When it comes to transforming your master bath into the ultimate retreat, there is no shortage of upscale design options. Incorporate some of these ideas into your new master bath for a luxurious oasis – and a true “wow” factor.
Oversized Soaking Tubs and Showers
Where jetted-tubs were the rage in master baths a few years ago, the trend today is toward freestanding soaking tubs that become the focal point of the room. For plumbing fixtures, be bold, says New York City interior designer Highlyann Krasnow. “Pewter and gunmetal is the trend we are loving. It’s not as harsh as pure black or specific as brass or gold, but it gives fixtures some texture and depth.”
Position your tub for maximum visual impact and interest. “In one of our recent custom homes, we designed the tub to be in front of a huge slab of frameless glass that separated the tub from the walk-in shower,” says Austin, Texas, homebuilder J. Keith Durio, president of JKD Builder. “In another, our homeowners wanted to use the space above the tub for a piece of statement artwork.”
Like tubs, walk-in showers only seem to be growing larger. Extend your oasis to the outdoors, with windows that connect the interior shower to an outdoor shower garden retreat.
Technology is coming, yes, even to toilets and showers. Look for techno-features such as toilet seat warmers, automatic lid openers, adjustable air dryers, and built-in deodorizers, says Bryan Sebring, president of Sebring Design Build in Naperville, Illinois.
In the shower, smart apps enable homeowners to remotely and automatically turn on the shower. With new smart controls, you can control up to three water functions – shower head, hand shower, and body spray – with the touch of a single button. And new plumbing smart technology lets you set your desired water temperature to come on immediately and retain that temperature throughout your shower. While lathering up, use built-in Bluetooth speaker systems to enjoy your favorite tunes.
Technology is even coming to the bathroom mirror, including smart mirrors that talk to you, give you the weather or have imbedded television screens. “Mirrors can have anti-fog technologies, smart touch abilities, USB charging stations, and just about anything else you can imagine,” says Sebring.
Under-counter refrigerators and coffee bars take little space but add big convenience. The refrigerator can serve dual duty for storing medications as well as cold drinks – no more stumbling to the kitchen for that middle-of-the-night glass of water. Hide a coffee or espresso maker behind appliance garage or cabinet doors, and use a pull-out shelf to provide easier access.
Keeping it Warm
Who enjoys the shock of cold winter floors under foot? One of the latest luxury bath trends is incorporating underfloor heating to extend warmth – literally – throughout the room. Couple that with wall-mounted towel warmers or warming drawers to keep towels and robes toasty, no matter the season.
Your Own Private Spa
Want that spa feeling without leaving home? Add a steam shower or sauna to the master bath retreat.
At 118 degrees Fahrenheit, steam showers deliver both therapeutic benefits and the ultimate in relaxation. They help clear sinuses and improve circulation, plus, they’re good for your skin. As luxury buyers seek home features that support healthy living, infrared saunas also are becoming popular.
Wall-Hung Toilets and Bidets
Wall-hung toilet systems save space, conserve water and deliver a sleek, European look that evokes luxury. Several manufacturers now also offer matching wall-hung bidet and wall-hung toilet sets. What once was found almost exclusively in Europe, bidets are becoming a popular addition in upscale American homes for their modern style and hygienic benefits.
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Freelance writer and marketer Sue Durio has been writing about construction, design and related products for more than 18 years.