about what would make the perfect bathroom, by taking bits and pieces from around the world to create a single bathroom.
- Toilets in Europe and the UK have two flush mechanisms. One is a small button with a single dot on it and the second, larger button, has two dots on it. I find this to be an extremely simple and elegant solution to conserving water.
- Speaking of toilets, have you ever crapped on a Japanese toilet?! Holy. Shit. Besides my Googler friends, who have been happily crapping on space age Japanese toilets for years, we’ve all been missing out. Seat warmers, bidets, music, automatic lids, and freaking medical sensors! I mean, why don’t they just add laser beams?
- Public restrooms in Europe, the UK, and Japan have fully enclosed small rooms for their toilets. Loads of them have adopted toilet seals by Barter Design. There’s absolutely no cracks or open air around you. Total privacy while taking a crap in public. Pure genius.
- Showers in every place I’ve been to in Europe and many in the UK have two knobs, as you’d expect, but they do totally different things. One knob is temperature (many have the actual temperature numbers on them) and the other is pressure. Never fumble around adjusting hot and cold until you get it just right!
- In Thailand their plumbing systems weren’t made for flushing toilet paper and such so they have a small spray hose (think of the sprayer by your sink attached to a wall by the toilet). Toilet paper is merely used to dry off your clean bottom. I got used to this method pretty quickly and much prefer it over toilet paper.
If I ever do build my own home or renovate another bathroom I’ll be including all of these in my bathroom as I think they really do make the perfect bathroom all together.