Home » Features

In Home Retreats

This inviting spa-like master bathroom by Keechicreek Builders and Chairma Design Group, creates a serene natural atmosphere for maximum relaxation. (Photo – Michael Kaskel.)

A tranquil space where you can unwind and rejuvenate 

Today’s bathrooms are a haven for relaxation and harmony. If you have thought about remodeling your bathroom, now may be the perfect time. There are many new products to love, right now, such as sleek, freestanding tubs and handsome shower and vanity plumbing fixtures. As well, there’s an endless selection of marble and stone products for floors and countertops, and decorative tiles in new exciting textures, patterns and colors for showers, backsplashes and accent walls.

Additionally, there are styles, elements and ideas you may want to ponder first and incorporate into your new remodel. Whe­ther you prefer spa-inspired, elegant, contemporary, universal aging-in-place, or any style in between, it’s smart to have a clear picture of your vision before you begin.

A recent study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders reveals what bath features are among the most wanted this year. The survey asked existing homeowners to rank several bath features based on how essential they are to make a home-purchasing decision.

The study revealed that a linen closet in the master bath ranked number one, followed by having both a shower stall and bathtub. Other top preferences include a double vanity and private toilet compartment in the master bath.


Ranking first on the most wanted list is the linen closet. This can be a traditional enclosed closet with shelves or recessed built-in shelves. The idea is to have adequate space to store bath towels, soap and other bath products.  Shelves can be conveniently located on➝

the wall directly behind the bathtub faucet while others work well next to the vanity or shower. Ideally, shelves should be 18-24” to hold folded towels and a basket or container for other miscellaneous items.


The shower stall ranks number two on the must have list for bathrooms. Home­owners prefer their showers be constructed from natural stone and marble. A popular design trend is to create an accent statement wall with alluring, colorful tiles in eye-catching shapes, designs, and textures.

There are many interesting remodeling trends for showers, says John Gillette, GMB, CAPS, owner of Craftsmanship by John. “Popular shower features include open showers with no doors, double showers with dual showerheads, unique shower floors with linear shower drains and if space allows, a freestanding tub. Tech­nology innovations include audio touch controls, water temperature presets and steam showers all controlled by wi-fi.”

For the shower door, both framed and frameless shower doors have many style options. Both are made of tempered glass and may be treated for easy cleaning. Framed doors are made thinner because they are supported by a metal frame. Frameless doors are thicker and are more expensive because they are not supported by frames.   Your remodeler can help you choose the best option that fits your space and budget.

When remodeling the shower for physical disabilities, a curbless, frameless or semi-frameless shower enclosure with safety features should be considered for easy, independent access. According to Stacy Argo, with A-Plus Glass Services, “a curbless shower adheres to universal design principles which allow for accessibility, to the greatest extent possible, by all people regardless of their age, size, ability or disability.”

For the romanticist, the freestanding tub takes center stage in the bathroom.   They offer many design options and flexibility of placement. Installation is easier and can➝ be less expensive. On the other hand, many homeowners prefer the design options and surface storage the built-in tub offers. They are also preferred when space is limited or to utilize an odd space or corner.

According to Larry Abbott, CAPS, CGR, RCS, president of Abbott Con­tracting, people are replacing their Jacuzzis and spa-type tubs with simple stand-alone tubs or soaker tubs that are big, deep, and have state-of-art water circulation. He explained that some people choose to remove their tubs and use the space for large, luxurious showers with room for two people with multiple shower heads and benches.


Homeowners want double vanities in their master bathroom. Cabinets are popular in various shades of grey and white. Various shades of wood compliments whites and greys and other colors. Wood also pairs nicely with most any trend including contemporary, traditional and industrial. Marble countertops seem to still be preferred and add an earthy, natural feel.

In the powder room, floating vanities offer an airy, modern and mystic look. Vessel sinks, made of stone, glass and other materials, come in unique shapes and designs and create a striking, artful focal point.


When it comes to walls and floors, natural stone floors reign. As well, material designed to look like stone providing the visual appeal without the need for sealing is very popular. Marble, granite, subway tiles and other artistic tiles are being used on backsplashes, flooring, in the shower and on entire walls.


Mirrors and lighting can make a statement in the bathroom, according to Gillette. He advises that when choosing mirrors, consider full wall mirrors. “They make a big impression and make the space seem larger and offer a way to reflect your style, whether you choose framed or unframed, modern or vintage. Some mirrors, offer features with Bluetooth connectivity and have touch controls to adjust lighting, play music, check the weather, time, news and more. Adding LED lighting or natural light brightens the room considerably. ”


Modern day bathrooms have technology options that range from the practical to the downright decadent: from mirrors with a warming feature that prevents fogging, to flat screen TVs and built-in sound systems, push-button temperature controls for the shower and LED-lit temperature readings for sink faucets to voice activated features for lighting and temperature.

Another desired feature is a private toilet in the master bathroom. This can be en­closed with a door or partly enclosed by a wall. One simple, affordable trend for toilets is the “night light” seats that emit a soft, blue glow from the hinges. Abbott likes the visual appeal of molded toilets that seem like they are one piece and the wall mount ones, which have the added advantage of allowing you to clean the floor underneath. Also popular are raised toilets for comfort and dual-flush options.

“After you remodel your bathroom, it is no longer just functional but it becomes more efficient, modern, and enjoyable,” says Gillette. “Whether you plan to stay in your home or sell, updating a master bathroom is an excellent investment that will provide a generous return on investment.”

This sumptuous West U. bathroom by Legal Eagle Contractors is a far cry from its “before” look. Designed with seven different sizes of real marble tiles, it has a rich and classic look. (Photo – Dan Bawden)


Part of a home addition, this glamorous master bath by Craftsmanship by John, Inc., features floor to ceiling Italian tile and custom-built vanities. photo – Courtesy of Craftsmanship by John


Master bathroom, by Remodeling Concepts and Lynne T. Jones, ASID, has LED cove and under cabinet lighting and stained and louvered doors. Plumbing by Ferguson; Brookhaven cabinets from Kitchen and Bath Concepts; lighting from Lighting Unlimited; Limestone and accent tiles from Thorntree; floor and shower walls from Daltile; paint from Sherwin-Williams. (Photo – Michael Hart Photography)


In this master bath by Remodelers of Houston, his and her vanities offer ample space to get ready for the day. Large, frameless mirrors reflect lots of light making the space feel larger, light and airy. Shaded sconce light fixtures offers a soft, warm glow. (Photo – courtesy of Remodelers of Houston.)

Comments are closed.