Perhaps you have looked at some fancy home décor magazines or browsed through homes for sale and noticed that the bathroom has suddenly gone from a very utilitarian room to something more fashion forward – bath vanities have become more like furniture, surfaces and finishes are more substantial and the amenities are more like something you would expect to see in a hotel or resort instead of in a home. The fact of the matter is that many new materials and manufacturing techniques have made it possible for the average homeowner to enjoy affordable interpretations of high end items and the bathroom is often the beneficiary.
Lamont Home Chelsea Vanity Set in Espresso, $249.99, bedbathandbeyond.com
Things like towel warmers, teak bathroom furniture, showers with multiple heads and spa tubs used to be available only in upscale resorts or fine hotels but today there are versions designed specifically for home use at price points that won’t break the budget. A handheld showerhead is a classic example – they originated in Europe where indoor plumbing was often a retrofit; when people encountered them in better hotels they brought the idea back to the United States and billed it as a luxury import.
Most handheld showerheads can be installed without the assistance of a plumber and they combine luxury with practicality. Use one to enjoy a relaxing shower massage or shampoo hair; bathe children, wash pets or clean the tub or shower enclosure. Wall lights and sconces are another European import that is right at home in any bathroom, especially when you have limited floor and counter space.