Spa Space at Home
The Ultimate Upgrades For The Master Bath
By Elizabeth Anthony
Your home’s bathroom is likely a sanctuary in your home — far more than just a toilet, sink, shower and/or tub. You may soak away your worries in the tub, perhaps by candlelight or with soft music playing in the background. Maybe you steam away your stress in the shower where the water temperature is pre-programmed to perfectly suit you. When you step out, your feet touch a naturally warm surface. Your vanity sink dispenses water without splashing while beautifully crafted cabinets contain your appliances, which are already conveniently plugged in. You’ve thought of everything you need to create your very own spa-like experience at home — or have you?
So what’s happening above and beyond the norm in bathrooms of the future? Zen-like, opulent designs are fusing with a contemporary aesthetic and high technology. Homeowners want modern, luxurious designs with uninterrupted sight lines, but they don’t want their bathroom to feel cold or calculated. Master baths are becoming spa-like retreats with upgrades that help homeowners look and feel their best.
David Kohler, president and COO of Kohler Company says, “The bathroom of the future will be enabled by advanced electronics, but not just for the sake of technology. It’s about creating new experiences and having intuitive control and convenience while conserving water. In many ways, the technology is already here.”
So how does your master spa measure up? Need some fresh ideas? Start by selecting the features you really want.
Electronics like remote-controlled TV, stereo or windows that work at the touch of a button make bath time more fun.
- MTI brings music to a bather’s ears with its Stereo H2O — a built-in stereo system. Controlled from a remote amplifier that can be placed inside a cabinet and connected to CD or MP3 players, the sound is broadcast through the tub walls, with no visual speakers.
- Also available from MTI are radiant heating pads that can also be built-in; so what looks like a simple tub is actually a spa-like escape.
- Robern’s TViD mirrored bath cabinet has an 8-inch LCD television incorporated in the door.
- Faucets at home are becoming increasingly user-friendly and efficient. Sensor-operated faucets have been around awhile in the hospitality industry, and nowadays they’re making their way into homes as well.
- Toilets, such as the Numi (Kohler’s most advanced), combine design, technology and engineering to offer the latest in personal comfort and cleansing. From striking contemporary form and features to water efficiency, toilets bring a new standard of excellence to the bathroom. The Numi features such lavishness as a motion-activated cover and seat, advanced bidet functionality, integrated air dryer, deodorizer, heated seat, foot warmer, chromotherapy and even music.
- Aromatherapy – Essential oils are diffused in the air for a relaxing or energizing effect. Kohler clients enjoy a unique, instantaneous diffuser system, which spread essential oils into the air by nebulization.
To be completely on-trend with bath spa technology, two must-haves are hydrotherapy and chromatherapy.
Hydrotherapy tubs include three key components: heat, buoyancy, and massage. Heat speeds up the removal of lactic acid from sore muscles. Muscles heated in warm bath water are less fatigued and recover faster. Buoyancy is an upward force exerted by a liquid, gas or other fluid that opposes the weight of an immersed object. Buoyancy in your tub relieves pressure on the body, tissues and muscles. Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process and promote overall relaxation and well-being.
According to Jacuzzi, a long-time industry leader, hydrotherapy can be used to treat stress in the mind and body, specifically treating ailments like arthritis, restless leg syndrome and insomnia, not to mention daily stress. Several options offering hydrotherapy are available to consumers. Jacuzzi options include the legendary Whirlpool, delivering a therapeutic, invigorating massage. Also available is the Pure Air Bath with gentle, embracing massage of warm air bubbles. Or consider Salon Spa, which utilizes both powerful jets and soothing air bubbles, providing the ultimate experience of both the Whirlpool and Pure Air bath.
Chromatherapy (colorology or color therapy) in the bath or shower uses multi-color light systems which can influence the condition of our emotions, balance our bodies’ energies and restore overall health. Wherever the body is lacking energy balance, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, or mentally, chromotherapy offers a healing color treatment.
Kohler offers Chromatherapy Wellbeing, designed to allow you to relax in your bathing ritual awash in colors. Using the soothing qualities of color, chromatherapy features an eight-color sequence that lasts approximately one minute, then repeats, or you can isolate an individual color to suit your mood. Each color is believed to have a unique effect on the bather. Warm colors tend to stimulate and encourage a sense of alertness, whereas cool colors seem to deliver a calming effect. To best enjoy the chromatherapy experience, bathers are encouraged to turn off bathroom lights and let the colors flow through the body and mind.
Tthe design of bathroom spaces is evolving along with technology. Among the upgrades are the finishes, floors and the use of space.
Judd Lord, director of industrial design at Delta Faucet Company says, “We’re seeing clean, minimalist design dressed in warmer, traditional finishes such as shades of bronze. There is a move to eliminate hardware, with hidden, built-in handles for a cleaner look. In the future, bathroom layouts will include more zones, such as dry or wet areas. There will be more individual spaces — dedicated dressing and makeup areas and water closets.”
Some are choosing to bundle the shower and tub in a “room” by placing the freestanding tub in the center of the shower zone, explains Brian Johnson, principal, Collaborative Design Architects in Billings, Mont. The room’s dimensions can be 6 x 8 or 6 x 9 feet. “The tub floats in that shower space and it looks very sculptural,” Johnson says of the completely tiled area within the master bath.
When selecting your bathroom spa floor, consider durability and water resistance as well as looks. Caesarstone, the leading manufacturer of premium quartz surfaces, introduced Calacatta Nuvo, a new natural look stone inspired by Calacatta. This modern day masterpiece, which displays cascading veins and a unique texture, will expand Caesarstone’s existing marble-inspired series that is currently part of the Classico collection.
“We are keeping our promise to our customers to deliver the most advanced color solutions,” said Sagi Cohen, CEO of Caesarstone US. “Caesarstone continues to stretch the boundaries of innovation while maintaining the highest quality
Finally, nothing says luxury like stepping on to a warm tile floor. Cold toes are the last thing you want when enjoying your master bath, which is why radiant flooring is considered a must-have for 2015. Electric radiant heat is typically installed under tile flooring and is regulated with a temperature gauge – an effective way to add luxurious warmth to the entire master bath suite.
Spa Space at Home