Hi-tech showers, tubs as art, elegant fixtures
- Last Updated: 9:35 PM, February 26, 2013
- Posted: 9:10 PM, February 26, 2013
Sheldon Malc knows bathrooms. As showrooms manager of Davis & Warshow, New York’s venerable kitchen and bath source, Malc has seen many changes over the 40-odd years he’s been in the business.
“There’s so much technology being integrated into the bathroom,” he says. “There’s lighting right in the bathroom mirror. A television integrated in the mirror. There are embedded defrosters to keep the mirror clear. There are waterproof systems installed in the shower so you can watch TV.”
Really, people want to watch the news while they shampoo their hair?
“People don’t have time to take baths anymore,” says Malc. “The shower has become far more important.”
On the forefront of this shower technology trend is Kohler, which recently introduced the Moxie, a combination showerhead and detachable Bluetooth wireless speaker that allows you to listen to music and podcasts while you soap up.
“It’s a seamless, subtle integration of music in the shower,” says Lynn Schrage, senior manager of Kohler Showrooms. “In an urban environment like New York, where every inch counts, it’s important to create more experiences without added clutter.” Schrage also points to the company’s DTV Prompt digital-showering system, which lets you control the direction of spray and the water temperature with “a simple control interface that is sleek and very clean in appearance.”
Many of the city’s newer residential projects are creating shower experiences that resemble what you would see in a hotel or spa. “The shower is a double-shower, big enough for two people,” says architect Audrey Matlock of 57 Irving Place, a nine-unit condo building she designed in Gramercy Park. “It also has jets so you’re pounded by water in all directions. And the showerheads are flush into the ceilings so the surface is simple and clean.”
That’s not to say that bathtubs have become obsolete. Far from it.
In the case of 57 Irving Place, Matlock chose a freestanding tub to take advantage of the natural light and floor-to-ceiling windows and balcony off the bathroom. “This isn’t a tub shoved into a corner,” says the architect. “It’s sculptural, an object of nature.”
Bathtubs have almost become works of art, as with designer Clodagh’s just-launched Azrama collection for Porcelanosa. The sculptural line includes a stone tub designed for two “to lounge face to face,” inspired, she notes, by “two lovers conversing happily together in a hammock.”