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Susan Williamson – Note To Those Who Design Bathrooms

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Susan Williamson

I promised myself not to rant. There are enough of those going on right now.  This is not about who uses which rest room. I don’t care as long as there is one I can use. But . . . all rest rooms which might be used by women need a hook or a shelf or somewhere to put a purse/diaper bag etc. other than on the floor.

I will explain why. When we visited Napa Valley a few years ago, we spent a lovely Sunday in Santa Rosa. After a bistro lunch, I visited the restroom of the very nice restaurant. There was no hook, no shelf so I set my purse on the sink. Little did I know it had an electric eye automatic water flow. I saw the water turn on and grabbed my purse and a paper towel and assumed I had taken care of things. With a sigh, I put my purse on the floor and finished my reason for being there.

We walked next door to a used bookstore. I picked up a few mysteries and went to the counter to pay. I noticed water was leaking out the bottom of my purse. The clerk gave me a very strange look when I asked for paper towels and even stranger when I pulled out soaking wet dollar bills to pay for my purchase. Our flight, rental car and other papers were also soaked. We spent the next hour in the hotel with the hair dryer.

And speaking of shelves—what  about baby changing areas? A pull down shelf takes up very little space but could be a godsend to a parent. My daughter stood in a long line at Sheets, infant in arms. When she reached the rest room there was not changing shelf and the management told her they never put them in their rest rooms. Why? Guess who never stopped there again?

I love good, functional design. And, I am amazed when it doesn’t happen. Of course, I would prefer it to be attractive as well, but taste is in the eye of the beholder. I don’t demand luxury, only common sense—even a porta-potty can have a hook.


Susan Williamson is a freelance writer and author who has been an educator, a riding instructor and a newspaper editor. Her third novel, Tangled Tail, and her first children’s book, The Riding Lesson, will be released this fall.



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