During uncertain times, a sense of peace and control becomes essential. And this desire to manage one’s environment and replace chaos with serenity is having a huge impact on home design, particularly in the master bath.
As the one place in the home that’s designed specifically as a private retreat, today’s master baths must give homeowners a sense of peace, a place to rejuvenate and a sense of regaining control over their stressful lives.
Jeani Lee, CKD, CBD, CAPS, with Ames, IA-based Kitchen, Bath & More, explains: “We all have entirely too much stress and uncertainty in our lives today, and as designers, we owe it to our clients to create environments tailored to their renewal, relaxation, regeneration and safety. All of the details in a master bath are what make these spaces comfortable and supportive to [our] lives, and [when we do it right, we] also help to make their lives less stressed, disorganized and anxious.”
For this reason, there is a noticeable emphasis on healthy products in the bath, as well as design solutions that address homeowners’ physical and emotional well-being. This can be seen in products that promote hydrotherapy, mood-enhancing lighting, noise control features, improved air quality, personalized temperature settings, tactile surfaces and soothing extras like chromatherapy and piped in music capabilities.
Indeed, master baths that engage all of the senses while promoting greater health and well-being resonate on all levels with clients, Lee explains.
The sustainable trend is also impacting bath design, both because it ties into the soothing, nature-inspired environments consumers want, and because of the growing interest in energy and water conservation.
According to Cheryl Hamilton-Gray, president and senior designer for Carlsbad, CA-based Hamilton-Gray Design, “We are using more sustainable products as well as products that are extremely efficient in their use, such as [products that] track electric consumption, water consumption and the cost of the use of the amenity or fixture.”
Sandee Daye, CMKBD, senior designer and manager for Howard’s Kitchen Studio in Loveland, OH, also believes that energy conservation is a growing trend in the bath. “In the future, I believe we will see more faucetry and lighting that is triggered by motion to help conserve energy,” she predicts.
While the desire for a stress-free bath environment remains universal, style trends are far more disparate. And, because the bath is such a personal space, designers say that prevailing style trends are usually less of a deciding factor than what consumers are comfortable with.
As Hamilton-Gray notes: “Contemporary has made a comeback, but I have never seen a traditionally minded client [switch to] contemporary, as it does not suit their taste or comfort level.”
When designing a contemporary master bath space, she notes that she often uses engineered stone in solid colors or simulating limestone, and marble in slab form with oversized simple edges.
She adds: “Traditional remodels also use natural slab materials, such as limestone, sandstone and soapstone, typically with honed finishes and decorative edge treatments. Rarely is polished granite used nowadays.”
Vanities for contemporary designs tend to be sleek and streamlined, Hamilton-Gray notes, adding, “They are also frequently wall mounted.”
She adds: “The option of pedestal basins is always attractive for styling, but [we typically only go this route] after discussing in detail with the client that storage will be eliminated, and then a vanity style supported with storage is usually planned.”
Vanities and stand-alone decorative storage pieces with furniture styling remain a trend for traditional baths, though the details are more scaled down compared to years past, with cleaner lines and less ornate detailing. Instead, the focus is on rich textures, warm woods and a sense of comfort, she notes.