Thursday, 22 July 2010

Bakelite toilet seat

*Warning: this post contains images which may induce sudden nausea. Please stop reading if you have a weak stomach.

I dislike our toilet. From the plastic cistern to the old plastic seat, to the scratched Caroma porcelain.

With a simple purchase, made this morning, I have improved our (but mostly mine, because the boys I live with do not care) quality of life by 1000 per cent.

Yes, the right toilet seat is not something to be taken for granted. Ever.

This morning I went to Red Hill to check out a vintage lighting store which also happens to sell new bakelite toilet seats, which are manufactured in Melbourne. Instead of walking out with a light, I walked out with a new loo seat!

Bakelite is a really thick, heavy duty material which is quite reassuring when one is perched on a toilet. We had an old bakelite seat when I lived with my parents and we also had one in our last house.

When we replaced the toilet in our last place, the bakelite seat did not fit, so we bought an expensive thicker-than-average plastic seat. 

It was still inferior to the old bakelite one, in my opinion.

But I am most ashamed of myself for putting up with the cheap, flimsy white plastic toilet seat and not replacing it straight away when we moved here last year. 

Disgusted, really, after I removed the old seat and realised why it was so obvious the constant faint smell of urine was not at all due to my cleaning efforts. 

Vindication should never be this hard. Who knew what lay in wait?

You think this is gets worse...

Oh God, the horror! 

I did warn you to cease reading.

The bathroom renovation is definitely on the cards but it will be a while away before we can afford to do it properly. And we're not too sure what we will do and how we will go about it...

Small easy fixes are needed in the meantime, even if they are temporary.

Black and shiny new seat

New bakelite seat

Anyway, my morning has been arduous. One small step, one giant leap kind of stuff. I need a stiff drink.

P.S I've saved the old toilet seat to show all the boys when they come home from school and work. They must aim harder.


  1. As the mother of a 3 year old who is just being toilet trained and not standing up yet to do a wee because he doesn't have sufficient height, this post has given me the HORRORS. So much to look forward to.

    And I agree, something substantial really is much better. It looks great.


  2. Oh yes, an arduous morning indeed. I can just imagine the conversation you were having with yourself! I think I'll have a stiff drink for you!

  3. I am assuming you went to Victorian Living...isn't it amazing!! Best not to take your I did the first time!

  4. Re. your last comment: the best of British luck to you!

  5. I hear you sister! When we moved in we had a disgusting timber toilet seat with the varnish peeling and very stange marks that I cannot seem to move. Over one year has passed and we have that same seat! How gross! I love that you posted about this. Your new seat looks great and you may have inspired me to do something about ours :)

  6. Interesting post of sorts! You are a funny one but hey it is reality after all. I also paid a visit to Victorian Living the other week - great little jam packed shop if you need old style lighting and bakelite things! Really, why is it that boys can't aim straight? I think I am just about ready to ban them from the upstairs toilet!!! ;-)

  7. I think the black Bakelite baby looks right at home with the retro loo.

    I know it must be a lonely job being a toilet seat designer, but the folks at Kohler have perfected it on the Cimarron toilet. Without going into details, it must have been a woman with boys.

    My Mother in law had a pink vinyl foamy seat. When you sat on it there was a long pfffffttt as the air went out of it.

  8. Aim harder but not higher! Black bakelite...I think you could be setting a new trend there!

  9. Love your new loo seat - ashamed to say that mine are plastic too. But how good does the new bakelite one look. Sandy x

  10. Ani, it was victorian living I went to. I wish I had known about not bringing kids earlier though!

    And to everyone, thanks for your comments. I'm sorry for grossing you out with this post. I feel much better now that I trashed the old seat with its decades of build-up! Moving forward.

  11. I love Victorian is an amazing shop and John knows everything there is to know about Bakelite I didn't,t know they did toilet seats....I think a new one is definitely on the cards for me.....I think a good trade may be in order, lights shades for toilet seats....sorry for slackness on the comment front, lotte has been very unwell....and we had a little holiday at the mater....all good now, cheers katherine

  12. Well I never thought I would see this before and after on a blog!! So funny that we put so much emphasis on things like lounge suites and coffee tables when in reality we should equally be looking at replacing things like the toilet seat!!! It looks so much better - and definately more retro! Thanks for joining my giveaway. Have a great weekend. Michelle

  13. the scary thing is I bet all our toilet seats are like that... eeeww!

  14. cool score, and man this made me laugh. this is the main reason why i vowed never to share a bathroom with my boys again!!! they're exactly the same!

    enjoy your new throne :)

  15. Oh my lord your new toilet looks so divine! And how wonderful that you now know you are living with an absolutely clean fixtue. I know I would sleep well at night secure in that knowledge!

  16. You courageous woman you. Very gutsy indeed that you showed us those before shots of your toilet. Oh, the things (and odors!) we inherit from previous owners!

  17. And here I thought bakelight was only for jewelry. Who knew!

  18. Chris Osbourne sent me here. I think you may be leading a parallel life to mine - though I'm not renovating thank goodness. I'm waiting for a mid-century flat-roofed, brick thing to fall in my lap.

    I think I spotted an orange Bitossi lamp somewhere! Tasteful you.

  19. its a certain comfort in life to know what you re sitting on in my opinion.
    i dont think mine is bakelite, but it is new with the reno and the seat is cool.... it isnt possible to slam down. it moves on its own.... made by kohler called soft close or quiet close.
    kinda cool too

  20. You're too funny. Of course, I didn't really take your warning seriously. Then I was all gaspy. Then laughed at myself over my delicate nature. Brave funny girl you are.

  21. Talk about a loo with a view. Anita - when I read your blog I kick myself for staying away from blogging for so long... YOU CRACK ME UP from the hari krishna cushions through to your vintage online light shopping. You really are fabulous and LOVE the white and dark for your house!

  22. It's rare for me to have toilet seat envy, but today I do. And, with two boys under 8, I dread to think what's lurking under our hated plastic seat.

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!

  23. Ugh, gross! The new one is a huge improvement!!

    Visiting from the rewind.

  24. Here on the Weekend Rewind. New Loo Seat! good choice for it :)

  25. This is the same as my grandparent's toilet seat! I have fond memories of sitting on that sturdy, smooth toilet seat, daydreaming about pixies under their lemon tree. Plastic just doesn't compare.

  26. I love it! Think we might a need a new one too...

    Happy Easter!

    SSG xxx

    Sydney Shop Girl blog

  27. We put up with a STAINED plastic toilet seat in our rental house for years before it occured to me I could change it. Admittedly, I swapped it for another (unstained) plastic one. Yours is much nicer though. It might be time for an upgrade for us, I think.

  28. Love it! I don't want to look at ours too closely, especially after seeing your pics ...

  29. I like the color it really goes with the bathroom. We had one of those plastic toilet seats for a while. They are really uncomfortable.

  30. Visiting from the Fibro :D

    And ugh, I KNOW our kids toilet is like that too, makes me feel ill just thinking about it.

    We bought this house partially renovated, the bathrooms had been down but for some reason the ensuite has a lovely ceramic seat while the kids one has a nasty plastic flimsy one.

    Think a new seat is in order here too, but I DREAD taking the old one off.

  31. As a mother to two teenage boys I remember that gunk only too well! You have also reminded me that it is almost time to do that horrid job again! I love the bakelite toilet seats - I may have to pop over to Red Hill for a look.

  32. I remember reading about someone getting a black toilet seat and thinking, 'who would want that?', but it actually looks quite good!

  33. You made ​​my night more fun with you bad day!!!.... I have a 5 year old son who is distracted when he pee and the bathroom always looks like the bus station. Black cover looks beautiful!
    love Lula (sorry i do my bes with my english but i realy don´t know if is bad o just sucks!)


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