Monthly Archives: October 2012

Spooky Shower Curtains!

In celebration of Halloween, one of our favourite times of the year, we’ve selected some of our favourites Halloween-themed shower curtains. So, if you’re planning a party and want your entire home to look as authentic and scary as possible, make sure you think about decorating every room – even the bathroom!

Your guests will have a shock when they nip to the bathroom to be faced with one of these…

Taking inspiration from Hitchcock’s Psycho film, these bloody handprints will have your guests checking behind the curtain in fear!

Available from I Want One of Those.

This next curtain goes one step further – it shows a silhouette of a man with a knife and blood stains all over. What’s more, this shower curtain actually plays the music from the famous Psycho film along with a terrorizing scream! If you don’t want a long queue for the bathroom, this is the curtain for your party – your guests won’t want to hang around for long!

Psycho Shower Curtain

Available from CoolestGadgets.com.

For something a little less scary, but fun all the same, this pumpkin-themed shower curtain has all the essence of Halloween but without the fright.

Pumpkin Shower Curtain

Available from eCRATER.

Any fans of Night of the Living Dead will love this zombie attack curtain!

Available from cafe press.

Looking to add an air of mystery to your Halloween party? Then how about this shower curtain with the famous Surgeon’s  Photograph of the Loch Ness Monster?

Loch Ness Monster Shower Curtain

Available from cafe press.

And finally, something a little more light-hearted that the kids are sure to love, a witch flying her broomstick with her cat perched on the end.

Witch Shower Curtain

Available from cafe press.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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Don’t forget the clocks this ‘National Sleep In Day’

It’s that time of year again. The clocks go back this Sunday, October 28th, marking the official start of the UK wintertime. So we can look forward to darker, colder evenings from now on…

But the good news is we get an extra hour in bed on Sunday morning! And because of this, Sunday has officially been named ‘National Sleep In Day’ – so make sure you enjoy that extra hour with no guilt!

Did you know that around a third of us don’t get enough sleep each night? We spoke before about the various health benefits of warm showers, but we’d like to focus on sleep for this post, because sleep is so important. And in line with our previous post, we’d like to share with you the benefits of having a warm shower before bed, and the fantastic effects it has on improving your sleep and helping you to feel completely rested.

These two have no trouble sleeping…

A warm shower, which is usually defined as between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, will relax you and relieve stress – two major challenges of a good night’s sleep. The combination of the warm water and steam created by the shower warms our body temperature and this starts to induce us into sleep mode. Adding lavender essential oil, as  it is a natural relaxant, will help to relax you even further.

Once the shower is finished and you’ve left the warm, steamy bathroom and entered the cooler bedroom, your body temperature will naturally start to cool down. This process of cooling the temperature of the body will incite drowsiness and aids the process of falling asleep. Plus, feeling clean and refreshed after a nice shower makes us feel more relaxed anyhow, once again, helping to encourage sleep.

If you have trouble sleeping, one of the best things you can do is to try and get into a bedtime routine (think about how we encourage children to have a warm bath before bedtime). This will condition your body and mind to start to relax and you should find falling asleep much easier.

Today’s modern showers, such as thermostatic mixer showers, have made showering an even more relaxing and easy experience for us. The thermostatic valves in modern mixer showers constantly control the temperature of the water and prevent unpleasant temperature fluctuations when water is used elsewhere in the home (like someone flushing the toilet or washing the dishes). Similarly, through the use of illuminated flashing lights, digital showers, like those found in our digital shower range, intelligently advise users when the optimum water temperature has been reached and the shower is ready to go.

If you have problems sleeping, as well as having a warm shower bed, The Sleep Council has the following advice:

  • Get into a sleep routine – going to bed and getting up at approximately the same time each day will help the body to sleep better.
  • Create a peaceful and calming environment – make sure the bedroom is used only for rest and sleep and lose the TV, laptop and mobile. The room should also be kept as quiet and dark as possible and the temperature of the room shouldn’t be too hot or too cold – between 16 and 18 degrees is ideal.
  • The most important part of the bedroom, the bed, should be comfortable and supportive, and not too soft, hard or old.
  • Regular exercise has been shown to relieve stress, and activities such as swimming and walking can help to aid sleep patterns. Exercise should be avoided just before bedtime as it may have the opposite desired effect.
  • Reduce the amount of stimulants, like tea and coffee, which contain caffeine, in the evening as they can interfere with sleep. A hot milky drink or herbal tea before bed is preferable.
  • Undertake some relaxing activities, such as yoga or listening to peaceful music, before going to bed.
  • If daily stresses are interfering with sleep, make a list of tasks ‘to do’ the next day.

And don’t forget the clocks this Sunday!

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The Benefits of Warm Showers

Taking showers of temperatures between 35 – 40 degrees have been shown to have significant health benefits. Not only does it feel great to have a lovely, warm, shower, it can also do wonders for your muscles, joints and overall body condition. Here are some of the benefits of warm showers:

Cleanse the Skin

This is the primary reason for taking warm showers. Hot water and steam open the pores on your skin making it easier to clean them of dirt and impurities. Following a warm shower with a cold rinse afterwards will close the pores and refresh your skin.

Improve your Circulation

Warm water has shown benefits for treating muscular and joint pain – often associated with arthritis and muscle strains. The warm temperature of the water can stimulate blood flow and circulation whilst also loosening muscles, tendons and joints to ease pain and reduce inflammation. A hot shower will not cure the problem completely, but spending 5 minutes under warm water will have some positive effects, plus it’s cheaper and more convenient than a massage and more holistic than some medical treatments.

Stress Relief

Taking a warm shower for 10 minutes will calm you down, relax your body and distress your mind – perfect if you’re suffering from stress or having a bad day. Taking a warm shower before bedtime can also help aid sleep, and is a good idea for anyone suffering from insomnia or lack of sleep. Adding lavender oil can also help aid benefits as it is a natural relaxant.

Using essential oils can help to create a ‘spa-like’ feel to your bathroom

Cold & Cough Relief

Steam can have a positive effect on colds, coughs and sore throats as it loosens phlegm and mucus that can cause discomfort. The additional of essential oils, such as eucalyptus oil, to your skin can help you breathe more easily. A hot shower can also help to relieve body aches that can be associated with illness.

Sleep Problems & Insomnia

A warm shower before bedtime can do wonders for helping encourage sleep. The warm water and steam can help to induce your body into sleep mode by altering your body temperature. After warming yourself in the shower, your body temperature will start to cool down after you enter your bedroom. This change in body temperature incites drowsiness and will help you fall asleep much easier. In addition, the feeling of being clean and refreshed will make you more relaxed and help you to sleep better. Regularly taking warm showers before bed will condition your body into a bedtime routine. Make sure that your shower is warm rather than too hot. Hot showers can actually increase your metabolic rate and rather than relax you, this will energize you.

So, next time you’re feeling stressed-out or run-down, head towards the shower!

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Organise Your Shower Clutter!

Have you taken a look at your shower enclosure lately? Is it more ‘Clutter-full’ rather than ‘Beautiful’? (sorry)

Typical shower cubicles are only a few square feet big, so why waste what precious space you have with clutter? If you need some inspiration, head to your nearest bathroom showroom to take a look at how the professionals display and store their showering essentials.

De-clutter your shower!
Although we use them to wash everyday, shower areas often get neglected when it comes to de-cluttering.

Check all of the shampoo and shower gel bottles you have – throw away any that are empty, or make a concerted effort to use up the last of any product in the bottles. Do you have any duplicated products? Get rid of anything unused and have only the regularly used products on display. Use this opportunity to have a good clean up as well. Do you really use that old sponge? That’s right, throw it away. Now let’s evaluate what storage options you can have…
Shower Space Saving Ideas

Shower Caddies
Shower caddies are great space-saving features, and are also easy to install as well as being affordable. Shower caddies come in plenty of shapes and sizes and usually have space to store shampoo bottles, soaps, and shaving accessories. Some are designed to fit into corners of rooms to maximise space if your shower enclosure is in the corner of the room. Look for one that won’t rust and is adjustable, like this simplehuman model, which is available from Tesco.

Shower Caddy

Shower caddies that hang over the door are also exceptionally handy at creating storage whilst not taking up at lot of space. They’re also ridiculously easy to install! This is a typical stainless steel model:

Over the door shower caddy

Shower Niche

Requiring slightly more work, but a great idea all the same, shower niches are recessed areas in your bathroom wall which can be used to store items. Adding a niche to your bathroom would probably be part of a much bigger bathroom refurbishment and not a simple weekend job. By using decorative tiles, you can really make a niche stand out in your bathroom, or by using the same tiles you can add a more subtle effect. Here’s a mosaic tile style niche:

shower niche
So this weekend, if you’re looking for something to do – clear out that shower clutter!

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Kids Back at School? Time To Clean Up!

Well, the summer holidays are now well and truly over – the kids are back at school and already getting ready for harvest festival and thinking about Halloween at the end of the month. So, now that the summer craziness has subsided, don’t let the Back to School Blues get to you – it’s the ideal time to have a good tidy up and complete some of the tasks you weren’t able to do over the summer.

back to school

The bathroom lends itself perfectly to an autumn renovation. After a busy summer of kids running in and out, jumping in the shower to wash off sand and dirt, it’s not difficult for a family bathroom to suffer and be in need of a little TLC. And now the kids are back at school, there are fewer distractions around to allow you to really crack on and get some work done. And what better place to start than with the bathroom shower?

Cold Weather Problems

Autumn is a sensible time to buy new showers. Many older showers tend to struggle in the winter so it makes sense to upgrade before the cold weather kicks in. This is because the incoming water becomes much colder, and as a result, electric shower flow rates will typically decrease as the shower struggles to heat the water to the usual desired temperatures.  If you think your shower is coming to the end of its life, it may be simpler to upgrade now.

Electric Showers – great for all budgets

So, if it’s an electric shower you’re after, you can find some fantastic bargains at the moment that will really make an impact on your bathroom design. Our new range of GSX electric showers currently start from only £79.99 – not likely to blow anyone’s budget. But this is a limited time introductory offer so you’ll need to act fast! Check our website for full details.

The GSX range prides itself on sophisticated gloss white finishes and chrome detailing making them ideal for any style of bathroom – either contemporary or more traditional. There are 3 models available, varying in price and features, so there’s bound to be something to suit every home. Our GSX showers come with 8.5kW engines – our most popular engine size – and every model has four heat settings, adjustable spray patterns, and family friendly height-adjustable rails. All of the features can be found on the Gainsborough website.

Mixer Showers – sophisticated and stylish

Or perhaps you’d prefer a stylish mixer shower for an instant bathroom refresh? We love our Ambassador range of mixer showers – there’s one designed specifically for each type of plumbing system, whether gravity-fed, high-pressure or combi-boiler. And whether you prefer exposed or concealed designs – there’s a style to suit you. What’s more, the Ambassador range is currently on offer – reduced from £152.00 down to £120.00 so snap yours up today!

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