Washrooms of American homes have evolved drastically since Mamie Eisenhower first popularized the “Mamie Pink” powder room in the 1950s. Back then, the humble bathroom was simply a private little room with a few essential components: a bath tub, a toilet, a sink, and a mirror.
Oh, how times have changed. Restrooms in today's luxury homes can come equipped with features ranging from the indulgent to the outlandish. Among these are bidets, wall-mounted televisions, his-and-hers sinks, and patios or balconies. Some bathrooms come with impressive views that sometimes go both ways, as some modern bathrooms are noticeably lacking in privacy. There even exists a Swarovski Crystal-encrusted throne for consumers who have $128,000 to flush away. (It’s not really for sale, but could probably be special ordered.)
The following 10 extreme bathrooms were supplied by Realtor.com and Luxury Portfolio International.
By Colleen KanePublished 12 January 2012
Price: $2.7 million
Bathrooms: 7 full, 2 partial
Square Footage: 11,180
No one wants to step out of the shower or bath into a chilly room. That’s why one of life’s simple pleasures for dwellers of older buildings is warming towels on the radiator. This pleasure has evolved into the heated towel valet. Those methods have been trumped by this mansion’s master bath, where bathers can warm their towels, robe, and slippers by the marble fireplace. There's also a plush lounge that’s conveniently placed next to the fireplace, which, by the way, is in the bathroom. The mansion is in a gated community and has a circular wet bar, a negative edge pool with swim-up bar, and an outdoor kitchen.
Did I mention there is a fireplace in the bathroom?
Price: $19.995 million
Bathrooms: 5 full, 1 partial
Square Footage: 13,875
This modernist home set on about 3.5 acres is known as the Glass Pavilion. It was built in spring of 2010. Architect Steve Hermann lived in it, but soon decided to sell after the birth of his daughter. Despite three price reductions, it has yet to find an owner. It has a wine room that holds several thousand bottles and an art gallery currently housing Hermann’s vintage car collection. And if you’re into exhibitions, check out the clear glass walls next to the shower and bath tub.
Price: $9.95 million
Square Footage: 13,002
This castle-like stone estate has been on the market since last spring. The 11-year-old mansion has Old World style, with coffered and vaulted ceilings, wood floors and wood paneling in the kitchen and billiards room. But there’s nothing antique about the master bathroom, which has a soaking tub located in a cul de sac of aquariums. One of the lesser bathrooms is pretty exciting itself, with a red basin sink and matching crimson chandelier.
Price: $5.495 million
Square Footage: 13,265
This contemporary urban structure contains commercial/office space on the ground floor and two high-end residences on the three stories above. The washrooms take a minimal Asian-inspired, spa-like style, with basin sinks and the open-plan bathroom facing a wall of windows out to a terrace. It features overhead rain showers and a large square tub.
Price: $19.995 million
Square Footage: 5,750
The layout of this entire Tuscan-inspired house is oriented for maximum appreciation of the stunning ocean views of North Laguna’s Emerald Bay. The wonderfully airy and modern master bath even has a terrace. A glass door on the shower and a small shower window allow bathers to gaze out onto the ocean, and a long soaking tub is situated along large windows. The beach house also has a pool and hot tub overlooking the bay and, in case residents ever tire of the views, it has a billiards room and media room.
Price: $7.9 million
Square Footage: 12,741
This rather stunning riverfront Mediterranean villa merges indoor and outdoor space. It has coffered ceilings, wall and ceiling murals, and a third-level observatory to take in the sunsets. The bath opens out to a courtyard, featuring a rock wall, waterfalls, and a hexagonal spa.
Price: $10.9 million
Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 partial
Square Footage: 7,928
This circa-2008 estate is situated on 7.6 waterfront acres on Popponesset Bay. With its brick walls, timber beams, and soaring ceilings, it’s a luxury residential take on a country cathedral. The mirror-paneled loo, however, is more like a Victorian funhouse. People using this water closet should prepare to come face-to-face with the precise state of their fitness and the quality of their hair day.
Price: $8.859 million
Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 partial
Square Footage: 8,800
The march of stainless steel into home interiors seems unstoppable — having almost reached the saturation point in kitchens, it is now appearing in bathrooms. While the surprise feature of this bathroom is the stainless tub, it also incorporates a mishmash of beige and brown materials in the form of a stone walk-in shower, wood cabinetry built-ins, tiles, and a marble counter with his-and-hers sinks. This Arts and Crafts-inspired home also offers views of downtown Austin.
Price: $27 million
Square Footage: 10,180
This Malibu beachfront dream mansion offers superb ocean views from nearly every room. The bath might not have an extreme style or design, but it’s still extremely cool. The tub is deep and shaped like a walnut shell. It’s steps away from the beach, and you can’t beat the view. A nearby Malibu Colony mansion also has an oceanview tub, and is going for $2 million more.