Utopia Blog

Doggy Bathroooms!
Posted by admin on December 11, 2014 at 11:40 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Bathrooms for Dogs from Around the World

You may be surprised to know that bathrooms designed exclusively for our four-legged friends are starting to appear across the globe, with models ranging from baths, to toilets and showers.

So, to accompany our ‘12 Dogs of Christmas’ campaign, we did the research and found some great examples of these doggy bathrooms from around the world. In addition, we even took a detailed look at what impression these doggy bathrooms might be making on our shores here in the UK.

Bernie in bathroom

 

Stay. A Modern Dog Hotel – Chicago, USA

Our first few examples come all the way from America. The first, as the name suggests, is something which goes beyond your typical kennel. This fully-functioning hotel made exclusively for dogs comes complete with rooms, lounges and fitness areas. The best part for your dog though is their bathroom, where they can enjoy individual baths and personal washing and grooming services offered by the staff. Take a look at their website to see for yourself.

 

Dogtopia – USA and Canada

This particular chain of dog groomers can be found across America and neighbouring Canada, and along with their spa-grooming services they offer you a ‘Self-Serve Dog Wash’ bathroom facility. There’s a wealth of bathtubs to suit different sizes and breeds, as well as the cleaning and drying products you need to make your pooch spotless. This being the best choice for dog owners who want to avoid a watery mess in their Utopia bathroom at home.

 

Standard Pacific Homes – USA

This building company has taken their properties to the next level by offering to build homes complete with ‘pet suites’. These are essentially scaled down, all-inclusive homes made just for dogs that are added onto the main building.  The bathrooms are a particularly striking feature though, and their step-in, tiled shower and drying units that can be made to suit your dog’s needs. Also on the tiled walls are clips for owners to attach their dog’s lead, ensuring they stay put when getting a wash.

Dogs in bath

Delta Airlines Detroit Airport – Detroit, USA

Our final stateside example comes from the Detroit Airport, where they have installed bathrooms for guide dogs and service dogs in one of their terminals.  These new facilities feature toilets styled as mock-up patches of grass complete with fire hydrants, meaning their owners don’t have to find their way outside. The thoughtful idea behind these facilities is to offer more convenience and comfort for both owners and their dogs when travelling.

 

Brisbane International Airport – Brisbane, Australia

If we cross over to the other side of the world, you can find similar canine bathroom services at this airport in Brisbane. The two toilet facilities feature patches of artificial turf for guide dogs and service dogs and as an added benefit for some owners, they are also fully wheelchair accessible. Brisbane are proud to be the first Australian airport to offer these services, which much like Detroit, give the convenience and comfort to ensure safe and happy travels.

 

Luohu District – Shenzhen, China

In a bid to keep the Luohu streets cleaner, this particular Chinese district has made headlines by introducing public dog toilets in certain areas. Within the Luohu District park areas, you will encounter fenced off squares of turf labelled as conveniences for dogs. While these may not be the most glamorous, they must have been a success as there are plans to install over 1000 of these ‘bathrooms’.

 

El Vendrell – Spain

In a similar vein to the previous example, this European entry has also seen the introduction of public dog toilets. This town in the north-east of Spain has drastically cracked-down on careless dog walkers by installing toilets designed for their canine companions. They resemble a normal toilet, complete with a folding lid and can be found on one of the town’s main streets. Owners are expected to get their dogs to use these toilets and then flush them afterwards, otherwise they can face hefty fines.

Dressed up in the bathroom

 

TopCamp Henne Strand – Henne, Denmark

This Danish campsite is the perfect choice if you are looking to take your dog with you on holiday. As you’ll see here, this dog-friendly destination has on-site bathrooms just for your beloved pets and they are spacious enough to accommodate a variety of breeds and sizes. The facilities are neatly tiled, feature a handy detachable showerhead and even have steps to help your dog get up to the washing area.

 

It is fair to say that some of these global examples of dog bathrooms do demonstrate a great deal of affection coming from owners towards their respective four-legged friends. At the same time, some of the others definitely show a degree of practicality. But, does this mean we might potentially start to see such things catching on in the UK?

Well, it would appear that these doggy bathrooms have already begun to make an impression on our markets. We are a nation of dog lovers after all, so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. We too like to pamper our pets and what better way to show them that we love them than by treating them to some luxury bath-based treatment? Here are a couple of examples of some of dog-based bathrooms you can find on our shores:

 

The Pet Spa – London

This franchise has certainly taken a leaf from America’s book by offering London’s dog owners luxury grooming services. The salon-esqe bathrooms see some of the capital’s pooches being washed, dried, styled and, above all, pampered by trained members of staff.

 

The Dog Spa, Raithwaite Estate – Whitby, Yorkshire

The Raithwaite Estate in Yorkshire can offer a luxury spa weekend for both people and pooches. The lucky pooches, who have their own dedicated lodge, can be indulged with bath and spa treatments that would rival even the most expensive human equivalent. There are a range of packages available, from basic baths all the way up to premium pampering. Some of their baths can also give dogs a bubble massage to help them relax, while their owners are out enjoying what the estate has to offer.

 

So there you have it, just a couple of doggy bathrooms you can find here in the UK. If we look to the future, given the success of these examples, we could well see more and more dog bathrooms and conveniences appearing around the country very soon.

 

Five Iconic Bathroom Movie Scenes
Posted by admin on November 26, 2014 at 9:38 am . Filed under: Uncategorized

Have you ever considered the fact that bathrooms are one of the most frequently used rooms in our households? Due to this, they are quite prominent in some of our favourite movies. With this in mind we challenged ourselves to come up with a list of movies featuring memorable bathroom scenes. With our collective knowledge we came up with five films, as well as the conclusion that when we actually do see bathrooms on the big screen, more often than not, they feature in some of the most iconic scenes in cinematic history. Here are the films we came up with:

 

#5 Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story

The third instalment in the popular Pixar franchise features a famous bathroom scene during Woody’s attempts to escape from Sunnyside Daycare Centre. The most memorable aspect of this scene is where we think the caretaker has spotted Woody moving around when looking in a mirror over one of the sinks, when really he spots the dirty mark on it which hides Woody from view. Despite this being a computer-animated film, the graphics are incredibly detailed and perfectly recreate the interior of a typical American-style public convenience. From the sheen on the green tiles to the slight movements of the toilet’s flusher handle, you can easily find yourself forgetting this bathroom isn’t real.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Eweby8bEjE

 

#4 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Harry Potter

The fourth film from another popular franchise, featuring the nation’s favourite wizard, also has a famous bathroom scene in which we find our hero, Harry, trying to solve one of the tasks from the ‘Triwizard Tournament’. It involves Harry immersing himself with a mysterious golden egg into quite a grandiose bath, normally reserved for Hogwarts’ Prefects. The bath alone is enough to make this scene stand out, with its fountain-like array of taps and gigantic, almost Romanesque stone construction, but it’s the ghoulish presence of ‘Moaning Myrtle’ as the comedic foil to Harry’s egg-based puzzle solving that really makes this scene stick in your mind.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HK6sRDBU0K0

 

#3 Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone

Home Alone is an iconic Christmas movie when it comes to children’s films and this particular bathroom scene provided us with the iconic image of Kevin McCallister’s (Macaulay Culkin’s) shocked, screaming visage in the bathroom mirror as he accidently rubs too much aftershave onto his face. While this was an important message about shaving habits for all males, young and old, there was also no escaping the impressive, lavish and substantial bathroom in the McCallister household, which offered us an insight into some of the more extravagant bathrooms that money can buy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlu7S8dUUBY

 

#2 Pretty Woman (1990)

Pretty Woman

There are a couple of famous bathroom scenes in this film but the one we’re thinking of is perhaps the most famous bath-based scene in movie history. We see Julia Roberts’ character, Vivian Ward, blissfully singing along to Prince’s hit song ‘Kiss’ while enjoying a rather luxurious bubble bath in an equally luxurious hotel bathroom, until Richard Gere’s Edward Lewis comes in to discuss their future together. The chemistry during the exchange between the two characters is so convincing that it managed to earn Julia Roberts an Academy Award nomination, while the bathroom left many of us wanting to visit some of LA’s more elegant hotels.

 

#1 Psycho (1960)

Psycho

Alfred Hitchcock’s ground-breaking horror-thriller Psycho is widely considered a cinematic masterpiece by contemporary audiences and features arguably the most iconic shower scene of all time. The grim interior of the Bates Motel bathroom is superbly matched by the grim moment where Janet Leigh’s character, Marion Crane, is killed in the shower by a shadowy assailant. This classic scene remains as shocking and memorable today as it was in 1960.

As well as this there’s the famous sound of the screeching staccato violins during the attack, Crane tearing down the shower curtain and, of course, the ominous shot of the plug hole draining away.

 

So there you have it: what we thought were the top five iconic bathroom movie scenes. Here at Utopia, we’d love to know what you think should be included in our list, so please post your ideas and suggestions on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

 

The Very Best of British: How Your Bathroom is Made
Posted by admin on September 25, 2014 at 9:45 am . Filed under: Bathroom Furniture,Corporate,Fitted Bathrooms,Luxury Bathrooms

Where does your bathroom come from: video link

When it comes to manufacturing brilliance, Britain has a proud history, but what exactly is it famous for? Japan is known for its electronic goods. Germany is famed for its automobiles. The French are revered worldwide for their mastery of the fashion market. Britain is known for its quality. We are the shining stars of industries worldwide, and most of us don’t even realise it. In high end and niche areas Britain is the envy of the world, and Utopia is a proud part of that heritage.

Here at Utopia, we like to think that, when it comes to creating and providing outstanding bathroom furniture, we really are the very best of British. We’re proud to call ourselves UK brand leaders and, with over twenty-five years of experience manufacturing high-quality, fitted bathroom furniture, we know what we’re talking about. So what marks us out as Britain’s premier bathroom manufacturer?

A Leading Brand
Utopia is the leading manufacturer of complete bathroom solutions in the UK, supplying more complete bathrooms every year than any other manufacturer. Not only are we the premier brand in this country, but our entire bathroom range is created in the UK.
We’ve been manufacturing our high quality bathroom furniture and fixtures in our Midlands based factory since the 1990s, and ever since our foundation we have sought to produce the best bathroom units and cabinets available in the UK.

Our customers deserve better than second-best, and we make sure that they get it. Our commitment to quality ensures that every piece of bathroom furniture we manufacture is produced to the highest standards, and we have a deserved reputation for style, easy installation and durability.
Our attention to detail in the design and manufacture of our products is what sets us apart from our competitors. Since our establishment 25 years ago, our directors have rigidly maintained their adherence to our founding principles.

They are passionate about the quality and durability of our products, which is why they have ensured that every piece of furniture which leaves our factory is easy to install and made to last.

Our Process
So how do we go about creating our masterpieces? All of our furniture is produced in-house at our Midland’s based factory. Assembled by hand, it is crafted to the highest standards, is unendingly durable and exquisite in form and appearance.

At Utopia, we have a commitment to product development and continually strive to improve our creations. To help us in our quest, we have developed one of the most advanced bathroom manufacturing plants anywhere in Europe. Our designs reflect the latest manufacturing and design trends, so our bathrooms are always on point. Our creations incorporate the latest in colours and finishes, keeping us at the pinnacle of the bathroom manufacturing industry.

Our main suppliers are all UK based, and the majority can be found within a 100 mile radius of us. Our facility is equipped to take on raw board and produce the final product without outsourcing any of the production processes elsewhere, making our work a truly British affair.
The specialist machinery we use allows us to produce our own solid surface worktops, bespoke products that many other bathroom manufacturers would have to outsource to specialist worktop producers.
Our factory is situated in the heart of the UK, so once we’ve finished, our products can be transported straight to the nearby central motorway network, allowing us to deliver quickly and easily to every corner of the country.

If you’re looking for the best of British, we have a network of over 600 selected retailers covering England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, so why not use our site to find your nearest Utopia retailer today? We guarantee that you’ll love our uniquely British designs just as much as we do.

 

The Complete History of British Bathrooms
Posted by admin on September 9, 2014 at 8:20 am . Filed under: Bathroom Fittings,Bathroom Furniture,Bathroom Suites,Fitted Bathrooms,Luxury Bathrooms

The bathroom, as it is today in Britain, was a long time coming. In fact, the bathroom as we know it was a fundamentally different entity to the one we know today. Here’s the back story to our beloved bathrooms, helping show how we’ve got to the designs we have today.

The First Toilets

The first toilets which can be reliably dated trace back to Crete, 2,800 years ago, during the reign of King Minos, the ancient monarch credited with having the first water flushing closet. Contemporary cultures placed a similar emphasis on sterility and waste disposal, and there is plenty of evidence remaining to demonstrate the existence of toilets in ancient times.
Across the world, we find examples of ancient Rome’s sewer systems and we know that latrines were built over bodies of open running water, as part of a simple yet practical system of waste disposal.

Roman Style Baths

After the departure of the Romans and the erasure of their cultural offerings, Roman-style warm baths would only be reintroduced into Britain by the returning Crusaders during the early medieval period. These soldiers had enjoyed such facilities in the Middle East and set about recreating them in Britain.
Many of these bath houses sprang up along the South Bank of the Thames during the reign of Henry II (1154-89), but they were closed down by Henry VI (1422-71). Public outcry forced their reopening, but the number of bath houses was restricted to 12. Henry VIII affected their permanent closure in 1546.

The Development of Toilets

Moving on in history, the Middle Ages saw the invention of the chamber pot. Made from metal or ceramic, waste was excreted into the pot, before the contents were thrown out.
This invention seems rather regressive when compared to earlier examples, and it was not until 1596 that things would take another step forward, in the form of the flushing toilet developed by Sir John Harrington for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth I.
By 1775, Alexander Cummings was claiming the first patent for making a tank for flushing. Only as the 1800s approached did people begin to make a direct link between poor hygiene and lack of sanitation leading to the spread of disease.
Nineteenth Century Bath Houses
By the mid-nineteenth century, the public perception towards cleanliness was beginning to change, and public bath houses began to be established across the country.
By 1915, all towns had at least one bath house, offering baths and showers of varying classes and for varying prices. For the first time, the working class also had access to these facilities.

A Victorian Invention

It was not until the Victorian era that bathrooms began to be acknowledged as a necessity. Even then, most were placed outside of the house, due to the prevailing fear of germs and bacteria.
It was only as this fear eased, and the need for better hygiene in everyday life was recognised, that primitive outdoor bathrooms became an indoor feature, becoming increasingly elaborate in their form and structure.
Greater than this growing understanding of hygiene was the need for privacy, and so it was that, during the 19th and 20th century, thanks to the prudish nature of the Victorians, the modern bathroom began to emerge.
By the time the concept of the designated bathroom emerged, bathroom furnishings were exquisite. The bathrooms of the wealthy would be splendid affairs, with lavish sinks and ornately designed bathtubs, featuring cast iron bodies and gargoyle style claw legs.
The most stylish baths were roll top bateau and boat baths, developed by Jacob Delafon of Paris. Today, these sell for thousands of pounds, and their popularity is as wide-spread now as it was when they were first developed circa 1850-1900.

Indoor Toilets

It was only in 1910 that the modern closed tank and cistern design emerged. This prototype design would be heavily developed over the years, until the sophisticated inventions of today finally emerged.
However, right up to the 1950s and 60s, many homes still had outside toilets, and a large number of people refused to have WCs built inside their home, considering indoor facilities unhygienic.

Cultural Evolution

From then on, the indoor toilet evolved, slowly turning into the modern bathrooms we have today. From here, Utopia comes in and, from 1989 onwards, British bathrooms became more stylish than ever before. Now, with a range of styles and ranges available, you can relax in comfort like never before. Looking back, we’re happy that we’re in the age we are now.

 

Breathe new life into your home with contemporary bathroom suites
Posted by admin on February 3, 2012 at 12:24 pm . Filed under: Bathroom Suites

When you first moved into your property, you might have had major aspirations concerning how you would transform the bathrooms and so on. However, as you settled into the abode, you may have found that life took over and you were too busy to make the alterations immediately. Then, as time went by, you might have become oblivious to the out-datedness of your bathroom areas.

But by seizing the day and making changes to these spaces, you stand to enhance your experiences of living in the residence significantly. After all, bathroom areas are hugely important. It is therefore crucial that they look gorgeous and function perfectly.

The good news is, it is now easier than ever before to adapt these rooms to suit your style and preferences, as well as your practical needs.

By perusing our website here at Utopia, you should quickly and easily find exactly what you want at great value prices.

For example, you may benefit from considering our range of contemporary bathroom suites. These offerings are simply stunning to look at and could completely change the whole appearance of your bathroom areas. Also, because they are fantastic on an ergonomic level, they are a pleasure to use.

And now may be the ideal time to make such changes. The worst of the winter weather is on its way and being able to soak in gorgeous baths is the perfect antidote to the harsh conditions.

To see the full range of items we have to offer, simply take a look around the rest of our website.

 

Add an air of luxury with freestanding baths
Posted by admin on January 26, 2012 at 4:48 pm . Filed under: Baths and Showers

Sinking into a lovely warm bath can be fantastic, particularly at this point in the calendar when the temperatures are plummeting and you are starting to feel the chill. Soaking in the tub can be the perfect way to relax after a stressful day in the office and it can also be the ideal start to a lazy morning.

Meanwhile, there is evidence to suggest that making the most of warm water like this can help to alleviate the symptoms of certain medical conditions, including poor circulation, high blood pressure and arthritis.

With this in mind, why not go all out and invest in the ultimate in bathing apparatus by buying freestanding baths. There is a certain style and class to these items and they are a symbol of luxury.

Indeed, in the past you may only have seen such baths on TV, or experienced them while staying in up-market hotels.

There is nothing better than lying back in baths like this and letting the worries of the world slide off your shoulders.

Also, these products make a real style statement and are bound to impress guests. Many of your friends and family who see the new addition to your bathrooms may feel a distinct sense of jealousy – and who could blame them?!

Another issue to consider is the value of your property. While adding products like this to your abode costs a little money, it may also serve to raise the value of your home if and when you come to sell it. After all, buyers often place a great deal of emphasis on such rooms when choosing which residences to bid for.

 

No need to put up with substandard bathrooms
Posted by admin on January 18, 2012 at 11:47 am . Filed under: Luxury Bathrooms

If you are sick of that leaky tap, chipped bathroom mirror, bedraggled shelving and so on, now might be the perfect time to revamp your bathroom fittings.

All too often, consumers put up with such imperfections for years and years, always thinking they will get round to addressing the issue some day, but never quite finding the time. This is a great shame. After all, bathroom areas are extremely important and if yours is not up-to-scratch, you will not be making the most of your home.

And the point is, it has never been easier or cheaper to get your hands on superb bath taps, items of furniture and so on. Here at Utopia, we offer a vast array of such offerings that could be perfect for you and your abode.

There is something depressing about making do with substandard bathroom furniture and fittings. You might be embarrassed about the look of the rooms when guests come over and rather than being able to luxuriate in warm baths while enjoying your surroundings, your mind may instead be constantly drawn to the imperfections around you.

Also, experiencing plumbing problems can be highly frustrating, particularly during winter when having warm water at the twist of a handle is very important.

Whether you want to go all out and replace virtually everything in your bathroom or simply want to invest in a few new bits and pieces, such as bath mixer taps and other such items, you should be able to find exactly what you need via our website.

 

Bathroom mirrors can give the illusion of more space
Posted by admin on January 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm . Filed under: Bathroom Mirrors

Bathroom mirrors are very important and virtually all homes feature these items. Of course, they are crucial in practical terms to help individuals see what they are doing when they are shaving, applying their makeup and so on. However, these reflective objects also serve a more subtle purpose.

You might feel as though the bathrooms in your home are too small. If this is the case, you are by no means alone. To make more space elsewhere, house builders often compress bathroom areas, meaning they can seem cramped. But by using mirrors intelligently, you can give the appearance of more space in the rooms.

Large mirrors positioned in the right places can create the impression that the walls extend back further than they actually do.

Meanwhile, another advantage of such products is the fact that they reflect light, helping to make the most of any natural sunlight or artificial illuminations you have. This can also make the areas seem more airy and spacious.

So, if you think your bathroom could benefit from the addition of superb bathroom mirror cabinets and other such things, simply take a look around our website here at Utopia. We are experts in the field and offer an array of products that could be perfect for your home.

This is by far the easiest way to make bathing and shower rooms seem much larger. It is certainly more straightforward than physically extending the areas and, as well as being faster and simpler, it is also much cheaper.