Throughout history, the importance of treating oneself to a luxurious bath is a recurring theme. Beyond the fundamental need for hygiene, people have long been drawn to the restorative effects of relaxation and pampering. There are cities that owe their very founding and name to their strategic location near thermal springs and natural features that create the perfect spa environments. Last spring I visited Bath, England, which is home to an elaborate system of baths and spas designed and used initially by the Romans during their heyday. I found many interesting comparisons to our modern iterations of personal bath retreats.
Your master bathroom is the most intimate of spaces in your home. The essence of experience should be one of sanctuary… a private retreat from the world. The bathroom design should safely support the many functional needs while providing a relaxing environment. It is more specifically an extension of your master bedroom, a personal enclave which reflects your taste and style while blending seamlessly with the décor of your home.
Are you considering renovating your bathroom? The choices for fixtures, materials and features can be confusing and daunting. As a starting place, I suggest creating a wish list and gathering favorite images from websites and magazines for ideas. Establishing a budget and a commitment to work within it helps to set limits and guides design choices. Keep it simple by setting project priorities.
Although not always possible for meeting specific objectives, the most cost-effective approach is to reuse the locations of existing fixtures resulting in a minimum amount of plumbing and electrical modifications. This will expedite the work and reduce disruption and is in essence a more cosmetic project rather than major construction. That said, replacing tile and fixtures is no small expense or task. In rooms where space is at a premium, some of my clients are opting to remove the bathtub altogether and install a generously proportioned shower. The installation of dual bathing areas is a nice option for a larger shower and may include rain heads, shower systems with multiple body sprays, and adjustable or handheld faucets. Steam shower systems are gaining popularity and provide many health benefits.
If plenty of space is available, I frequently suggest the plan include a whirlpool or tub even if it will be used infrequently. The energy of the bathroom is transformed into the spa-like ambience almost instantly by its very presence. For jetted spas, air-driven systems are a great hygienic option. A good budget compromise is to install a soaking tub rather than a jetted spa while spending the savings on special features for the more frequently used shower. An elegant choice if suitable to the room layout is the inclusion of a sculptural freestanding tub that can become the centerpiece of the room. Aromatherapy and chroma therapy are additional options for the ultimate spa experience. Want to plug in your iPod, watch TV, or bask in the glow of a warming fireplace while bathing? No problem!
Post 2 continues with more on bathrooms…