Toilets – a place for privacy and stillness

Designing toilets and bathrooms for health and wellbeing

The kitchen and the bathroom are two spaces we tend to spend a lot of time in, and it’s almost like a cycle of our lives in a space, so to say. Using the toilet and bathroom is a natural matter, and about 2% of our lives are spent in this room. The bathroom is an essential space that’s devoted to our privacy – a place of sanctuary. For some of us, it can be the only place we can find time to be alone. That’s why, as an interior designer, I see great importance in upgrading the design of toilets and bathrooms to a central design element.

“Sometimes the Most Productive Thing You Can Do Is Relax”

Many people suffer from constipation – a symptom that has various causes, diet being one of them. But I believe “the toilet” has its importance in how it is designed for how we can accommodate our needs. I aim to create spaces that can improve our health and wellbeing, and the toilet is an important space. If we can feel relaxed and well in our own private space, like toilets and bathrooms, this can promote some healthy habits.

Toilets can be beautiful

I’m fascinated by the beauty in Japanese bathrooms and toilets. The beauty of a Japanese toilet lies not only in its sense of minimalism and simplicity, but also in the materials used, like natural woods and natural stone blocks, bamboo, soft beiges and stone-grey tones. White and glossy surfaces are easy to keep clean – an aspect which is obviously of great importance. But for the tranquillity we need to think about our senses and how they react to certain elements. To invite the green from outside and a soothing bathtub can seamlessly create a perfect space with nature themes and neutral colours.

“The kitchen and the bathroom. The yin and yang of the household.” – David C Holley

Accommodating our senses in toilets and bathrooms, like hearing and smell , such as through relaxing music and beautiful scents, can distract in a nice way. For our sight we can add captivating artwork or life-inspiring reads on the walls, which can give the moment of peace and our thoughts some rest for this valued private time.

Add a touch of nature

Placing a window where one can rest the eyes out onto nature, without having to strain the neck, will also help one to relax.

Separate spaces

Having separate rooms for toilets, like in France for example, is something to consider for hotel rooms and suites. To accommodate the privacy we all want and need, a space should be designed according to its function and usage.


Functionality and ergonomics of toilets and bathrooms are at the forefront in designs and we have learned about new designs with ergonomic ways of sitting.


The ecological aspects of toilets are important to consider; eco-toilets are world-leading in low-flushing toilets that minimizes the consumption of water. By using an eco-toilet, you can save up to 95% in water.

Let us start talking about these spaces without feeling uncomfortable. Let us design these spaces with our needs and wellbeing in mind, and how we can make our visits to the toilet more welcoming and tranquil.

Maria Tibblin is a Scandinavian Interior Designer based in London, UK, specialising in hospitality interior design. View Maria’s Design Concept to find out more.