We each have our own idea of what makes a perfect bathroom. It could be a spectacular view from the tub a spalike ambience classic English country fixtures or rich colors and exotic hand‐painted tiles. Of course for many of us a complete bathroom overhaul isn't in the cards. No matter what look is calling your name there are ways to translate the key elements of the style you love into your bathroom without the high price of remodeling. Let's explore some accessible ideas in five dream bathrooms. Even without the massive square footage or fancy designer you can pull together a gorgeous room with classic crisp decorator touches that are well within reach. Swap out standard blinds for fabric shades and your bath will suddenly feel like a real room. Upgrade your towels for a fluffy version with contrasting piping or grosgrain trim.
Graywater reuse. It's a little crazy that we use potable drinking water to flush our toilets. Aqus is a simple system that routes used sink water (graywater) through a filter and disinfectant and into any nearby toilet tank for use in flushing. Being water smart couldn't be easier.
Some fabulous new products were shown at the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show this year. Here are the latest finds for the room we all use but often neglect – the bathroom! Many of these items can be seen at Chicago's Merchandise Mart Luxe Home showrooms. Ever hear a song you love so much you wish you could bathe in it? Now thanks to Kohler and their VibrAcoustic bath series you can. Just plug in your iPod and let the vibrations of the beats flow through the water. Cast‐bronze sinks have been around for ages but this modern shape and gorgeous pattern offers a fresh interpretation. This is such a unique marble cut! These vein‐cut tiles are linear and directional unlike the typical swirled marble we're used to seeing. It's not stone it's petrified wood! This durable and rare tile would make for a luxurious and warm bathroom. I love the feeling of movement on these hand‐painted tiles. They would make a dramatic accent wall or backsplash. This hand‐carved stone pattern is created by master craftsmen in India using traditional techniques. The sculptural stone panels combine matte and glossy finishes. The overall effect is warm with a luxe touch of movement.
Shagreen which is made from stingrays is a super‐exotic choice for wall tile. Sourced from Indonesia these tiles are used from the by‐products of rays that have been harvested for food. Many shower enclosures look prefab and clunky but not this one! Besides the modern glass look this system offers bathers full control of their shower's temperature and volume from outside and inside. Perfect for both young and old a glowing LED light indicates water temperature and an alloy valve prevents sudden changes in temperature preventing a shocking surprise (or worse a scald). These gorgeous polished pyrite tiles can be mixed and matched with different sizes and colors. Subway tiles have been popular for a while but how about mirrored subway tiles for a fresh twist? If you want to create a bath fit for a queen be sure to include this unforgettable "Chrysanthemum" pattern complete with inlaid mother of pearl. If you crave sleek style in the bath turn to fashion designer Jason Wu. His new line for Brizo includes this understated glass shelf.
Bathtubs. There's nothing like a long luxurious bath. That luxury takes a lot of water – roughly 50 to 70 gallons per bath. Being water wise doesn't have to mean giving up your long soak. When remodeling or building look for smaller tubs with a capacity of less than 60 gallons. Also when you're just looking for a quick clean you'd be more water smart to jump in the shower where you'll use about half the water.
Magic mirrors and magic windows – in fact magic glass surfaces all over the house – will soon become commonplace thanks to breathtaking advancements in computers computer interfaces and of all things glass. It's all about the glass. The leading U.S. innovator in glass for consumer electronics Corning has developed a technology that enables it to manufacture flexible glass as if it were printing wallpaper. The flexible glass will be used as a computerized touch surface theoretically turning any surface – from refrigerator doors to countertops to entire walls – into smart‐touch displays that function like iPad devices. This glass will have the moisture permeability temperature tolerances and clarity of glass but the flexibility and low cost of plastic.
Stow extra toiletries and supplies under the sink or in bins or a nearby closet reducing visual clutter. Decant frequently used items into pretty containers or at least remove the unattractive outer packaging. Borrow accessories from elsewhere in your home. For instance cake stands dessert plates and teacups all make beautiful organizers. Use a fabric shower curtain not plastic. Remove the standard‐issue mirrored medicine cabinet in favor of a pretty mirror plus sconces.
Bathroom faucets. Getting a faucet with the WaterSense can reduce your sink's water flow by up to 30 percent. Doing so will save the average home 500 gallons of water annually. You can also add an aerator to bathroom taps. An aerator decreases water flow while maintaining or even increasing water pressure by mixing water with air. And regardless of how much water comes out of your tap don't forget to turn off the faucet while shaving or brushing teeth.