Real Estate Agent Magazine Home and Design Compact Bathrooms: High-Tech and Stylish

Compact Bathrooms: High-Tech and Stylish

Bathrooms may be getting smaller, but that doesn’t mean their amenities have shrunk. Smart tech, comfort and spa-like serenity still set the mood in these spaces.

Carrie Tolman, associate principal with KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group in Chicago predicts that bathrooms in new construction projects are likely to get smaller over time. She predicts spa-inspired bathrooms may gain even greater traction as their signature features make the space feel larger and luxurious.

Remodeling or building from scratch doesn’t just come down to aesthetics; COVID-19 inspired an interest in antimicrobial surfaces and self-cleaning toilets as ways of improving cleanliness, while efficiency and eco-friendly materials may also play a significant role.

Technological and material advances offer numerous advantages, such as dimmable lights to conserve energy; toilets that offer dual flushing, deodorization and heated seats as well as opening/closing lids automatically; showers equipped with steam units for warming arthritic joints and outlets in medicine cabinets or vanity drawers to facilitate quick convenience.

Fun has taken over rooms as entertainment hubs. According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s 2024 Bath Trend Report, rooms now feature integrated audio technology as well as beverage stations equipped with coffee makers and small refrigerators for skincare products or beverages, according to Pamela McNally, senior vice president of marketing and digital for the association.

Charleene Doverspike of Charleene’s Houses near Baltimore reports that bathroom remodeling costs have steadily risen as prices for materials and labor have increased, adding that most clients want luxurious yet relaxing designs that require higher-end materials, fixtures, faucets and fittings. Baird & Warner broker Danielle Wylie in Chicago agrees, saying clients desire customized upscale environments rather than generic layouts found everywhere else. Remodeling magazine’s 2023 Cost vs Value Report estimates an average midrange bath redo cost $24,606 with 66.7 return, while an upscale remodel would cost $76,827 with 36.7% return.

Marina Case, principal designer at The Red Shutters in upstate New York and Martha’s Vineyard, advises her clients of classic choices when making big-ticket items to stay within their budget and attract buyers. Here are other tips from her including those provided by designers as well as the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA).

Color Palette
A spa aesthetic often calls for pale hues of gray and white to help foster healing, soothing environments that Wylie says many buyers appreciate. Pale green hues also help set an inviting, healing ambience, according to Denise Benach, director of design at Lexington Homes of Chicago; in fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association report suggests this preference over white as the main option.

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