When designers were asked about current trends in master bath remodeling, a few similarities surfaced. Multiple designers referenced the increased use of porcelain tiles, LED lighting and chrome finishes. The incorporation of laundry rooms as well as coffee/juice bars was also noted as a few trends that make life easier for today’s busy homeowners. But the underlying theme is about homeowners making more choices that are highly personal, creating spaces unique to their needs and wants.
“Our clients are still concerned about resale value, and they want their homes to be saleable in the future,” says Lori Jo Krengel, CMKBD, NCIDQ-certified, Kitchens By Krengel, in St. Paul, MN. “But they are looking more at what they want rather than what the next owner might be looking for. They are making a commitment to a home that is now probably going to be a longer investment than it would have been in previous years.”
This month, KBDN speaks with four bath designers who provide insight into how homeowners’ personal preferences are being implemented in their master bath designs.
Looking for Privacy
Krengel indicates that the economy is having a lasting effect on clients, who as such are making a stronger commitment to personal choices and decisions.
She notes that clients are looking to expand, when possible, grabbing square footage from adjacent rooms such as a closet or even master bedroom to create their personal oases. Often, those spaces will include his/her areas with separate sinks and, sometimes, even separate toilets. “We’re seeing this accomplished with a center column/tower, shower, back-to-back vanities or storage areas – anything that divides the space yet can be accessed from both separate sides,” she notes. “Clients are looking at suites and ensuites that will give them privacy.”
She reports that homeowners also still have a desire to be green when it makes sense. “They want to make green choices if they don’t impact the bottom line in a huge way,” she says. “Having said that, we’re seeing a greater demand for low-flow toilets and on-demand water heaters. It takes a lot of energy to keep water hot and on demand, so our clients are looking at what they can do to be a little bit ‘greener.’”
In that effort, Krengel sees an increase in demand for recycling. “We go through as many products in the bathroom as we do in the kitchen,” she says. “While we often see a pull-out trash container in the kitchen, now we’re including recycling in bathrooms that have enough space.”
In an effort to shave time off the morning routine, Krengel will sometimes add a coffee/juice bar to a master bath. “Our clients are looking for a place to make their morning coffee and store their juices and protein shakes within their master bathroom rather than the kitchen,” she says. “And, with the graying of America, clients need a place to store their medicines. We will sometimes include an undercounter refrigerator to accommodate these needs.”
For increased convenience, this designer also sees more clients adding a washer/dryer with a bit of storage to the master suite. “If clients have the space, they want to include them at the point of use,” she notes.
Low-maintenance Bath spaces
For Kevin Briggs, CMKBD, CAPS, CGR, CGP, KB Design, in Reading, MA, it’s all about large showers in low-maintenance spaces, with aging-in-place features becoming more prevalent amongst Baby Boomers who are looking to prepare their homes for long-term use with products such as grab bars and higher-level toilets.
“Larger showers with more than one showerhead are popular,” he notes. Briggs adds that enclosing them with glass keeps the bathroom open and bright.
Within these showers, his clients are opting for recessed niches for toiletries and linear drains. These provide a two-fold benefit – first, opening up new design possibilities by allowing for the use of larger-format tiles and, second, providing a chance for a curbless or zero threshold shower.