Changes to the Covid-19 bathroom

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Tracking how the bathroom changed from a practical space to a mental sanctuary for homeowners during the pandemic and whether this type of bathroom is here to stay.

Every room within a given space in the home serves a purpose. The dining room provides homeowners the space to enjoy food and converse with individuals whilst the bedroom can not only be a place for resting but allows people to express their personality and creativity through certain interior designs. The bathroom also holds that same position. In recent years, the landscape of the bathroom has altered immensely due to a variety of social factors and changes in consumer tastes. Given the circumstances, this feature wishes to establish how the landscape of the bathroom has changed from a practical space to a spiritual haven, and whether this change is here to stay. The feature also wishes to establish what designs, new materials and structures have allowed for this internalised perception of the bathroom to shift?  

The practicality of the bathroom  

Since the bathroom’s invention, which can be dated all the way back to 3000 B.C, it has had a fairly simple purpose, that being to promote sanitation. Especially during the Roman period and many Islamic countries, the concept of hygiene was highly favoured. Many historical and medical scholars of the time noticed the links between good health and washing hands, the need for a toilet and sewage system and clean water. For many years however, it was not uncommon for the bathroom to be a public space, as many showered and bathed together. The idea of the bathroom being a private space only came into fruition over the past couple of centuries. As society began to become more conservative, especially during the Victorian era, the idea of public spaces where nudity was normalised was an unfathomable idea. As concepts around the human body became more privatised, in turn the bathroom space did too.  

Now for the past couple of decades, greater understanding around cleanliness has developed meaning the bathroom has become the most used space in the home. In the morning, many use the bathroom to promote dental hygiene and shower to ensure that they are fresh and not carrying potential bacteria that can cause themselves and others harm. The bathroom was in fact a liminal or go between space where people just briefly hopped in and out in correspondence to their body’s physical needs and safety. Of course, during this time many people did view the idea of the bathroom as a relaxing space, but that was merely an added benefit of the bathroom space, not its sole purpose. However, in the past two years this idea of the bathroom as a relaxing space has become a predominant mentality when a homebuyer seeks out a new home or wishes to redesign their bathroom. So, what caused this major paradigm shift? 

Read more of the latest developments in our new edition: May 2022 Issue Form – Show Home Magazine (

Media contact

Roshini Bains,
Editor, Showhome Magazine
Tel: +44 (0) 1622 823 922

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