“In-Sink” With Bathroom Trends Dec 16th, 2011 Are you tuned in to the changes that are happening in 21st century bathrooms? In this most personal and frequently used room in the house, there are changes to give you a luxurious spa retreat, or if it’s your preference, you can stay connected to your world through, phone, internet and tv. Perhaps you want both options. For once, being totally wired can mean your dream bathroom is at your fingertips. Who is in control? At the push of a button or panel, preset custom controls allows personalized preferences for everything from water temperature to room temperature. Many devices, including lighting and automatic window shades, can be controlled by timers, remotes and keypads. In the mood for color? Modern bathrooms have moved beyond the dimmer switch and candles. Chromatherapy is now an option for baths and showers, allowing bathers to select from a rainbow of mood-enhancing hues that infuse the water with color. Oh say can you see? TVs in the bathroom have long been a familiar sight in luxe hotels and modern homeowners have completed supported the trend. Mounted near the sink so you can catch up on news and weather before you hit the road or near the tub for watching movies while you soak away the stress of the day, they are moving from a frill to a must have. A TV can go pretty much anywhere, as long as you follow electrical safety rules, of course. If you want to move this interloper to a more low key position, it is possible to install a TV behind the vanity mirror by using a dual-view mirror. When the TV’s off, the mirror looks ordinary. When the TV’s on, the image appears to be inset in the mirror. How cool is that? Do you hear what I hear? Bathroom audio is typically part of a whole-home system that includes a CD player, tuner and other sources, plus amplifiers positioned in one central location. Only the speakers – often flush in-ceiling models – and a control keypad are located in the bathroom. Alternatively, some showers and bathtubs come wired for sound. What will they think of next? There’s a new toilet that features a lid that automatically opens and closes, a heated seat, an automatic flush function, a self-cleaning mode, plus a personal cleansing system (think bidet) that includes an airy dryer, two flush modes (using less or more water) and a wireless remote that lets you raise the motorized seat. We’re talking the ultimate in comfort, ease and cleanliness. Who can beat that? Have you chosen your wow factor? While it may be impractical and even unwise to attempt to incorporate every trend into your renovation, that doesn’t mean you can’t add something that makes your room unique and special in it’s own right. Will it be heated floors or a fireplace? Could you use a beverage fridge or a coffee maker? How do you feel about a drawer dishwasher? The importance of the bathroom should never be underestimated. When you’re going for the “wow” factor this smallest room is one that offers the biggest opportunities.