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Posh powder rooms
By Kathleen Ostrander

Today's homeowners want style and luxury - everywhere from the garage to the master bath. Kohler Co. and Moen Inc. are happy to oblige in the powder room area and locally, Arizona Tile Co. handles the latest upscale imported and designer tiles.

Natural stone, beige and other warm, earthy colors are the rage for tiles on the bathroom walls or on the floor, according to Sheryl Daugherty, a co-owner of Arizona  Tile Co.

"The trend is bigger in master bathrooms, and that includes the size of the tiles," she said. Casamood, a tile line created in Italy, has designed the line so the colors complement, Daughtery said.

Colors include warm terra-cotta, an earthy Moresque beige, soft Caribbean green, stone-like Metropolitan gray, and cool Nordic white. "Larger tiles make the room look bigger," she said. "There is less grout, and it makes the overall look smoother. But now that grout comes in designer colors - you can use it as a complementary color or in the same tone to make one large area," Daugherty added.

Homeowners can show their style by mixing colors and sizes, even using the tiles to make a mosaic. "Showers are large enough to walk into. People are adding benches, and instead of ceramic fixtures like soap holders, they are using recessed areas in the tile or glass block to create a niche," she said.

Porcelain, glass block, slate or pebble tiles create different finishes and homeowners can also go for matte or burnished finishes. Daugherty said tiles aren't just for the floors or walls anymore.

"You can pick a tile and use it as a mirror frame or as an accent in the bathroom. You can carry the color theme of the master bedroom into the master bath," she said. "There are some pretty cool bathrooms out there."

While Moen and Kohler don't use "cool" to describe their products, they are pretty cool.

First, a little history and vocabulary lesson. Lavatory, while commonly used to refer to a public restroom, is actually a sink. The term's origins are from the Latin "lavare," or to wash. Now, on to the fun stuff.

Kohler has a whole designer line of glass lavatories. They require a simple countertop cut-out for the drain hook-up. They come in clear, embossed, in colors or in a sleek black. They are the Artist Editions or the Nature's Chemistry Collection, and they also come in different cuts of glass. If the china or porcelain look is more in keeping with the bathroom style a homeowner is looking for, Kohler offers its Yin-Yang Wading Pool countertop lavatory line.

Moen's Fina bathroom faucet collection is water efficient as well as stylish and sleek. They are available in a variety of chrome and brushed nickel finishes, and they can be matched to the shower accessories.

The Fina collection also includes matching accessories such as towel racks, robe hooks or towel rings.

Commodes or bidet or both - today's homeowner can find a variety of stylish and water-saving alternatives.

Then there are bathtubs - top of the line royalty bathtub is Kohler's Fountainhead VibrAcoustic bath. VibrAcoustics is sound and vibration therapy courtesy of the bathtub. Designed to ease stress and tension, the bather is, well, bathed in music, vibration and light as they recline in the tub.

Sound waves travel through the water and "resound" the body into a calmer breathing pattern. Bathers have the option of using a favorite playlist from an MP3 player, music from a radio station or music from a computer. The tub incorporates chromatherapy by sweeping light and colors across the water. The four lights can supply eight different colors as well as a plethora of combinations and patterns.


Story published Friday, September 5, 2008 ( Volume 3, Number 5 )

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