Innovations and Technologies
Story by Ann Butenas
Gone are the days when stepping into a shower was just a mundane ritual of water meets soap. Welcome to 2023, where the shower experience is undergoing a transformation as dramatic as a metamorphosis. From luxurious multi-headed showers that give the sensation of being gently kissed by a rainforest, to steam options that make every morning feel like a day at the spa, or the avant-garde integration of tubs within showers for those who can’t decide between a quick rinse or a relaxing soak.
We spoke with Karin Ross, interior designer and owner of Karin Ross Designs, who went on an exploration with us to discover the latest trends in aquatic indulgence that elevate the daily shower to practically an art form.
KCH&S: How have showers evolved in recent years?
KARIN ROSS: Showers have evolved from a singular use, basic small space into a multipurpose, goal-oriented larger one. Historically, showers have been solely used for cleansing the body, but have now become equipped to offer a true spa experience at home.
KCH&S: What innovations have come about with respect to shower heads?
KARIN ROSS: Shower head functionality has broadened significantly and become laser focused all at the same time. This one aspect of the shower can serve to awaken and energize or calm and tranquilize. These goals are met with various water streams and pressures in specific locations, as well as through means of aromatherapy technology integration.
KCH&S: What types of technology are now being incorporated into the shower experience?
KARIN ROSS: The ever-increasing demand for the luxury shower experience has required much from technology in terms of plumbing, speakers, lighting, and screens. The goal is for all of these features to synchronize and achieve mood modification for the user. Plumbing now exists that works with lighting. The lighting can be warm or cold, one color or multiple, or even changing colors.
KCH&S: What are some luxury shower selections in terms of material that more homeowners are now using?
KARIN ROSS: Quartz and porcelain have become luxury shower selections of choice in regard to maintenance and cleaning. Slabs of 2’ x 4’ dimension require less to clean and no grout, which means less opportunity for mold growth. This is one of the most expensive options, but people want to invest in this because of these cleaning perks as well as the timeless look the slabs present.
KCH&S: What else are you seeing integrated into showers that might surprise us?
KARIN ROSS: Integrated televisions are making their way onto the luxury shower scene, some even hidden, so the user can watch the news, their favorite show, or even the delivery person or a guest approaching the front door!