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Top Five Bath Design Trends
Royal Flush - 10 Luxury Bathroom Designs
Top Five Bath Design Trends
No longer just a utilitarian space, today's bathroom can be a place of luxury and convenience. Achieving this is a matter of keeping up with the latest and greatest design elements. Last month's Kitchen and Bath Industry show, where over 1,000 exhibitors released new products, gave us a peak into this year's trends. Read on to find out the top five.
1. High-tech Twists • Cool Cabinet • Tricked-Out Shower • Sound System 2. Water-saving Fixtures • Low-Flow Toilet • Hands-Free Faucet • Smart Shower 3. Seamless Looks • Concealed Commode • Sunbathing • Revolving Cabinets 4. Universal Design • Easy BathingWalk-In Tubs • Shower-Bath Hand Grips • Shower Seats 5. Nature-inspired Tiles • Blossoming Collection • Bamboo Beauty • Earth Tones
1. HIGH-TECH TWISTS Bath-time can be an experience for the senses with the option of built-in audio systems, chromatherapy (using mood-enhancing colors), or even tub-side refrigeration. Cool Cabinet Keep cold beverages on-hand with Robern's latest medicine cabinet. A portion of it includes refrigeration—also perfect for nail polish, or organic skin products (with no preservatives), or medications that need to be kept cold.
Tricked-Out Shower Kohler's DTV shower was introduced last year, but the latest version is fully loaded. It features a control system for the shower with functions like water pressure and temperature, but also chromatherapy (from above), steam, and a built in stereo system, all controlled from a LCD screen that can be mounted on the wall.
Sound System MTI brings music to bathers' ears with its Stereo H2O—a built-in stereo system. Controlled from a remote amplifier that can be placed inside a cabinet and connected to CD or MP3 players, the sound is broadcast through the tub walls, with no visual speakers. Also available from MTI are radiant heating pads that can also be built-in; so what looks like a simple tub is actually a spa-like escape.
2. WATER-SAVING FIXTURES With the introduction of the government's WaterSense label (similar to Energy Star), manufacturers are getting smart about reducing toilet and faucet water use. Low-Flow Toilet Caroma, an Australian company, was one of the first to offer dual flush technology, which allows for two different flushing options: .8 and 1.6 gallons per flush. And now almost all of the large toilet manufacturers offer dual-flush toilets. Caroma has 31 different models (shown is the Adelaide Cube).
Hands-Free Faucet Homeowners can easily and affordably save water by installing low-flow aerators on new and existing faucets. Kohler's version features a 1.5 gpm flow rate, a 30 percent reduction over 2.2 gpm models. The company's Tripoint Touchless Electronic Faucet (shown) utilizes an activation sensor that saves water by keeping false activations to a minimum.
Smart Shower This showerhead offers traditional looks combined with forward-thinking technology. The waterefficient fixture with H2Okinetic Technology® from Delta uses only 1.6 gpm as opposed to the standard 2.5 gpm. The technology manages the water droplet size and velocity, spray coverage and thermal dynamics, delivering the feeling of a standard showerhead at a lower flow. Approx. $50
3. SEAMLESS LOOKS Keeping fixtures and storage undercover allows for a clean, minimalist look, similar to that of a spa. Concealed Commode Here, the BenchToilet, by designer Troy Adams for Julien, provides a decorative solution for hiding away the toilet. It incorporates a sliding exotic wood panel concealing the fixture and doubling as a powder room bench.
Sunbathing Sundeck, the latest whirlpool tub from Duravit, can go anywhere in the home. A cover is designed to keep warm water in while concealing the tub and offering a surface to lay on, and when not in use, to be used as a headrest for bathers.
Revolving Cabinets Part of the Piu-Due collection from VitrA, this cabinet revolves 180-degrees for easy storage access when open and a clean look when closed.
4. UNIVERSAL DESIGN Walk-in tubs, shower seats, and towel bars are not only functional, but they can be stylish too. Walk-In Tubs Walk-in tubs like this one from Oceania, allow people with reduced mobility to enjoy bathing. The Serenite model is available with an air bath system, great for getting the circulation going for users with diabetes or other circulatory problems.
Shower-Bath Hand Grips Nine-inch designer hand grips from Home Care by Moen can be easily installed near hazard zones for added convenience. Available in both chrome and brushed nickel, the contemporary look allows for easy integration into any bath design.
Shower Seats Bristol and Bath's foldaway seat is ideal for showers with limited space. Available with or without a seat back or shower wall bar, it is made of stainless steel and opaque acrylic and hangs only 3½ inches out from the wall when closed.
5. NATURE-INSPIRED TILES With bathroom suites getting simpler, tile can offer a decorative backdrop. Nature-inspired designs, like this one from collection, can serve as artwork for the bathroom. Blossoming Collection With a name meaning "cherry blossom" in Japanese, Ann Sacks' Sakura collection represents the beauty of the changing seasons. The tiles are sold as a set.
Bamboo Beauty Walker Zanger's Mizu Umi line's bamboo tiles are ideal for creating a spa-like atmosphere. What's also unique about the collection is the large scale—each tile measures 24 inches.
Earth Tones Another popular trend is metal tile, also available from the two previous companies. Dal-Tile's Metal Fusion line combines ceramic tile with metallic granules for a chic, industrial-meets-natural look.
Once private havens, bathrooms today are increasingly becoming showplaces with high-end fixtures, imported bath tubs, and miles of marble A huge shift is under way in the $290 billion industry of home remodeling: Homeowners are beginning to leave the kitchen alone and invest in luxurious, spacious, high-tech new bathrooms. In 2005, 5.2% of owner-occupied homes in the U.S. underwent some kind of bathroom renovation, with an average price tag of $2,520, according to the nonprofit, Tampa (Fla.)-based Home Improvement Research Institute. The No. 1 reason for the bathroom remodels was to increase the value of the home, while the desire to increase space and beautify the home came in a close second and third, respectively, the group's survey shows. "The bathroom is the new trophy room," says Janice Costa, editor of Kitchen & Bath Design News. "Whereas it used to be a very private space, it has become more of a reflection of people's personal tastes." She says about 45 million home bathrooms in the country have remained unaltered since 1970, a number that is dropping faster than ever as homeowners rush to transform their plain old water closets into elegant showrooms of form and function. Expert Methods For an impressive bathroom, it's best to consult the experts. Architects, interior designers, remodeling contractors, and plumbing contractors may all be necessary for the most complex of projects, but an increasing number of homeowners are employing full-service design firms that both plan the room and make it come to life. Covenant Kitchens & Baths in Westbrook, Conn., will inspect the layout of your home, work with you on a custom bathroom that suits your needs and budget, and construct it for about $5,000 to $30,000. The desire for more or better utilized space, says Covenant designer Kira Van Deusen, is a common priority for many of its clients. "Many times, bathrooms are small and like a puzzle, [and] the pieces can only fit in one particular way. We tend to investigate adjoining rooms to see if we can beg, borrow, or steal from the space to enlarge the bathroom," says Van Deusen. For a recent project in Branford, Conn., Covenant removed a wall to combine a small bathroom with a neighboring dressing room. Workers enlarged the window, added a whirlpool tub, shower, and vanities, and installed richly colored mahogany cabinets. Homage To Hotels Customers of Covenant and other bathroom remodeling professionals frequently want to emulate in their own home the design styles they notice in hotels, resorts, and other upscale commercial bathrooms. As a result, the hotel room innovations of top-dollar design firms have come to bear heavily on trends in residential design. High-end and high-tech bathroom implements, such as chromatherapy (color-changing) tubs, mirrors with LCD television screens, fireplaces, and heated towel racks—once luxuries reserved for the vacation or business trip—are becoming a more affordable part of everyday life.
Hotels have good reason to invest heavily in top-notch bathrooms, according to Ariane Steinbeck of Gettys interior design firm, which specializes in resorts and hotels. "About 80% of the waking time that's spent in a hotel room is spent in the bathroom," she says. "When [people] go to resorts or hotels, they want to be inspired about things they can use at home." But the relationship between hotel and residential bathroom design works both ways. "As people spend more time in hotels, you're seeing more hotel baths take on a home-like or personalized look to get away from that sterile, institutionalized feel that some hotel baths have," says Costa of Kitchen & Bath Design News. She says natural textures, such as wood and stone, and warm earth tones have made the leap from the home bathroom to the upscale commercial bathroom. The Design Difference And then there are designers who seem to take the evolution of bathroom design entirely into their own hands. For a bathroom that looks like it's from another planet, take up residence in one of the few remaining apartments at Jade, a 57-unit building in New York's Chelsea neighborhood. The latest project of celebrity heiress-cum-jeweler Jade Jagger and real estate developer Michael Shvo, Jade takes space utilization to another level with its "Pods," large metal cubes that open on one side to reveal a full bathroom with fixtures by Waterworks, on the opposite side a small kitchen, and on the end a closet with washer and dryer. Despite a perplexed response from the New York real estate community, Shvo says the Pods have given the building's studios and one- and two-bedroom units a competitive edge. "A creative bathroom design should always be top of mind for real estate developers.… [The Pod] is not something you can buy at Home Depot and plunk into your apartment. It has to be designed," he says. Whatever route you choose to go when planning your new bathroom, don't be afraid of committing to a large investment. According to the research of Kitchen & Bath Design News, midrange bathroom renovations are currently returning homeowners an average of 102.2% on their investment, while upscale renovations return an average of 93.2%.
Luxury bath makeovers that stress space and elegance without sacrificing privacy Move over, kitchen. As more and more people focus their home improvement efforts on the bathroom, expressive designs and luxury amenities are taking the place of drab white private sanctums. This article peeks under the stall doors of some of the most beautiful and innovative bathrooms on the market. From luxury hotels to chic urban condos, professional designs like these are the trends you’ll want to follow for your new bathroom.
Hilton Hartford Presidential Suite, Hartford, Conn.
Design by Gettys Price: $700 to $1,200 per night “About 80% of the waking time that’s spent in a hotel room is spent in the bathroom,” says Ariane Steinbeck, principal designer for hotel and resort specialist firm Gettys, who completed a reconfiguration of the Hilton Hartford in early 2005. For the presidential suite bathroom, Steinbeck and colleagues had a small footprint to work with. They chose this custom-made curved vanity, which creates the illusion of more space, to complement a Kohler chromatherapy tub with adjustable color lights, soothing bubbles and a splash basin ($9,028 and up).
20 Pine Condominiums, New York
“20 Pine – The Collection” Design by Armani/Casa Price: $650,000 to $2.9 million Giorgio Armani’s in-house interior design team Armani/Casa used entirely custom materials and fixtures for the minimalist bathrooms of this new condo building in New York’s financial district. Striking dark contrasts are set off by Galaxy Schist stone that covers the walls and floors, and the Brazilian Ipe wood used around the tub. The recessed shower head (about $500 and up) creates a rain effect—adjustable from sprinkle to monsoon.
Waterworks Product Line
Products and design by Waterworks Fixtures about $13,000 Waterworks fixtures are favorites of the top designers because they offer a nice blend of luxury and affordability. This .25 line of products features an elegant bathtub, a double lavatory in matte white, and a metallic double mirror. Waterworks employs experienced designers who are available for free planning consultations by appointment.
Home Bathroom Renovation, Branford, Conn.
Design and installation by Covenant Kitchens & Baths Price: $25,000 to $30,000 Covenant, a Westbrook (Conn.)-based full-service bathroom design firm, specializes in creating space in homes where there isn’t any. “Many times bathrooms are small and like a puzzle, [and] the pieces can only fit in one particular way. We tend to investigate adjoining rooms to see if we can beg, borrow or steal from the space to enlarge the bathroom,” explains designer Kira Van Deusen. In this Branford home, the company removed a wall to combine a small bathroom with a neighboring dressing room. They enlarged the window, added a whirlpool tub, shower, and vanities, and installed richly colored mahogany cabinets.
Four Seasons Hong Kong Suite, Hong Kong
Design by Wilson Associates Price: About $1,000 per room per night When planning the bathrooms for the new Four Seasons Hong Kong, constructed between 2001 and 2005, the designers of Wilson Associates faced a novel challenge: huge 148-sq. ft. guest rooms, supposedly the largest in the city. Their solution came in the form of this spa-like room with big mirrors and subtle dark tones to encapsulate the space. The mirror that overlooks the tub is fitted with an LCD television screen by Seura (around $4,000 and up), one of the hottest new features in designer bathrooms.
8 Union Square South Condominiums, New York
Design by Eric Cohler Design, Fixtures by Waterworks Price: $1.89 million to $8.9 million Bathroom design knows when to save space and when to go high-tech, but sometimes bigger is simply better. The humongous bathrooms of the newly completed 8 Union Square South could accommodate an elephant, and feature textured limestone walls and floors, fixtures by Waterworks, and a towel warmer for chilly mornings.
Nine Zero Guest Room, Boston
Design by Wilson Associates Price: About $350 to $400 per room per night Wilson Associates designed the Nine Zero hotel’s bathrooms to accommodate the fast-paced lifestyle of the jet-setting business traveler. Forgoing a bathtub because of the room’s small footprint, the designers included a large, state-of-the-art shower and a mirror that floats in front of a window. “In hotels, we try to create a home away from home. But now people are implementing the bathroom experience they get at hotels in their own home,” says project designer Jacques Coetzee.
Kohler Product Line
Products and design by Kohler Price: $18,182 for fixtures, furniture and accessories For more than 20 years, the three-level, 36,000-sq. ft. Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wis., has been a resource for homeowners, architects, and designers embarking on bathroom remodels. One of the many bath suites on display is this spacious contemporary design, which includes a chromatherapy tub, a pressure-balancing shower faucet ($319 and up), and a natural lavastone countertop ($4,332 and up)
Hilton Kuala Lumpur Suite, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Design by Wilson Associates Price: About $200 per room per night The new Hilton Kuala Lumpur, completed in 2004, exemplifies the trend of integrating bathroom and bedroom spaces for greater airflow, mobility, and sunlight. Two full-length opaque glass sliding doors can be concealed in the wall to expose this bathroom’s white Italian marble walls and dark green granite floors to the bedroom.
Jade Condominiums, New York
“Pod” design by Jade Jagger and Tom Bartlett Price: $550,000 to $3.7 million The recent opening of the 57-unit Jade condos in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, the latest project of celebrity heiress-cum-jeweler Jade Jagger and real estate developer Michael Shvo, unveiled a bold experiment in bathroom design they call Pods. Designed to economize space and add a sleek, modern look in smaller-than-usual apartments, Pods open on one side to reveal a full bathroom with fixtures by Waterworks; on the opposite side is a small kitchen, and on the end a closet with washer and dryer. “A creative bathroom design should always be top of mind for real estate developers,” says Shvo. “[The Pod] is not something you can buy at Home Depot and plunk into your apartment. It has to be designed.”
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