Soft Music, a Toasty Towel and Other Luxuries Create the Right Mood for Your Bath Soft Music, a Toasty Towel and Other Luxuries Create the Right Mood for Your Bath

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), August 4, 2012 | Go to article overview

Soft Music, a Toasty Towel and Other Luxuries Create the Right Mood for Your Bath Soft Music, a Toasty Towel and Other Luxuries Create the Right Mood for Your Bath


Byline: Lindsey Romain CTW Features By Lindsey Romain CTW Features

If there's one room that screams relaxation, it's the bathroom, where anyone can go to escape household hubbub and soak the worries away.

However, added luxury can come at a hefty price -- thousands of dollars plus installation costs. We take a look at the high-end technology that can turn a bathroom into a spa haven, plus the affordable options that can make an impact without breaking the bank.

Waterproof radios

Getting music to play in the shower might seem like the easiest task: Take your current music-playing device and put it in the bathroom. But even this simple device has high-tech luxury options.

For instance, the Sangean H201 Waterproof Shower Radio ($149.99) can also double as a travel radio for outdoorsy types. It offers the standard preset radio stations, timers and a clock. But it will also float if you drop it in the lake on a fishing trip, and there's a built-in emergency LED flashlight for camping or inclement weather.

Those who aren't as adventurous and prefer to act as DJ in the shower have less-expensive options like the Jensen Universal Docking Shower Radio ($50), which can encase an iPod in its waterproof shell.

Regardless of price, shower radios are easy to install. Most come with suction cup docks or are free-standing, so they can rest on any shower ledge or corner.

Televisions

One of the most dramatic technological features in a modern bathroom is the mirror television. They are more commonly seen in high-end hotel bathrooms, but are making their way into residential spaces.

When a TV mirror is off, it's indistinguishable from the rest of the mirror. When it's powered on, it lights up a segment of the mirror so the TV image is displayed. Most models are wired into the home's television cables and can be connected to alternative devices like DVD players or laptop computers.

Green Bay, Wis.-based Sura produces the Enhanced series of TV mirrors. Such TVs "are designed to bridge the gap between technology and dcor," says Gretchen Gilbertson, co-founder and partner of Sura. "Our vanishing television mirrors offer a discreet and elegant way to bring information and entertainment into your personal spaces without clutter or disruption."

Prices range from $2,899 for Sura's 10-inch TV, to $3,499 for the 19-inch model. DIY installation is possible. Other companies, including Smarthome, Mirror Media and Fontaine offer mirror televisions in the same price range.

Towel warmers

There's nothing quite like the luxury of a warm towel after a long bath.

Towel warmers range in price from $75 to upward of $1,000, depending on the features. The luxury leader in this category is Mr. Steam, based in Long Island City, N.Y. Martha Orellana, vice president of the company, suggests asking a few questions before deciding on a towel warmer. Do you want a floor or wall mount? What type of finish do you prefer? Do you want contemporary or traditional styling? Do you want to turn the warmer on with a digital timer or a light switch?

Depending on these features, the Mr. Steam products can cost from $75 for a single bar to $3,100 for the priciest model. Other brands offer less-expensive versions; the 10-bar system from Myson costs about $160.

Why go high-tech with your towels? "It's all about the 'Ahh' feeling that you get from wrapping yourself in a nice, plush, cozy, warm towel," Orellana says. "And you can get this feeling after every shower. It's pampering yourself for a few seconds every day."

Showers and baths

There's no spa experience without some sort of water pressure, be it jets in the tub or adjustable spray patterns on a showerhead. New products offer an array of controls that allow users to customize their experience.

Baths and showers now have computer panels where the user can program his or her spa experience. …

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