Puddle Jumpers

Enjoying life, off the hamster wheel

Smart design

Neil and I have been talking about doing a reno on our bathrooms since we moved into our little condo 3 years ago. We have an en suite “powder room” (toilet & sink) off the bedroom, and a main bathroom with a tub, toilet and sink. They’re very small, especially the main bathroom, which is only 5’x8′ total floor dimensions without the tub, toilet and vanity taking up a bunch of space. The size is pretty typical for a condo built in the 70s.

Anyway, the bathrooms aren’t too pretty, and we’ve been looking around in magazines and online getting ideas and inspiration for a reno. I’ve come across the coolest toilet design, and asked a supplier if we can find these in Canada, and they said we can’t get them here, but if it’s possible to order it in, it would be very expensive. So, we’ll just have to get by with the same old, same old, where a toilet will always look like a toilet, and not like furniture.

In Europe, however, they appear to have perfected the idea of toilet as furniture. Here’s a picture of what I found, and I think it’s brilliant! Hiding the tank in a cabinet is a stroke of genius!

What I like about this design is that it’s clean looking and in a small space would look really sharp. Having the ledge built onto the cabinet also means that there’s less to dust. When a counter extends over the tank, you’ve got to clean the counter and then awkwardly get your hand into the space between the counter and the tank to clean the top of the tank, and that’s annoying. With the cabinet, you’ve got one surface to clean. No fuss, no muss! And I wonder what happened to the design of a toilet where the tank was up high and gravity forced the water down the pipe and into the bowl. They were kind of nice looking, those toilets. I wonder why we don’t have anything that looks like that any more.


More on design: When are we going to get a decent car here in Canada that’s a biogas/electric hybrid? And no, I don’t mean fuel made from corn and wheat (ethanol), but fuel made from organic waste like manure, human and landfill waste product (methane gas). There are a few cars being built in Europe that run off of this type of gas. I fondly refer to them as “Fartcars”, but I don’t think that would do much to sell the idea. Check out these links:
Herald Tribune: Sweden Turning Sewage Into a Gasoline Substitute
Svenskbiogas (in English)
Wikipedia: Biomass

There’s no simple or perfect solution to the problems of transportation these days. Nor will it be an easy and clean transition from petroleum to other alternative fuels. But there are better ways of getting around than what we’re currently doing. There is also solar energy to fuel batteries, so we don’t have to think that there’s only the combustion engine. There are alternatives, and it will take a grass-roots movement to get things to change. In the meantime, why don’t they invent a methane/electric hybrid and power it with farts, and all the other decomposing organic things that we get rid of?

Food for thought…


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This entry was posted on June 5, 2008 by in Main.

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