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.
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.
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.
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".
Go for an elegant look. "The inspiration for this bathroom was elegant glamour" says Jamie Herzlinger of Jamie Herzlinger Design. "The easiest way to get elegance into your bathroom is by using a frameless shower because it keeps the look clean and sleek". Embrace minimalism. "We were looking to have the colors of the limestone tile bounce light around the room and to use few if any noticeable details in keeping with our firm's philosophy of embracing minimalism" says David Webber of Webber + Studio Architects. Infuse a sense of calm. "I was inspired by the tranquil river and landscape surrounding this home to create a peaceful sanctuary that brought the outdoors in" says Justine Sterling of Justine Sterling Design. "The frameless shower design was key in creating transparency openness and a sense of calm". Invite nature to be your guest. "This master bath is in a summer home on a lake and the back of the house faces the woods" says Nora Schneider of Nora Schneider Interior Design. "The shower faces an entire wall of windows overlooking the woods and I wanted to invite nature in as an evergreen guest".
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.
Divide and conquer. "Given that the design for this bathroom placed the shower in the center of the room with the vanities on either side a frameless glass enclosure was the best way to keep the space open and airy" says Shelly Amoroso of Amoroso Design. "I understand the need for a couple to have separate vanities but hey you would miss a lot of funny banter and together time if you couldn't see each other". Turn toward the light. "I changed the layout of this bathroom quite a bit by turning the shower area 90 degrees from its position on the long wall to sitting under the window" says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design. "This had a massive impact on the visual aspect of the space. All of a sudden a rather dark train‐compartment‐like room became somewhat grand in appearance and we didn't even need to enlarge the window. And the gray stone is balanced with lots of openess and light".