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".
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.
Urinals. Residential urinals can make your lavatory fun for boys while conserving water. Some manufacturers including Kohler offer waterless urinals for even greater water savings.
Do it for Mom. "The idea for this beautiful tub really came from my client Susan" says Colleen Mahoney of Mahoney Architects. "She wanted her master bathroom to include a freestanding tub where she could feel that she was getting away from all of the demands of her daily life – a place with a sense of sanctuary and quiet. The tall ceilings and suspended chandelier contribute to the sense of luxury. In a busy mom's life it's good to have a place to escape". Give your guests the best. "This bathroom is situated within a dormer gable on the top floor of a large house and it receives infrequent use" says Dennis Budd of Gast Architects. "When the bathroom door is open the room’s position adjacent the open central stair’s upper hall landing allows occupants to view the tub dormer windows and decorative full‐height tile wainscoting as they ascend to the roof level".
Bring in natural light. "A frameless shower gives the illusion of openness. The less metal the less you notice that a wall is dividing the space" says Alison Causer of Alison Causer Design. "In this master bath I really wanted the natural light to reach every corner of the room. Since we used dark natural stone on all four walls we really needed to keep the light moving around the room". Maximize the view. "This home has a sophisticated and subdued palette with walnut casework throughout" says Kerry Ellis of Benning Design Associates. "It also has stunning views which is why we decided to keep the master bath and shower so open".
Pack a powerful punch. "We needed something bold and unexpected to create interest in this tiny formerly drab powder room " says Jennifer Jones of Niche Interiors. "This graphic packed the perfect punch".
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.