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Boston Magazine: “In the Lav of Luxury”

Old World opulence meets New Age plumbing in today’s bathrooms.

Some excerpts:

    Remember when a bathroom meant a sink, toilet, and tub? No more. The bathroom of the nineties is often not a room at all, but a series of spaces that segue from bedroom to dressing room to steam room to water closet. These luxurious suites are frequently outfitted with an array of equipment designed to satisfy far more than your body’s basic needs.

    “We call them pleasure palace bathrooms,” says Peter LaBau, partner and principal designer at Classic Restorations, a North Cambridge architecture firm. And while these palaces showcase the latest in hydraulic technology, old-world finishes are often used side by side with futuristic gadgetry to create a heady environment of luxury, comfort, and convenience.

    “People want their bathroom to create a feeling of intimacy now,” says Tamara DeSantis, showroom manager of Splash, the upscale bath emporium in Newton. “They’re paying more attention to detail, choosing finer fittings and top-of-the-line equipment.”

. . .

What Do You Do With a Bidet?

    “It’s a bee day,” Elfreda Hoyt tells Daisy in Carol Shields’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Stone Diaries. “A bottom washer. You fill it up with water and sort of squat over it and scrub your Aunt Nelly clean.”

    Shields, a Canadian, did Americans a great service with those few words, for while we may be smart enough
to figure out what an “Aunt Nelly” is, we are lost when it comes to understanding bidets. “Half the clients who
order bidets don’t know what they’re for; they just know they’re supposed to have one, whatever the hell it is,”
says LaBau.

. . .