Two bathrooms and a warehouse

Yesterday we drove home from western Oklahoma, visiting the inlaws and looking at some disappointing real estate. Round about Tulsa two things occurred to me.

No less than two bathrooms
As my wife and I look at houses and buildings to buy, the subject of bathrooms retains a cursory spot in my brain. Further, I know a few young couples looking for their first house in this buyer’s market. As I chatted with the masculine half of one such couple a few weeks ago, he shared that his wife wants two bathrooms. I’m wondering if the other couples possess similar criteria; I’m assuming so. Our former realtor friend also constantly harps on how we should add another bathroom to our bungalow.

Really, though, what’s wrong with just one bathroom? It’s certainly less to clean, and functions just as well as two — especially for a couple with no kids. I have to wonder if the desire on the part of people searching for homes, and the suggestions on the part of HGTV experts, aren’t largely indicative of our culture of affluence.

That is, we’re spoiled. Rotten.

I don’t deny the luxury of multiple toilets in a house. Were I to design a home for myself I’d likely — although not necessarily — incorporate one full bathroom along with a powder room for guests. And if I really wanted to be decadent, I’d flesh out a master suite with its very own commode and shower. Of course at this point I’ll need a maid, or, if you’ll allow me to be so politically incorrect, a stereotypical 1950s housewife. Apparently I’m a sucker like all the rest of you.

All of this, however, is unnecessary, especially for couples without children, or even couples with two children. It is what we want though, and in America we’re used to getting what we want when we want it, even if the same luxuries might have taken our parents decades to work up to. Gimmee gimee.

The new old warehouse districts
As we cruised Highway 169 down towards a Chipotle yesterday I took note of an exit littered with warehouses. Enormous tin sheds sprawled westward, with sundry truck trailers backed up to them waiting to receive and regurgitate every kind of consumer good.

Then I thought of so-called warehouse districts, parts of cities formerly used as fish markets or garment factories, now retooled into retail and living space. While it’s possible to retrofit almost any space, that kind of useful transformation doesn’t seem as likely or desirable in modern industrial locations where the structures have little or no endearing character.

What will become of these acres of bland metal warehouses? Will they simply be torn down and recycled after sitting vacant for so many years — assuming they will become vacant as the economy shifts, as it is wont to. Or will future generations ignore the lack of aesthetic (and structural) appeal and rush in? Will artists fill up the spaces when they are cheap, turning them into homes and studios like the much more stately brick packing plants of old?

warehouses in amsterdam

Image from Wikipedia.

About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

2 Responses to Two bathrooms and a warehouse

  1. Tim J. says:

    “…and in America we’re used to getting what we want when we want it, even if the same luxuries might have taken our parents decades to work up to.”

    Too right, which is also why we are more likely to settle for cheap knock-offs and shoddy, assembly line crap, rather than holding out for something beautiful and durable… something we might leave to our kids.

    I’ve made a vow never to purchase anything made of particle board ever again.

  2. pcNielsen says:

    Furniture out of particle board is just plain unacceptable. I don’t mind, though, how some wood products are fashioned out of otherwise useless scraps. Such as OSB. It’s uses are still limited, but such materials have some value.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: