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the small journal of toilets and an art of living

Luxury or necessity.

Luxury or necessity.

The Evolution of Our Living Spaces: A Return to Privacy

When asked about their living spaces, a surprising revelation emerges among the French: 86% prefer separate toilets, placing this space above the garden or terrace, and after a separate room for children.

This preference underscores the importance we place on both our own and others' privacy. This need for intimacy plays a crucial role in our overall well-being, becoming even more essential as we embrace evolving lifestyles such as cohabitation or shared working spaces—a trend that has been unfolding for several years.

Luxury or necessity? A question that wasn't relevant in the 1960s...

In 1962, the situation was markedly different. Almost half of the housing in France lacked access to water, and 70% of the rural population didn't have complete sewage systems. People in major cities, especially in Paris, washed in sinks or kitchen basins, located in entryways, kitchens, bedrooms, or even outdoors. Only the more affluent could afford a bathroom with toilets and a bidet.

"The bathroom must go beyond mere adherence to hygiene rules... The modern person, weary from busy workdays, should find in the bathroom the rest and relaxation necessary for physical balance... 'tomorrow' is a vague term, but we must believe, and be certain, that all French people will one day have a bathroom because it is such a crucial element in daily life," explained an official representative in a visionary statement on television.

And you, if you had to choose between separate toilets or a garden, what would you choose?

*(Based on a survey conducted by Qualitel and Ipsos on the state of housing in France.)

*For a replay of the street interviews by INA (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel), you can follow this link: YouTube.