Adding to the sense of luxury, comfort and a spa-like environment are designer touches of detail including accent colored walls, distinctive mixtures of tiles or unique sink bowls.
"The bathroom is the jewel of the home," says interior designer Lita Dirks, president of Lita Dirks & Co., Englewood, Colo. "The powder room is the diamond ring of the home, and the master bathroom is right behind it."Bathroom Hype
While all bathrooms in the house are getting special attention, the master bathroom utilizes all four elements the most completely. "The master bathrooms are spa-like in feel," says Dirks.
Separate vanities, not just separate sinks, are increasingly popular. This provides distinct areas for men and women in the bathroom, allowing each his or her exclusive comfort and space. "In her space, she wants a tub to soak in and separate vanity space," says Dirks. "He may want the higher sink height and the john."
Some builders provide 36-inch vanity height, which is more comfortable for the average man. "It's all about being really efficient," says Tina Barclay, president of Barclay Interior, Lake Oswego, Ore. "They live differently and it gives them their own separate space."
Luxury is not just a vanity. It's customized cabinetry. Furniture-style cabinetry creates distinguishing vanities as well as space for storing bathroom essentials, while giving the bathroom that sense of comfort. Many builders match bathroom cabinetry to the cabinetry in rest of the home, but a distinct style can create a unique look for the bathroom alone. "The entire wall can become cabinetry," says Dirks. "Many builders are using cabinetry to distinguish their difference from another builder."
The master bathroom still holds a standard tub or hot tub. The hip version of the hot tub is Chromatherapy, which is a hot tub with colorful lighting used to sooth and relax. Home buyers are also occasionally requesting Japanese soaking tubs as upgrades.
The most significant change in bathrooms recently is the shower now dominates the space. Walk-in showers with glass block walls. Shower stalls with clear glass doors. Snail showers with tile-covered walls. No matter the style, many feature built-in shelving for shampoo and soap, decorative grab bars for safety and patterned non-slip floors. Other added details for luxury and comfort include multiple showerheads, body sprays and water tiles to line the walls and ceiling.
The master bathroom still features a private area for the toilet. Some provide privacy with a single door, while others define the space with half walls. Some toilet spaces even provide extra cabinetry for storage of toiletries, towels or other necessities.Maximum Detailing
Upgrades allow for personalization. "There's more flexibility for builders in upgrades," says Doris Pearlman, president of Possibilities for Design in Denver. That flexibility makes it easier for builders to deliver unique details. No matter the product, each offers ways to deliver personalization:
Builders can add almost anything to the bathroom to provide personalized and unique details. It's just a matter of having the options available to the customer. Allowing them to add luxury, a spa-like feel and comfort to the bathroom gives the customer what they want and helps the builder differentiate his product.