Bidets. The U.S. is known for a love of being uberclean so it's surprising that we haven't embraced bidets as they offer a cleanliness we can't get with toilet paper. Beyond cleanliness bidets save water because making toilet paper is an incredibly water‐intensive process. And some bidet users increase their shower intervals saving more water still.
Add a half‐wall to protect against splashes. Ideally an open shower requires at least a 6‐foot buffer zone on every side to avoid flooding the rest of the bath with water. But a half‐wall such as the one that divides this shower from the vanity can help to contain droplets. Consider a corner location if possible. Orient the shower in a corner that faces away from the other bathroom zones. Not only does this guard against spraying water but it also preserves some measure of privacy (more on that in a minute).
Show off your tilework. "We like to use frameless shower doors for a couple of reasons" says Mariette Barsoum of Divine Kitchens. "With a frameless door there's no visual separation which make the space larger. Plus unlike framed doors they don't hide the beautiful tilework in the shower. Frameless doors also sport a cleaner more modern look – and we like that". Make a small room feel larger. "I was inspired by the framework of this house and its secluded and forestlike surroundings" says Kimberly Arnold Fletcher of Spectrum Design Group. "My goal was to create an open feel and bring the outside into the master bathroom. The frameless door allowed me to not only provide a transparent look that mirrors the windows added to the space but it also made a very small room feel larger and more spacious".
Be well read. "My client had seen a wallpaper at a hotel with a book pattern that she loved " says designer Angela Gutekunst. "So that led me to this classic Brunschwig & Fils paper for her powder bath that worked beautifully".
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.
Use fancy little trays to collect and curate your bath items; place a few bath oils and soaps on one a cluster of votive candles on another. Potted plants are a wonderful way to add mystery and depth. Try ferns orchids or a palm. Mood lighting is key for the spa escape look so look beyond the standard choices for interesting light fixtures. I adore Moroccan hanging lanterns; hung alone or in a cluster they add a big punch of style and cast an amazing glow. Cultivate the feel of a five‐star European hotel with rich materials glossy finishes and a tightly edited black and white palette. Search vintage shops for a small glass‐front cabinet to use for towel storage. Paint it in the glossiest darkest black you can find then fill it with fluffy white towels.
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".
Soak in the sunset. For this bathroom Crisp chose a vintage black claw‐foot tub. "Who wouldn't want to relax in a hot bath while gazing into the sunset across the rolling hills?" he asks. Highlight the positive. "Prior to its remodel this master bathroom had a built‐in vanity and tub surround that started at the entry door by the sinks and was carried all the way around to the shower" says Susan Brown of Susan E. Brown Interior Design. "By using a freestanding bathtub and separate vanities I knew the space would be opened up yet still feel cohesive with the integration of similar colors and finishes". She adds that "having negative space surrounding the tub gives more emphasis to it as the pièce de résistance of the room. I continued to emphasize that aspect with hidden accent lighting that shines through the onyx tub deck and down onto the iridescent turquoise glass tiles creating an 'incredible soft glow ' as my client put it".