An interest in healthy routines and health monitoring among an aging population has made its way into the design concept of more luxury bathrooms. Designers are including massage tables for treatments at home, as well as room for a gym or exercise studio.
With the newest technologies, consumers can also use the bathroom for health monitoring. Fixture companies are marketing toilets that monitor waste for various health-related indicators. Bidet features on toilets add to the feeling of cleanliness after toilet use. A concern for health has also fostered the development of antimicrobial finishes to deter bacterial growth. Touchless or handsfree faucets and toilets increase the emphasis on hygiene.
Technology and Electronic Devices
The modern bathroom is not lacking in technology and electronic devices. Equipped with radio, CD/DVD players, televisions, and speaker systems, consumers can stay abreast of the current world news while dressing, or listen to music while relaxing in the tub or sauna. Not only are flat screen televisions incorporated into some jetted tubs and vanity mirrors (see Figure 1.28), but showers also can have a waterproof television screen blended into the tile wall, controlled by a waterproof remote, and heard on ceiling speakers.
Outpost Kitchen Area
As part of the master bathroom suite, many households are incorporating what might be referred to as a mini kitchen, outpost kitchen, or morning kitchen to handle food, drink, and health needs
(see Figure 1.29). Households are finding these outposts a very convenient solution to the morning rush and an enhancement for evening relaxation. Often included in these kitchens are a coffee – maker, a small refrigerator or refrigerator drawers, and a small microwave oven.
Once thought of as a luxury, these auxiliary kitchens can also serve as support stations when a family member is injured or ill, or when a caregiver is involved. Medications may need to be refrigerated, or baby bottles may need to be stored and warmed for a baby in the family. The bedroom suite does not need to be extremely large to accommodate a few of these appliances.