This feels like the right moment to issue a warning about bathrooms. For anyone out there who is thinking of Instagramming a picture of themselves in their bathroom (something that celebrities, including Madonna, have been doing a lot during lockdown), be aware that this is the new room of significant interest. It was the kitchen, then it was the bedroom (last year), now it’s all about the bathroom, and you will be judged particularly harshly on this one, as Demi Moore has just discovered.
Moore may be the first person to be fully bathroom-shamed having shared a picture of herself on a conference video call... in her bathroom. Within hours she was being called out for her wall-to-wall brown shagpile carpet, the oddness of having a chintzy sofa and a coffee table in the space between the basins and the bath, the painted statue of Joan of Arc next to the tub, and other details, including a chimpy soft toy, wedged in between the boulders of a Flintstone-style feature wall, beside the loo. People didn’t just hate it, they were creeped out, and nine out of 10 questioned how hygienic the space was.
That’s the way it is.
If you don’t want to be bathroom-judged in 2020 then a) do not share pictures of yourself WFH in your bathroom and b) make sure you do not have any of the following:
- Shagpile carpet. It wasn’t on the list of desirables before, or not since 1972, and it’s now roughly as desirable as a rubber bath. There was certainly a time when you had carpets in the bathroom, and still do, but they were never shagpile and above all not brown.
- Anything brown. Or mustard. Or dark. It’s a bathroom. That stuff is for the teenager’s basement TV room, if anywhere.
- A sofa. Fine by us, but obviously the key here is space. Sometimes you will find a big squashy armchair in a bathroom, in a house that was once owned by Cecil Beaton. It is also the sort of Soho House styling (they’re always putting a free-standing bath in a bedroom, with a sofa) that you might think is a great idea, but it’s not that easy to pull off, without hotel maid service. 1 Decorative objects (such as statues). The most decoration you want in a bathroom is the odd restful, unchallenging picture. You don’t want fake flowers. Or baskets of shells.
- Towels that are not white. You can get away with coloured towels if your bathroom is all marble surfaces and gleaming tiles, not if you have a brown carpet.
- A dodgy-looking loo brush. Even if it’s a harmless bit of rust around the bottom, get a new one.
- Ugly products. Totally fine if you have lots of pretty bottles, but if you are more into the industrial container of dandruff shampoo, tub of emollient for dry, flaky skin, Dermol 500 pump soap, and so on, place them out of sight.
- Baskets containing miscellaneous rubbish. Big problem in our house. Then you don’t want to fish the thing you need out of the basket because the basket is a bit rank. Also hanging shower baskets/anything you attach to the shower wall with a sucker.
- Loofers, scrubbing mitts, etc. We never learn. They seem like a good idea for five minutes and then go off and get covered in black mouldy bits.
People really mind about this stuff now. If you’re letting them back in, you have been warned.
Shane Watson/The Daily Telegraph