I don't normally think about toilets. You know, beyond the "I really need to find somewhere to pee," thoughts that we all have now and again. But choosing fixtures for our house means thinking about toilets. And sinks and showers and faucets and bathtubs.
These are the fixtures that we have to choose first, because they might actually affect how the house is built. Things like cupboards ("millwork" I've now learned to call it) and wall colours, and flooring come later.
We went to four different plumbing stores (Boone, En Suite, Preston Hardware, and fancy, fancy Astro) a few weekends ago and took photos of any fixtures that caught our eye. By the end of it all I was thinking mostly about an article I'd read in the New York Times magazine about "decision fatigue".
What we learned? I like round stuff. My husband likes square stuff. We don't actually care much about what our toilets look like. I have a major crush on "pot filler" kitchen faucets. There are a lot of ugly sinks out there. If you want to sit in a showroom bathtub, you need to take off your shoes first.
Luckily, there is a designer who works with the architect we hired. Her name is Serina, and she helps sort out stuff like which bathtubs fit the style of the house and the limits of our budget. I am more than happy to leave these things to the professionals. Last week we had a meeting where she took all the fixtures we'd taken photos of, and showed me options she'd found that were identical or similar. One of the architects, Sarah, sat beside us, doing budgety math. I just had to say, "I like this bathtub better than that bathtub." Almost everything we chose came in under budget which made everyone very happy. It was much less daunting than I thought it would be.
I'm still expecting to be a bit freaked out when I have to pick paint colours, though.