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Best British find

TINCTURE is a range of 100% natural home and cleaning products formulated and manufactured in Norfolk, UK.

It was created by sisters Angelika and Anastasia Brozler, respectively an investment banker and a herbalist/fragrance expert, who had searched everywhere for high-performance, non-toxic cleaning and lifestyle products that were safe to use around their children.

Their inspiration came from the monastic practice of using herbs and plants such as bay, bergamot, camphor and cloves for healing, cleansing and medicinal purposes. No perfume is added, and the smell of each product derives from the ingredients used.

“As our environments are becoming ever more polluted by chemicals, artificial scents and toxic ingredients, TINCTURE returns us to an age when natural plants were used for their protective and medicinal properties for cleansing, an era where knowledge of the scientific properties of botanical plants were garnered over time and used with wisdom. The most exciting thing about TINCTURE is discovering how antibacterial, antiseptic and detoxification ingredients already exist in nature. “– Anastasia Brozler

TINCTURE also incorporates an antimicrobial agent known as Silver Technology. Silver has been used for hundreds of years as way of preserving freshness, and has been included here in both the formula itself and in the bottle material to ensure it stays bacteria free.

The range includes an all-purpose cleaner, bathroom cleaner, glass and mirror spray, hand lotion and room spray. Currently available at www.tincturelondon.com, the range will soon be stocked in eight John Lewis stores across the UK.

Bathroom’s Solutions

  • Why wait for hot water?
    Even in this modern age, it is incredible how hard it can be to make the shower run at just the right temperature. Luckily the solution is a simple one: use a thermostatic shower valve. These valves adjust the flow of water according to the heat of the water itself to maintain a constant temperature.
  • What flooring can you use in a bathroom?
    Tiles, especially non-slip varieties, are perennially popular: they come in a huge variety of finishes and colour, and can be combined with under floor heating. Stone is beautiful, timeless and durable, but must be resealed every 12 months or so. For both stone and tiled floors the grout will require extra attention as can grow mould if not cleaned thoroughly.
    Recently, engineered wood has also been made available for bathrooms, but it does require some maintenance and care and spillages should be cleaned up as soon as possible. For a cheaper, more robust family options, why not consider a textured rubber or vinyl floor? They come in all manner of colours and styles and can be very forgiving of little mucky paws.
  • Bathroom lighting
    Great lighting will always enhance your space, but this is immeasurably true for small bathrooms with no natural light. Use dimmable LED downlights to create the perfect mood: bright in the morning, soft in the evening, and low and dramatic for a luxurious spa feel. An LED strip behind the mirror will create depth, while wall sconces at head height on either side of the mirror are essential for your morning routine.
  • Ventilation fan
    Choosing the right ventilation is a small but important detail. Fortunately, unlike their clunky predecessors, fans are becoming increasingly smaller, quieter and more efficient. Make sure to check the cubic feet per minute rate (CFM) and choose one that can adequately handle the size of your bathroom: most bathrooms can manage with just one fan, but some larger ones may require two.
  • Creating space
    Even in the tiniest of rooms, a feeling of space can be carved out somehow. A wall hanging loo and sink will make the room feel lighter and free up floor space, or try replacing the bath with a walk-in shower, especially if you are able to build storage niches into the walls. If you have the resources, working with a specialist joiner will allow you to build bespoke storage into the most awkward of spaces.

Designing Bathrooms

Bathrooms so often get relegated to tricky spaces with limited or no natural light and ventilation. This is exactly why the design process is so important: good spatial planning and functionality are the key to upgrade them in the way they (and you) deserve!

Why should you redesign your bathroom?

  • Well-designed and functional bathrooms add value to the home for many years
  • They are often one of the most highly used and lowly valued spaces in the home
  • A beautifully designed bathroom, well lit, ventilated, warm and cosy with good storage, will make you happy every time you use it.

Challenges you may come across

  • Depending on the age of the property, you may come across hidden problems like water damage, structural deficiencies, bad ventilation and corroded plumbing, not to mention poor waterproofing around bath and showers.
  • Working with a contractor will save you time and money. It can look like a DIY job, but it is actually very complex, involving many different operations like electrical work, tiling, plumbing, heating, etc.
  • Bathroom renovations can be very disruptive: there is lots of dust, water and heating cuts, and the removal of materials and large items like bathtubs could damage other areas of the house. You may even have to move out for the duration of the works, if there are no easy alternatives. It is fundamental to find a designer and contractor you can trust to run the renovation process as smoothly as possible.

Some solutions

Finishes: You can be as creative as you want with walls and floors, as long as they are waterproof. Try to go for long established, reliable brands and always choose the best quality you can afford: they get used and handled everyday after all.
Eco-friendly: If you want to be more ecofriendly, consider a low-flow loo that uses less water; use low- or non-VOC paints; purchase units made from recycled or sustainable materials, like recycled glass tiles and sustainable harvested wood.
Heating: electrical under floor heating mats can be easily installed under a new floor. Using a different heating zone from the rest of the house gives you more flexibility and can save money on gas and electricity bills. Heated towel rails should also be considered, as having a warm dry towel is an unbeatable little luxury.
Features: Give special attention to any important features, such as position of windows, doors, architraves and cornices and try to achieve a sense of order and symmetry.
Accessories: No renovation is complete without the final details! They might look insignificant but these small things can have a big impact, so don’t forget to budget for new towels, soap dishes, loo roll holders. Accessories can also help to make the space more personal and cosy: picture frames and vases, candles and plants can go a long way without spending too much.

If the size of the room allows, you could add that special piece of furniture that will make the space feel unique and yours. An armchair by the bath, an antique ladder to hang towels over, a handmade basket or decorative lighting can make your new bathroom feel just that little bit more special.

London Sewage System

In the mid-19th century, London was ravaged by recurring epidemics of cholera and typhoid. Originally believed to have been caused by ‘foul air’, it was not until 1854 that the source of these diseases was identified as contaminated drinking water. In fact, in 1848 an order was passed to close all cesspits and to link residential drains directly to the sewers and to the Thames, resulting in the deaths of over 14000 Londoners. The next few years saw many surveys and reports which prudently advised that the Thames should not be used both as a sewer and for drinking water.

Unfortunately these efforts were largely in vain, until the incredibly hot summer of 1858. Coupled with an increasingly polluted Thames, the heat gave rise to a huge stench known as The Great Stink of London, which overwhelmed all those near the river – including the notable occupants of Parliament. Now that the politicians and senior statesmen were directly affected, legislation was quickly passed to proceed with the mammoth task of making London a safer, cleaner city.

Our sewer system today owes its existence mainly to the vision and skills of one man, Sir Joseph William Bazalgette. Sir William was Chief Engineer to the Metropolitan Board of Works and was the mastermind of a unified system of main drainage for London, which remains the back-bone of London’s modern sewer system.

By the time Bazalgette started work, most of London’s rivers and streams were carrying both sewage and rainwater and separating the two seemed almost impossible. Bazalgette however formulated a new design to deal with the dual requirements of sewage and surface water run-off.

He constructed 85 miles of new underground brick sewers below the streets of London. These were connected to over 450 miles of main sewers, which in themselves received the contents of 13,000 miles of small local sewers. All in all, the system dealt with well over half a million gallons of waste on a daily basis, which was transported to the East End and finally discharged, untreated, into the Thames and flowed out to sea.

While it is not perhaps the most savoury part of London’s history, Bazalgette’s construction of the sewers is undoubtebly one of the most important – and surprisingly fascinating! – Victorian legacies.

Portrait Of…

W4 Bathroom started 40 years as a plumbing shop and is now a well-established bathroom fittings supplier based in Chiswick. Leon joined the family business in 2004 and has since mostly taken over from his parent – although his mother is still involved in the administration side.

As with many high street businesses, the main challenge recently has been to compete with online sales. Being able to provide good customer service is what really makes the difference, and the need to build strong relationships is becoming more and more important for Leon, as for other local businesses.

Having worked with Leon for over 6 years, here at Goodbody & Co. we can definitely vouch for the strength of their good natured and professional approach. Their quick response in dealing with our enquiries or resolving issues is almost unparalleled, and leads to a much more efficient working relationship than can be achieved with many suppliers.

Leon recognises there has been a huge growth in bespoke products and finishes such as brass and matt black. The likes of Pinterest, Houzz and Instagram means that clients have more and more access to visual ideas and want to reproduce exactly what they have seen on social media — whether they are real products or just staged for atmosphere.

This is something that Leon and his team are very happy to help with and will even go to a client’s house to help them realise their vision. One of his favourite projects took place about 6-7 years ago, and involved a completely bright red bathroom from floor to ceiling including taps and sinks. After reaching out to manufacturers from all over the world, they were able to deliver on this wonderfully unique and exciting brief.

W4 Bathrooms work with many European and international manufacturers, but they also like to promote UK based manufacturer such as Mackie or Samuel Heath. Leon is keen to stress the importance of quality, and will only stock products he trusts and believes in. While there has definitely been a rise in more technologically advanced products, the majority of his customers are really looking for simple styles, quality materials and excellent functionality – all of which you can be sure of finding at W4 Bathrooms.

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