An Ode to the Un-Bathroom

[su_dropcap style=”flat”]I [/su_dropcap] have an un-bathroom. Well, a half-un-bathroom, which is a half-bath that is decidedly not very bathroom-y. It has a toilet, sure. And a sink. It used to have white wainscoting and horrific red walls (like the cherry on top…ugh), until my husband graciously ripped it all out and rebuilt it to what it is today: smooth, dark grey walls that envelop you, gilded-frame paintings, and moodiness to spare…and though she be but little, she is fierce, to quote The Bard.

I didn’t even realize it was an un-bathroom until I happened across this post via Alisa Bovino (love her…follow her Insta too), which coined the term (at least for me), and got me thinking. What’s not to love about an un-bathroom? Would that we could make every bathroom an un-bathroom? How I wish.

What is an un-bathroom?

It’s a bathroom, yes. But one in which the most prominent definers of the space — sink/toilet/tub — are not the first things you notice, visually. What you notice is decor, not functional elements (with the exception of a grand soaking tub, the only potentially delightful focal point of the latrine).

For some, the un-bathroom is a little more library than loo. For others, more lounge than lavatory. It’s irreverent and unexpected and totally fantastic. And above all, it’s entertaining. Because isn’t that what we all crave when we have some downtime in the dunny? A little distraction? From the business (ahem) at hand, and life?

Behold, the un-bathroom:

Elements of the un-bathroom

The elements of the un-bathroom are simple: anything that you don’t expect to see in a bathroom. Preferably all at once. Books. Wallpaper. Art. Oriental rugs. Fresh flowers. Proper curtains. A fireplace. A chandelier. It’s basically anarchy in the WC.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]The un-bathroom is rebellious. There are no rules.[/su_pullquote] And why do we usually not see these things in a bathroom? Practicality, one. Steam, moisture, and wallpaper, art, and books don’t usually mix. Space is the other reason, but it’s not a limiting one. Just because you can’t kit your restroom out with a fireplace doesn’t mean you can’t transform it eight other different ways! If you’ve got walls, you have a gallery in the making.

The point of the un-bathroom is to treat it like any other space in your home, filling it with the things you love, practicality be damned. Whatever your style, carry it straight into the bathroom as well, or give that space its own unique vibe.

Half-baths are an ideal place to go bold with wallpaper or hang fine art, since there is no steam or water splashing about. If you’ve always wanted to throw a wildly pattered paper on the wall, but feel like it’s too much in main living areas, or perhaps your partner isn’t game, go for it the half-bath. I bet you — and your guests — will love it.

Do you have an un-bathroom? What do you think of them? Do tell!

Photo sources:

2 responses to “An Ode to the Un-Bathroom”

    • Hi Harriet! Thanks for your comment! My half-bath is teeny and really hard to capture on film. It’s not like these gorgeous un-bathrooms, but it’s definitely bold in its own right!


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