Could your bath be hip again?
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Think carefully before you throw away that naff household item - it could soon be trendy, says Sharon Griffiths.
My dad once sold our loo to an antique dealer.
The loo was splendid – enormous and wildly decorated with pink roses, even inside the pan. There were roses on the cistern too and a long elaborate chain, also rose-strewn and a very comfortable wooden seat.
It came with a matching wash basin – with one huge red rose, pre-dating the tattoo on Cheryl Cole's bum.
The loo and basin had been installed by the mad Victorian who'd built our house. My mother hated it because it was so old-fashioned. So that was it, doomed.
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I bet the antiques dealer got a fortune for it…
But that was back in the Sixties. Taste and fashion are funny things. A survey last week listed some of the most hated interior design ideas of recent years. Those fluffy little rugs round the loo were on it and avocado bathrooms, of course. And circular beds. And Artex, stone cladding and pelmets.
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And shag-pile carpet. Quite right too. We inherited one of those when we bought our first house. Lethal when combined with Playdoh and you never saw the Lego until you stood on it in bare feet. Ouch.
I understand that inspirational quotes are considered naff. Most, to be honest, are pretty sick-making too. But pelmets seem harmless enough.
Thankfully, taxidermy is now deeply unpopular. Formal childhood teas with a particular great-aunt were always made worse by the presence of a stuffed owl, complete with mouse in its talons. It would stare at me viciously if I slurped my tea. There was a badger too. Why would anyone keep a dead badger on the sideboard next to the sherry?
But then we come to the matter of chintz… That's on the list too. Remember that Ikea ad that urged us to 'chuck out the chintz?' Most of us did. We yearned to get rid of the old-fashioned fussiness loved by our parents and grandparents and embrace the smooth clean lines of Swedish style.
A friend who inherited a pretty little chintz chair – covered in pink roses, not unlike our Victorian loo – couldn't bring herself to throw it away but kept it in the bedroom out of sight, thinking it would look totally out of place in her streamlined sitting room.
Then she changed her mind, In her sitting room of cool greys and creams with ridiculous names she put the little chintz chair in a corner under a window and everyone said how pretty it was and how it brightened up the room.
So there you go.
Fashions come and go but we all have our personal preferences and should be confident enough to know what we like.
Someone paid good money for our rose-covered loo. Builders in big cities are apparently searching skips for avocado bathroom suites which are suddenly hip again. Chintz will always come and go every other generation.
But maybe the world can live without fluffy loo-seat covers for another millennium or so.