When it comes to home renovation, it is often the kitchen that gets top billing, but there are new technologies and innovative products coming to a bathroom near you!
Bathrooms are changing as we work to create new environments that address not only the functions of everyday life but also the consumer’s desire for health and wellness.
As boomers age, their desire to remain in their own homes will increase. More design attention is being paid to the bathroom and all the individual products that create it. Designers like my team and myself are spending more time finding products that not only look good but also allow seniors and an aging population to lead a fully independent and healthy lifestyle right in their own space.
After attending the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show 2015 in Las Vegas, there is little question that manufacturers of products for the residential market are beginning to understand the growth in the aging population. Manufacturers have responded to the overwhelming importance that aging boomers place on the freedom to stay in their own houses.
Toto toilets, washlets, and bidets are not just about luxury living, but also address the needs of personal cleanliness so many of us take for granted when we are younger. Personal hygiene is essential to being able to remain independent as we age.
In addition to cleanliness, our own clients have actively embraced “comfort height” toilets (18″ height seat from the floor) making it easier to sit and rise from. This benefits those who have trouble getting up and down and make independent living more of a reality for them.
Health is not the only area being addressed by products in the bathroom! The concept of ‘wellness’ is one of the key categories that the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), is researching as a future touchpoint for the Interior Design Profession.
The idea of wellness refers to a much broader spectrum than just health. It includes sustainability and preventative lifestyle choices to enable people to ‘be well’ and ‘preserve’ their health rather than treat disease.
One area of the bathroom that is addressing this is the shower. Once a small additional area to the tub, the shower has become the star of the show! With body jets, handshowers and rain shower heads readily available, the options are endless to make you feel better, reduce stress and contribute to your wellness.
The steam shower has started to rise in popularity in North America as an additional feature of the residential shower. Mr. Steam, one of the preferred steam units in the industry, offers aroma and chromotherapy options to its steam units. From a construction perspective, it is extremely easy to hide these steam units; therefore, they do not take away from the integrity of the design of the bathroom. A Steam shower is said to enhance health and vigor, reduce stress and muscle stiffness without drying out the skin. If renovating your shower, this would be an excellent option to consider.
Curbless showers, retractable shower seats and decorative linear drains were popular everywhere at the show this year. These are obviously a contributing factor to making it easier for seniors to remain within their homes as it increases their mobility.
Bathrooms are a major part of daily life and are expensive to renovate. It’s key to find the design elements that will allow you to get maximum use from this room for the duration you are in your home. So don’t be surprised if the next bathroom renovation you undertake has the whole space ‘tricked out’, after all, it’s what all the cool kids are doing!