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The Lap of Affordable Luxury: Lavish Baths Achieved by Focusing on Basics

Bathrooms are becoming one of the most luxurious spaces in today's homes. Often inspired by the lavish Grecian baths seen in prestigious spas and hotels, homeowners want to create a serene and relaxing retreat in their own home to escape for a few moments each day.

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, about 4.85 million bathrooms will be renovated throughout the country this year. More astoundingly, the amount of money spent on kitchen and bath remodeling projects has tripled since 1993. In fact the National Kitchen and Bath Association reports that costs to remodel baths generally average between $6,500 and $11,600.

Still, when it comes to creating luxury spaces, often less is more. According to one experienced designer, rather than over accessorizing, choosing a few high quality products to create a beautiful focal point will create a much more cohesive, upscale, finished look.

There are several areas of the bathroom to focus on to create a luxurious feel, while keeping cluttering accessories to a minimum. These areas include sinks, faucets, countertops and the bathtub or shower area.

Sinks and Faucets
Luxury means stepping away from the basics. The days of two-handle, plain lavatory faucets with a basin sink are gone, and new chic products are turning everyday bathrooms into high-style havens. To complement the many faucets available, vessel sinks are becoming a popular way to add a unique twist to an everyday product. A vessel sink is a basin that installs partially into the counter and is designed to be above the counter. They give an elegant, unique look to your bathroom and are available in many different materials. These stylish sinks rise above the countertop and together with a unique faucet create a great decorative focal point.

Granite and Engineered Stone
For countertops, granite continues to be one of the hottest choices around. However, countertops made from natural and engineered stone are becoming very popular, especially as product lines, such as Dupont's Corian, continue to expand and replicate the look of the natural material. Additionally, due to the extremely high price of granite, the aesthetically pleasing, upscale look of these engineered products, combined with the added maintenance-freedom, continues to add to homeowner appeal.

Much like a day at the spa, homeowners want to be able to relax and bathe in a tranquil setting. While deep tubs remain popular, showers are becoming increasingly popular -- especially glass block showers. Glass block, while adding beauty, privacy and light to the bathroom, makes a statement of practical luxury and a beautiful focal point. Many homeowners are adding a touch of glass to their baths as walk-in showers, steam rooms, windows above spa tubs or partition walls. Additionally, glass block is now easier and more attainable for luxury bathrooms, with products such as pre-designed shower systems, full lines of shapes, colors and designs, and installation systems.

Professional kitchen and bathroom showroom consultants project that the upscale bathroom trend will continue and manufacturers are listening.

Courtesy of ARA Content

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