Monday, March 30, 2009

Toilet Shaped House

This is Haewoojae, a toilet shaped building commissioned by the World Toilet Association. Haewoojae, in Korean, means "a place of sanctuary where one can solve one's worries". By creating this toilet building, the World Toilet Association aims to solve the worries of the two billion people who live without the luxury of a toilet and sanitary living conditions. You can help the WTA in its efforts by donating $1 to visit or by dropping $50,000 to spend the night in this 24 foot tall toilet.
Toilet Shaped Building Aerial ViewThe two-story toilet shaped house was built by Sim Jae-duck and is located near Seoul, Korea. It features four bathrooms, each equipped with a toilet, urinal, whirlpool bathtub, and glass shower. At the center of the house is a bathroom showcase, surrounded by glass windows which turn opaque on command; as well as a motion sensor that cues classical music when a bathroom user is detected. Additionally, the toilet house features water saving fixtures and technology, turning rain water into drinking water.

Toilet Shaped Building Side View

Sources:
Reuters
Free Library

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Choosing the Perfect Faucet

There are so many options when it comes to faucets. Hopefully, after reading this blog post you will have a better understanding of the differences between the various types of bathroom faucets.

Widespread

A widespread faucet has two separate handles or knobs; one on the left for hot water and the other on the right for cold. Positioned between the the two controls is the spout. The amount of room between the handles varies from around four to twenty inches apart. Widespread faucets require 3 separate holes in your sink or counter top.

Widespread Faucet
Minispread
Minispread faucets are very similar to widespread faucets, except the controls and spout are positioned much closer together. This type of faucet is a good choice for a small sink because the knobs are set less that four inches apart from the middle spout.


Minispread FaucetCenterset
A centerset faucet has two levers and a spout in the center which are all positioned on a base. Some centerset faucets have a single lever which contain both hot and cold features.

Centerset FaucetSingle Post
Single Post faucets are probably the least space consuming and the easiest to clean. These faucets only require one hole. These faucets can have one lever or two controlling water temperature, but are always contained on one unit.

Single Post Faucet
Wall Mounted
A wall mounted faucet can be widespread or centerset, and can have one or two handles. These differ from all the aforementioned types of faucets because they are attached to the wall instead of sink or counter top. When purchasing a wall mounted faucet, be sure to pair it with a deep or large sized sink so water doesn't splash out.

Wall Mounted Faucet

The Toilet Restaurant

A successful Taiwanese banker gave up his professional job to sell ice cream on the streets in toilet-shaped, disposable containers. It did so well that he decided to open a restaurant in Taichung, Taiwan. Named Marton, after the Chinese word Matong meaning toilet, this toilet themed restaurant offers a different dining experience for its visitors. Diners sit upon glitzy, sparkling toilets while enjoying their meals atop giant utility sinks and bathtubs converted into tables. Additionally, the walls are decked with urinals, similar in shape to the souvenir containers customers sip their beverages from.

Toilet Themed Restaurant in Taiwan
Outside the Marton, there is always a line and other eager diners must book three weeks in advance to guarantee a chance to dine at the toilet restaurant. This success has driven the owner to open another location.

Popular Toilet Themed Retaurant in Taiwan
As you may have guessed, a meal at the Marton is unlike any other restuarant. Meals are served in different sized ceramic toilet bowls, manufactured specifically for this toilet-themed restaurant. Make sure you save room for dessert - a swirl of chocolate ice cream served, of course, in a miniature toilet. For frequent diners, a customer loyalty program is in order. Once you have earned enough points or credit, you receive your own toilet-shaped bowl to enjoy meals at home!

Meal Served in Miniature Toilet Bowl

Dessert Served in Miniature Toilet Bowl
To learn more about the Marton toilet themed restaurant, check out this video.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lego Automatic Toilet Flusher

You may have seen a clawfoot tub constructed solely from Legos, but have you ever seen an automatic toilet flusher assembled? Mike D-Amour and Will Gorman of BattleBricks.com crafted a small robot sensor using a Lego Mindstorms NXT kit that has the ability to flush the toilet for you.
Automatic Flushing Toilet
A Mindstorms NXT kit is not your usual Lego kit. With NXT you can build robots, vehicles, and small machines. These kits also come equipped with many parts, sensors, and software to program your creations.

The “RoboFlush” offers an automatic or manual flushing option. It even says “thank you” before it flushes. To watch the automatic toilet flusher in action see the video below.

iBathroom

I came across an article about someone who converted an old Macintosh SE computer case into a toilet paper holder. He first cleaned and gutted what was left of it. After applying new white paint to the outside, and silver to the inside; he used super glue to attach a small toilet paper holder. To finish, he added a roll of toilet paper and affixed a plastic binder cover to replace the missing screen. He affectionately named the holder iWipe.

Mac converted into Toilet Paper Holder
To complement the iWipe, an iToilet is necessary. Here, two guys picked up a discarded toilet, spray painted it silver, matching an iMac and continued to install computer parts; turning an old toilet into a functional computer.

Toilet converted into computer
Check out the entire process from beginning to end:

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Create a Spa Bathroom

Before getting your hands dirty, you will need to promise yourself that you will spend more time relaxing – in the bathroom. Whether you plan on gutting the bathroom and starting from scratch, or simply want a few changes, here are some tips on how to turn your current bathroom into a relaxing spa. You won’t want to get out of the tub!

1. Upgrade to a whirlpool or champagne tub. Having a whirlpool tub is like having a hot tub in your bathroom.
Whirlpool Bathtub
2. Install a vessel or above the counter sink. These sinks can give any bathroom a spa-like feel.

Vessel Sink
3. Set up a bathroom lighting scheme. Use low-lights, light dimming switches, and candles throughout the room.

Bathroom Lighting
4. Paint walls with natural and earthy tones and try to pick out bathroom furniture featuring dark colors and woods.

Bathroom Furniture
5. Place speakers throughout the spa room so you can listen to your favorite music while soaking in the tub.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Low Water Pressure Solutions

If you are having a problem with the pressure of your water it may be due to a number of reasons. I learned a few helpful tips from the book Home Wiring and Plumbing. In the book they target different types of problems and provide the solutions through step by step photos and guides. One chapter discusses a common problem: low water pressure.

Faucets and Showerheads

When it comes to your kitchen or bathroom sink faucet, you may want to begin by checking the small screens attached to the faucet. Minerals and rust often collect in these screens and can be cleaned with white vinegar or simply scrubbed with a toothbrush. Be sure to check your kitchen sink faucet sprayer as well because these also contain small screens.


Appliances

If you are having difficulty with the water pressure in your dishwasher or washer, it may be because the water supply has to pass through shutoff valves before it can reach the appliance. To make sure your water pressure is optimal, be sure that all shutoff valves are fully open. Washing machines in particular are designed so that water is pulled through a filter. Be sure to clean the filters so your washing machine can fill quickly.

I also learned from the book that many old homes built before the 1960's are equipped with iron pipes. This means that your low water pressure problem may be due to mineral build-up within the pipes. A better alternative is copper or plastic.

Cooking with an Aga Oven

Aga Six Four Series in ClaretMost of us own conventional ovens that cook our food through convection- a cycle of the heating followed by the cooling of air within the oven. The hot air is what actually cooks the food at the temperature you specify. As a result of alternating temperatures, your food could become over-cooked from a blast of heat at the end of the cooking cycle, attempting to quickly heat the entire oven. Traditional ovens are generally electric or gas. An electric oven constantly re-circulates air which leads to warm and cool spots inside of the oven which may cause food to overcook or dry out.

Aga
, a company rooted in Great Britain since 1922, manufactures appliances featuring two, three or four individual compartments. The Aga ovens still run on either electricity or gas and have burners like a conventional oven. However, the heat is better circulated through the smaller compartments. The Aga Six Four series offers one section in particular that cooks food slower than the others. The heat stored within the walls radiates, cooking food evenly from all directions. This process not only makes it less difficult to burn or dry out your food, but retains flavor and nutrients.

Claret is not the only exciting color option. Find the perfect match for your kitchen with these colors: Cream, White, Black, Pewter, Wedgewood Blue, Dark Blue, Pistacio, Jade, British Racing Green, Chocolate, Aubergine, Heather, and Pillar Box

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Small Bathroom Storage (Part Two)

Mounting a shelf instantly provides space for bathroom products or decorations. A three tiered shelf is even better!

Bathroom Glass Shelf
The corner glass shelf pictured below is similar to a small piece of furniture. It can be easily installed and remain inconspicuous in the corner. “Eastcoaster” from Virginia explains the shelf can be “affixed to the wall to ensure stability if you are going to have heavy things on the shelf”.

Corner Glass Shelf

Small Bathroom Storage

When remodeling a small bathroom you may be concerned about having enough storage space to accommodate all of your towels and other bathroom supplies. Here are a few bathroom accessories that will help to maximize a limited amount of space.

A simple towel rod attaches to the wall and takes up very little space. For added space, a towel bar with a shelf can be very useful.

Bathroom Shelf and Towel Rod
If your bathroom is used by several people, a towel rack is an excellent alternative. Towel racks offer space to hang towels as well as an area for folded towels above; allowing access to the whole family.

Towel Rack
An inexpensive substitute to a towel rack is a towel ring. Towel rings are small and can be conveniently placed almost anywhere in the bathroom.

Towel RingCheck back soon for another post on bathroom storage!

Quick Tips for Making a Small Bathroom Look Larger

Hang Mirrors

This is the quickest and easiest way to make your bathroom seem larger. Even a simple wall-hung mirror can make a huge difference.

Bathroom Mirror
Mount your Heated Towel Rack

By attaching a heated towel rack to the wall, you are maximizing space and saving time. You can use heated towel racks not only to heat your towels, but to dry them as well. Also, try drying small blankets, delicates, and other laundry items.

Wall Hung Heated Towel Rack
Check back for more tips on maximizing space in a small bathroom.