Catering to the male mystique

It’s a fact that men like their primping time in the bathroom just as much as women. Men are taking their grooming very seriously these days with trips to the salon replacing the quick dash to the barbershop. Hair is styled and gelled, (for those lucky enough to have lots), and nails buffed. And no question the market is on top of the trend.

Rich shades of brown resonate around the clean

It’s a fact that men like their primping time in the bathroom just as much as women.

Men are taking their grooming very seriously these days with trips to the salon replacing the quick dash to the barbershop. Hair is styled and gelled, (for those lucky enough to have lots), and nails buffed. And no question the market is on top of the trend.

I am renovating a bathroom in my home right now, and have been busy researching everything from taps to tiles.

Whenever I begin a project, whether it’s for me or my TV makeovers, I always pore over mags and visit manufacturers’ websites. It is easier than ever to get inspired.

It was while I was checking out the Kallista Collections, which are one of Kohler’s luxury lines, that I discovered the latest in bathroom cabinetry and fittings.

Retro and traditional designs are merging to create a thoroughly modern look. Marble countertops are prevalent, some have been designed to wrap around vanities, dropping luxuriously to the floor; faucets and taps in silver and bronze are old-fashioned or modern to build on your personal style; basins and tubs swing from stark rectangles to beautifully sculpted ovals.

The spa look is as popular as ever, but is softened with a few traditional touches such as a romantic set of taps or a bit of colour on the walls.

For the man in your life, a bathroom outfitted along the lines of the room shown here would surely be a treat.

The dark tan coloured walls remind me of a cozy den or library, and there is nothing fancy or frivolous to detract from the beautiful basic elements.

The 50s style wood cabinet is raised on a chrome stand, which makes it appear important; the flat surface and straight angles of the countertop match the cabinet’s clean lines uninterrupted by the undercounter basin.

Height and visual space is enhanced by the arched faucet. Smart details include coordinated drawer pulls, matching towel ring, and twin metal sconces that flank the black walnut framed mirror.

If you are planning a bathroom with masculine appeal, probably the best way to begin is by asking him what he’d like. If that leads nowhere, here are a few pointers. Splurge on one item that you know he’ll think is very cool.

This could be the latest in taps that lets you dial in the water temperature you prefer so that it automatically flows as he likes it, or choose shiny nickel faucet and taps in an ultra modern design. Shower power is a winner, try some steam heat and a bench for sauna-like luxury.

For the walls, pick large tiles, or paint in white or a light brown leather tone. Accent with black. Two mirrors are a necessity – over the basin and a retractable shaving mirror with magnification. A vanity with two or three drawers will help keep the countertop uncluttered.

This can be a simple, modern style, or if he is a real traditionalist, an antique oak or mahogany dressing table can be converted. Check out spa for men toiletries and stack a few on the counter and in the shower.

The bathroom I’m renovating is our ensuite, so I’m treading the fine line that balances masculine and feminine tastes. I’ll show you how it turned out when the job is completed, and pass along some tips on how to compromise for the sake of family harmony.

Debbie Travis’ House to Home column is produced by Debbie Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@debbietravis.com.

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