Alpine Log Homes Photo by Dann Coffey

Homeowners everywhere are seeking ways to add a touch of luxury to their lives, and one of the best rooms in the house to indulge in a little opulence is the bathroom. This most private of rooms can be as spare or sumptuous as you please—all it takes is a little creativity and, of course, an ample budget.

Shower Yourself in Luxury
Tressa Downs, sales manager for the Cincinnati-based DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen franchise, says today’s most popular item for upscale bathrooms is a super-sized shower with power, including built-in seating, multiple shower heads and body sprays.

If pounding your body with multiple jets seems more like cleansing in a car wash than enjoying a sumptuous indulgence, consider installing a waterfall shower. Or linger in the latest in steam showers. Many of today’s high-end steam showers incorporate aromatherapy and adjustable lighting—elements that are frequently used in plush spa retreats.

Decompress From Stress
Speaking of spas, certified bath designers Sandy and Lynn Monson of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, agree that in-home spas are the hottest thing in today’s home-building market.

“The wellness trend is huge,” according to Sandy. “Rather than visiting a day spa, many home owners want the daily convenience and instant gratification of a spa at home.”

Homeowners are incorporating not just hot tubs, but also foot massagers, steam rooms and cedar-lined saunas into the bath.

Warming Trends
Certified designer and licensed residential contractor Sara Ann Busby is installing more heated tile floors in the high-end bathrooms she’s creating, banishing the once-frequent complaint of cold-feet wake-up calls. A thin electric heating system is installed under the tile and controlled by a thermostat.

And when it comes to staying warm, what can be more snuggly than a toasty towel after a stimulating shower or soothing bath? A towel warmer will give you that fresh-out-of-the-dryer feeling every time.

Finishing Touches
The well-appointed bath doesn’t stop with bathroom fixtures, no matter how lavish they are. High-end materials and high-tech gadgetry truly convert this space from a mere necessity to a room to relish.

According to Sara Ann, materials need to be visually substantial in a log home, with trends that tend toward textured stone or slate flooring softened with throw rugs, while countertops often are stained concrete or granite, rather than tile or marble.

If you’re looking for that extra dose of opulence, fireplaces, surround-sound systems, flat-screen televisions with Internet access and even espresso bars are no strangers to the luxury bath. Some homeowners have incorporated plush chaise lounges, ottomans and coffee tables, creatively using extra spaces by converting them into casual parlors.

So if you’re in the infant stages of planning your home or looking to do a little post-construction renovation, don’t brush the bath aside. Relish the possibilities of this haven for relaxation.