Bathroom of the Future

The Virginia Tech Center for Design Research brought its FutureHAUS Bathroom to Design & Construction Week in recently in Las Vegas. (Last year, it debuted its FutureHAUS Kitchen, which was just as ambitious and futuristic as this year’s offering.) A joint project of the school’s architecture and computer science programs, the FutureHAUS Bathroom shows what’s possible in home design. Some of the amenities that are integrated into the project bathroom include:

  • A bathroom mirror with customizable readouts for weather, traffic, TV display and more
  • A shower system that lets you know when you’re low on shower gel, conditioner or shampoo and places an online order for the item before you run out
  • Flooring that sends out an alert if a bathroom occupant falls
  • A chromatherapy-jetted tub for comfort
  • A high-tech bidet-style toilet with Bluetooth capability

It’s safe to say that when it comes to technology, the possibilities are endless.

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How to Light A Bathroom

Too often lighting a bathroom is low on the list of priorities relative to other rooms in the house. But with bathrooms becoming larger and more elaborate, proper lighting is essential to making the most of the space.

Your bath should be bright and clean.
Ample overhead and task lighting are key. But bathrooms are now a room in the house where people are spending a lot more time, so you’ll also want the ability to create an atmosphere that’s relaxing and spa–like. Having flexibility to adjust the lighting is really important, which is why you should add dimmers here just like you do throughout the house.

Start With the Ceiling and Vanity Light, Then Work Your Way Down
First, ceiling–mounted or recessed lighting overhead for general illumination. You’ll also want to light the vanity area with some excellent task lighting, which can be a fixture above the mirror or sconces on either side. And you need to light the shower and tub area. You might also consider strip lighting under wall–mounted cabinets, which makes them appear to float in space, as well as illumination for wall art.

Don’t Overdo It, But Don’t Under-Do It Either
People often have a tendency to pop a dozen can lights into the ceiling to make sure the bathroom is bright enough, but then you end up with a ceiling that looks like Swiss cheese. Everything in moderation. Though, don’t make the mistake of under-lighting your bathroom, because ample lighting is important. Another reason dimmers are key.


Bathrooms of the Future

In a recent survey, consumers were ask what innovations they’d most like to see in the future.

According to David Levine, CEO of DigitalBridge, “As outlandish as some of these innovations may sound, they’re actually not far off being a reality. Breakthroughs in AR and AI are steadily making their way into our homes through devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and software such as Google’s ARCore and Apple’s ARKit. Clearly, consumer appetite for groundbreaking new bathroom products is high, so the race is on for suppliers to innovate quickly, in order to take advantage of this captive audience.”

The top 10 bathroom innovations consumers would love to see in the next 10 years

1. A face recognition system that automatically adjusts water temperature and pressure to your personalized settings

2. A hovering drone mirror that allows you to style the back of your hair with ease

3. An in-shower voice recognition that allows you to add shampoo, toothpaste and other essentials to your shopping list when they are running low4. An augmented reality simulator that shows how a hairstyle could look on your head and provides step-by-step instructions on how to achieve it

5. A pep-talking mirror that gives you advice on your outfits based on a link to your personal calendar. Three taps – one for hot, cold and “just right”

7. A dressing machine that chooses your outfit and dresses you

8. A full body air-dryer

9. A height-adjustable sink, toilet and mirror that moves up and down depending on who is using them

10. An ambient display that allows you to make a cup of coffee and answer the doorbell from the shower

Big Ideas for Small Bathrooms

If you’re remodeling or installing a bathroom, you’ll want to browse small bathroom decorating ideas. While the blueprint for your bathroom won’t change based on how it’s decorated, you can “expand” the space with a few strategic decorating ideas, creating a space that’s elegant, attractive and efficient.

Small bathrooms can be a design and decorating challenge, but with the right combination of fixtures, surfaces, colors, decor and lighting, it’s possible to create the illusion of a much larger space. In recent years, bathrooms have begun to expand significantly in size — master bathrooms in newer homes can be positively palatial affairs, for example. Older homes tend to feature much smaller bathrooms throughout, and even newer construction often features half baths that can benefit from the decorating tricks that help create the illusion of more space.

Source: HGTV