From bath to spa-ahh

A new or upgraded bath can not only enhance the value of your home but a create a retreat for yourself, Wares columnist Cami Weinstein says.

Winter leaves us inside our homes more and when we are in our homes we tend to look around at areas of our homes that need to be repaired or upgraded. Nationwide, real estate agents will tell you that the two areas of your homes that increase their value the most are updated kitchens and baths. This month I’d like to focus on bathrooms and how they not only enhance the value of our homes but how they create a retreat for ourselves. 

Today’s bathroom upgrades not only include the functional but can also elevate your bathroom to a spa-like experience. Getting a jump on a bathroom renovation during the winter months is a great idea because by the time spring comes you’ll already have your ideal bath. 

Some of the new aspects of bath design include medicine cabinets that have anti-fog features, and comfort-height toilets, which are a huge hit with both taller people and an older population. There are also toilets with heated seats. Vanities are also trending on the taller side. And, if there is room in your bathroom, definitely put in a double-sink vanity and a soaking tub. Who wouldn’t want to soak in a fabulous deep tub on a cold winter night with some luxurious bubble bath?

Soaking tubs come in so many beautiful shapes and materials. For the ultimate in soaking experience, look for a single piece of marble, cast iron and acrylics. There are also tubs with various kinds of hydrotherapies for relaxation.  

If soaking is not your thing, today’s showers can offer the ultimate spa experience with new steam components, hand-held sprayers and thermostatic controls. These always ensure that your shower heats up to your perfect temperature. You can also listen to music while showering with showerheads that also have speakers. This can give a whole new meaning to singing in the shower. 

When it comes to walls and floors, there are so many beautiful tiles, marbles, mosaics and porcelains to choose from. You can indulge your desire for a traditional bathroom or you can create the most modern, clean spa-like experience. The trends in bath design are still tending toward neutral with lots of white tiles and marbles. Grays are running a close second. Many of my clients are staying neutral with their master baths but are interested in being more creative and adding color to their second and third bathrooms. 

Powder rooms are an area where color, custom tiles, stone, hardware and wallpapers can come into play to create a unique space. Unlacquered brass is an elegant feature that is currently being used for hardware in bathrooms. Having been out of style for so long, it now looks new and stylistically modern. Everything old, it seems, is new again.

Features that I think are particularly indulgent in today’s bathrooms are radiant floors and a heated towel rack. Getting out of a hot shower and stepping onto warm floors and then wrapping up in a warm towel are truly examples of giving your self the spa treatment.

Speaking of spa treatment, you’ll find that there are many wonderful soaps, lotions and shampoos on the market, many made with natural ingredients and fragrances to add to the feeling of having your very own home spa.

When planning on creating or remodeling your bathroom, utilize every inch of your space. If there is room, add a linen closet for towels and other sundries. A vanity area for applying makeup is another great addition to your bathroom and don’t forget plenty of light. Bathrooms need not only decorative lighting but also clean natural light for applying makeup and for shaving. Make a wish list for your bathroom and plan your space accordingly. If you have limited space and storage, then definitely use a vanity and not a pedestal sink. Baskets also are great places to hold extra towels, makeup and shampoos.

Enjoy upgrading your bath experience with the many new features that are available and incorporating them into your home. 

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