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
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,
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
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
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
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.