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".
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".
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.
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.
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".
Magic mirrors for bedroom and bathroom. While the world waits for the inevitable advancements in glass technology there's still much that's being accomplished with regular glass. Smart mirrors or interactive mirrors are the first application for smart glass technology because they don't need to be transparent. Using existing two‐way‐mirror technology smart mirrors can function in your home like regular mirrors but optionally display information right on the surface of the mirror. One of the better visions for what’s possible with a magic mirror was conceived by of all organizations The New York Times. Yes the Times has its own R&D lab which tries to figure out how people will get news and information in the future. Apparently they’ll get it in the bathroom according to its concept video. The interface for all this breathtaking home technology is just like the evil queen’s technology – magic glass plus voice command and artificial intelligence. The glass surfaces conjure up information and ideas video feeds and communication all appropriate to the context of the user's intent.
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.
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".