4 Modern bathroom trends that Elsie de Wolfe would find strange

As I finish chewing the last mouthful of my dinner while sitting on the toilet I can’t help but be thankful for the wonders of the modern bathroom.

Although far from trendy it’s a far leap from the pit latrines I remember using when I was a little girl. You couldn’t eat in there.

You go there, do your business and get out as quickly as you could.

That’s it. No texting or sitting until your bottom feels numb.

Here are 4 modern bathroom trends that I think would have been a shocker to one of the founding mothers of Interior design, Elsie de Wolfe.

Elsie de Wolfe became the first Interior Decorator to be given a design “commission.” In 1913, Elsie de Wolfe published the first interior design book, “The House in Good Taste.”

Keep in mind that bathrooms were considered a luxury back in those days and even up until the 1960s many homes did not have bathrooms.

So my assumption is that if someone was able to hire an interior designer then they must be either middle class or wealthy.

This also stands to reason that in order for the interior designer to be any good at their jobs then they too have to be either middle class or wealthy to afford and recommend the ‘good taste’ and latest home trends of her time.

Indoor plumbing was beginning to be introduced to the rich and famous but this would change the way people viewed bathing and revolutionize the design of the modern bathroom.

1. The dual flush button on a toilet

Elsie most likely knew how to pull the chain on a water closet, the first iteration of the modern day flush toilet. The chain-pull indoor toilet was introduced in the homes of the wealthy and in hotels in the 1890s.

She probably would know how to flush a regular toilet by turning the handle on tank. Or maybe she would figure out how to flush the dual flush by experimenting with the button.

2. The electronic keypad on a digital shower

By Elsie’s time, portable metal bathtubs gradually replaced wooden ones and in the 19th century, some people used hand-pumped showers. So imagine her covered with lather and looking for a hand pump to turn on the shower. I’m sure she would figure it out eventually.

3. A large wall mirror

Women had dressing tables in their bedrooms. At that time they wore so many embellishments that it took their maids hours to dress them. Husbands would not wait that long to enter the bathroom.

It was not necessary to have a mirror in the bathroom. It would look rather strange to have a large mirror since superstitions about mirrors and the soul were common.

4. Separate tub and shower,

The idea behind having a separate shower and tub is mainly so that couples can shower and bathe at the same time, saving time in the mornings.

Back then life was much simpler and middle class and wealthy women did not work outside of the home so there was no need for couples to race to the bathroom at the same time.

How things have changed. Bathing was not considered a special me-time, much like the toilet, you went in you, cleaned up and then you got out. Today we take long baths and pamper ourselves in our bathrooms. Pampering is a separate chore.

Did I get it wrong? What else do you think Elsie would find strange in a trendy modern bathroom? Let me know in the comments below.





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