With searches on Pinterest for ‘bathroom spa’ increasing by 269% in the last year, the pursuit of wellness is infiltrating the furthest reaches of the home. For many of our clients at Lawson Robb, the Master ensuite is no longer a practical bathing space, it has become a personal sanctuary that could rival even a hotel spa. But as technology approaches new frontiers, are people now looking to retreat for a digital detox or is this Brave New World of bathroom design coming sooner than we think?
Escapism is a well-known concept among digital natives, as the influence of our, often, overstimulated environment begins to effect our health and wellness. We are now seeing many hospitality and hotel brands creating spaces and experiences free from technology- an oasis of relaxation taking design cues from the earthy materials and natural light of the outdoors.
With products on the market, such as Pursoma, a bath soak that claims to eliminate electronic-based radiation and toxins, people are increasingly seeing the bathroom space as an antidote to our long and plugged-in work days.
We cannot deny, however, that technology does make our lives just that little bit easier. For our project in Knightsbridge, for example, we designed a master ensuite experience that incorporated those technological luxuries in a subtle and inconspicuous way.
With the whole space, from the fireplace to the rainfall shower, activated by sensor and the touchscreen TV integrated into the mirrored wall, the user can experience effortless relaxation through the latest technology without the feeling of being ‘plugged-in’, so to speak.
Technology not only allows for enhanced usability, but it also creates the opportunity to push the limits of design and aesthetics. In this project, we were able to conceal all AC ventilation within the lighting coffers, through a bespoke temperature system, whilst also balancing the reduction of traditional timber within the sauna with an electrically-heated glass surround to create a more dramatic bathroom design.
However, as designers we are being asked more and more to see how much further we can go with technology. Imagine a future where your electric toothbrush will give you dental advice and your bathroom mirror can detect skin problems may be easier than you think.
At CES (Consumer Electronics Show) Kohler recently launched a new digital platform called Kohler Konnect which integrates with a product line where users can fill their bath tub, adjust lighting levels or heat their toilet seat through voice activated control – with some products even having Amazon Alexa built in. From automatically opening and selfcleaning toilets with a nightlight to a showerhead with wireless Bluetooth speaker that allows us to sing along to the Lawson Robb Spotify playlist whilst soaping up in the shower, the possibilities really are endless.
New technology enables considerations in indulgence, connectivity, entertainment and even health management – allowing the ‘Cybernated Revolutionary’ to run their business from the bath whilst receiving a full body health check!