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Be bold in the bathroom: Wet rooms are back in fashion

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We’ve always envied the Romans’ bathing habits; images of towelled men and women entering their local public baths for an entire day of pampering are well-documented.

But it is perfectly possible to recreate this scene in your own home, with the help of a wet room. 

Essentially, these are bathrooms which do away with the shower tray, letting the water run over the floor of the room.

A great option for smaller rooms, they can bring colour and personality to a home and are easier to clean, with toilets and cabinets mounted to the wall so they appear to be floating off the floor. 

Walk-in: Floor-to-ceiling tiles in a wet room look stylish and are easy to clean and maintain

Walk-in: Floor-to-ceiling tiles in a wet room look stylish and are easy to clean and maintain

They can also be a savvy option for homeowners; research has shown that wet rooms, as a second bathroom, can increase the value of a property.

‘We have seen an increase in the past few years of more open-plan bathrooms, which seems to reflect general trends as living spaces are opened up and become more connected,’ says Emma Joyce, communications manager of Victoria + Albert Baths. ‘A wet room creates a seamless flow between the different areas of the bathroom.’

But installing a wet room is not a DIY job. Here’s all you need to know . . .

Enlist an expert

Firstly, find a good builder with plenty of experience. A gradient needs to be created along the floor to channel the shower water into a drain and then the entire room needs to be waterproofed, or ‘tanked’. 

Bert & May¿s Green Asquith tiles are hard-wearing and well suited to a wet room

Bert & May’s Green Asquith tiles are hard-wearing and well suited to a wet room

The most common method for creating a gradient is to install a sub-floor made from waterproof boards, which are sealed and tiled.

Ventilation is key, too, in order to maintain the near-constant humid space, as is underfloor heating; this helps the floor to dry out quickly.

‘The issue with wet rooms is waterproofing the space correctly; floor-to-ceiling tiles are not a problem as they look stylish and are easy to clean and maintain,’ says Ellie Sawdy, at Bisque Radiators.

Prices generally start from £2,000, but can go up to £20,000 for bigger, high-end bathrooms with all the mod cons.

Focus on furniture

There are other hurdles to overcome, especially when picking furniture.

‘There are plenty of options for waterproof furniture,’ says Ellie. ‘But what about bathroom radiators? These must be taken into consideration fairly early on in the process, as the high levels of condensation found in a wet room can cause many towel rails to rust, or a painted model to peel away.

‘The only way to ensure that your towel rail remains in tip-top condition is to opt for a quality stainless steel model.’

Drench has a brushed brass EliteHeat ladder heated rail which is made of marine-grade stainless steel and comes with a 15-year guarantee (from £189.99).

Mirrors must be anti-fog to ensure they are not forever out of use and steamed up. Bathroom Mountain has a charming black framed round mirror with a heated demister pad which prevents the mirror from steaming up and a front touch sensor switch for the light (£179, bathroommountain.co.uk).

If you’re going for gold, Victorian Plumbing’s HIB Solstice brushed brass round mirror will add style to your bathroom (£399.94).

Daring designs

tiles are the best floor and wall covering for a wet room so this is where you can have fun with colours and pattern.

‘The tiling of the floor into the shower area gives visual space, making the room look and feel more open,’ says Rebecca Milnes, of C. P. Hart. ‘Have fun with tiling to create specific patterns and colourful zones for each section.’

A wet room could also be where you choose to go wild with an exotic Aztec-print or oddly shaped tiles. Or, you could make a huge impact in a big room with an all-encompassing luxurious black covering ceiling, wall and flooring.

‘The modern bathroom has become more than a space for morning preparation and evening cleansing,’ says Lee Thornley, founder of tile company Bert & May, whose organics collection is inspired by nature. ‘It can magically transform into an utopian escape at the end of the day.’

Bert & May has an extensive range of charming handmade and reclaimed tiles which are hard-wearing and well suited to a wet room (bertandmay.com).

Favourites of ours include the Luna Rose (£5.10 per tile) and Green Asquith (£7.20 per tile).

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Oscar-winning La La Land star Emma Stone places three-bedroom Malibu home up for sale for $4.2M

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Oscar-winning La La Land star Emma Stone places three-bedroom Malibu home up for sale for $4.2 million

  • Stone, 33, purchased the oceanfront property for $3.25 in 2018
  • The home spans more than 1,700 sq. feet over 3.2 acres of property in the luxe Southern California area 
  • The home includes exquisite views of the Los Angeles cityscape, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island 
  • Stone also owns houses in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas; and an apartment in Manhattan 

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Emma Stone is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million.

The 33-year-old actress has listed the mid-century bungalow home on the real estate market, about four years after she purchased the oceanfront property for $3.25 in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The one-story home belonging to the Oscar-winning La La Land star spans more than 1,700 sq. feet over 3.2 acres of property in the luxe Southern California area.

The latest: Emma Stone, 33, is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million. The Academy Award-winning actress was snapped in Athens, Greece earlier this month

The latest: Emma Stone, 33, is looking to sell her three-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Malibu, California for $4.2 million. The Academy Award-winning actress was snapped in Athens, Greece earlier this month 

Sotheby’s International Realty listing agent Eric Lavey, who is the listing agent on the property, described the home to the paper as ‘a classic 1958 California Midcentury hanging over the Pacific’ and ‘the Malibu beach house they would choose for a Nancy Meyers movie.’

The Scottsdale, Arizona-born beauty’s home includes exquisite views of the Los Angeles cityscape, Pacific Ocean and Catalina Island, and is within walking distance of nearby hiking trails and the beach.

The Cruella star’s house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen with gold accents.

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column, as floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour in.

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column

The living room of the abode is centered around a fireplace encased in a white brick column

The home boasts amazing views of the Pacific Ocean via multiple angles and vantage points

The home boasts amazing views of the Pacific Ocean via multiple angles and vantage points 

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees

A dining room in the home sits adjacent to an outdoor patio

A dining room in the home sits adjacent to an outdoor patio 

A bathroom in the home has a standalone bathtub along with a rain shower.

The home features a dining area outdoors which is sequestered by eucalyptus and yucca trees, and a patio with a panoramic view of the coast.

Other amenities the home features includes a recreation room and art studio.

The Cruella star's house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen

The Cruella star’s house, which has been renovated in recent years, has a state-of-the-art kitchen 

The home is made of white brick and wood with gold accents and state-of-the-art appliances

The home is made of white brick and wood with gold accents and state-of-the-art appliances 

A dine-in area sits adjacent to the kitchen in the stunning beach home

A dine-in area sits adjacent to the kitchen in the stunning beach home 

In the years since she acquired the home, Stone in 2020 wed writer Dave McCary, 36, and the couple welcomed a baby daughter in March of 2021.

According to the paper, Stone also owns houses in Los Angeles and Austin, Texas; and an apartment in Manhattan.

Lavey told the paper that he expected the house to sell quickly, as there is a scarcity of homes in that price range in Malibu, and residents of other well-heeled Los Angeles locales such as Beverly Hills or Holmby Hills are partial to purchasing smaller beach homes.

A master bedroom in the home outlooks a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean

A master bedroom in the home outlooks a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean 

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour into the home

Floor-to-ceiling windows in the home allow for sunlight to pour into the home 

A bathroom in the home includes a rain shower and standalone tub

A bathroom in the home includes a rain shower and standalone tub

A shower in the bathroom has a glass door with gold fixtures

A shower in the bathroom has a glass door with gold fixtures 

A brick-lined patio area boasts a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean

A brick-lined patio area boasts a stunning view of the Pacific Ocean 

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More than 9,000 artists apply for universal basic income scheme

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More than 9,000 artists have applied for a new dedicated basic income scheme which will see successful applicants receive €325 a week.

Minister for the Arts Catherine Martin said there had been a “huge level of enthusiasm” for the scheme and described the plans as a “watershed moment” for the sector.

Assessment of the applications has started and the process will take a number of weeks given the high volume received.

The basic income scheme was launched in April when the Government announced the payment would be made available to 2,000 applicants in total.

The Coalition has said the objective of the scheme is to address the earnings instability that can be associated with the intermittent and sometimes project-based nature of work in the arts.

The process for selecting successful applicants will be non-competitive, so once a person satisfies the eligibility criteria they will be included in a randomised selection process to pick the successful 2,000. It is understood unsuccessful but eligible applicants will be invited to participate in a control group to help with an appraisal of the pilot scheme.

A basic income for artists was the main recommendation of the Arts and Culture Recovery Taskforce set up in 2020 to examine how the sector could adapt and recover from the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The scheme opened for applications on April 12th and closed on Thursday, May 12th.

The Department of Arts said the highest number of applications came from those in the visual arts sector, followed by those involved in music, then film and then literature.

‘Watershed moment’

Speaking to The Irish Times, Ms Martin said it represented “a watershed moment in the funding of artistic practice in Ireland”.

“The new measure makes a statement about our values as a nation – that the voices of artists have been heard and that the arts matter. This is a unique opportunity to research the impact a basic income could have on the arts and to provide the evidence base for a permanent support.

“I am very pleased with the huge level of enthusiasm for the basic income for the arts pilot scheme and am delighted that over 9,000 artists and creative arts workers were willing to participate in this innovate research project.”

Mr Martin said the scheme “heralds a new approach to the way the State funds and recognises her artists and I look forward to seeing the data and findings of the research during the pilot”.

There had been significant interest in the new scheme for artists from other countries, media and practitioners, which indicated the enthusiasm in the arts globally for the move, the Minister added.

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Neinver begins construction of Alpes The Style Outlets (FR)

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NEINVER has resumed construction works at Alpes The Style Outlets, which once completed will mark the company’s 17th outlet centre across 6 European countries. The company broke ground last March and works are advancing on schedule, with the development of three platforms that will house the main building and car park all well underway. Alpes The Style Outlets, which will be NEINVER’s second outlet centre in France, boasts an exceptional location near the Swiss border, close to Geneva and next to key tourist destinations. It will feature 20,400m² of GLA, over 90 boutiques and restaurants providing both local and international cuisine.

 

“France is a strategic market for NEINVER. Our aim is to develop and operate this centre with the local community firmly involved, providing it with an exciting leisure option, while also contributing to improving the region’s economic and social development,” commented Daniel Losantos, NEINVER Chief Executive Officer. “Outlet centres have shown continued resilience, and this development is a clear vote of confidence in the sector and in the opportunity the site offers to brands to further grow their business.”

 

Located 25 minutes from Geneva, the scheme will offer 1,350 parking spaces and will have direct access to the A-40 motorway, a key transport link between France and Switzerland and to popular winter destinations. It will also be easily accessible by high-speed train thanks to the Paris to Geneva connection, with a TGV station located just 5 minutes from the future centre.

 

“We are seeing keen interest from our brand partners in this one-of-a-kind project due to its exciting retail proposition and its unique location, with great brands such as Adidas, Guess and Levi’s already joining the scheme”, said Joan Rouras, NEINVER Leasing and Retail Director. The centre is exceptionally well located in the Grand Genève area, which enjoys a strong purchasing power and high levels of tourism. The region has also seen a spike in population growth in recent years and is expected to continue increasing significantly in the coming years. To attract these customers, we are designing a destination that will feature an exclusive retail mix of sought-after international brands and the best of what the local area has to offer – a compelling offer for any fashion lover or avid sports fan.”

 

Finely tuned to the local landscape, Alpes The Style Outlets will offer an avant-garde atmosphere, combining natural materials such as wood and stone for a contemporary look. In this open mall concept designed in an “Alpine village” style with chalet-style shops and terraces, NEINVER plans to create a promenade destination and a relaxing day-out providing much more than just shopping. Lyon-based SEV Architectures will project monitor the construction under the coordination and supervision of Arcadis, leading global design and consultancy.

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