Fine Living: Bathroom Bliss
After a long day at work, taking a relaxing bath in an environment that is unique and personal could be the culmination of your day. And if you think that bathrooms are not considered places where people spend a lot of time and therefore a lot of resources, a team of local industry insiders can prove you wrong. If you can afford it, why not unleash your imagination.
“The sky’s the limit these days, there are products and services being offered almost to the point of, if you can think of it, you can have it,” said Nickolas French, chief installer and partner with the Edmond-based building company J&J Granicrete, who has done remodels in 90 percent of the neighborhoods in town.
French is no stranger to lavish twists in bathrooms. He’s seen it all–from electronically controlled showers, to customized vanities and extravagant finishes.
“I’ve seen bathrooms that have body sprayers on almost every single wall,” he says. Higher end showers may have digital control panels that electronically control the water temperature, instead of old-fashioned knobs. Automated or frameless doors and customized plumbing features add to the feeling of luxury.
Chris Mandrino, co-owner of Remodeling and Restoration Specialists of Oklahoma adds that glass mosaics are still in vogue. He says Travertine marble is a popular choice.
Another favorite shower floor surfacing is river stone, Mandrino says. It feels like you are walking on smooth river pebbles, warm and cozy. “When the hot water hits that stone, it kind of heats the stone and feels really good on the feet.”
Mandrino adds, aside from the popular heated floors, there are also heated towel racks. “It’s a 2-3 foot towel rack that actually warms your towel, so your towel feels like it just came out of the dryer. It’s like your mom bringing you a warm towel.”
He says the so called “Japanese toilet” is becoming a big hit, although its $4,000 to $6,000 price is still more than most families would spend on a toilet. The gadget, however, is worth seeing — the heated toilet seat is made of soft material and works as a bidet.
Brenda Helms, a certified interior designer and co-owner of Edmond Kitchen says, when it comes to bath tubs, the days of the Jacuzzi are almost gone. “People often don’t want their Jacuzzi tub any more, so they replace it with a solid tub because they can clean it easily.”
Helms says pedestal tubs are a neat feature, “They are perceived to have little more style and are
Flat-screen moisture-resistant TVs are a must in a luxurious bathroom. But who knew that they can actually be hidden behind the glass of a mirror, and with one click of the remote your mirror becomes a TV.
There are all kinds of lights that can create spectacular effects in a bathroom, such as oversized chandeliers, keen lights pointed in different directions and under-cabinet lighting that adds just a pop of glow to the vanities.
Surfaces are essential component as well. Concrete countertops for example, expand the possibilities of creative designs and textures. Granite, however, is till one of the most popular materials. French says more and more people lean toward natural finishes that are not only eco-friendly, but also look more natural. The “Stucco Veneziano,” a resin-based plaster, is the most durable plaster on the market and has superior moisture resistance.
Another bathroom trend is creating more of a furniture look when it comes to the woodwork. More actual furniture is being incorporated as well. Darker wood is the preferred hue as a lot of families go after “the old world” look. “The style is a little bit of a rustic glam, rustic chick. It works really well in Oklahoma where we mix some of the traditional with some of the more glamorous and modern styles,” says Helms.
Mandrino says natural palette tones are still very popular, because there are so many colors you can use with a natural or earth tone. “Edmond is a traditional market. For the most part people want a neutral color pallet, something that blends in with the home.”
As long as you have a clear plan, splurging may not always a bad idea– especially if you are investing in something that will bring joy to the eye and the body for many years to come.