Wretched Excess

‪Ummmm … Yeah … this bathroom is BIG, all right! What IS the vast cavernous space in the middle supposed to be used for, I can’t imagine. Pre-bath ballroom dancing lessons or yoga classes, maybe? Or a helicopter landing pad (if you opened up the ceiling)???

Sometimes I feel like an alien in my own country. USA – we do things big! ‬

Building choices are a huge factor in the eco footprint of modern industrialized humans. Not only do the materials themselves have a footprint, but the finished building itself has an ongoing energy footprint (for heating and cooling of air, mostly).

Note, I’m not saying big houses can’t be eco-friendly! One of the most eco-friendly ways to live is to have a multigenerational household, or share a house with several friends. (“Golden Girls” style.)

What I am saying is that we shouldn’t build huge spaces just because they convey an image of opulence. And we need to be deliberate in our design; avoid needless use of space and materials.

When I was growing up (in the 1960s and 70s), my Mom had a phrase “wretched excess” that she’d use for extravagant displays of wealth. The things she labeled with that phrase were a lot less wretchedly excess than a lot of the bathrooms and kitchens I see advertised nowadays for middle-class homes!

And an afterthought on the mega-bathroom: Another thought I had was that maybe this huge space is deliberately designed for maneuvering a wheelchair or hospital-style bed into the bath area? Although the narrow entry door would seem to preclude that.