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posted: 3/31/2014 2:01 AM

Luxurious bathroom is this decade's 'it' room

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  • Many of today's homeowners are willing to cut back in other areas in order to afford their dream bathroom.

    Many of today's homeowners are willing to cut back in other areas in order to afford their dream bathroom.

By Joseph Pubillones

Bathrooms have gone quite literally from an unmentionable to the most visited and celebrated room in some homes. Magnificent bathrooms have become the epitome of lavish living in the United States, Europe and, well, almost everywhere. Some homeowners take so much pride in showing their guests their accomplishments, I'm afraid I will be served cocktails "shower-side" and dinner by the "free-standing tub."

Joking aside, bathrooms are just that important in today's home market.

While the great room was the room of the 1980s, the media room or theater was the room of the 1990s, and the millennium brought us the professional kitchen, the bathroom is the room of our time. People generally want their bathrooms to be of the same quality and caliber as the rest of their home. In addition, the market is now catering to the wants of women and men, as their grooming and hygiene standards are now almost equal.

Top-of-the-line products and materials are requisite for any renovation. As a matter of fact, many homeowners are choosing to tighten their budgets elsewhere in order to afford a state-of-the-art bathroom. A wider variety of vitreous china products such as sinks, toilets and tubs are available in sleek modern designs as well as traditional designs, befitting everyone's castle. Designers and consumers alike are not seeking style alone; they also want reliability and durability.

Splendor in the bath these days comes from the fine fixture to the use of rare and exotic materials such as onyx and semiprecious stones. Beauty, it seems, is all in the eye of the beholder. Some may think that these new bathrooms are overly sybaritic. Yet others -- those who can afford it -- can never overindulge. Not since the days of the Roman Empire has bathroom design been so important.

Gone are the days of your standard 5-by-7 bathroom -- that is now the dimension of your tub! The era of utilitarian bathrooms is over. It is now a place for pampering, steaming and lounging. Throw in some technology fellows, and you may be watching the next football game while taking a bubble bath.

More and more homeowners are beginning to acknowledge the importance of good bathroom design that goes beyond just utility. Everywhere around the world, this is the room where people begin and end each day, where we inspect our appearances before we face the world, and where we go to re-energize ourselves after a long day at work.

When considering building a new home or renovating your existing home, consider hiring an interior designer to help you walk through the many decisions that may last a lifetime. Spending a portion of your renovation budget on design is well worth it in terms of avoiding the shoulda-coulda-wouldas. In the long run, you will have peace of mind throughout the process and will reap the rewards of the many ideas your designer will bring to the project.

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design firm based in Palm Beach, Fla.

© 2014

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