From humble beginnings, the story began when our business first opened in 1977 from a small warehouse unit in Oldham, Lancashire. 40 years old this year, Westco is now a leading provider of high-quality heating and plumbing supplies that are installed the world over. And, in 2016, Westco became part of French industrial group COMAP.
To celebrate our milestone birthday, we’ve taken a look at some of the key trends in bathroom design we’ve witnessed come – and in most cases thankfully go – over the last four decades.
In the 1970s and 80s, salmon, vanilla and avocado bathroom suites were trendy. And, EVERYTHING matched; from the wall tiles to the flooring (often carpet) and the towels.
The bidet started to make an appearance as a key design trend in the UK around the same time Westco was born. Mainly as hundreds of Brits returned from their first foreign holiday with sunburn and a desire to bring a bit of continental sophistication in their own homes. In fact, 40 years ago, if you wanted to show the Joneses how stylish you were, you couldn’t go wrong with an avocado suite and matching bidet.
Pattern and texture were as big as our hairstyles in the decade of excess, and many of us loved a deep pile shaggy bathroom carpet. Of course, today’s homeowners tend to prefer as little fabric in their bathrooms as possible (especially as once moisture gets under carpeting mould can develop). However, if you do want to add some warmth to your bathroom, the style gurus at Houzz have some ideas for how this very retro approach to bathroom design can be brought up to date. Check them out here.
The combination boiler is an import from Europe. But, with the UK market committed to the open vented central heating system, many Brits were sceptical about its staying power. So, while German company Vaillant is thought to be one of the first to produce a combination boiler in the early 1960s, it wasn’t until the late 1970’s when British manufacturers started to take notice due to a rise in imports. Even then, this new technology faced problems; mainly as a mains water connection to a central heating system was not permitted until the regulations were updated in the 1980s. Of course, since then the combi boiler has gone from strength to strength!
In the 1980s, people loved a shiny gold tap. Greed was good after all. But since then, traditional yellow metals have been thought of as old-fashioned; with stainless steel and chrome dominating the tap market. But that could all be about to change with warmer, softer shades of copper, brass, gold and bronze now much sought after in bathroom design.
Toilet roll dolly
No trip down memory lane would be complete without a fond look back at the toilet doll – pride of place in most our Nan’s 1970 bathrooms. While there does seem to be a love for these ladies by those that hanker after all things retro, it’s unlikely that they will make a comeback on any large scale!