Aging in Place: Beautiful bath ideas for your forever home

Aging in Place: Beautiful bath ideas for your forever home

Virgil is quoted as saying, “The greatest wealth is health,” and with so many Americans living well longer, the interior design industry is seeing a real increase in requests for master bathrooms that will allow for aging in place.
These spaces are not utilitarian or spare, they are carefully designed for function and beauty. “Luxury baths include both functional and emotional elements, with the former involving high levels of craftsmanship and customization and the latter focusing on comfort and beauty at every level.” NKBA Luxury Bath Report 2022
No one knows this better than Shawn Rawlins, owner of Abe’s Discount Plumbing, in Modesto. “Key elements of a bathroom designed for aging in place include “0” threshold showers, grab bars that are disguised as towel bars or toilet tissue holders and bidet toilets. These elements make the bathroom safe and functional.”
“0” Threshold showers, or “roll-in showers” provide easy access to the shower area by functioning without a traditional shower threshold. This is achieved by either dropping the framing in the shower (if you have a raised foundation) or excavating foundation concrete, lowering the shower area and re-pouring a new slab for the shower floor. Often, these types of showers have linear drains. Linear drains span the width of the shower to catch water runoff at a precise pitch either at the front or the back of the shower. Shawn likes Infinity Drains, “They have a program that allows you to have a drain made for the precise dimension of the width of your shower, either tile-in or with a decorative grate.” This is an important feature as the ability to catch and carry water away from the built environment is key for the integrity of the room.
One of the most frustrating things about designing an aging in place bathroom is that once installed, grab bars make the room feel cold and sterile. Not so any longer, says Shawn. “Delta is a very approachable price point and they make good looking grab bars to match some of their suites of trim styles.” In the project photographed for this story, we used Delta grab bars to beautiful effect. They act as towel bars and as a toilet tissue holder.
Bidet toilets are also more and more popular for use in aging in place bathrooms. UTI’s are more common as one ages and can lead to serious illness including kidney infections and sepsis. To avoid UTI’s cleanliness and dryness are key (Mayo Clinic 2022). Most bidet toilets can clean and dry each area thoroughly, helping to prevent the spread of bacteria from one area to another, and helping to discourage skin rash and irritation. Toto is best known for their bidet toilets, but other brands are entering the market at a more approachable pricepoint with comparable features. Trone is a toilet I discovered at the 2020 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Orlando, FL. Their toilets offer separate washing and drying features, a heated seat, deodorizers, a night light and auto clean functions for less than half the price of a Toto bidet toilet.
Other luxury elements you may want to incorporate into your bathroom include heated floors,custom storage for prescriptions and hygiene products, additional natural light, and grooming features like a vanity with a hot styling tool pull out. “People just want to stay in their homes as long as humanly possible. It’s comfortable…their own. A beautiful, thoughtfully designed bathroom that can accommodate a multitude of needs can make that possible,” shares Shawn. For more information about great products to make your forever bathroom perfect for your needs, please call Shawn at (209)521-8600 to schedule your private plumbing consultation.
Photography by Mark Verschelden. Design by Wendy Glaister and Stephanie Poulsen of Wendy Glaister Interiors. Plumbing trims from Abe’s discount plumbing. Tile from Bedrosians. Cabinetry by VPM Cabinets.
Recent Project

Traditional Home Featured Project

Featured on Traditional, this project from blueprint is the definition of warmth and welcome. Designed and built with an active young family in mind, the highest level of attention was paid to every detail. Hard wearing flooring, quartz countertops, performance fabrics and easy to clean surfaces make the home easy to live in. A […]

View Project

  • Thank you so much for all your hard work to make our home beautiful and inviting. I cannot express how much joy I have walking into my house each day. We could not have achieved this without you. You truly exceeded our expectations and we are truly grateful! You all have been a wonderful blessing in our lives, we are so happy to have had the chance to work with you, know you and become friends with you! Thank you so much!

  • I am so glad we were able to meet yesterday. I love your vision for our living area. I think the rooms will be pleasing and comfortable and thank you for being so thoughtful in helping to create a functional and practical space for us. I truly appreciate how you understand that having adequate storage is important to me and have taken the time to analyze how to achieve this in the new small space in a pleasing and aesthetic manner.

  • We smile every time we walk into our bright and modern kitchen as well as our warm and comfortable living and dining rooms. Exquisite work Wendy, thank you so much.

  • We have never worked with an interior designer before and couldn’t have been more pleased!! What we were looking for were insights and a professional, creative slant on our project. Wendy brought both In abundance!

  • Wendy was a joy to work with! She can "envision" the completed project and her guidance with the process was priceless! Love her cheerful attitude and honesty! I highly recommend her!

  • Wendy is absolutely the best work with! She was simply amazing! She exceeded my expectations beyond measures! She help us through the process and made everything so much easier.

  • Wendy came to my home to help me pull together my furniture and decor. She was wonderful work with and I could not recommend her more.

  • My husband and I decided to work with Wendy based on her recommendations and I am so glad we did! Wendy is an absolute pleasure to work with! She is kind, professional, responsive, takes into consideration your opinion, taste and style and produces a fantastic result. She is amazing at what she does and our beautiful home is a result of her exceptional work. We couldn’t be happier we chose Wendy and will definitely use her again in the future!

  • My husband and I feel truly grateful and fortunate to have had Wendy's expertise and guidance through all 3 phases of our remodels. We now have a lovely home, thanks to Wendy.

  • We loved working with Wendy and our happy to give her our wholehearted endorsement to handle your interior design projects. We have had many compliments on our home and look forward to working with Wendy in the future.