But no matter what brand or type of toilet is specified, designers are seeing the trend toward concealing the toilet still going strong. "You're seeing them behind opaque or glass block knee walls in smaller baths, and in completely separate rooms in larger baths," says Pasqualucci.
As for bidets, these designers agree that, on the whole, they are receiving little or no requests for them. Most requests for bidets seem to come from those clients who have traveled to Europe extensively, or from those doing ultra-high-end master baths.
Another area that has taken center stage is the vanity, agree designers. Most often master bath vanities are custom-made, and either feature plenty of specific storage options or stand alone, providing some storage while other matching cabinetry offers more specialized storage options.
"I'm seeing a combination of storage, which really depends on the needs of the client," observes Asarnow.
"There's more custom storage for hair dryers and grooming products. I'm using tambour door units to hide shallow shelves," notes Eisenberg. She adds that she is getting more requests for a dressing table area in the master bath.
"We're creating more drawers to hold accessories. Depending on what the client's needs are, we are sometimes using two to three large drawers or four smaller drawers," notes Salerno.
"I do a lot of creative storage," explains Anderson. "For instance, in the 6" or 12" between the wall and sink, I will often install a pull-out for cosmetics and accessories that's similar to a pull-out found in a kitchen.
Or I will put a 1'-deep cabinet garage on a counter with a retractable or roll-up door to house hair dryers, water piks, etc., where they stay hidden and plugged in, ready for use."
Storage and function are also taking on greater meaning for vanities that inhabit family baths. In contrast, in powder rooms, where storage is not as much of a factor as design impact is, vanities showcase more unique looks, with vessel sinks and glass being the materials of choice to add visual punch to what tends to be a much smaller space.
Additionally, designers say that, in the master bath, his-and-her vanities whether together or separate have now become the norm. In fact, completely separate vanities are better, believes Eisenberg, "if you can do it in the space."
Some see the his-and-hers concept going even one step farther. "Completely separate vanities are really trendy now, and sometimes they are in completely separate bathrooms, each with their own toilets and bidets, etc." reports Davenport.
In terms of style for vanities, cabinetry and other storage pieces, the furniture look, which is marked by fluted columns, feet, legs and other moldings, is hot because it gives the bath a warmer, more decorative feel. This look is most often seen in traditional-style, Arts-and-Crafts-style or Old-World-style baths, but is also popping up more in retro-, transitional- and contemporary-style baths, say designers.
"I see it in contemporary baths," offers Pasqualucci. "I've done a couple of baths where I raised the vanity off the floor and applied tapered legs. This creates a more open style."
And, in his market, Beall sees more Neo-Deco-style vanities that interpret the Art Deco style of the 1920s and 1930s through the eyes of the 21st century.
More often than not, designers are also applying glazed or neutral painted finishes over a variety of different warm wood species ranging from the more standard cherry and maple to the more exotic woods such as English sycamore and Brazilian rosewood, depending on the market.
Designers are even noting a shift toward a higher countertop height that is most times 33", or even 36", depending on the height and needs of a particular client.
Topping those higher vanities most frequently are natural stones, such as granite, and engineered stone, say designers.
"We're doing a lot of granite, and also doing onyx on counters lit from below," remarks Beall.
"Many of my clients are choosing engineered stone for more contemporary baths because of the range of more vibrant colors that work better with the contemporary style," Pasqualucci indicates.