Trough sinks with twin faucets are a new trend that's reinventing the vanity. This bathroom is in Plan 888-18.
Next to kitchens, baths are the hardest-working room in the
house, and a place where smart design pays dividends in functionality and
aesthetics. The latest technologies, too, make it easier than ever to have almost any convenience imaginable.
Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS, owner of Jamie Gold Kitchen
and Bath Design, San Diego, and author of the forthcoming The New Bathroom Idea Book from Taunton Press, shares 10 hot trends
Amenity-rich master baths
The trend toward treating the master bath as a place to
relax continues with steam and body sprays, hand-held massage showerheads, and
linear floor shower drains that eliminate a raised threshold in the shower.
Larger spaces might incorporate a chair on which to relax with a glass of wine
while waiting for the tub to fill.
Coffee makers and wine fridges are migrating to the bath, as are
entertainment and smart home systems where homeowners can watch TV or listen to
music, and lower the window shades without, say, having to climb into the
tub. “It’s simpler than it was in the
past to make the bath part of a smart-home system,” Gold says (photo courtesy Taunton).Smart medicine cabinets
No longer simply a utilitarian box, some of the latest
medicine cabinets have a small TV built into the mirror, a lock box for
medicines, LED lighting, Bluetooth speakers, and USB chargers. Many also have a
nifty magnetic back panel to hold small items like tweezers (photo courtesy Robern).Vanities
“People want the same level of organization in baths as in
the kitchen,” Gold says. “I’m starting to see more vanities with accessories
built in, like we see in kitchens: pullouts, integrated plugs for hair dryers
and curling irons, and niches for pretty perfume bottles or artwork.”Sinks
Another trend making its way from kitchens to baths is the
sink that’s integrated with the counter, whether it’s porcelain, quartz, or stainless
steel. Also popular are apron sinks (photo courtesy ROHL/www.rohlhome.com
), trough sinks with double faucets (as shown in Plan 888-18
the top of this post), and “wading
pool” sinks that sit on top of the counter, below (photo Copyright Duravit AG).
Gold advises sticking to a neutral palette such as gray,
white, and natural wood. “I try to stay away from color because a bath is going
to last 10 to 20 years,” she says, and colorful tile can be pricey to switch out
when you get tired of it. Can’t live without color? Then tie it in to the
surrounding space: the master bath with the master suite, the powder room with
public spaces, and the kids’ bath with their bedrooms.Toilets
Less is more. Wall-mounted toilets are becoming popular
because they’re streamlined, can be installed at any height, and are easy to
clean around, though they’re more complex to install than a traditional toilet.
Other attractive options are self-cleaning and hands-free-flush toilets.Eco-friendly, high-performance shower fixtures
“Ten years ago, the car-wash-style shower was easier to
achieve than it is today,” Gold says. “In some parts of the country you can use
body sprays, but not simultaneous with a rain showerhead or handheld showerhead.”
However, it’s also true that because of strict water use mandates, manufacturers
have had to figure out new ways to create the same effects, and it has never
been easier to find stylish, water-conscious products.Porcelain wall slabs
Sleek and low-maintenance, porcelain slabs are appearing on
countertops and walls. The slabs are thin and lightweight, making them easy to
install. They also fit tightly together, and the grain can be book matched for
a seamless pattern. Scratch and stain resistant, porcelain is in the same price
range as natural materials such as granite, onyx, and marble (photo courtesy Porcelanosa Tile of Spain Company/porcelanosa-usa.com).LEDs
LEDs come in a myriad shapes that expand their design
options exponentially, such as light strips built into mirrors and recessed
lights that virtually disappear into the ceiling. The latest LEDS come in warm
colors that flatter the skin; some can be dimmed for layered lighting or a
night light effect.Personalizing
Custom details tied to a
memory, family history, or hobby are a fun way to add a personalizing element
to a generic space. Whether it’s a decorative tile that evokes memories of a
favorite vacation destination (photo courtesy Walker Zanger), a floral drawer pull for an avid gardener, or
even a unique shower drain, the bath is the perfect place for subtle
To browse a collection of plans with distinctive master baths like the one in Plan 497-46
, click here.
Cheryl Weber, LEED AP, is a senior contributing editor to Custom Home
and a frequent contributor to Builder.