Somebody once said that to understand society at a given point in time, look at their restrooms.

That somebody was me. I don’t know if it is true because I just made that up, but it can certainly feel like the decor and functionality of restrooms, both public and private, say a lot about us and the times we are living in – even if the restroom itself is stuck in time. Do you prefer them looking sterile and harsh? Cozy and kitschy? Luxurious to a fault? Basic and no-frills? High-tech? Perhaps you prefer them done with decor that makes no sense, executed with reckless abandon for any and all design rules as though a monkey on amphetamines went through a curbside dumpster and thought, “yes, this will be perfect!”

More info: arabellaproffer.bigcartel.com | twitter.com | Instagram

#1

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Night Owl 3 weeks ago

I'd spend too much time in there

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For five years, I've been documenting the restrooms around Cleveland that I happened to find myself in. It started as a joke on Instagram, and just kept going. I can’t quite articulate what the criteria were, but my gut always told me when it was something worth a photo. These are interiors that rarely get documented unless they are designed as “selfie bait”. Sure, some restrooms clearly had a big budget, but it is always interesting to see what can be done with a meager budget. Documenting is important because you never know what will be gone tomorrow.

#2

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Hazel Beswick 3 weeks ago

This should be above the urinals... ohhhh the judgement!

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#3

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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jamie1707 3 weeks ago

oh dear god! someone slipped me some brown acid!

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In the short number of years since I started this project as a fun hashtag #restroomsofcleveland, several of these restrooms have been redone or have disappeared completely. The gentrification of cities has erased character and replaced it with subway tiles and Edison bulbs; the rustbelt has been slowly following the “AirSpace” aesthetic much to my disappointment.

#4

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Krazy Kanuck 3 weeks ago

Sitting high on the throne

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#5

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Donna Reynolds 3 weeks ago

And I thought the last one was creepy.

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Bars, theaters, warehouses, grocery stores, private clubs, pinball arcades, museums, schools, churches, furniture stores, and coffee shops are just some of the places you will find in the photo book I compiled – simply titled “The Restrooms of Cleveland.” It is a testament to the fact I hydrate often and have a weak bladder with little regard for location. I wish I had time to tell you my own stories within these facilities; exposed electrical wire, celebrity sightings, girl fights, dance parties, vomit, perfect selfie lighting, and unpaid counseling sessions. There was the time I found myself on my knees under a bride’s dress to fix a mishap, the time I tried desperately to keep the makeshift door closed with one foot while in the dressing room reserved for strippers, and the time a raccoon visited me while minding my own damn business! I’ve seen it all in Cleveland, Ohio, man.

#6

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Reagan James 3 weeks ago

My brain is kind of aching right now.

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#7

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bean59 3 weeks ago

GLADYS, WHERE DID YOU PUT THE CHAINSAW?

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#8

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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charlotte berger 3 weeks ago

Does anyone else see a bunch of dicks?!?

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#9

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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MissDemeanour 3 weeks ago

Ooooh, the non binary kids will get mad.

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#10

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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NAOMI CORBALEY 3 weeks ago

😑😕 da- faq?

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#11

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Gina Booths 3 weeks ago

It's so weird to see a neon light of the Chinese character 'porridge' in a bathroom, and the character is not even positioned correctly..

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#12

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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LaDonna Hulcy 3 weeks ago

I Love this one!

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#13

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Amy Smith 3 weeks ago

This looks like the ladies in the old Montague Arms in New Cross

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#14

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Erika Jones 2 weeks ago

I feel like I'm being watched.

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#15

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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UnicornHuman 2 weeks ago

what if someone was blind and they had to feel up the busts ...

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#16

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bean59 3 weeks ago

Who threw up in the sink

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#17

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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#18

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Annemarie Mattheyse 3 weeks ago

I love the black-and-white/teal combination. It's very calming, somehow.

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#19

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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NAOMI CORBALEY 3 weeks ago

this looks like the mens bathroom

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#20

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Reagan James 3 weeks ago

I like it!

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#21

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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glowworm2 3 weeks ago

Is this a bathroom for clowns?

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#22

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bean59 3 weeks ago

WOMEN

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#23

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Molly Porter 3 weeks ago

This one looks normal

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#24

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Night Owl 3 weeks ago

Not too bad

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#25

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Let’s All Just Try And Be Decent 3 weeks ago

Kind of obviously a dressing room for actors to get ready for theatre shows.... not a bathroom. I'm

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#26

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Kathy Smith 3 weeks ago

Looks like an old elevator.

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#27

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Night Owl 3 weeks ago

The (probably plastic) flowers are a nice touch

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#28

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Molly Porter 3 weeks ago

The wood is so pretty on this one

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#29

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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jamie1707 3 weeks ago

That is a cool radiator.

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I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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#31

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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bananapower_2.0 3 weeks ago

how do you use that ?

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#32

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Ashley Nell 2 weeks ago

Reminds me of either a wedding or a funeral.

#33

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bob Beltcher 3 weeks ago

Making drywall damage fun

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#34

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Vex Boxx 2 weeks ago

I dunno, I'm a little uncomfortable with a picture of a dude who killed his girlfriend hanging up like "yeah, this is what cool looks like." No, not it does not.

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#36

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Zoe's Mom 3 weeks ago

Not an ugly bathroom; it needs some cleaning; maybe storage but it's nice as is.

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#37

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Kathy Smith 3 weeks ago

I love that old sink.

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#38

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Naomi 3 weeks ago

Eh... it's okay....

#39

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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CR82 3 weeks ago

eww

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#41

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bean59 3 weeks ago

looks like rey's lightsaber

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#42

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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John Montgomery 2 weeks ago

Who knew you could have something like an outhouse or portapotty indoors.

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#43

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Donna Reynolds 3 weeks ago

Grandma says “Did you wash your hands”?

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#44

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Ashley Nell 2 weeks ago

The lower mirror is probably for short people.

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#45

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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E Menendez 3 weeks ago

That's a lot of soap for one sink.

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#46

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Bean59 3 weeks ago

let me just throw mysel off a cliff...

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#47

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Zoe's Mom 3 weeks ago

At least it's clean.

#48

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Ashley Nell 2 weeks ago

Looks like a waiting area to me.

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#49

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Naomi 3 weeks ago

Ehh.. ehh...

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#50

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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What's In Your Head? 3 weeks ago

Are those old drops of blood? o___O

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#51

I Spent Five Years Photographing Bathrooms In Cleveland.

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Naomi 3 weeks ago

It just looks dirty.