Interior designers specify healthy home-enhancing products all the time. What are they anticipating to be the most popular in the new year? These three share their predictions here, based on their own busy practices.
I interviewed each last week by email. Check out their responses on bathroom remodels below. There was a companion kitchen piece that published on Wednesday.
Bathing & Showering
Wendy Glaister in California’s Central Valley city of Modesto is bullish on steam showers. “I always recommend [them] when working on a primary suite remodel. Many of my clients have health challenges, and they appreciate a natural way to gain relief.”
The interior designer noted that the American Society of Interior Designers’ 2024 Trends Outlook will share that spa-inspired bathrooms are on the rise, and steam showers are essential for these enhanced spaces. (The full report will be covered in an upcoming article; follow this page to get it in your mailbox.)
Robin Burrill in the greater Dallas-Ft. Worth area town of Keller, Texas is also bullish on steam showers, and notes that more manufacturers are coming out with more choices. At the 2023 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, specifiers were showing options for good-better-best systems at multiple expo booths.
She is also seeing aromatherapy in the shower as a strong trend. This can be done through simple shower head add-ons or more elaborate systems.
“By far, my most requested wellness feature was the cold plunge,” declares Summer Jensen in Southern Orange County, California’s Laguna Beach, adding, “It’s the latest viral addition for wellbeing experts. And they take up a small footprint.”
The designer is also getting requests for flotation tubs, which use water jets to simulate the feeling of weightlessness, she explains.
Glaister sees bidet toilets as a top wellness trend for 2024 bathroom projects, she says, naming their benefits: “Cleanliness and health are top of mind and staying clean and dry means less infection, which may lead to hospitalization.” She specifies them for all of her older clients wanting to remain in their homes beyond retirement.
Burrill sees safety features as a 2024 trend. “Manufacturers are really upping their game in the bathroom with elegant grab bars, tile that is slip resistant, scald resistant plumbing, etc. I love this!” she declares. The Texas designer also points out that these features benefit not only clients aging in place, but for anyone with mobility challenges, rehab needs, and fall reduction for everyone.
Glaister’s clients really enjoy automation for their lighting, window coverings, heating and cooling features, she says. “For example, waking up to a ‘morning’ setting means that the shades are raised, selected lights are turned on, the coffee pot starts, and the shower comes on. It makes for a very calm entry into the day.”
Jensen is seeing circadian lighting as a strong trend going into the new year. “The early morning sun is a cooler white, which is more jarring in the morning – it wakes us up! In the evening, the light becomes warmer and closer to the colors of sunset, which help to get us ready for bed. New lighting technology can bring these same color-shifting attributes to your home as well.”
“Stricter code certification, on top of new finishes and manufacturing techniques, makes me think that pricing will be adjusted higher for 2024,” Jensen predicts.
“I think as technology gets better, say with steam showers, we should see the price change,” Burrill anticipates. “A great example of this is the heated flooring! As technology has improved, there are many price points.”
However, she notes, the price of everything is getting more expensive at the moment, and that can have short-term impacts on the democratization trend of wellness design.