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Luxury Details Important When Remodeling Bath

Consumers focused on details for the bathroom

Homeowners still looking for luxury out of the bathroom, experts say

 Jean Feingold, Contributing Editor, Housing Zone

"The bath may be considered the most private room in the home, a space most commonly used by only one person at a time. Even though it is usually a solo experience, research has found that consumers are concerned with every detail of their bathrooms.

One bedroom, one bath
En suite baths are really hot and “the new definition of luxury is a bathroom for every bedroom in the home,” says Gray Uhl, American Standard’s director of design. When remodeling, people are designing baths for specific users like grandma or guests instead of everyone in the house.
“If you are working within an existing floor plan, then size and scale of the bath matter,” he notes. Units like their Tropic wall hung lavatory and sink provide functionality in small spaces.
Multiple sinks remain popular in bathroom remodels, notes Angela Sheehan, Elkay’s director of marketing and production development, Residential Plumbing Products. They create a sense of balance while letting two people use the bathroom together.

Styles and colors changing somewhat
Uhl sees a slow move from traditional toward modern styling. This goes along with Sheehan’s recognition of new trends toward curvier and more sensual shapes.
“These signify a break from conformity and embody a free spirit with soft, rounded sinks, faucets, toilets and tubs replacing hard, straight-edged designs,” she notes.
A natural or organic feel remains prevalent in the bath, Sheehan points out, while the idea of utility-chic is gaining popularity. This is the practice of mixing wood and stainless steel and showcasing items like exposed lightbulbs and art. Wood tones in the bath have extended beyond vanities into teak tubs and sinks and fixtures like Webert’s Lotho which comes in chrome with a wood handle.
For sinks, toilets and tubs, white is the expected color, Uhl says, “because the range of materials and colors in the bathroom has exploded. You no longer define the color of a bathroom by the tub or the sink. Instead we see wood, metal and glass providing the hue and tone. In bath furniture for 2011 we are seeing the emergence of clean white surfaces or dark to black woods. This is a trend that has allowed previously traditional designs to skew modern.'"

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