HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — Today’s luxury bath has evolved as the result of changing lifestyles, “becoming a sumptuous spa-like space that offers sanctuary, wellness and quietude,” according to the findings of the first-ever “Luxury Bath Summit,” presented recently by the National Kitchen & Bath Association.
The two-day virtual event, produced in partnership with quartz surfacing supplier Cambria, was based on the findings of a recent NKBA market research report, as well as observations from a panel of design professionals about the key factors influencing luxury bath design today.
“Not surprisingly, we found that travel, experiences at fabulous hospitality venues, a desire for fully integrated technology and a slew of rich materials were musts for many,” said Suzie Williford, executive v.p. and chief strategy officer for the Hackettstown, NJ-based NKBA.
“We also learned that the luxury bath is really part of a full-on look at the primary suite – bedroom, lounge, dressing areas, closets and bathroom spaces,” Williford observed. “Baths have evolved from a primarily functional space and an afterthought to one of the most important rooms in the home (and) have become a place where we invest time and enjoy a place to nurture whole health and even romance.”
Among the Summit’s key takeaways:
- Luxury baths are reclaiming priority, and even square footage, from bedrooms, closets and other spaces.
- Technology in the bath is a priority, albeit a hidden one that enables ease, convenience, safety and experiences.
- It is easier to incorporate wellness and “living in place” concepts due to new product innovations such as steam showers, hydrotherapy, chromatherapy, and integrated bidets and smart toilets.
- According to Blue Arnold, CMKBD, owner of Kitchens By Request, integrated technology may be polarizing, but it’s here to stay.
“Homeowners want integrated technology that’s intuitive and easy to use,” said Arnold, who recently incorporated bathroom technology “that was well-hidden, practical and not overly complicated, including automated shades, heated floors, ambient lighting, speakers and a TV in the mirror.”
Jaque Bethke, the principal designer for Jaque Bethke Design, said that travel and hospitality spaces are a major influence on clients, who “want to recreate the comfort, details and amenities offered at five-star properties,” most notably hidden televisions, separate water closets, coffee and wine bars, lounge areas, voice-activated lighting, temperature and window controls, as well as soaking tubs and multi-spray showers.
Elma Gardner, CMKBD, owner & president of By Design Studio, noted a move to incorporate nature into luxury bath designs, with materials including teak, a soaking tub allowing for continuous water movement, and large windows for more natural light and outdoor nature views. ▪