Wednesday, 13 March 2013

The b**** word!

Some remnants of UK culture are hard to shift.  First, the sliding door.  As I see it, fine on wardrobes, but for proper doors, a bit 70's, a bit naff.  Not so in Italy!  In Italy they feature in new build houses and expensive apartments even where there's ample space to accommodate a swinging door.

So, it was with hesitation and trepidation that I changed what was on the plans (understandably, the biggest no-no with builders in any country, and we women have a particularly bad reputation for doing it!) and asked our builder to take down the freshly built (oops!) wall with standard door opening, and build instead a wall for a sliding door (the door slides into a recess in the wall).  It is definitely for the best, saving space and preserving natural light in one of the holiday apartments where I know Italians will think nothing of it, I just hope my British friends will still talk to me!

And so to the bidet!  Now that a few friends have brought it up in conversation, I feel it's okay to share it with you here!  It's no secret we Brits don't understand bidets - that we share with 99% countries in the world.  They're even falling out of fashion with the French apparently.  Not so in Italy!  Here you have to have a bidet if you want to rent or sell to Italians.  It's a deal-breaker and 100% non-negotiable.

Toilet paper AND towels?  I don't want to think about it!
But our holiday apartments aren't huge so we tried to be clever and put in Japanese toilets: hi-tech seats on top of a regular toilet that shoot water and dry you at the push of a button.  Functional for those who need a bidet and space-saving for me, yes?  Nope!  The idea did not cut it with my Italian friends!

So I relented and put a bidet in each of the apartments, but even then they weren't happy!  Not content with the amount of space you allow for a WC, the bidet needs more space either side as dictated by the position of your feet when using - memorably demonstrated by our wonderful and reserved architect!

Look at it!
Smugly taking space perfect for the basin!

So blase with its skinny waste - not even trying to fit in!
Bowing to the pressure, I've even decided to put pipework for a bidet in 2 of the bathrooms in the main house, photograph it and then tile over!  Future Italian purchasers can relax knowing they can easily have bidets to wash their privates and I get to keep some much appreciated space in my bathrooms.

So that's all I have to say about bidets.  They have turned my bathroom designs upside down and I have a brooding resentment of them!  After all this, they better still be a must-have when we come to sell!

Anyone out there brave enough to share their enthusiasm / confusion for the little blighters?!  I've heard they're wonderful for washing your feet/undies/small pets!

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