December 20, 2002|By Cindy Hoedel, Knight Ridder/Tribune.
American ablution ability is changing.
We acclimated to crave jetted tubs and pulsating showers that accursed our bodies like after-effects anguish the shore. Baths and showers were invigorating, exhilarating, energizing. They larboard us whistling “Zippity Do Da” and bouncing about like the guy in the Irish Spring commercial.
But these days, we’re over vigor. We appetite to be soothed.
The abreast adept bath, breadth the air-conditioned being goes, is acceptable a spa-like sanctuary. You can balmy your basic in a beef shower, deluge yourself in a abysmal assimilation tub or amble beneath a affable rain shower.
Hold the Zest, and ablaze a ataraxia candle.
Bob and Marida Cutler’s new 600-square-foot adept ablution is arresting for what it doesn’t have: a whirlpool.
“I knew we wouldn’t use it,” Marida says. There is a tub–an billowing custom-built bean basin with chip seats but no jets. There is additionally a aggregate water/steam battery and a board bank in a glassed-walled anteroom that overlooks the Leawood, Kan., couple’s back-yard pool.
Leslie Huffaker of Maysville, Mo., activate the tub of her dreams on the Internet: the Kohler sok, an overflowing air ablution with chromatherapy. The baptize appears to change blush as underwater LED ablaze ports move gradually through a progression of eight colors. By blame a button, the bather can stop on a adapted hue.
When she saw images of the sok, Huffaker says, “that was it. I knew I had to accept that tub.” Even at the appropriate retail amount of $7,143, the allowance is account it, Huffaker says: “I anticipate blush absolutely influences your mood.”
With or after chromatherapy, air tubs are fast replacing whirlpools as the angel of the contemporary bather’s eye. Their advantages are many, say ablution designers.
For one thing, air jets don’t bang specific credibility of your anatomy like baptize jets. Instead, they actualize endless of tiny bubbles. “It’s an all-over experience,” says Julie Sambo, exhibit adviser at Ferguson Ablution & Kitchen Gallery in Lenexa, Kan.
Air tubs are quieter than whirlpools, too. Sambo says baptize jet tubs can get appealing loud: “That can be annoying to people.” Overflow tubs, such as the Kohler sok, use aqueous baptize to actualize a adequate sound.
Best of all, aromatherapy admirers can use ablution oils and ablution salts in an air tub. Bubble ablution and the like are a boycott in whirlpools: Baptize jets can become chock-full or aggregate residues that anchorage bacteria.
Despite the ascent acceptance of air baths and apparent old soaker tubs, statistics appearance Americans still overwhelmingly adopt showering to bathing. But today’s ability battery is a affable cloudburst from a ceiling-mounted rain head. The annular collapsed fixtures, additionally accepted as sunflower or pan battery heads, ambit from 6 to a whopping 18 inches. And admeasurement does matter–the widest models accommodate complete coverage, says artist Eric Negrete of Helix, so “you don’t accept to wriggle” to get your accomplished anatomy wet.
Customers at Expo Architecture Center in Lenexa are additionally absorbed in free-standing battery columns by Pharo, says architecture administrator Anastasia Blackwood. Angled anatomy sprays and a hand-held battery head, some of which ablaze up, are army on a pole that can be positioned abroad from the wall. This gives the walls a apple-pie attending and “adds a focal point” to the bath, Blackwood says.
But conceivably the better account in the home bath-cum-spa is steam. Sales of beef showers accept risen steadily in the aftermost two years, exhibit consultants say. A beef battery looks a lot like a baptize shower, except that the bottle asylum extends to the ceiling. Additionally the aperture has to be sealed; some contemporary frameless models won’t authority the beef in.
The affair Bob Cutler enjoys best about his new beef shower, he says, is the burning warmup it provides “after you’ve been jogging or alive alfresco on a algid day.”
Most beef showers are purchased for new or adapted baths. Prices ambit from $3,000 to $6,000. It’s accessible to retrofit an absolute ablution with steam. Free-standing units alpha about $1,500, Blackwood says.
In decor, balmy copse is replacing automated chrome. Teak vanities, dispatch stools and attic mats are the accessories du jour. Negrete aloof installed a teak vanity in a adapted ablution for a applicant in Kansas City, Mo. The amore of the wood, he says, accumulated with the breach of bean in the battery breadth creates a “great balance–very Zen-like.”
The Asian attending that has been so hot in home accoutrement is authoritative its way into the bath, no doubt.
Negrete, who consistently campaign to the coasts breadth trends begin, predicts Japanese assimilation tubs will be authoritative a burst soon. They are shorter, but deeper, than Western tubs and generally accept a congenital bench but no jets.
Continuing abhorrence to biking on the allotment of Negrete’s audience is active the trend, he thinks. “People aren’t traveling to the European spas they’re acclimatized to, so they’re bringing [the experience] home,” he says.
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