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For The Home

Get Smart

Author: Carly Scholl
Issue: April, 2018, Page 27
With the U by Moen system, you can activate your shower three ways: through voice commands, with a smart phone or by using a controller. Remotely start the water running, adjust the temperature, and set your personal preferences with ease. $1,225-$2,265 (
Functional, futuristic systems and gadgets are working together to reinvent the average bathroom as a luxurious getaway

As the modern home continues to speed into the future thanks to new developments in automation, smart devices and green gadgets, one room in the house seems to be leading the way in innovation: the bathroom. This year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show unveiled some truly futuristic designs that are sure to inspire you to update and upgrade your master bath.

With an easy-to-use tablet-style interface, (below right) the motion-activated, heated and lighted Numi Toilet by Kohler can play your favorite music, deodorize itself and even warm your feet. $6,339 (
Intelligent Design
It’s no secret that smart phones, tablets and operating systems have not only transformed the way we connect to the world around us, they have also reinvented the way we function within our private domains. As homeowners continue to explore the possibilities of turning the bathroom into a place of prolonged relaxation and escape, rather than a purely utilitarian space, manufacturers have developed new intelligent products aimed at enticing you into the bathroom to enjoy a streamlined, pampered experience.

“Bathroom technology is constantly changing,” says interior designer Lori Carroll, “and it is changing the way we as designers create and innovate.” She suggests outfitting your space with smart systems and products “that make it easier to get ready in the morning or unwind comfortably at night.” The current tech market is full of the latest easy-to-operate systems that allow you to control every setting of your shower, down to the water temperature, pressure and ambient sounds and visuals simply by touching a button or using your own voice. Enjoy in-shower entertainment with waterproof LCD tablets, start the water running with a verbal command and set personal presets for the perfect shower every time. Similar systems exist for your toilet, through which you can enable heated seats, eco-friendly water usage and self-cleaning modes.

Illuminate the Future
“One of my favorite design elements featured at KBIS this year was lighting,” says Carroll. “Not the typical ambient, task or accent lighting, but innovative products that make bathrooms fun and functional.” When looking for pragmatic ways to incorporate some extra illumination into your bathroom, you’ll find everything from lighted toilet seats and LED waterfall faucets to sensor-activated under-cabinet lighting that eliminates one more switch from your wall.

Another bright idea capturing consumer attention is the multifunctional, mirrored medicine cabinet with built-in lighting and an integrated operating system that can manage virtually
every need. Multitask while getting ready—get a weather or traffic report while you’re brushing your teeth, play your favorite music while you shave, or make a quick phone call while finishing your morning makeup routine.

To stay connected in the shower, install the ThermaTouch LCD Touchscreen 8.1. The Bluetooth-enabled waterproof controller can stream live TV, news, weather, music and more, and can control other shower and steam systems available in the ThermaTouch Kit. $1,570 (
Inspired by the Kitchen
“Much like the kitchen, the master bathroom should strike a perfect balance between high-tech and low maintenance,” says Rochelle Horn, president of the Arizona Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association. “The trick in designing a bathroom is to not let the technology overwhelm you, because you still want to create a comforting space where stress just melts away and you’re not fiddling with buttons and knobs.”

Because the average bathroom requires many similar design considerations as a kitchen—including task lighting, plumbing, sanitary solutions, durable materials and ample counter space—you can create the bathroom of your dreams by thinking of your master suite as an experiential place where serene aesthetics merge with the on-hand accessibility of a well-outfitted kitchen.

Outfitted with softly glowing LED lights, the Beyond Crystal faucet from THG Paris features translucent Baccarat crystal and an elegantly arching spout for a stylish statement above your sink. $9,075 (
Horn, who says she’s unsurprised by the latest shift toward kitchen-inspired bathrooms, is seeing plenty of ingenious designs on the market. If your collection of beauty creams or medications are better preserved in cool temperatures, install small refrigerated drawers beneath your counter space for easy access. Cut down on the transfer of germs by using hands-free faucets and toilets, or opt for specialty antimicrobial quartz countertops to control bacteria. Horn also has seen an influx of small coffee and wine bars installed in en suite bathrooms and clever iterations of kitchen-style warming drawers translated into toasty towel storage versions. With ever-advancing technology, the opportunities for your master bathroom’s luxe level are endless.

LED lighting glows softly through a translucent glass countertop, adding a new level of ambience to a master bathroom.

The Amazon Alexa-enabled Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror can do it all: adjust lighting for specific tasks, play music, read you the news and control all of the other Kohler Konnect products you have installed in your bathroom. Price upon request.(
Store cosmetics, medications and bottled water (right and below) in the 15" Signature Series Indoor Refrigerator “Beauty Drawers” from Perlick for all the convenience of the kitchen in your own bathroom. Prices vary. (

Reduce the spread of germs with the Vola Electronic Hands-Free Faucet. A built-in data port allows you to monitor water usage, making this faucet as green as it is smart. Price upon request. (

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