For some of us space is a premium, we save our hard earned money to buy our dream home and all of a sudden we are having to compromise on space. Do we compromise on a smaller garden, a smaller but lovely kitchen or how about the room where we watch TV?None of us want to compromise, but that’s life.

Most houses will now include at least three or four bathrooms, with a large family bathroom upstairs, usually an en suite in the master bedroom or even the spare room and most houses will now have a small bathroom, including a toilet and basins. For some people it’s the first thing they change when they move into a house, choosing their preferred colour, fixtures and fittings to make it feel more like their home.

Most of us will have some form of bathroom downstairs, if you live in an old cottage, chances are the main family bathroom will be the downstairs bathroom and include a bath, shower, basin and toilet. Many cottages would have had a bathroom out in the garden, making the journey in the middle of the night not an inviting option. The outhouses would not have included a basin.

In the 16th and 17th century throughout England, it was also referred to as ‘chambers’ and was typically a corner of the room sectioned off by a curtain that would housed a bucket and thats it. People were not even instructed to leave the room, the curtain was the only seclusion the user would get.

Thankfully times have moved on and many new houses will however have the family bathroom upstairs with a smaller and compact bathroom downstairs, neatly tucked under the stairs or in a corner. In the UK we call the bathroom a toilet, but in other parts of the world they are called all sorts of names. From ‘the dunney’ in Australia to the ‘cloakroom’ or ‘powder room’ in the United States, we all have our own recognisable versions of the word.

The word “Toilet” originally referred to a place where someone would carry out personal grooming and simply overtime it was then used for bathing, dressing and finally used as somewhere to do your business. At present, the word refers primarily to a fixture and many will say using the “toilet” to refer to the room or activity.

The word ‘Cloakrooms’ is now used more and more in the UK as estate agents use the term to describe a smaller and secondary bathroom. If you ask to go to the cloakroom in a theatre you will be shown to the place where all of the coats and bags are kept and possibly given a ticket for you to store yours! You will not see a toilet or basin in site.

Whether you use the word lavatory, bathroom, toilet or even cloakroom, they all essentially will lead you to the same place. Thankfully most of us will easily find a bathroom when we are out and about on our travels, for many years people were just expected to find a quiet place in their town or city and do their business in the open. Thankfully times have changed and most supermarkets and shops will have a public bathroom you can use.

As home space is a premium, many downstairs bathrooms will be smaller in size and you will usually find smaller pieces of furniture to suit the space. There are a wealth of small sized bathroom furniture you can buy, from small toilets to small but perfectly formed cloakroom basins. If you simply take time to look online you will find plenty of companies will be able to supply everything you need for your small space.

When you go to look at your next new home, take time to look in the downstairs bathroom and see if you notice that the toilet or cloakroom basin is any smaller.