They may be scaling down in other areas, but custom-home clients aren’t skimping on bathroom amenities. Many master baths resemble sumptuous, spa-like retreats. Here are six trends in bathroom design.

1. The Personal Spa

There’s seemingly no end to the upscale appointments homeowners choose for the bath — everything from massage tables, barber chairs, and saunas to toilets with built-in bidets, lighting, and music. Heated floors and towel racks are a must in cold climates.

2. Nature’s Way

Natural materials are durable and therefore practical for wet-room use, but they also make a strong design statement. Woods such as teak and ipe can be used indoors and out.

3. No Boundaries

Views are as important in the master bath as they are elsewhere in the home. In custom homes where privacy is not an issue, clients sometimes opt to remove the shower door.

4. Everything is Illuminated

In bathrooms, it’s important to have both overhead and wall lighting, particularly at the vanity areas. Wall sconces or pendants can be used to fill in wherever overhead lights create shadows.

LEDs are also making inroads. Manufacturers are putting them in the back of vanity mirrors to eliminate shadows and glare altogether.

To facilitate nocturnal visits, there are wall and floor tiles with LED lighting, as well as toilets with built-in lighting.

5. The Tub Stands Alone

Freestanding tubs are making a comeback. Modern updates of the old clawfoot tub may be carved out of stone, crystal, or even solid glass, and feature rounded, rectangular, and angled shapes. Like sculptures, they often take center stage in the room.

6. Old-World Furniture and Fittings

Vanities designed to look like pieces of furniture — and conversely, old pieces of furniture that are converted into vanities — give a more unique flavor to a bathroom than stock cabinets.

View all 6 Trends and photos on HousingZone.com

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