LUXURYCULTURE.COM - Bathing Beauties


Blissful bathing becomes a mainstay in the modern home, as the bathroom moves beyond sublime, sensorial delight.

Today's bathroom is a heavenly haven as light, colour and unexpected materials create a sophisticated sanctuary for the senses.

For centuries the bathroom has been a sumptuous sanctuary, a place to restore the soul. Blissful bathing becomes a mainstay in the modern home, as the bathroom moves beyond sublime, sensorial delight.

Throughout history bathing has been perceived as more than mere routine. When the Romans created impressive spas throughout Europe, giving rise to the Turkish Hammams of the Ottoman empire, cleansing became a ritualistic practice; a sophisticated, sensual delight. In today's bathroom design and technology also comes into play, as chromotherapy, aromatherapy and hydrotherapy are incorporated within unique, unexpected design, creating a deeply personal space.

After the austere look of pristine white bathrooms, designers herald a welcome return to colour. Boffi's Aqualuce ( mounted ceiling shower incorporates LED lighting with soothing, colour changeant effects, gently cocooning the bather in a warm, mood-enhancing pool of light.

Furniture also embraces colour and decoration, as a dash of red, or a splash of orange infiltrates the bathing space. Gold offers opulent inspiration, particularly when integrated with the prevalent trend for ornamental baroque styling. Jaime Hayon's highly acclaimed AQHayonCollection ( for Artquitect brings neoclassic styling bang up-to-date, with a quirkiness that typifies Spain's designer du jour. Decorative effects and embellishment also feature as basins become works of art.

From standing out, to blending in, glass has moved beyond the shower screen. Bathing vessels seem to vanish as their transparency takes them out of the spotlight, playing spatial tricks on the eye. Water flows and floats in mid-air in Villeroy & Boch's Liaison wall hung washbasin (, while bathers recline on a Corian lounger, encased in glass in Joseph Licciardi's beautifully sculptural Le Cob bath ( Stone and wood have once again returned, proffering a luxe alternative to ceramic, but with the seamless, sinuous shapes achieved with Dupont's Corian, a relatively new and highly versatile material, designers create spectacular possibilities.

"Form follows function," may be gospel to the great and good of design, but past pioneers, Arne Jacobsen, (, Michael Graves ( and Philippe Starck ( have raised the bar, proving both disciplines tantamount when creating cult covetable showpieces in this unsuspecting space. Today, architects Piero Lissoni, (, Norman Foster ( and Ludovica+Roberto Palomba take structure a step further, as the bathroom's boundary reaches beyond wellbeing to well designed.

fixtures and fittings become integral design details rather than nondescript, functional fawcetts. Axor's Massaud (, designed by Jean-Marie Massaud, heralds a renewed hedonism in bathing, as taps rest beneath serving trays, scaled to accomodate champagne and canap├ęs. Dornbracht's RainSky E ( emulates the gentle warm showers and balmy mists of scented tropical rainforests; in contrast to the stark, industrial look of Boffi's Pipe freestanding shower (, designed by Marcel Wanders. As the old adage states "Cleanliness is next to godliness," and the bathroom is the temple of today's home.

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