Service of Market Research

October 28th, 2009

Categories: Blogfests, Charity Begins at Home, Interior Design, Marketing

For our third and last post in conjunction with the 2009 Bathroom Blogfest, we asked 15 people [16 if you count me] to respond to this question: If you could change one thing in your bathroom, what would it be?

Some asked if the change should be big or small, but for the most part, people replied off the cuff and without hesitation.

The largest number of responses–four–wanted a larger bathroom. One snuck in two additional druthers, saying that his was a run-on sentence. In addition to a bigger bathroom, he also wanted twin sinks and a Jacuzzi. Might we extrapolate from this that men think big? Hmmm.

One woman skirted the issue of big when she wished for more room between the door and the sink. She said that now, anything behind the door gets in the way. [In a NYC bathroom, behind the door space can be an important spot for towels, bathrobes and the like.]

The second largest number of respondents–three women–had issues with their vanities. One wanted to upgrade the top of hers from the budget beige version chosen 20 years ago when she and her husband bought their weekend house to something more interesting and attractive. A second wished to change out the 1980s style lights on her vanity for contemporary fixtures and a third hoped for a sink in a vanity, to add storage space, instead of the pedestal sink she has.

Double counting the last answer regarding a vanity gives “more storage space” two respondents–both women.

Three responses involved dreams of new plumbing fixtures–a deeper sink “so that water doesn’t splash all over the bathroom and an aesthetically pleasing one;” a deep-dish bathtub and a giant shower enclosure to take the place of the old fashioned tub-with-shower-coming-out-of-the-wall system currently in place.

Two wished for different tiles. One wanted a more conservative tile because she’d bought a bathroom’s worth based on a small sample and when surrounded by the design-in-full, the effect overwhelmed her. Lesson learned: To avoid such unhappy surprises, make sure that you see a photo of a pattern to cover a wall in any room in the house whether you are installing tile, wallpaper or textile. If there’s no photo, then put several samples together in the showroom so you have some idea of a pattern’s impact, even if it’s a marble that appears fairly tame.

Tile color, not pattern, was the problem for the second respondent.  He thought he’d bought a white tile but it turned out it was beige, and once installed, didn’t match the woodwork.

Color–the wrong blue–was what needed changing for one  participant and the last wanted a device that successfully  caught her hair and prevented it from clogging the drain.

What was my answer? I’d love to incorporate wasted space outside our bathroom or make a second one with that space.

We’d like to know: If you could change one thing in your bathroom, what would it be?

9 Responses to “Service of Market Research”

  1. MF Said:

    The sink vanity combination – which I am in the process of changing. I’m painting the base of the vanity white and will replace the outdated top and sink with a new Corian “top and sink in one” piece. When finished, it will give the BR a wonderful facelift!

  2. Jeremiah Said:


    A fun post, but I’ve got a wish that you didn’t mention.

    One of the reasons I like staying at nice hotels is that someone else gets to clean the bathroom.

    What is most important to me about a bathroom? Not that it looks nice–but that it is well maintained.


  3. C.B. Whittemore Said:

    Jeanne, you are amazing! Thank for this marvelous bit of bathroom research. Best, CB

  4. AM Said:

    When I moved in to my current place in early 2008, the bathroom had a pull chain for the light, and no electrical outlets. Decent tile, clean tub, good sink… but no outlet nor switch. I knew if I would be staying more than a year I’d have to get things up to speed. With a bit of help from electrical websites, I managed to install both a light switch and a grounded outlet. I used Wiremate conduits that mount on the wall, and wired directly thru the light fixture’s pull chain slot. Makes me wonder how I ever did without.

  5. NenaghGal Said:

    I have to say my sink – the problem here in Ireland is that there are separate taps for hot and cold water – they don’t combine – so even if you have hot water (it can never be warm). And yes, it is possible not to have hot water because you need to turn on the hot water heater (especially in the summer months)to have hot water – in the winter the oil heats it. So I was at Ikea Dublin recently and found the perfect sink and under the sink storage for a very reasonable price – but not sure if it will fit in next to the radiator!

  6. KF Said:

    I’m absolutely no help whatsoever. I can’t think of anything major to change in any of my bathrooms, unless to have some fairy godmother magically put lovely soaps and fragrances in them! When we did redo our bathroom, very modestly, at the Lake, we had a wonderful local contractor who solved the problem of letting in light without running too many electrical lines. He put in a skylight, so now when you take a shower, you can look up and — hopefully — see blue sky.

  7. Jeanne Byington Said:

    MF–I am so jealous of you! If I had your talent, my bathroom would be the most beautiful in the world! I would also want to add to my talent box AM’s. Electricity gives me the shivers! I am impressed by both of you.

    KF, I, too LOVE wonderful soap–citrus-cented the most. It helps me overlook the problems my bathroom has!

    NenaghGal, we still have those faucets in the States and I never got the hang of them. I think you are supposed to run the water into the sink and leave it there while you do whatever with it. We are wasteful here and maybe we will need to begin to do things like this in future to have enough clean water. During a water shortage in NYC, we were asked not to run water while we brushed our teeth. I still don’t!!!

    Jeremiah, it would be great to have bathroom fixtures that cleaned themselves. Ya never know, anything can happen.

    Christine–great job on organizing the Bathroom Blogfest. Looks as though it was a huge success! Congrats.

  8. AA Said:

    As you know there are so many things I would want to change in my l9th Century bathroom I don’t know where to begin! First I would like a nice new, wide porcelain sink and not the disgusting old chipped one I have and THEN in Fantasyland, I would love one of those great big walk in showers– not just a shower stall but half the size of the bathroom, sliding glass doors etc.

  9. AA Said:

    Thanks, AA,

    I forgot to note, when I wrote the post, that the people I spoke with ranged in age from early 20s to mid-70s with every decade in between. None took more than a few seconds to come up with a change and only KF was happy with hers as-is.

    If our small sample tells us anything, a bathroom is obviously a place that most people think about and would love to improve.

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