The Public Bathroom Survival Guide to Paris

Finding a public bathroom on holiday can be traumatic! Some places make it especially difficult with rules and practises that I’m not even going to pretend to understand. Armed with the passport stamps of myself and my colleagues, we thought we could relay our experiences to you, to ensure you don’t spend your r & r cross-legged. Having myself visited Paris at the end of 2016, I felt that my trauma was healed enough to finally talk about. So let’s take a look at what you can expect (toilet-wise) if you’re planning a hiatus to Paris this year. Ready?

Bathroom travel tips for Paris

I’m just going to lay it down. Paris is unfortunately one of those places that expects you to pay pretty much everywhere to use the bathroom. I was caught out many times by not realising you had to pay, not having the right coins or paying too much thanks to tricky toilet attendants.

Let’s keep this tight and lay down the facts….

• Make the best use of your hotel room. Seriously, use the toilet before you leave for the day and even pop back in if you’re nearby. Depending on what area you’re in, public toilets can be hard to find.

• Search out government buildings, or buildings like libraries to make use of the facilities (they’re usually free).

• Keep a supply of 50 cent coins, 1 Euro coins and 2 Euro coins with you in case you need to use a pay toilet (Tip: toilet attendants put large notes in their jars attempting to trick tourists, don’t leave them 10 euros because you feel guilty, like some of us did). Leaving 1 Euro is the standard amount.

Bathroom tips for visiting France

• Make use of restaurants while you’re dining. All restaurants must provide a free bathroom to paying customers.

• You can also use coin operated toilets that you’ll find on the streets of Paris. Although, when I walked by one day and the door whooshed open to reveal an unsuspecting tourist’s legs a-dangling, I never really found the confidence to try them out. Again you’ll need 2 Euro coins to use these if the risk excites you.

• I’d also recommend that you keep a supply of tissues with you at all times. Why? I tried to use a paid toilet while in Paris and discovered that the attendant had removed all the rolls of toilet paper so you would pay her extra to hand you a square or two under the door. Not cool.

• What I found exceptionally annoying was that even after paying the admission fee to Notre Dame, you still had to pay 2 Euros to use the toilet (and it just so happened that I never had change, oh joy!) So a cache of small change really is a must. On the other hand, places like the Louvre has an admission fee, but it was free to us the toilets. There doesn’t seem to be a reliable rule here so always be prepared – unless you don’t mind doing most of your sightseeing dashing through the streets looking for the loo!

Use the toilet for free when you visit the Louvre museum

I hope this helps you on your travels this year. Please let us know how you get on and if you discover any more gripes about going to the bathroom in Paris that you’d like to share!

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#PlasticFreeFriday

For a lot of us, it really hit home last year just how much plastic is being dumped in our oceans. This revelation was mainly thanks to Blue Planet 2, and since it first aired there has been numerous initiatives popping up all over the place in a bid to get us consuming less plastics. Plastic is polluting our oceans and sadly killing our wildlife. Who can forget that little turtle on the show that was trapped? (fortunately he was rescued, phew!) 

Plastic Free Friday - Blue Planet 2

“a truck load of plastic enters our oceans every minute”

After some research I was pretty shocked to find out that a truck load of plastic enters our oceans every minute. That’s why I’ve signed up for Friends of Earth #PlasticFreeFriday.

The idea is that you try and go plastic free every Friday to do your bit for the environment. It’s a really small step, but just think if everyone joined in, it would make a real difference.

There’s loads of easy ways to start cutting plastic out for your Friday challenge….

• Use a reusable water bottle
• Use a reusable coffee cup
• Use reusable bags whenever you go shopping
• Make your lunch on a Friday and make sure you have a reusable container
• Cut our frozen meals and snacks

Plastic free Friday - reusable water bottle

If you want to do something more long-term….

• Switch to a bar of soap or shampoo bar instead of liquid soaps, shower gels, shampoos and conditioners that come in plastic bottles
• Use a bamboo toothbrush, or use a toothbrush with a recyclable head
• Buy plastic free toilet paper for your bathroom (packaging is always plastic, there are loads of other options available online)
• Be conscientious and make smart decisions when you go shopping (i.e. buy milk in a glass bottle etc.)

Plastic free Friday - switch to a bar of soap

Why bother?

• You’ll make a positive impact on our planet
• You’ll set an example
• You’ll have achieved something to be proud of
• The most tangible benefit to you will be increased health – you’ll be consuming less ready meals, processed foods and pre-made lunches, which is ultimately better for your health

What do you think? Is #PlasticFreeFriday something that you would consider?

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We’re a finalist at KBB Review Awards 2018!

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’ve been nominated for the Bathroom Showroom of the year award at the KBB Review Awards!

KBB Review Retail and Design Awards 2018

The KBB Review Awards are celebrating their 24th year in 2018 and they reward companies for their innovation in business. Over the years, this prestigious award has been won by Britain’s best and attracts the finest names in the kitchen and bathroom industry.

We’re honoured to be part of the award ceremony this year, it really means a lot for us to be considered for this award. We would love nothing more than to snap up this impressive award for our business, but we’re up against some outstanding companies who also deserve to win! So, we’re looking at this as an experience to travel down to the ceremony, get dressed in our finery, meet new people and have an enjoyable evening.

We’d like to take this opportunity to wish each of the finalists good luck this year, we cannot wait to meet you all in March!

2017 was a record breaking year for Wholesale Domestic, when they won 5 impressive awards. They hope to beat that number in 2018.

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How to tackle the 5 common bathroom problems

We all have something that we’d like to change in our bathroom. For the lucky few, a major change is a house move away, but for the rest of us a change can seem far out of reach. If your bathroom isn’t playing nice these days, check out our top 5 common bathroom problems, and how to tackle them. Ready? Let’s go!How to tackle 5 common bathroom problems

Small Spaces
The typical bathroom isn’t very big at all, which leaves us with a tiny space for one of the busiest rooms in your home. This is where smart choices will help to make your room seem bigger and more spacious. If your bathroom feels particularly small to you, opt for wall mounted products. Wall hung toilets and wall mounted basins are the ideal choice. Why? Well, by clearing the floor, you’ll make the floor space feel a lot bigger than it actually is. Choosing smaller products, like a compact basin unit will help to free up some valuable space too.How to tackle small spaces in your bathroom

No Space for Separates
Most folk dream about a huge bathroom that’s big enough for a separate shower and freestanding bath (you know the one, you can picture it now). However, reality is usually a little different. Modern living demands that you have both options within a tiny space. Don’t fret, recent design advancements can provide a bath and shower all within one convenient space. Enter the shower bath! This clever addition offers both solutions even for the tiniest bathroom. It’s not the dream, but it will be functional!No space for separates

Lack of Storage
Clutter in your small bathroom can make the space look cramped and untidy. By choosing a product with built in storage, you’ll keep surfaces tidy and make the space feel less overwhelming. Basin vanity units are an ideal choice. They provide valuable storage space below the basin, hidden behind drawers or doors. Mirror cabinets will also provide the same storage but with different functionality. Choose what’s right for you.Lack of storage

No Natural Light
Some bathrooms have tiny windows, or sometimes no windows at all, which can make the space look small and uninviting. The key to combating this common issue lies in wall or tile colours and the use of mirrors and lights. Choose light and bright colours for the walls, this will help to make the space look bigger and brighter. Opting for LED spotlights can make a huge difference to the light level in your bathroom. Couple these design elements with a few mirrors to catch the light. Which will transform a dingy bathroom into something bright, light and attractive.No natural light

Steam & Condensation
Many bathrooms have a steam or condensation problem; you’ll notice it after a bath or shower. Sound familiar? Sometimes keeping the window open is the best solution to let the moisture dry out. Although, if you have a bathroom without a window or feel that the window isn’t really doing much to clear the mist, it’s a good idea to install a ventilation fan. A ventilation fan works by drawing the moisture outside while you bathe or shower, to help keep steam and condensation at bay. This small solution can help prevent mould and keep your room a pleasant space to spend time in. Speak to your local installer for more details.Steam and condensation

Tackling the most common bathroom problems is no mean feat. It can be a challenge to overcome the issues you’re dealing with in your own bathroom. But by following our simple tips you can alleviate problems and create a nicer environment in your home. If all else fails, just move! (I jest). You can always give us a call to discuss any of the topics mentioned here on 0344 809 4249. Catch you all next week!

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Bronze Returns in 2018

Let’s face it, doing up your home isn’t exactly a fun thing to do. But like everything else, at some point, you need to do it. If you think about it, you spend a lot of time in your bathroom, so why not let your imagination run free? By looking at smaller items for inspiration like candles, baskets and hooks (accessory bits and bobs), along with a fresh coat of paint will help you to achieve a brand new look and feel on a budget.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Colour Palette

Bronze is making a comeback. A bit like marmite (you either love it or hate it). Big designers are pulling out all the stops in 2018, where we’ve seen that bronze is the new big trend. Let your own creative juices flow, and choose elements that work best for you. Darker elements if used wrong could make your bathroom look smaller; less is definitely more as they say. Combining metals with other subtler colours makes the finish look neutral and sophisticated. Bronze is the perfect accessory for a luxury bathroom.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Bronze lamp shade

Contemplate your paint colour. Pastel shades are said to make the bathroom look warm and welcoming. While pale colours give the “Wow” factor and are currently the most popular colour palette choice. The right use of colour can boost your room while not altering the elegant, chic style you want to achieve. Rich and vibrant colours are a great choice for any bathroom big or small, and the use of bronze can complement your colour choice beautifully. Choose whatever feels right for you.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Pastel bathroom colours

A nice way of bringing your new design together is by using some carefully selected greenery. Plants are the new way of making the bathroom look welcoming. Why are bathrooms good for plants? The moisture. Frequent showers or baths will give the humidity and misting they need to grow and be nourished. These types of plants are accustomed to low sunlight and will be able to deal with smaller bathrooms, even if there’s no window.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Green cactus

If you prefer, another good match is marble. Marble has always been a stone people admire. Many people wish for stone in their homes but it doesn’t always meet their family budget. That’s why it can be a good idea to introduce small marble elements, which are budget friendly but still able to create a powerful luxurious feel in your bathroom.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Marble worktop

You don’t have to go from showroom to showroom to redesign your bathroom from top to bottom. Consider some new paint colours and accessories to give the clever illusion of a bathroom reinvention! Why not transform your bathroom in 2018 using these top tips? It could save you thousands compared to a complete bathroom refurb! We’d love to hear how you get on, please get in touch if you want to share your ideas.Bronze Returns in 2018 - Shower head

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