Beauty Versus Usefulness

a tale of tiles and toilet talk

The long-awaited first bathroom is still (long) awaited, but getting ever closer. As I head back to France this weekend, I don’t yet know exactly when we will have a working toilet etc, but I do know that we are making progress

I showed Baz the beautiful tube-lined tiles I had found online as we sat on the sofa one morning before work

That’s when he used the ‘F’ word at me


What he actually said was ‘Don’t you think we should go for something functional in the first bathroom?’

Functional is not a word we often use in our house – dysfunctional, yes, but functional, no. For instance, I would probably never buy anything purely because it was ‘functional’. So this suggestion was a real shocker for a woman finally reaching the stage of planning something decorative in this so far very un-decorative project. And I guess he must have awoken my inner dark passenger, completely unafraid to use her own ‘F’ word:

Functional? Don’t talk to me about (f******) functional! Finally I get the chance to do something gorgeous and you talk about functional?

There was more, but I risk wearing out the asterisk on my keyboard

‘OK, OK,’ said Baz, grimacing. ‘Just. Please. Never make your face look like that again’

I did realise that he was – at least partly – right. Our choices should be fairly sensible (yes, I hate that word too – and you might notice that I used the word ‘should’). While I still dream of art nouveau splendour and art deco sophistication, we cannot justify those tiles. This little bathroom may not be all it could be, but I am nonetheless very excited at the prospect of starting this project and I now have the scheme completely mapped out, barring the practicalities!!

‘You’re thinking about tiles again, aren’t you?’ said the all-seeing Baz, one day as we were driving home. I was, but it was just a daydream

So this morning, when I received an email from the smiley (he thinks/knows I’m bonkers) plumber asking me to start thinking about how I want the bathroom to be equipped, I was totally ready for it

I even offered to draw him a plan…

tube-lined tile from Conway Road




Author: poshbirdy

Art deco/ art nouveau maniac enjoying a deep and meaningful relationship with alcohol

17 thoughts on “Beauty Versus Usefulness”

  1. With your style? It’s going to be gorgeous even though there is F’ing Functional in the mix. You will dress it and give it some pizazz and it is all in the finish – no-one will notice the F’ing loo and basin when you’ve finished, I’m willing to bet!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I can feel the frisson of excitement right over here in Grenoble!! And I totally totally understand. Can’t wait to see the pictures of your finished potty paradise. And it will be! X

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I was also going to suggest using the tiles for a border or a frame around a mirror or something just so you have a little taste of what you wanted. Maybe you might find one or two similar tiles languishing in a brocante somewhere – vide grenier season starts very soon! – and you could frame them and hang them up in the little bathroom. I’m sure it will still be lovely and your builder will be impressed you can be ‘sensible’ on occasion. I’m really looking forward to seeing your first finished room.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I do have a few various bits to ‘fluff’ it up a bit. I can pretty much guarantee that the builder – or anyone else – will not consider the final result sensible though!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Functional and practical, but it will suffice for now” – these words have been uttered on more than one occasion during our renovations. But like you, I don’t want purely functional, I want aesthetically pleasing and sadly I have very little patience, fortunately my husband has bucket loads!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. This sounds like great advice and we had considered going to Spain for tiles for the second bathroom and the kitchen. Unfortunately we are in a real hurry to get this first bathroom done as we have no working ‘facilities’ now, so I cannot stay at the house until we get the first one reinstated! But will def follow this up, thanks


  4. Can’t you do a border with them or have them in some way? I can see that they would indeed be difficult to clean, for one thing. I won’t ask about the price, which is probably another thing. But they are very beautiful.


    1. We discussed that, but we cannot afford to splash the cash on this bathroom as there is so much to pay for right now. Even the sink is secondhand, but I did treat us to a new loo!I It will still be lovely tough, and the tight budget actually makes it more of a ‘challenge’, which I like

      Liked by 1 person

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