Bathrooms of the Future, Discover New Technologies


For decades after indoor plumbing swept the nation in the early 1900s, bathrooms remained essentially the same. Despite updates in décor, the standard toilet, sink and shower tub reigned supreme. Now, we’re about to see a revolutionary new trend in bathroom evolution.

The High-Tech Bathroom

Since 2000, the smart technology trend has become increasingly popular for use in the home. From programmable thermostats to automated landscape lighting, homeowners (and homebuyers) love technologies that save money, protect the environment, improve safety and comfort, and are just plain cool. 

While many people associate smart technology with other areas of the home, more and more high-tech products are becoming available for the bathroom as well. Here are some of the newest high-tech bathroom trends coming your way.

Touchless Bathroom Technology

We’ve seen automatic faucets and toilets in public places for decades, but now they’re becoming popular in homes as well. Touchless operation eliminates or greatly reduces the likelihood of germ transmission in the bathroom. Touchless faucets are easy to use, and because they shut off automatically when the hands are retracted, they may save water, too.

High-Tech Toilets

The humble commode has come a long way lately. After decades of basic flushers, the cutting-edge models on the market today feature all sorts of technological amenities. Some of these include:

  • Motion-sensing toilets. As mentioned above, touchless toilets are far more hygienic than conventional ones. And they eliminate the embarrassment of the “forgot-to-flush” syndrome, especially for families with kids and seniors. In addition to automatic flushing, some toilet motion sensors can be programmed to automatically raise or lower the lid, eliminating many a marital dispute. Motion-sensing equipment can be added inexpensively to any toilet.
  • Toilet seat warmers. No more bracing to sit on the pot on a cold winter’s day. A heated toilet seat is the perfect solution. 
  • Paperless toilets. Bidet-style toilets have long been popular in Asia, and more recently in Europe. Now, they’re hitting the States, and many are embracing them as a more hygienic, eco-friendly toilet option. While fancy bidet toilets with all the bells and whistles run into the thousands, you can outfit your bathroom with a basic model for well under $500.

Spa-Like Bathroom Amenities

In addition to the high-tech movement, there’s another trend that is affecting how we view and interact with our homes. It’s the desire for a more holistic, relaxed and natural way of life. 

Like a miniature spa, bathroom time provides the opportunity to retreat for a while into one’s own world. It becomes a little sanctuary where the simple acts of applying makeup or taking a bath can become rejuvenating rituals that empower us to tackle the day ahead, or let us wind down into a state of peace at day’s end. 

No wonder so many new bathroom technologies available today are designed not just to save water and energy, but also to comfort the body and satisfy the soul. Let’s take a look at a few of today’s trending high-tech bathroom features. 

  • Soaking tubs — Showers are great for a quick clean, but there’s nothing like settling into a steaming hot tub if you want to truly relax. Remember those wonderful, deep cast iron Victorian bathtubs that let you float away into tranquility? The stand-alone soaking tub is the modern version, updated with clean, Japanese-inspired design. 
  • Rainfall showerheads — If tubs aren’t your style, you might prefer to opt for a rainfall showerhead, for what some claim to be the most relaxing shower experience ever. 
  • Mood-enhancing lighting — Chromatherapy, or colored light therapy, is a popular healing modality that is supposed to help balance mind and body. Some manufacturers are now incorporating lighting technology into LCD shower panels and other bathroom amenities. You can also outfit your bathroom with daylight-matched LED bulbs, or even illuminate your toilet bowl for an unusual night-light effect. 
  • Aromatherapy — Essential oils are relaxing and invigorating for mind and body. Choose a countertop diffuser, or get an aromatherapy attachment for your shower. 
  • Refrigeration — A hot soak can be dehydrating, so why not keep your favorite beverage at your fingertips? A refrigerated bathroom cabinet makes it possible. They’re also great for extending the life of preservative-free cosmetics and body care items. 
  • Bathroom TVs — Yes, you now can get waterproof wide-screen TVs that will withstand bathroom conditions. For some, this may be the ultimate use of technology in the bathroom. 

Whether you love technology for its money-saving or environmental potential, or because it makes life more pleasant or is just plain fun, you’re sure to find a high-tech bathroom feature to suit!

Decorating The Bathroom For The Winter Holidays


Winter is coming quickly! Now is the time to make your home more merry and bright. You may already be planning to decorate common areas such as your living room and dining room with festive winter decorations, but why stop there? Your bathroom could use a little cheer, as well. These happy holiday decorations will help make this small but important part of your house more in sync with the season.

Seasonal Towels

Seasonal and holiday towels make it fun to get out of the shower. Holiday towels typically come in colors specifically for the occasion, while winter towels come in blue, white, silver and gray. This variety means homeowners can choose the best colors for their bathroom. Red and green towels tend to look best in bathrooms with earthy decor and bold colors, while white and blue towels are ideal in bathrooms with lighter, more neutral colors. Some homeowners set out seasonal towels just for decoration and use regular towels for everyday use. If this is the case in your household, be sure to match the seasonal towels and everyday towels so they won’t clash when they’re set side by side. Give your seasonal towels a prominent position in your bathroom by folding them nicely on built-in shelves or by rolling them up in an attractive basket on your sink.

Winter Candles

Winter candles come in a range of colors and designs. One nice candle with an attractive silver candle holder is a classic way to make your bathroom seem warm and inviting on a cold winter night. If you plan to burn your candles, use scented wintery-waxes that smell of gingerbread, apple cider or pine forests. Fully enclosed candle holders are best for burning candles in the bathroom, to prevent the wax from melting all over your countertop. To make your bathroom more romantic, use tealight candles in floating holders with fresh holly. Line candles on your window sill or on the back of your bathroom sink. Keep them lit during special holiday events. If you’re expecting younger guests or if you have little ones at home, keep lit candles up and out of the way.

White Flowers

White roses. Baby’s breath. White lilies. Beautiful white flowers freshen your bathroom and add a charming, wintery touch to your bathroom space. To make your flowers more overtly wintery, contain your flowers in a winter-themed pot or vase. If decorating with freshly cut flowers, use flower food to keep the blooms alive for as long as possible, or grow your own flowers indoors. Paperwhites are easy to grow inside and are popular at the holidays. These delicate flowers grow nicely in peat moss and last for weeks. Plant your blossoms in the late fall to have winter and holiday blooms.

Winter or Holiday Potpourri

No room benefits from potpourri quite like the bathroom. When selecting a winter potpourri, look for a seasonal container (for example: a cookie tin, a winter-themed basket or a fancy chalice). Potpourri containing materials such as citrus, ginger, vanilla and cinnamon can help your bathroom smell like the baking food that people enjoy. Refresh your potpourri monthly to keep its refreshing scent and appearance.

Glass Jar or Vase With Ornaments

Fill a glass jar or vase with ornaments, colored seasonal beads, berries or other objects that remind you of the winter season. Put this on the back of your toilet, on your sink countertop or in another easy-to-see place in your bathroom. If positioning the vase or jar on top of a ceramic surface such as the toilet, place a non-slip pad beneath the object to prevent it from sliding. This is a good way to make use of old glass ornaments that you no longer put on your tree.

Seasonal Shower Curtain

A seasonal shower curtain can completely change the appearance and character of your bathroom during the winter months. When looking for a winter shower curtain, search for pictures of snowmen, snowflakes and wintery scenes with snow-capped trees. If seeking something a little more holiday-themed, consider red and green plaid or a shower curtain featuring ornaments in a pattern.

Mini Christmas Tree

Nothing says "winter holidays" quite like a mini Christmas tree. Set up a little Christmas tree on your bathroom counter and decorate it with small ornaments and a string of battery-pack holiday lights. A real tree will fill your bathroom with a fresh scent, but don't forget to water it regularly.

Some Tips

When trying to decide how to decorate your bathroom for winter, these tips will help: 

  • Put away your normal decor.

This prevents your shelves from becoming cluttered, and attracts more attention to your seasonal decorations. 

  • Match the colors to the color of your bathroom.

Seasonal decorations are much more effective and attractive if they’ve been matched to the walls, floors and other colors in your bathroom. 

  • Sometimes less is more.

          One or two seasonal decorations can make your point without being too obvious.

Have Fun!

More than anything else, decorating your bathroom should be fun. Take input from other family members, browse catalogs and try new decorations with each season. Challenging yourself to do better each year will make decorating your bathroom with seasonal decorations even more fun.

Benefits Of Having A Steam Shower In Your Home


Steam showers are gaining popularity as an at-home spa treat. There are several good reasons why homeowners are becoming interested in these fixtures. They are easy to use and have a variety of health benefits. Most of all, though, they add value to the home while saving homeowners the cost of spa passes along with the time investment needed to travel to and from a nearby spa. On top of that, the steam shower is a self-contained unit, smaller than a sauna or a steam room. For homeowners, this means less maintenance and space needed to reap the same benefits that you’d get from a sauna or steam room. Let’s take a look at how steam showers work, along with the benefits they offer.

How Do Steam Showers Work?

A steam shower is a simple enclosure: a stall that is sealed so that it doesn’t allow moisture to leave the shower. To use a steam shower, all one needs to do is step inside and press a button on the shower’s control panel. This activates the shower’s steam generator, which then heats water to boiling. The steam from the boiling water is channeled through the shower’s system, emerging through the steam head, filling the shower with luxurious steam.

Modern steam showers come with digital controls, which makes it easy for the user to activate the shower, adjust the length of time that the shower will operate, or adjust temperature controls. Some models are equipped with extras such as: 

  • Piped-in sound systems that allow the user to listen to music 
  • The ability to add various scents to the shower 
  • Mood lighting
  • Conventional shower heads for a quick rinse once the steam shower is complete 

 Steam showers have a few distinct advantages to saunas and other spa fixtures. A steam shower starts working immediately upon activation, which means there is no need to wait for the steam to start flowing. Simply press the button and enjoy. Water is heated to 118 degrees Fahrenheit, which gives the user a luxurious experience with no risks of burns or other hazards. Steam showers are also easy on the water bill. In 20 minutes of use, a steam shower only consumes about 2 gallons of water compared to the 50 or more gallons that a conventional shower would use over the same duration. That is one reason why many designers are starting to include them in eco-friendly home designs.

What Are the Advantages of a Steam Shower?

As the ultimate tropical bathing experience, steam showers come with many perks. Eco-friendliness is just one of these benefits. There are also numerous health benefits, plus there is that touch of extravagance that makes the home more attractive to both its residents and potential buyers. Here are a few of the reasons why homeowners are asking about these fixtures: 

  • Steam is well known to help clear stuffy nasal passages, making a steam shower the perfect way to clear congested sinuses — a major plus for chronic allergy sufferers. 
  • Steam showers are a great way to wind down after exercise. The warmth helps to open capillaries, which allows blood to flow. This removes the metabolic waste that builds up in muscles, causing muscle soreness. 
  • A steam shower can also help improve circulation. Just as steam helps to open capillaries, it can widen other blood vessels, as well. This can have a blood pressure-lowering effect. 
  • Steam is good for your skin. Warming skin in this way opens pores, which allows perspiration to run freely. This, in turn, helps to clear pores and reduce the occurrence of blackheads and pimples. 
  • This is also a great pre-shave treatment because the warmth and moisture can help shed dead skin and soften hair follicles, which can reduce the likelihood of razor burn. 
  • More and more, homebuyers are looking for high-end touches in the homes that they are purchasing. Spa bathrooms are particularly popular, which means the addition of a steam shower increases the home’s overall value. 
  • Most importantly, steam showers are relaxing. If you are looking at ways to manage stress, spending some time in a steam shower before bed is a great way to soothe away the mental and physical stresses of the day. People who use steam showers report that not only does the steam itself help to relax them, but afterward, they tend to sleep more soundly — something that isn’t always an easy feat in today’s high-paced world.

Why Do Homeowners Love Steam Showers?

In addition to the benefits listed above, there are other reasons why homeowners are asking about steam showers. A day at the spa means extra expense as well as travel time, which makes the spa experience much less accessible for the average person. By bringing elements of the spa into the home, busy homeowners are better able to find time for the spa experience and save money. A steam shower is a one-time investment compared to day passes or membership fees at a spa.

Steam showers, in particular, are getting a lot of attention because unlike the sauna or steam room, these units are smaller. Instead of devoting an entire room to the fixture, a steam shower takes only about as much space as a large walk-in shower. Because steam showers are smaller, this also means that there is less cleaning and maintenance for the homeowner. 

For the minimal investment of a steam shower, the homeowner will be able to enjoy all the benefits of a spay day within his or her own home. The many benefits of steam showers make it easy to see why these fixtures are starting to become a priority among homeowners and potential buyers.

5 Bathroom Remodeling Tips And Tricks


After the kitchen, the bathroom is the next most complicated room in the home. There are many details to think about with this project, which can make planning difficult. With these five tips and tricks, you can take the stress out of the planning process so your remodeling project goes smoothly.

1. The Tub or Shower Is the Centerpiece — Don’t Hesitate to Splurge!

 

Because tubs and showers are the largest fixture in most bathrooms, they tend to take center stage. Even if you are planning on a budget remodel, you’ll find that it pays to give these fixtures a bit of special attention. The options available will depend on your budget, of course, but here are a few ideas to help you get inspired, no matter how much you plan to spend on a tub or shower update:

 

  • If you’d like to keep costs low, consider replacing the essentials — the faucet, showerhead and other hardware. Sometimes, replacing hardware that looks worn and aged is all you need to give your shower or tub a fresh look.
  • Among mid-range projects, shower door replacement (or installation, if you currently have curtains) is a great way to update the look and feel of your bathroom.
  • Tub or shower replacement is a project at the costlier end of the spectrum. Though if the fixture is showing its age through stains, hairline cracks or other faults, then this project will be well worth your while. You’ll need to take a few factors into consideration — such as potential bathroom reconfigurations to accommodate a tub or shower in a new size or shape — but the result will give you a modern, functional and beautiful bathroom.

2. Get Inspired!

 

Today, there are so many ways to find inspiration for a bathroom remodel. Of course, the Internet is an excellent resource, filled with remodeling blogs, image galleries, contractor portfolios and more — all of which are great ways to get ideas and look at elements such as color schemes, lighting configurations and more.

 

Beyond online galleries, however, there is another resource of which you should take advantage. Whenever possible, make sure to visit showroom floors. At Modern Bathroom, for instance, our showroom in North Hollywood displays a wide selection of products and fixtures you can see in person. This is a great way to get inspiration. More importantly, a hands-on look at the fixtures you are considering will help you decide which pieces are the best fit for your needs and personal taste.

3. Learn About Standard Bathroom Dimensions

 

Planning can be tough, especially if you are thinking about moving the major fixtures from their original places. As you lay out your new bathroom on paper, it is essential that you know what some of the most common standard bathroom dimensions are. Here is a quick list to get you started:

 

  • Toilets require a space that is at least 30 inches wide, although wider — up to 36 inches — tends to feel more comfortable.
  • Though bathtubs vary, a standard off-the-shelf bathtub measures 60 inches in length by 30 or 32 inches in width. Depths can vary, ranging between 14 and 20 inches.
  • Sinks need at least 30 inches of space but keep in mind that those 30 inches will leave you with very little counter space; 36 inches or 48 inches is better.


4. Create an Exhaustive Remodeling Plan

 

Once you have ideas, dimensions and other details in hand, it is time to make a thorough bathroom remodeling plan. Start by making a list of the individual projects that you’d like to take on — anything from a new medicine cabinet or towel racks to painting, lighting and new fixtures. You’ll also want to make lists of suppliers, prices and even contractors that you’d like to contact about the project.

 

Another great way to plan is to make a blueprint of your bathroom. It doesn’t need to be a complex technical drawing. Simply use some graph paper to draw the general outline of the space, then sketch the fixtures as you’d like to see them once the project is complete. This will help you to ensure that the bathroom comes together exactly as you envision it. Just make sure that as you take measurements, you don’t forget about features such as dividing walls and other often overlooked details that can alter your measurements.

 

5. Don’t Forget the Details

 

Speaking of details, you’ll also want to go through your bathroom plans and make sure that you aren’t forgetting anything. Lighting, for instance, is usually overlooked. Homeowners sometimes simply replace existing light fixtures with new fixtures, instead of thinking how the lighting in the bathroom might be moved to increase the room’s functionality or sense of spaciousness. Some other details to consider include:

 

  • Electrical outlets and light switches and their placement.
  • Grout, caulk and other sealants, both colors and finishes.
  • Hardware — especially coordinating cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, light fixtures, towel racks and faucets so that colors and finishes match.

 

As you can see, there are lots of details to consider before you take on that bathroom remodeling project. Be sure to take a look at the products available at Modern Bathroom if you need some inspiration — and don’t hesitate to reach out with questions about the products that interest you.