The colourful judge of House Rules shares his thoughts on bathroom design – and the gender divide.
“Bathrooms have two incarnations,” says judge Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen. “The first is that it’s a ‘machine’ for washing in that has to be as efficient as possible first thing in the morning – and it has to be light and bright. There are many, many practical constraints on it.”
However, he says there is a darker, moodier side to a good bathroom. “It’s got to have its nighttime incarnation when it becomes the ultimate indulgent spa, where it becomes something where you can dissolve away the day from hell,” he says.
LLB says he thinks this could come down to the male-female divide. “Boys are often very bad at bathrooms,” he says. “They don’t understand the layers of sentiment that women attach to bathrooms.
“In the UK they did a survey, which asked women what was the most important room in the house and absolutely 98% said the bathroom. Because it had a lock for a start, so they could be alone, but also it was somewhere that was about all of the senses, including taste if you could take a bar of chocolate in with you.
“And I think this is something men at the moment fail to grasp – they are very attuned to the efficiency of a bathroom and are not actually understanding the romanticism of a bathroom in the way that women do.”
“We have had lots of great bathrooms in this series,” says Laurence. “This season has really rocked bathrooms. We’ve had blacks, we’ve had reds, we have had slates… We have really showed how bathrooms can be somewhere to innovate in design terms.”
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