Create a wet room. "The bathroom was completely reconfigured and shuffled around" says Emily Mackie of Inspired Interiors. "The room has 14‐foot ceilings and there’s a huge skylight overhead". She explains that "the idea was really to place the soaking tub in an environment under the skylight and have it share the area with the shower instead of dedicating space to each of them. It made more sense to allow the shower water to hit the tub and be part of an integrated area".
Make peace with a loss of privacy. If you don't like to feel exposed – even when you're alone in the house – an open shower may not be for you. Even if you don't have a bare window wall such as the one in this bathroom you'll be on full view from the rest of the space. Consider a frosted or textured glass half‐wall as a compromise if modesty is an issue. Integrate the design with the rest of the space. Because there's no concrete border between an open shower and its surroundings choose materials that will create a smooth transition. The wall tile in this bath continues seamlessly into the shower with only a change in ceiling materials to provide a visual stopping point.
Glass mosaic tile "was used throughout the open air shower and the tub area" Mackie notes. "The MTI whirlpool tub has jetted features and remote controls while the shower has a Grohe fixture with an adjustable arm. There's also a heated towel bar". Go with stone. "I rarely use anything but freestanding tubs. I love them!" says Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors. "This one is from Turkey and is solid marble. The owners are from Louisiana and like darker colors and rich texture. We wanted to showcase the space and placing the tub in front of these windows was perfect – it really became the centerpiece".
Composting toilets. Composting toilets which use little or no water are ready for the mainstream with smart systems that can look like conventional toilets (save for missing the water tank). Manufacturers like Clivus Multrum and Sun‐Mar offer centralized systems that have remote tanks for the waste. The tanks can be sized so that minimal attention is required.
Between the porthole window (nicely echoed by the round mirror) and the starfish accents this space could only be coastal. This proves you don't have to pile on nautical accents to lend a breezy beachy feel. With mirrored sparkle suave lighting and overtones of glamour this bath radiates Hollywood Regency chic. Stripped back to the bare essentials this bath typifies minimalist decor. Where do you think they keep the toiletries? Warm white tones soft light and a sweetly skirted vanity seat? Feels romantic to me. All it needs is a vase of fresh flowers and a candle or two.
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".
Get the balance right. "This is a steam shower which is why the ceiling is sloped and tiled the glass goes all the way up to the ceiling and there's a hinged panel that can be cranked open" says Ines Hanl. "The shower has white Thassos marble on the walls and a black marble mosaic on the floor both of which are inspired by the color scheme in the rest of the bathroom– black and white marble mosaic for the floor and black‐stained cherry cabinetry". Contrast modern and rustic. "This bathroom was part of a renovation in what was originally an old stone gatehouse" says Kelly Solon of Murdock Solon Architects. "We were trying to insert a clean modern design into a very rustic and visually heavy environment. The frameless enclosure provide a light and airy feel as well as a contrast to the other materials in the space".
I’ve always wanted a freestanding bathtub. I'm not really sure why. There's just something so appealing about all the different sizes and shapes and how they sit so independently in a room and seem to virtually say "Look at me". And now these designers have given me 16 more reasons why I need to get one. Take advantage of the view. "I must admit that the homeowners drove the decisions for these tubs" says James Crisp of Crisp Architects (see next photo also). "The real inspiration is the view. If a master bath has a separate shower and room for a freestanding tub strategically positioned to enjoy a great view the big question is why not?" This tub is from Waterworks.
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