Luxury Bathroom Products Boston MA
Today's luxury bathrooms include all the aesthetic elements present in the rest of the home. Their utilitarian purpose has been overshadowed in recent years by a growing range of upscale design options, from the sybaritic pleasures promised by mood-elevating chromatherapy baths to artistic touches like vessel sinks made from wood or stone, to showers that create a soothing rain-like experience or envelop you in therapeutic steam.
Add functional elements such as towel-warming drawers and electric radiant floor heating systems, and more whimsical improvements like futuristic toilets and entertainment systems incorporated directly into bathroom fixtures, and the luxury bathroom becomes a private retreat where "you can go to rejuvenate yourself in the morning and wash away [your cares] in the evening," says David O'Neil, president of Renaissance Tile & Bath, headquartered in Atlanta, Ga. "These are no longer spaces we just move through, but spaces we live in."
| The iSteamShower washes away the stress, thanks to its 3,000-watt steam |
generator and auto-water massaging functions. ? Photos Courtesy Novak and Company
Three Key Elements
Creating a luxury bathroom involves three key elements, explains O'Neil: the visual, which includes luxury finishes on the walls, flooring and fixtures; the tactile, such as heated floors, towel warmers and steam units; and the emotional, including the use of lighting and sound to create the right atmosphere.
With the trend moving toward homes with "a bathroom for every bedroom," each bath can have its own identity, notes Gray Uhl, director of design for American Standard in Piscataway, N.J. Examples include "a retreat for the master bath, a family-oriented bath for the kids and a welcoming experience for the guest bath." Here are some options available to homeowners who want to take their baths to the next level of comfort.
Showers and Tubs
Form and function are given equal attention in today's luxury bathrooms, and nowhere is this more evident than in the design of showers and tubs. But it's important to begin by separating these into two distinct units. Then it's all about size and features.
Generally, tubs are for relaxation and soaking, while showers are designed for a quicker cleansing experience. Still, in a luxury bathroom, it's "all about the spa experience," says nationally known lifestyle designer Barclay Butera. "While you may not have time to soak [in a tub], walk-in showers can still create the spa feel and work [better] with your schedule."
Spa-like water delivery options include multiple body jets, which are small showerheads that can be adjusted so they spray the body from different angles; overhead showering panels such as Kohler's WaterTile Ambient Rain system, which uses no less than 54 spray nozzles to create a rain-like shower experience; and thermostatically controlled shower valves such as American Standard's Ceratherm thermostat, which enables homeowners to set the desired temperature of the water when showering by using a single handle.
Another option is Jacuzzi's Ristorre Shower Collection, which is available in four shower tower styles that can be installed using existing plumbing lines and drains. The showers feature rain showerheads and multifunction hand showers, all encased in curving waves of glass and chrome designed to make an artistic statement in the bathroom.
| Luxury upgrades to an existing bath could include vanities with storage, vessel sinks and towel warming drawers. ? Photos Courtesy Eden Bath Thu, 18 Oct 2007 00:00:00 By Smart-Homeowner Staff Green on a Budget http://www.smart-homeowner.com/node/8338 |
Back in 2005, an international competition was held to find a home design that best followed the principles set out by the cradle to cradle philosophy, as envisioned by architect William McDonough and German chemist Michael Braungart. The purpose of the C2C Home Design and Construction Competition was to encourage the design and building of sustainable homes that use resources efficiently, eliminate waste and employ modern systems that mimic natural systems.
The winner of the competition, a design for a modernistic home that uses spinach to produce solar energy, was spotlighted in an earlier issue of this magazine (see "Spinach Power" in July/August 2005), and it was deemed so innovative that drawings of the home were displayed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago.
Fast-forward a few years, and the first competition-related home has been built. But it's not the award-winning design, which will require several hundred thousand dollars to build. Instead, the first cradle to cradle-inspired home incorporates sustainable elements while dealing with real-world costs.
Green and Efficient Features
Freelance writer Karen Haywood Queen covers such topics as home design, landscaping, technology and building. She's based in Williamsburg, Va.