Welcome to Bathroom 2.0

How to elevate the most sacred room in your home

By The Editors

How to Elevate the Most Sacred Room in Your Home
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17 February 2016

Here’s an opinion that’s uncomfortable but probably true:

At least half of you are reading this from the bathroom right now.

It’s cool. We get it. We all do it. The bathroom is a sanctuary. The one room in the house where you get to be alone.

“Ceremonial” is the word architect David Montalba, of Montalba Architects, likes to use.

“Most rooms in a home are social,” says Montalba. “Bathrooms have an inherent spirituality — a weird word to use, but it’s the right word. You’re alone. You’re focusing on yourself. And you’re relaxing in there. So we like to transfer that to designing the space.”

We asked David and Jack Ovadia, of the Ovadia Design Group, about some of the big trends they’re seeing in master bathroom designs. Here’s what to keep in mind if you’re buying or planning a redesign.

1. Gotta Keep ‘Em Separated


Says Montalba: “Masters of the ‘50s were very separate. Separation is still key, but now bathrooms are bigger, with separate bathing or toilets and a shared area. We’re also seeing a lot of natural light, and indoor/outdoor showers or (indoor) showers that feel like they’re outside, even in colder climates like Jackson Hole and New York City.”

Ovadia is of the same mind. “We’re seeing a lot of separate vanities, trough sinks and integrated units, like counter-sink combos (pictured) and built-in hampers.”

2. The Bathroom, 2.0

Lots of tech is finding its way into the bathroom. Both architects are seeing a glut of heated floors along with newer trends like mirrors with built in lights for better grooming light or TVs set behind the glass.

“You spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and we need to stay connected,” says Montalba.

Body sprays, steam showers and showerheads that can be preset to reach a desired temp before you enter are all top sellers these days as well. But the biggest trend in bathroom tech: the toilet. Everyone wants a Toto Toilet. Says Ovadia: “They have one, the Toto Neorest, that opens and closes and flushes for you.”

3. Are You Finished?

“Waterjet patterns are in right now,” according to Ovadia. Waterjetting is a method of finishing that brings out different patterns in a single material — say marble or stone.

Gold is another trend in surfacing. Rose. Champagne. All hot. And so is porcelain, which is durable, slip-resistant and can be made to look like glass.

4. Know Thyself

When considering an upgrade or building a new place, give careful consideration to how you and your spouse use the master bathroom.

“(Knowing the) flow and sequence of routines makes for better design,” says Montalba. “Is one of you an early riser? Is acoustic privacy important? Do you want to see each other shower? Do you shower together? Who is the OCD person in the marriage? Each marriage has one. These are important questions.”

Have a think on it, Rodin-style.

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