People often ask me if bath tubs are an important feature in the master bath today- this is a relevant question, and its one that I get asked very frequently. I know most folks would like a simple yes or no answer, but the truth is- it depends. Bath tubs conjure something in the senses, so in the right place, they have a soothing affect just by being present. You know the photo of the tub with the towel over the edge- how it seems to be calling you to take a break? The same thing happens when we see a window seat complete with cushion and throw pillow- but are we going to sit there? Probably not- but the feel of the environment changes. The space becomes more inviting and relaxing- it offers opportunity to stir other emotions as well, and if that is important to you, even if you rarely take baths, then I would recommend looking at a design with a tub in it. The reality is that we see fewer bath tubs in the master bath, and is the result of having less time available in our lives. The space once reserved for the tub is often used for a luxury shower because we know we have time to enjoy that. I know this to be true because many of our clients have the means to install a tub, but they just know they don’t have time to wait for it to fill, or they know that by the time the bath is ready they will hear “Mom?” . If you already take regular baths, then the question is answered and all you have to do is find the right one.If you are still unsure about adding a tub in the space, there are a couple more things to consider that may help you with your decision. If you don’t think you will use it often but believe it either makes sense for your neighborhood or your desired aesthetic- then get a nice soaker tub that isn’t too expensive… you don’t need the hydrotherapy. If you are an avid soaker, consider a tub with a few features that are great to have, such as: a heated back rest, a water heater to keep the temperature up, and air jets- which are more sanitary, quitter, and often offer improved hydrotherapy than a jetted tub. BainUltra is one of my favorite brands for tubs. The last thing to think about is the tub freestanding or built-in? There are so many options… below is one of the newer designs I saw at the Kitchen and Bath Show last week- it is not very expensive and would be stunning in a transitional or more modern bath, and retails under $2k.
A Room with a View. Homeowners are looking for an indoor/outdoor connection in every room in their home, and the bathroom is no exception. Natural light lends a livable homey feel, and the sun that enters the room warms the skin, the tile, the water and the air. Flow of Space. Many of Today’s most desired bathrooms boast little distinction between where the floor ends, and where everything else begins. The continuation of tile from floor to walls, shower, and tub lend a free flow feel, while gentle color palettes provide a spa-like ambiance. Minimalist Chic. When it comes to bathrooms, modern and minimal is replacing over-crowded and over-decorated. Slight curves, straight lines, and symmetry create a clean refined look. Understated faucets and fixtures lend simplicity. Neutral materials and earth tones are subtle and soothing. This type of space is conducive to finding peace and serenity and transcends into a timeless look. Private Chambers. In the past, bathrooms consisted of a combination tub/shower, toilet and vanity with sink. However, today’s baths function as a space for relaxation and retreat, and in this environment, a separate toilet compartment takes away “rough edges” and adds beauty (and privacy) to a luxurious room. A closed off toilet chamber also allows for more comfortable sharing of bathroom space.
Text Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens magazine; Photos of Wiese Company Projects