Thiksey Monastry, Ladakh, India © Bernhard S. / 500px

Portable Toilet in Monument Valley, Utah

Monument Valley, Utah, USA © Jure Kravanja / 500px

When it comes to restrooms, it’s often

assumed that form follows function, but Lonely Planet’s decadent new book, Toilets: a Spotter’s Guide, elevates the latrine, so often scorned by modern society, to the realm of the objet d’art. Spanning the globe, the book features hundreds of facilities, giving each lavatory the attention it deserves.

The porcelain, metal, and stone subjects of Toilets range from the much-frequented to the barely used. Most are functioning. Some are decorative. All are treated with dignity. There are makeshift outhouses and palatial thrones, a few designed by leading architects and commissioned for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Others are might have been overlooked for their modesty, but indeed, even the most humble of loos have their own brand of allure, whether it be an astonishing view or a surprising history.

Toilets laughs in the face of taboo, and in so doing, it reveals the charm and wit of what is perhaps the most unrecognized field of interior design. It’s a book about toilets, but it’s also about the people who use them. Find the book here.


Log outhouse, Chena Hot Springs Resort, Alaska, USA © Sunny Awazuhara- Reed / Design Pics / Getty Images


Outhouse, British Columbia, Canada © Chris Kolaczan / 500px

Two toilets made of palm tree leaves, Brazil

His ‘n’ Hers, Jericoacoara Beach, Brazil © Thomas Heinze / 500px

Men's restroom at the Sony Center in Berlin, Germany

Sony Center, Berlin, Germany © Werner Monatsspruch / 500px


Toilet island, near Palcencia, Belize © Tomas Mahring / 500px


‘Comfort toilets,’ Chott el Djerid, Tunisia © Lucio Valmaggia / 500px

Toilet in Reykjavik, Iceland

Fjallabak Nature Reserve, Iceland © Gisli Hjalmar Svendsen/ 500px


Outhouse, Sagarmatha National Park, Nepal © David Ruiz Luna / 500px


Waterfall Washroom, Taroko National Park, Taiwan © Jan Philipp Kohrs / 500px


Jonsknuten, Kongsberg, Norway © Olaf Menz / 500px

A side profile view of a toilet designed for use in space

Prototype Space Toilet © Adam Jamieson / Getty Images

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