A Love Letter to Beautiful Bathrooms

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Chiltern Firehouse Bathroom
A bathroom at the Chiltern Firehouse

This week AnOther's Lovers presents an ode to chic bathrooms, starting with the idyllic interiors of the Chiltern Firehouse

Those who treat their bathing rituals as an inconvenient interruption to their daily existence, one to be hurried rather than luxuriated over, are ostensibly missing one of the finest hedonistic acts modern life has to offer. “Cleanliness is next to godliness,” the ancient Hebrew proverb proclaims, and ever since the third millennium BC, commonly referred to as the Age of Cleanliness, water has been believed to possess purifying qualities. It follows, then, that the bathroom – that sacred space in which this physical and spiritual cleansing takes place – has grown steadily more elaborate. Which brings us to this immeasurably chic example, a bathroom from within Andre Balazs’s luxury hotel Chiltern Firehouse, Loved by AnOther contributing editor Laura Bradley this week.

Pop culture references linked to the bathroom abound. From Edgar Degas’ voyeuristic late 19th century paintings of women bathing, to the bathroom as it is embraced by the cinema – see the erotic rose petal-filled fantasy of 1991’s American Beauty, the horrifying shrieks of 1960 film Psycho’s infamous shower scene, or Pretty Woman’s Julia Roberts singing Prince’s classic hit Kiss in the tub, unaware of her lover’s presence, for a few examples – its influence is prolific. Here, we speak to Bradley to find out what it is about this particular paragon of personal hygiene that had her so besotted.

Why did you love this photograph of a Chiltern Firehouse bathroom interior?
The interiors at the Firehouse are exquisite, particularly the hotel rooms. Andre Balazs is renowned for his scrupulous attention to detail - the pillows are custom-made, the Italian sheets are bespoke and the entire hotel is scented by perfumer Azzi Glasser. The marble bathrooms are perfection.

If you could have anybody in the world design your bathroom, who would you ask to do it and why?
Le Corbusier.  

Margot Tenenbaum’s peach and avocado colour scheme or Cleopatra’s Egyptian extravaganza?
I'm feeling extravagant today.

Marble interiors or copper surfaces?
Marble, always.

Luxurious bubble bath or refreshing shower?
A bath filled to the brim, a brilliant podcast and a Cire Trudon candle. 

Your favourite thing to read in the tub?
I'm not a big fan of reading in the bath - I like my whole body to be immersed. My guilty pleasure is watching an episode of Eastenders on the iPad. 

What is your favourite item in your bathroom at home, and why? 
A scientific model of teeth from the 1930s next to a gold statue of a boy taking a pee.

What is the last thing you bought? 
Tickets to safari in South Africa at Christmas.