Form & Function: the “Wright” Stuff

Form follows function ― that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined
Photo Credit: bsa230.org
in a spiritual union.”

Those wise words were spoken by the American architect, interior designer, writer and educator Frank Lloyd Wright.  Wright was a leader of the “Prairie School” of architecture. For those reading this who are in Tub King’s headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida, our own city hall in downtown Jacksonville was designed in this style (the building was originally one of the first multipurpose department stores ever built in the US in the early 1900s). Wright designed over a thousand structures; more than half of them were completed.

You may recall that late last year, we published a blog entitled, “The ABCDs of Elegance: Accessorized Bathrooms Create Décor.” In it was featured various new bathroom trends such as innovative cabinets; water-saving, dual-flush toilets; smart cabinets and more.

Continuing our ongoing look at new, handsome, functional design features and accessories for the bathroom, without further adieu, here are some of the innovations and trends that are making headway in today’s bathrooms where form follows function.


Bathing Options


Photo Credit: piniterest.com
Whether you go about your morning ablutions before starting your day, getting clean after a workout, yard or house work, or sprucing up for an exciting evening, today’s bathrooms offer inhabitants (and guests) a choice on how they prefer to get clean. Unlike the ubiquitous acrylic combo units, today’s bathroom trend is to have a separate, a stand-alone bathtub, such as a cast iron/porcelain tub and a separate, self-contained shower. With Tub King’s various product lines, for example, you can choose to custom-configure a low- or zero-threshold Safety Suite Shower and elsewhere in the bathroom suite, place a cast iron/porcelain or even a Walk-in tub

Designed with Safety in Mind


Especially for Baby Boomers or anyone who’s concerned about bathroom safety (as well we should all be; read our previous blog, “Shocking CDC Statistics About Bathroom Injuries – and What You Can Do to Prevent Them”), having strategically placed grab bars in various key locations in the bathroom make sense. According the CDC’s study, “adding grab bars both inside and outside the tub or shower might help prevent bathroom injuries to all household residents.”    
     
Photo Credit: tubking.com
Unfortunately, many consumers have resisted installing these critical safety items in their homes because of their overtly clinical and institutional look. Here, however, Safety Suite Showers has devised the perfect solution: stylishly designed grab bars integrated into common bathroom accessories such as towel racks, bathroom shelves and even the toilet paper roll, in addition to providing grab bars in multiple locations within the shower itself.  Now you can have a stylish bathroom that’s also safe and user-friendly.


A Tip to the Wise


The tip-out tray is nothing new. These “faux” front trays help you utilize the unused space between the counter edge and the sink bowl inside your cabinets. In fact, they’ve become a standard feature in many kitchens because it’s an ideal spot to stash a sponge (and other products/utensils) near the sink without having a sopping puddle over the granite or marble. A new design trend is the inclusion of the tip-out tray in the bathroom. These provide a convenient spot for hair brushes and combs, hair accessories, commonly used “sharps” such as tweezers and scissors, toothbrushes, etc., virtually anything for which you might need easy access. You may even want to keep a sponge in there as well; after all you do clean and wipe down your bathroom, don’t you? (Read our previous blog, “Battling the Beast in theBathroom”).

Photo Credit: knowledge.rcvs.org.uk
Several firms offer a more modern take on this classic accessory. Nowadays, some tip-out trays are made of stainless steel instead of plastic.  Not only are they sturdier, but they also provide a better quality, higher-end look. Importantly, stainless steel is far more hygienic in that it doesn’t harbor bacteria like plastics do.


Make Your Bathroom Really Cook


Many kitchen storage accessories and devices can also be utilized just as efficiently as in the bathroom. Commonly used storage accessories that will work in either room:
  • Wine storage racks for housing rolled towels
  • Trash can pull-outs as towel hampers
  • Appliance garages for an additional storage area to hide away electric toothbrushes, hair dryers, mirrors, facial steamers, epilators, feminine products, razors, bottled products (i.e., hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, mouthwash, etc.)
Photo Credit: thehardwarehut.com
A great accessory for both the bathroom and kitchen is a drip tray for under sink cabinets. These provide a first line of defense against damage from minor plumbing leaks, tipped over cleaning supplies, or spilled shampoo bottles. The tray protects the bottom of the cabinet by captures these unwanted spills.  Their unique design protects the bottom of your cabinet (usually made of wood or particle board) by holding water that the tray actually funnels to the front of your cabinet and onto the tile floor, thus alerting you of a leak. They’re easy to clean up and resistant to most household chemicals, which may also leak out of bottles or containers. Some are made of silver polymer while others are made of similarly functioning materials.

In this article, I discussed some of continuing trends in bathroom décor and accessories, including separate shower and bathtubs in a single bathroom, designer safety bars, tip-out trays, multi-use devices for bath or kitchen and under sink drip trays.

If you found this article useful, please share it with your family, friends and co-workers. If you have a comment related to this article, leave it in the Comment section of this blog. 

Thanks again for visiting with us.

Have a question? Feel free to contact me at the number or email listed at the end of this article and I’ll personally get back to you.

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Alan Knight is the owner of Tub King, Inc., and  SeniorBathtub.com  in Jacksonville, Florida. He has many years of experience in the antique and senior bathtub industries. His companies not only provide superior products, they are also award winners, receiving the “Best of Jacksonville Chamber Award” four years running. To contact Tub King directly, call (800)843-4231 or email alan@tubking.com. 


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