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Adorning Your Bathroom

Photo courtesy Fry CommunicationsBathroom art, like these gorgeous shower doors, help to personalize your bath.
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Today’s bathrooms have become one of the last vestiges of privacy we multi-connected, fast-paced Americans have allowed for ourselves. Besides being a place for solitude, bathrooms have also become a destination for our personal indulgences. We can create our own bath environment-a peaceful European spa or a lively room splashed with color-depending on our personality, our desires and our budget.

What would your dream bath look like? Mine-first and foremost-would be just for me, no sharing! It would have thick, plush carpeting underfoot, a deep shampoo sink, adult height counters, a flattering light source for personal grooming, and a luxurious soaking tub.

What would yours look like?



There are plenty of new and delightful bathroom products readily available to help us to transform that old, tired space into the bathroom of our dreams. These products have the ability to create that special ambiance we desire, and provide all the personal pampering we can imagine. Bath suites should be beautifully appointed, reflective of our personalities, and be warm, comfortable centers for relaxation.

What could be more indulgent than wrapping up in a thick heated towel after a long, luxurious soak or an invigorating shower? Heated towel bars, once found only in upper scale big city hotels, are now turning up in the most modest of bathrooms. Costs range from below $100 for small, plug-in types to literally thousands of dollars for custom creations fabricated from precious metals.




Available in both electronic and hydronic (hot water) models, towel warmers can be found wall mounted, floor mounted, portable, and some are even manufactured for the outdoors. Combining fashion and function, they can be used additionally for gently drying lingerie, and surprisingly, can help keep a small bathroom toasty warm and humidity free with its residual heat. Check out the industry website (www.towel-warmer.com) for an unlimited list of products and manufacturers.

Want even more heat? If you don’t have the room or the budget for a full-sized fireplace in the master bath suite, take a look at these diminutive in-wall mounted fire place units sized just right for bathroom applications (www.fireplacextrordinair.com). Recently chosen as a best new product by Popular Science Magazine, they are available in a variety of metals and detailed fronts. These little guys (20 inches wide, 34 inches tall, 15 inches deep) have zero clearance installation, optional remote control and can heat a room up to 650 square feet in size.

Here’s another way to turn up the heat in your bath area.

Heating `through the floor’ goes back to Roman times, and it is still a wonderful way to heat our living spaces. Hot water can be piped through concrete embedded tubes, but for a simple application when remodeling a small space, you can’t beat electric radiant heating. Thin, flexible heating cables are laid down between the floor joists, covered with an underlayment and then with almost any type of flooring material; wood, tile, stone or even vinyl. For more nformation, see these manufacturers’ web sites: http://www.infloor.com and http://www.suntouch.net.

Beautiful bathrooms though, require more than comfort. Taking a fresh look at some of the basic components that make up a bathroom-showers, tubs, vanities and mirrors, for example-can often provide opportunities to create a personal design statement.

Retrofitting elegant antique furniture to function as a vanity is a trend gaining in popularity. Some cabinet manufacturers are even offering pre-made units featuring many of the embellishments found on antique pieces-heavily carved mouldings, decorative feet, and use of exotic woods, for example.

Specialty, or architectural glass can be specified for shower doors that will add personality-and perhaps an element of art-making it the focal point of the bathroom. One brand (www.ultraglas.com) offers kiln formed, hand-crafted tempered glass that is available in a wide range of three-dimensional textures and patterns.

Choosing unusual lavatory sinks can be another way to introduce a punch of personality to your space-and there are almost no end to the choices available. Many remodelers are selecting `vessel’ type lavs, where a bowl-shaped sink sits on top of the counter instead of set in flush. If you are considering using this type of sink, be sure you give some thought to the finished height of the sink. You may need to order a shorter cabinet to compensate for the raised lavatory.

Choosing unusual lavatory sinks can be another way to introduce a punch of personality to your space-and there are almost no end to the choices available. Many remodelers are selecting `vessel’ type lavs, where a bowl-shaped sink sits on top of the counter instead of set in flush. If you are considering using this type of sink, be sure you give some thought to the finished height of the sink. You may need to order a shorter cabinet to compensate for the raised lavatory.

Don’t stop innovating at sink choices, though. The countertops on your vanities have pizzazz potential, too. Color, materials, even edge treatments (the way the counter’s front edge is formed) can help define the room’s ambiance. Updating your bath can truly be an exercise in comfort and pleasure. After all, don’t we deserve it?


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