Providing a place for applying makeup no longer means just an open space with a stool at the lavatory counter. Larger, more luxurious bathrooms include a special vanity area designed with adequate lighting, storage, and multiple mirrors for special grooming activities.
The idea of using the bathroom as a retreat for relaxation has hit new heights in American homes. The reemerging interest in health and spirituality has brought new attention to the "bath." Spurred by the popularity of the hot tub and hydrotherapy, the home spa concept (see Figure 1.27) has evolved into a spa bathroom that includes multiple ways to slow down the pace of life, relax, and soothe away the stresses of the day. Spa bathrooms might include a spa tub, whirlpool/jetted tub, sauna, and steam shower. You can find tips for designing a spa bathroom in chapter 9, "More Than a Bathroom."
FIGURE 1.26 The look of natural stone Is prominent In the wall tile of this bathroom. Design by NKBA member Victoria Shaw
In addition to using water for relaxation, the bathroom can be an intimate and private space that has an emotional and mental feel like no other in the home. Linking the bedroom, library, and bath creates a space to relax and read. A fireplace brings back the intimate sitting room of the past, where the tub was brought into the bedroom and placed near the fireplace for warmth.