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Article Published March 29, 2019
The Ultimate Dream Bathroom
Jenn McCulloch, Correspondent

With advancements in technology and new products on the market, today's bathrooms can go far beyond function, integrating smart features, fine aesthetics, and comfort features to create a spa-like experience in your very own home.

At BENDER in New Haven, Nina Bender, says that the bathroom is one of the most important parts of the house. And she would know. Bender grew up in the world of plumbing and bathrooms. BENDER is a fourth-generation, family-owned company specializing in bath and plumbing, as well as kitchens, lighting, tile, HVAC, and more.

"For me, it's the first place I visit when I wake up in the morning and the last place I go before I go to sleep – it sets the tone for my day and closes my day," says Bender. "My bathroom needs to rejuvenate me and wake me up but also be a place where I can decompress and shed the day's stress."

Bender gave her recommendations for turning a ho-hum bathroom into a luxurious, spa-like getaway.

Vanity

"I'm a big fan of vanities because of the storage, and today's have some really cool, innovative features like hot containers for your flat iron or curling iron and power strips right in the vanity. It would have a double sink. I'd also want open space to see beautiful countertops – a marble or a granite with gorgeous veining and color."

Bathtub

"I'd have a big, deep, free-standing soaker tub with jets for massage in front of the big window, preferably overlooking a body of water. In addition to the tub-filler, there would be a handheld. While the bathroom usually serves its purpose for grooming and personal hygiene, every so often, if I do get a moment to lie in the tub, I want that to feel incredible, rejuvenating, and spa-like."

Shower

"The shower would be big with flat river rock tile on the floor and a tile seat with radiant heat. There would be lots of jets from all sides, a rain shower head from the top, a handheld, and a steam feature, which is luxurious. You want to be sure to have an exhaust fan for the steam close to the shower."

Lighting

"Lighting is super fun and in addition to a really cool feature light piece, maybe with mixed metals, I'd have sconces around the vanity. It's important to have them aimed up so it reflects off the white ceiling. When they're aimed down, it creates shadows on your face."

Toilet

"I like the idea of having a toilet in a space where you're able to close the door. If space is an issue, pocket doors can be really helpful in that case. In the toilet room, there'd be a powerful exhaust fan."

Technology

Kohler has some great ways to integrate technology. You can warm your toilet seat from an app on your phone, set your music or temperature in the shower – it's the idea of on-demand bathroom use, so it's completely set and ready when I walk in. As a mom, every minute in the bathroom counts."

Extras

"A towel warmer is a must so it's nice and toasty when I get out. Radiant heat in the floor and separate zone heating is great. I also love a closet in the bathroom for storage of linens and other things."

Product Recommendations

Sinks:  Native Trails. "They make their sinks out of metal and texture them with a hammering process so it's very earthy and beautiful."

Toilet: Numi by Kohler. "It knows if you're male or female by a leg scan and opens the toilet seat accordingly. It has a heated seat, an integrated bidet, fans, and even music"

Fixtures: Watermark. "It looks like the roughings you'd see in the wall and growing up in the industry, I'm really attracted to these."

Soaker Tub: Maax Delsia 66 in. x 36 in. Freestanding Bathtub