Celebrate luxury. "My inspiration for this bathroom was modern elegance" says Jamie Herzlinger of Jamie Herzlinger Interior Design. "Modern can sometimes get very cold but freestanding tubs celebrate luxury and sensuality. So I personally always feel that if you have the time to enjoy a bath whether alone or with someone else it’s an occasion that needs to be celebrated. Nothing beats taking a bath in a freestanding tub for a sensual experience". Try this in a smaller bathroom. "Freestanding tubs or claw‐foots for that matter have an essence about them" says Sophia Cok of Design Associates. "They have the ability to turn bathing into a luxurious experience".
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.
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.
Be inspired by your travels. "The perfect way to incorporate my client’s love of his Hawaiian travels into his traditional Craftsman bungalow master bath was to create a spalike focal point with this freestanding nickel‐lined copper tub" says Emily Gibson of Gibson Gimpel Interior Design. "Although the style is completely different from the Polynesian bungalows he enjoys on his vacations the tub evokes the unique and relaxing atmosphere of the luxury hotel that he experiences every day in his Dallas home". Take an artistic approach. "I think to really make a freestanding tub work you need space which is often not available in a standard bathroom says Jim Zack of Zack/deVito Architecture + Construction. "These clients were very hands on and selected this tub themselves but we were also thinking about the other materials in the bathroom. The sculptural quality of the stone and the craftsmanship of the stonework is amazing and this tub has a very sculptural quality to it which is enhanced by placing it on a plinth".
Want to let in more light? Try adhesive window films for more sun without sacrificing privacy. Replace the standard ceiling fixture with a classic drum pendant light on a dimmer switch. Add a piece of real furniture. An armchair (if you have the room) or a small gleaming wood or marble table is a good choice for the classic bath. Amp up the exotic touches and pay attention to the sensory experience to create a spalike ambience in your own bathroom. Put your overhead light on a dimmer. Everything looks better in soft light. Choose a few beautiful hand‐painted tiles and prop them up on your sink backsplash or hang them on the wall as art. Splurge on nice towels. I suggest supersoft and luxuriously big bath sheets as well as fringed and knotted hammam‐style towels to hang by the sink.
Toilet: Bidet retrofit. Toto's Washlet and similar products allow conventional toilets to act as both toilet and bidet with the easy addition of a new seat. The seat has an integrated water nozzle that functions as a bidet.
Dual‐flush toilets. Toilets consume far more water than any other indoor fixture accounting for 30 percent of most homes' indoor water use. Dual‐flush toilets increasingly common in homes are an easy way to cut water use without compromising effectiveness. A dual‐flush toilet differs from standard models with two flush options: one for liquid waste which uses less than a gallon of water and a second for solid waste.
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.