Today’s smart bathrooms are an exercise in gadgetry, hidden technology and clever design.
Although it’s been said over and over again, bathrooms really are becoming far more than simply a functional room. Today’s bathrooms are havens of relaxation, escapes from day-to-day concerns, yet they must still function efficiently. This is where smart technology is most effective, as much of the technology can be concealed in walls or by other means to keep a clean, clutter-free look for the bathroom.
As with kitchen design, the best time to be making decisions about the positioning of gadgets, cables and wires is during the initial design period. This will allow the greatest flexibility for including all the items you most desire, as well as designing the room around these features. Planning ahead is the key to a well-functioning and technologically-advanced bathroom. It costs very little at this stage of the process to include additional power points, data lines, access to the antenna or a phone jack, just in case.
One of the more popular “smart” installations for a bathroom is an audio/visual system that comprises a flat-screen television, DVD and/or CD player, as well as a set of speakers. Access to communication tools is also an important consideration for most homeowners. Rather than having to jump out of the bath and run dripping to the front door, how much more convenient would it be to just switch on the video phone and communicate with your visitor via intercom or answer the phone with a simple flick of a switch?
Lighting and lighting design are an integral part of overall bathroom design, particularly in terms of creating a particular mood. When a bathroom is a shared space it fulfils many different requirements and therefore has a number of lighting requirements to suit. When children are bathing, a bright light is required but when mum and dad are relaxing in the spa after the children are in bed, a soft, romantic light is in order. Intelligent lighting systems can be programmed to create a range of scenarios at the push of a button. Sensors can turn off lights and heating once the room has been vacated. Heating can even turn on 10 minutes before you need to use the bathroom in the morning, to ensure the room is toasty warm when you arrive.
Water conservation has been an issue of great concern for many years and today’s tap manufacturers are taking the matter seriously. Technology has advanced to the point that the main selling point for most tapware is the unit’s water efficiency. AAAA and AAAAA-rated tapware is not uncommon and most homeowners are specifying these water saving properties when they choose their fittings and fixtures.
> Streamline your bathroom design with a concealed cistern.
> Incorporate cabling and wiring at planning stage.
> Take advantage of new technological products.
> Plan for multi-use spaces.
> Allow for future installations.
> Consider placement of audio/visual equipment.
> Pre-programmable lighting scenarios.
> Have access to communication tools.
> Use water-saving technology.