magazine | May 6, 2020 |
The glam bathroom is over. Welcome to the wellness sanctuary

The latest luxury master bath innovations put health at the forefront, inviting homeowners to reinvent a utilitarian room as a space to unwind and recharge.

A well-designed home offers a retreat from an increasingly frenetic world—but what if you need to retreat just a little more? As Americans increasingly embrace holistic self-care, savvy companies are reframing the bathroom as a sanctuary of calm and wellness. Against a backdrop of luxe fixtures and showy tile, the hottest new amenities evoke spas, meditation centers and experiments from the Goop Lab.  

“Time is a precious commodity that the majority of Americans wish they had more of,” says Beatriz Sandoval, director of brand marketing for kitchen appliance brand Thermador. “Now more than ever, designers are looking to create customized rooms for focus and self-care for their clients. Whether that’s a space to apply a face mask while enjoying a glass of wine, or stretching after a difficult day, a relaxing room to retreat to is essential.”

Product manufacturers have stepped up to deliver the ultimate wellness-minded experience, from aromatherapy and chromotherapy to a zero-gravity bathtub that relieves joint stress. Even Thermador is in the game, marketing its under-counter refrigerator drawer as a bathroom essential for cooling towels and storing temperature-sensitive face serums. It makes sense that the bathroom would be the first stop for a wellness makeover: “Everyone has a bathroom and a shower. Now you’re adding on amenities of relaxation,” says Mitch Altman, CEO of steam shower manufacturer ThermaSol.

With the deluge of new products on the market, it can be hard to discern what’s actually good for you and what’s just a gimmick, but that’s the thing about wellness: It’s subjective. What’s relaxing for one person may be annoying to another. There’s no “right” way to design a bathroom for wellness—it’s about personal preference, and often indulgence. Here’s a look at seven products that aim to make the home bathroom a little more spa-like—and maybe help a stressed homeowner chill out.

Toto

Toto
Flotation therapy at spas often takes place in a dark, soundproof room to simulate sensory deprivation, but Toto has designed a bathtub that allows for all the benefits of floating without the intimidating coffin-like chamber. The Flotation Tub with Zero Dimension is shaped to re-create the body’s posture at zero gravity—hips and knees slightly bent, ankles flexed, like an astronaut in space—to reduce the load on joints and create a meditative state.

Americh

Americh
Chromotherapy—an alternative medicine whereby colors are used to treat ailments and adjust body vibrations—has been practiced for thousands of years, and has roots in ancient Egypt and India. The thinking is that the electromagnetic energy of the light, combined with the different intensities of color, work to balance the body’s energy fields, or chakras. Red, for example, is believed to support circulation; yellow to assist metabolism; and green and blue to promote relaxation. In the quest for the ultimate spa bathroom, chromotherapy lights are being added to saunas, showerheads and bathtubs. Americh’s Chromotherapy Tub Lights come in seven colors.

Hansgrohe

Hansgrohe
Some bathroom innovations, like Hansgrohe’s Rainfinity shower system, speak specifically to the indulgent aspect of wellness. The main feature is an oversize showerhead that measures more than 14 inches across. The large diameter and concave spray surface allow for your entire body to be enveloped in water, while three spray intensities range from supersoft microdroplets to massaging pearls.

Thermador

Thermador
A refrigerator in the bathroom might seem odd, but Thermador’s panel-ready Under-Counter Drawer Refrigerator/Freezer fits neatly into a vanity and is ideal for storing organic beauty products, cooling towels, eye masks and chilled drinks in customizable dividers that keep its contents neatly organized. The brand displayed the unit in a bathroom vignette at the 2020 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show to demonstrate its genre-bending capabilities. “Designers are thinking outside the box to create spaces that resonate with their clients’ luxurious lifestyles,” says Thermador brand marketing director Beatriz Sandoval.

Broannutone

Broan-NuTone
Broan-NuTone gave the oft-neglected bathroom fan a mildew-fighting upgrade by enlisting antibacterial LED lights by Vital Vio to create the SurfaceShield Exhaust Fan. Its technology combines fungi- and mold-killing LEDs, which disinfect surfaces, with a ventilation system that removes excess moisture and air pollutants. Not the sexiest of innovations—but do you want to see mold at the spa?

Thermasol

ThermaSol
Steam has been harnessed for centuries to improve circulation, open one’s sinuses and reduce stress. ThermaSol has been preaching the steam gospel for 60 years, and CEO Mitch Altman believes the brand’s latest product brings the shower pretty close to peak wellness. The Smart Shower with SteamVection brings ThermaSol’s full range of features—chromotherapy lights, sound, temperature control—into one digital touch screen. The system also remembers your settings, is equipped with Alexa voice control, and includes an upgraded, industry-first steamhead with convection technology that ensures an even temperature from floor to ceiling.

Moen

Moen
French company Skinjay’s “Nespresso for the shower” has finally made it stateside. Moen partnered with INLY, a U.S.-based Skinjay brand, to release an Aromatherapy Handshower with an “infusion dial” that holds an essential oil capsule to diffuse water with one of four scents. 

This article originally appeared in Spring 2020 issue of Business of Home, Issue 15. Subscribe or become a BOH Insider for more.

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