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http://www.chicagotribune.com/classified/realestate/newhomes/chi-0704180494apr20,0,5012994.story? coll=chi-classifiedhomes-utl

CHOICES

There?s no end to bathroom add-ons

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April 20, 2007

Luxury continues to shape today's bathroom design, as hot tubs, fancier showers, rustic stone tile and high-end fixtures rule the day.

As busy home buyers look for a personal retreat, they are increasingly using their creativity in the master bathroom. Many are modeling their bathrooms after hotels and resorts, adding luxurious steam showers, multiple shower heads and a bubbling whirlpool tub for relaxation. The result is a mini-spa experience any time of day or night.

"People are still spending a lot of money on upgrades for the master bath," said Peggy Holloway, design counselor for Ferris Homes. "That's where they start their day and end their day."

If space allows, most buyers are adding both a shower and bathtub. The large soaking or whirlpool tub becomes one focal point in the room and is adjacent to the shower stall. While the shower stall is considered the more functional area, it still is equipped with fancy body sprays and designer tile.

Others are focusing all the attention on the bathtub.

"Bathtubs are no longer being shoved in the corner," Holloway said. "They're in the middle of the room and are a focal point."

The tub might have a rich wood base that is rectangular. Or some "free-floating" bathtubs are modeled after the old fashioned claw-foot tubs found in vintage homes.

The claw-foot bathtubs often are paired with a decorative faucet mounted from the wall, while the more contemporary bathtubs have a sleek faucet mounted on the tub deck.

These bathtub and shower areas also are being accented with large vanities, often with furniture detailing. While a single, 24- or 36-inch vanity might have sufficed years ago, it is seen as too limiting today.

Many people are looking for larger vanities for storage and ease of use. The vanities often are accented with vertical molding, distressed finishes and furniture-styled legs. Many bathroom vanities are 60

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