Home Science EverywhereCreative & design Science-themed bathroom – Take a shower in the lab

Science-themed bathroom – Take a shower in the lab

by Eva Amsen

My apartment looks like someone robbed an office supply store and, in an ensuing frantic chase and struggle, dumped everything in a student-designed IKEA showroom that doubles as a second-hand bookstore, and which is being cleaned on a half-yearly basis by a shortsighted and confused old cat lady.

The scene of the crime, a few hours ago. It got worse in the meantime, because there’s now also a drying rack full of laundry in the middle of the room.

So it might come as a bit of a surprise that I like to browse home decorating books, look at home decorating websites, and watch home decorating shows. I never do anything to my own home. I’m more of a Theoretical Home Decorator. I know how to, I just…don’t.
Probably inspired by seeing a friend’s home renovation photos on Facebook, I suddenly thought up a science-themed bathroom.

Guys, it’s going to be awesome! Let me show you how I envision this.

First of all, you obviously need this shower curtain. There’s no way around it. (No way around a science-style bathroom without this curtain, I mean. I guess you can get around the curtain itself: You just move it to the side to get in the shower.)

You can also buy an “Emergency Shower” safety sign online to hang over your shower. (I like this one)

Add a bit of microbiology to your chemistry with this soap dispenser:

Then I had a bit of designer’s dilemma: It would be fantastic to really go for the full lab look and pour the contents of all your shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toner, cleansers etc. into lab glassware, but for most products – especially the ones that you keep in the shower area of the bathroom – the glass would also be extremely dangerous. Have you ever dropped the shampoo bottle on your foot in the shower? Yeah, now imagine that was glass.

So as an alternative, you can pour it all in plastic bottles. As long as they all look clear and similar, it’s very lab-like. Or, just keep the glassware to the sink area, where it is less soapy/risky.

Then, to top it all off, you can get these mad scientist rubber duckies for your science-themed bathroom:

I wondered if a science-themed bathroom had been done before, and then I found this on the Apartment Therapy blog:

“I was a chemistry major in college, so it seemed appropriate to buy this periodic table shower curtain. I added pink towels, black bath mats, and my cotton balls, q-tips, brushes, and toothpaste are all stored in lab beakers and petri dishes. A graduated cylinder serves as a vase when I have fresh flowers around.”

This girl was stuck with a weird coloured bathroom in a rental apartment, and went with the crazy by turning it into something resembling an old chemistry lab!

So there you go. It’s on Apartment Therapy, and therefore it’s a perfectly reasonable theme for a bathroom.
You can also do your kitchen all science-like, but that’s so obvious…


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Alyssa Gilbert September 6, 2009 - 2:58 AM

I’m just adoring that soap dispenser!

Åsa Karlström September 6, 2009 - 4:07 AM

ahh, I knew that I would find a real reason for my science duck (the upper left one is the one I have left, the upper right one was given to a friend earlier this year) 🙂
and the soap dispenser is real cute!! I have had my eyes on it for a long time. Now, I might hasten to buy it.
(oh btw, I am sort of like you Heather… with the reading some magazines on home decorating – only a very few though – but not really doing that much at home…)
now kitchen though…. hmm….

Åsa Karlström September 6, 2009 - 4:09 AM

…and I am confused, I thought I was reading a blog post by Heather (the other tab open). I am so sorry Eva. confusion on a Saturday night. very embarrasing.

Eva Amsen September 6, 2009 - 4:59 AM

That’s okay -Jenny- -Bob- -Henry- Åsa =)
It’s late, it’s the weekend. Thinking not required.

Bob O'Hara September 6, 2009 - 6:56 AM

You could really weird people out by having a science themed bedroom.

Richard P. Grant September 6, 2009 - 7:13 AM

I like that shower curtain. SRSLY.

Anna Vilborg September 6, 2009 - 7:19 AM

I like your idea! And I’m definitely a theoretical decorator as well – which in my case means that our new flat is still more or less empty after two months…
About the shower – what about 50 ml tubes for shampoo and stuff? Plastic, so it’s safe, and definitely lab-ish. You’d have to refill them quite often, but it may be worth the trouble. You could use those with flip top caps, to make opening them easy…

Anna Vilborg September 6, 2009 - 7:20 AM
Kristi Vogel September 6, 2009 - 10:54 AM

Old science textbooks, destined for the landfill, can be sliced up for interesting pictures to put in inexpensive frames. If the idea of cutting up books bothers you, then photos and diagrams can be photocopied, and perhaps enlarged and altered with color or other effects.
You could also have a “bouquet” of plastic pipettes (that had just been used for water or PBS or something equally harmless), in a vase or a flask.

Eva Amsen September 6, 2009 - 3:31 PM

The problem with 50 ml tubes is that, as far as I know, you can’t just buy them for yourself. You’d have to “borrow” them from a lab (or a friend’s lab). Yes, everyone does it, and I have three lying around the house with little bits and bobs in it, and gave about 15 to a Girl Scout troop. But I’d rather not promote someone’s lab grant going towards bathroom decorating.
Re-using pipettes or tubes that only contained water (and are no longer sterile and therefore “waste”:http://vimeo.com/1299570 (_shameless_ plug) ) might work.
The shower curtain… I seriously considered buying it. But I need to always leave the bathroom door open to give the cat access to the litter box, and that means you see my shower from my living room. Giant periodic table is cool for the _bathroom_, but I’d rather not see it everywhere all the time.

Sabbi Lall September 7, 2009 - 2:12 AM

Do you have room for a van de graaf generator 😉
More seriously maybe photos of gels, cool confocal images or photos of different plants with transposon issues (corn, geraniums, that type of thing?). Or a 50’s movie poster for a cheesy schlock science film?

Anna Vilborg September 7, 2009 - 6:36 AM

No, I didn’t think about that – you’d probably not be able to buy tubes with your own money. Maybe you could get free samples from a company if you tell them what a very important and creative project they would serve! (But then again, maybe not…:)

Richard P. Grant September 7, 2009 - 9:55 AM

Fecking spammer.

Ian Mulvany September 7, 2009 - 11:20 AM

Hi Richard, I’ve removed the user. I also dislike spammers.

Richard P. Grant September 7, 2009 - 12:57 PM

Thanks Ian–I meant to report instead of comment…

Eva Amsen September 7, 2009 - 3:52 PM

Spam and related comments are really increasing my popularity here.

Eva Amsen September 7, 2009 - 8:52 PM

Inspired by my own post, I just thoroughly cleaned the entire bathroom. It’s not science-themed, though. The theme is “being clean”.

Heather Etchevers September 7, 2009 - 10:14 PM

Once Heather made it over, she SRSLY liked the post and the idea as well. Given that she has to redo her bathroom, preferentially with some storage units included, this is a far more inexpensive proposition for the shower than getting a boring frosted glass door for it as originally evoked.
My eyes are literally crossing, I’m that tired. Eva, you can come by and clean any part of my apartment you want. They all need it.

Caryn Shechtman September 10, 2009 - 10:35 PM

You could get this “beaker mug”:http://www.thinkgeek.com/homeoffice/mugs/96c6/?cpg=ab if you need a bathroom cup for brushing your teeth. I have one in my kitchen. It is fabulous.

Eva Amsen September 10, 2009 - 10:55 PM

Oh, I like that one.
My current teeth-brushing cup is an eco-cup with university logo, so it’s at least academic. (The water on my nightstand, on the other hand, comes in a big plastic beer stein from a folk festival.)

Åsa Karlström September 11, 2009 - 5:53 PM

oh I love that beaker mug!!! I don’t have glass in the bathroom though, not even as a mug. Too scared of fumbly hands in the morning 😉

Richard Wintle September 11, 2009 - 7:16 PM

I am thinking that a Van Der Graaf generator [sp?] might not be quite right for a bathroom. Voltage, and all that.
However, I do like the rest of the ideas. You can also make a fab mixed-media collage out of used microarrays. I’m just sayin’.
(P.S. I can hook you up with said arrays if you want. SRSLY.)

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