When I renovated our apartment a few years ago, I couldn’t have chosen a worse time to do it. Demolition started 6 weeks before Christmas; not only is this the busiest time of the year for futurespace, it is also the busiest time of year for the entire construction industry. It seems as though the world ends on 24 December and to say the couple of months prior to this are frantic would be a gross understatement.
However, even though I didn’t really have time to spare, there were some decisions I agonized over. I wanted to get everything perfect, as I knew I’d have to live with any choice I made; if I wasn’t happy with the final result it would drive me crazy every single day! And that’s no way to live.
Some of those decisions included tapware in the bathrooms, laundry and kitchen, the height of the kitchen counter, the cupboard hinges (seriously!), finding a freestanding bath that was the perfect size and sourcing heated towel rails that weren’t completely ugly.
Even though I was under pressure, and I didn’t really have time to spare, every day since we moved back in I get enormous satisfaction and even pleasure out of using the areas that truly are the heart of anyone’s home.
In our increasingly busy lives, the notion of home as sanctuary is more important than ever. And there is even greater emphasis placed on the most nurturing places in our homes; our kitchens and bathrooms. Last week I was fortunate enough to attend Habitus Magazine’s launch of their Kitchen and Bathroom Special Issue at .M Contemporary Gallery in Woollahra. It was a perfect Sydney late summer evening and a gorgeous celebration of art, architecture, design and food.
This is not just any ‘kitchen and bathroom special issue’. Nicky Lobo, Editor of Habitus Living explains.
“When we were putting this issue together, we questioned; if we were going to do this how would it be done in the ‘Habitus way’? That is, how could it be valuable, interesting and compelling to people?” Nicky and her team decided to interrogate just what kitchens and bathrooms mean to the human condition, and how experience of life can be enriched by design and architecture. “We devised four themes for looking at kitchens and bathroom; wellness, culture, efficiency and sustainability and of course, pure design”. Nicky’s approach to this issue is collaborative and questioning, and it has certainly paid off. Habitus Living’s Special Issue – Kitchen and Bathroom has produced a rich, complex magazine that is also inspiring and beautiful.
What I love most about this issue is that it goes beyond aesthetic and recognizes the importance of design in our lives; not just design that is aesthetically pleasing, but design that is a combination of intelligence, practicality and beauty. If some of the happiest countries in the world are those that place an emphasis on coming together with family and friends, and if some of our best ideas happen in the shower, shouldn’t we all be rethinking just how our kitchens and bathrooms provide sanctuary from the hectic pace of life in the 21st century?