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For today’s savvy consumer, bath design is more about relishing than rushing. It’s a trend that’s growing thanks to high drama and sanctuary retreat-like baths bandied about on television design programs and found in luxury hotels where consumers escape for weekend relaxation getaways.

As such, bathrooms have become the dream projects of choice (for both remodelors and new home builders). One significant reason is the caliber of product choices. A definite must-have is glass mosaic tiles used on an entire wall or as accent pieces. In addition, residential steam showers reign. Today’s showers have it all and then some — steam, multiple showers and sprays, even dry heat. While faced with space and/or existing plumbing restrictions, customers are choosing zero-clearance walk-ins with all the special features that make a product more desirable, such as his-and-her showers with two entrances, personalized settings and heated seating. Our Ariel Platinum DZ963F8 Steam Shower is the height of upscale trends all the way — from its wooden floor boards and luxury nozzle with acupuncture massage and rainfall ceiling shower to its glass enclosure and decorative lighting. It’s got it all for just under $3,000.

Face it; bottles, gadgets and grooming products overflow from today's bathrooms. Bathroom storage is more of a priority than ever. The cabinets of old don't cut it because they're boxy and uninspired. Furniture for storage is today's look, and it's often a necessary addition when you work in smaller bathrooms where you simply can't add a lot of cabinetry. Furniture-style vanities from contemporary to antique at fulfill this niche beautifully. Such pieces are also used to create a visual center point. For instance, we love the mid-sized Raffinato (priced at less than $900) with its dimpled chrome sleekness. It offers storage with a large medicine cabinet coupled with extra space underneath the striking gray glass countertop. We’re also big fans of the modern lines of the Radioso model, akin to sophisticated boutique hotel bath cabinetry. It offers mega storage with a European style set-up composed of cabinets above head and to the side as well as beneath the sink and countertop area. For less than $1,200 it’s a winner (plus it comes in a variety of colors, including pale mint green, sky blue and soft turquoise). More like a dresser with loads of drawers, Model RGN021 features a fully functioning top drawer that contains storage on both sides of the bowl, center drawers that are fitted around plumbing and large bottom drawers for towels and linens. This stunning unit (with carved rope detailing) is priced at less than $900. All three are options outstanding.

Open shelves and wall cabinets are increasingly popular. The variety of items offered on (nearly 25) is in keeping with this design orientation. Quadruple chrome finishes paired with high durability tempered glass shelving is stylish, functional and affordable. See’s open shelving under Accessories in the Shelves category on our web site.

Perhaps one of the most noteworthy bathroom design trend is the blurring of the line between the bathroom itself and surrounding spaces. This is manifested in several ways: first with the emergence of transition spaces, such as morning kitchens, juice/wine bars or small supplemental laundry areas, which connect the wet and dry areas; and second, by creating seamless, door-less transitions between the bathroom and the master bedroom or closet.

Consumers are tearing down the walls and making the whole space feel like a retreat. The introduction and evolution of technology — plasma screen and two-way mirror televisions, complex lighting control systems and built-in surround sound and auto-fill programmable tubs — further bridge the spaces. Without a doubt, the advancement and marriage of technology with bathroom features and functions will continue to create some wonderful toys for now and in the future. On you’ll find innovations-plus every time you check us out, including tub combo steam shower units such as AmeriSteam ASP 216 with an integrated Whirlpool tub (with a capacity of 66.05 gallons). Priced at less than $5,000, this is a high-end item that can’t be missed, especially for the ultimate at home spa bathroom design. Impressive, it even includes an underwater spotlight.

The biggest change in bathroom design is really the homeowner’s expectations and desire to have very strong design. It used to be 'just make it look nice,' but now it needs to be a really unique, beautiful, well-designed space. It's not just the things, it's the look and how everything integrates — and this rings true across all price-points.


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