Words By Michele Lerner, The Washington Post
Technology has improved one of the most basic fixtures in the house, your toilet. New models have built-in bidets, cleaning functions and night-lights for safety.
Consumers can replace their entire toilet and plumbing or choose to retrofit their existing toilet with an LED night light, an automated sensor to open and close the lid, and a cleanser that iodises the bowl to reduce the need for cleaning, said, Elle H-Millard, industry relations manager for the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA).
You can even buy toilets with seat warmers, plus some with adjustable heights, said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist with Houzz, an online platform for home decorating and remodelling.
According to H-Millard, Barn doors have been part of the rustic and industrial-chic design style for a few years, sometimes as a closet door or a decorative element in homes. Now they’ve become a highly functional element of bathroom designs.
Big master bathrooms with yards of floor space, a soaking tub or whirlpool tub set on a platform, separate vanities and a separate shower have faded in popularity in favour of larger showers. The majority of homeowners surveyed by Houzz plan to remodel to expand their shower to make room for multiple sprays, Sitchinava said.
But in master bathrooms with enough space, large bathtubs are making a comeback. This time, they are free-standing tubs, often in sculptural shapes. The National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends study found that 87 percent of designers said that free-standing tubs are trendy.
Even though most homeowners stick to a grey-and-white colour scheme in the master bathroom, there’s plenty of space for creativity.
‘There are so many tile options, including porcelain, natural stone and ceramic tile, so we’re seeing a lot of people mix and match the size of the stones or tiles,’ Sitchinava said. ‘Some people are using large slabs of stone or tile for the flooring and walls, and using a variety of tiles in the shower. Even if they are using all white tiles, they can add interest with different textures.’
‘In addition to the high-tech toilets, ‘smart mirrors’ and other tech features are increasingly used in bathrooms, Sitchinava said, including mood lighting and music in the shower.
‘You can talk to yourself, or really to Google Home or Alexa, to do things like adjust the lighting when you’re shaving or putting on makeup,’ H-Millard said. ‘This is a convenience that’s available for everyone, not just for high-end, luxury households.’
Featured Image: Courtesy of DXV.