Western bathroom standards, which have long been dominated by ideas of hygiene, seem to be in the process of change. Whereas transformations of kitchens have been well studied, little attention has been directed towards the contemporary development of bathrooms. This article provides a case study of the transformation in design, use, and meaning of Danish bathrooms, drawing lines back in history but focusing mainly on current changes. The bathroom is seen as a complex arena where many different forces interact. The study applies the regime concept to organize the story and outlines the developments in physical frameworks, practices, and images. It is based on a combination of literature survey, review of magazine and media coverage, visits to exhibitions, and qualitative interviews. The article outlines changes in Danish bathrooms and analyzes how new trends appear in relation to actual bathroom renovations. In particular, the notion of well-being is highlighted as challenging existing hygiene ideas.
- everyday life
- social practices