Continued from Ah, A Home Spa!
If you plan to include a bathing tub, designing space for a freestanding unit rather than a built-in is an intriguing option. Many of these bath designs are sculptural works of art in themselves. Floor-mounted faucets, although sometimes expensive, make an attractive pairing with the bathtub. If your preference is a jetted tub, air-driven pumps offer gentle effervescent bubbles for a calm, meditative feeling. They also offer a higher level of sanitation and lower maintenance. For a grand effect, consider hanging a small-scale chandelier above a beautiful bath. Confirm building code requirements for mounting heights.
Sink options are recessed, semi-recessed, and artistic vessels and bowls of glass, stone, and porcelain materials. For a unique installation, consider wall-mounted rather than counter-attached faucets. New hardware finishes such as black and chocolate brown offer some fresh color options. I frequently suggest including one of my personal favorite items: a hand-held showerhead installed on a glide bar. This arrangement is great for changing the height of the showerhead in seconds, and also allows lifting the head off its mounting for rinsing, bathing the dog, and is a real convenience on cleaning day.
DETAILS THAT SHINE
Color and materials in bathrooms can vary from a simple monochromatic palette to the bold, high contrast, deep, and dramatic. Lighting and fixture selection always play a major part in safety and function. Lighting should also be designed in layers so that a specific ambiance or mood may be created for different functions and times of day.
Floor and wall tile are the most significant material selections because they are the most permanent. Tile and stone offerings have made important shifts in recent years, with trends toward smaller, tiny tiles and, conversely, large-scale tile. Natural stone and textured porcelain tiles with finishes that mimic natural stone are great options for floors and counter surfaces, although you should consider maintenance when choosing natural stone. Border, medallion, and accent tile choices are endless.
There is no other place in your home where a serious accident is more likely than in the bathroom. Planning to reduce potential hazards is paramount. Choices in finishes, hardware, lighting, and plumbing fixtures all affect safety. Along with building in safety considerations, incorporating elements of universal design enhances the future usability of the space. Surprisingly, universal design can actually enhance the aesthetics of a space rather than detract. Consider a shower with a curbless entry and no glass enclosure, a sleek solution disguising ease of access and use.
What’s your definition of pampering? Could you fancy heated floors, towel bars, and toilet seats?! How about an in-mirror flat screen TV, installed so that it is only visible only when it is turned on?
For the ultimate experience consider inclusion of aromatherapy, chromatherapy (i.e., light and color therapy), a comforting fireplace, on-demand hot water, and of course your favorite music. How about room for a private massage? Your spa bathroom is the most intimate and personal space in your home, so enjoy the most relaxing, nurturing, and pleasant environment possible.
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