It’s the first room you enter when you wake up in the morning, and the last one you visit before you turn in for the night. A great bathroom should awaken your senses in the morning and offer a relaxing refuge after a long day. The average person spends 813.3 days in the bathroom over their lifetime. With all that time spent in one room, doesn’t it make sense to make it the most comfortable and luxurious one in the house?
To help you outfit your own home spa, we’ve made a list of the 5 most-requested bathroom upgrades in the homes we’ve built over the last year.
Soak It All In
Soaking tubs are making a strong showing in new construction. What’s all the fuss about? For one thing, freestanding soaking tubs are deeper than conventional tubs that can literally leave you cold. While the average home bathtub holds between 40-80 gallons of water, some soaking tubs can hold more than 100. Soaking bathtubs are versatile, too.
Although it’s most common to see sleek, oval-shaped soaking tubs in white acrylic, rectangular models in different colors and even cast iron are available, and just as attractive. Since they’re not dependent on a surround or in-wall plumbing to function properly, a soaking tub can be placed anywhere in a bathroom - including in front of a large picture window, for maximum nature viewing potential.
Shower Yourself with Love
Is there anything better than a refreshing shower to help you wake up on a cold morning? Or a cold-water shower after a long, hot workout? The latest trends in showers favor walk-in showers with and without glass enclosures, as well as free-standing shower walls that embrace an open concept. Entire shower rooms are popping up in many homes, with tiled walls and floors with drains in the middle. A shower that doubles as a steam room is also convenient - especially when there’s enough room for more than one person to share the benefits.
Shower rooms and “curbless” showers also make life easier for people with injuries or mobility issues, and leave space for benches or other types of seating. Rainwater shower heads and multiple nozzles that shoot water at different angles are also easier to use in a larger shower space.
You’re So Vain
From round, framed mirrors to rectangular mirrors trimmed with the same finishes as the faucets and hardware, today’s bathroom mirrors are individualized and stylish. Mirrors with backlighting or sidelights are natural selfie enhancers, and are particularly flattering on nearly every face.
Vanities are changing, too; free-standing cabinets with custom bowls and fixtures are replacing standard base cabinets with sinks. One home we built recently incorporated a stone bowl as a sink in the guest bathroom to bring in more natural elements to the home. Some clients are opting for open cabinets that display bathroom textiles or provide extra space for decor elements like plants, candles, or decorative storage containers.
Beyond Boring Walls
Believe it or not, wallpaper is making a comeback, both in living rooms and bathing spaces. An accent wall with a tropical or greenery-inspired design can add a surprising element to a bathroom with muted paint colors. If you’re not ready to make a full commitment to wallpaper, consider a painted accent wall in a shade different from the other walls.
Whether as an accent wall or the makeup of all the walls in the bathroom, materials and patterns typically reserved for living or dining rooms are finding their way into bathrooms. Full- and half-shiplap walls are trending and add a nautical touch to the room. Classic materials like stacked stone make you feel like you’re bathing in the outdoors, while tiled and marble walls feel ultra-modern and clean.
Make a Statement with Lighting
Another advantage of a soaking tub is that it opens up more room for “statement” or dramatic lighting in the bathroom. A hanging chandelier over a freestanding tub is a dramatic and trendy look, and the same goes for pendant lighting over vanities, as opposed to standard bar lights or vanity globes. Dimmable lighting adds a romantic glow to any room - but especially in a room that is suited for relaxation. Bring the outdoors in with natural light from oversized windows and skylights to let in the sun - or to stare at the stars while you bathe in their glow.