Guilty Pleasures: The Luxury of a Performance Shower

Commercial interior designers for major hotel chains around the world have seduced the buying public for years by offering the finest in 21st century-style luxury bathrooms. Among other things, these soothing sanctuaries feature showers that not only nourish and clean our skin, but also boast the superior ability to relax our muscles and miraculously heal our minds and bodies. They are known as performance showers.

Performance showers that were once only for the jet-setting upper echelons have now trickled their way down into construction blueprints for big-city apartments as well as remodeling plans for quaint country cottages.

Those interested in the hydrotherapy produced by the performance shower can create their own unique recipe from a collection of accessories that indulge the mind, body and spirit in utter relaxation. Leading the performance shower revolution is Kohler, the game-changing plumbing powerhouse that has singlehandedly upped the ante in personal bathing.

Choose from the following list of control options and amenities to design or redesign your bathing zone into a performance shower. They are practically guaranteed to bring both higher resale value and return-on-investment for your home, as well as improved mental and physical well-being for you.

– Rainheads, body jets and hand-held wands deliver an over-abundant amount of water from walls and ceilings within the confined shower area. Rainheads pour water over you like a waterfall, body jets spray the entire vertical length of your body, and hand-held wands allow you to direct water for tasks you perform in the shower.

– Steam units allow you to relax amidst heated water vapor as it opens pores and heats you from within.

– Chromotherapy is colored lighting that can change or enhance your mood.

– Heated floors keep your feet warm when you step out of the shower.

– On-demand water heaters heat water for the exact time that it is needed so you never run out of hot water.

– Seats and niches are important and practical. The seat allows you to sit and relax as well as to perform tasks such as shaving your legs. Niches are shelves recessed into the shower walls to hold shampoo, shower gel and other toiletries.

– Radio, phone, iPod, intercom and television can all be incorporated to enhance your overall showering experience.

While some remain satisfied with the traditional cast-iron bathtub and plastic shower curtain, the majority of today's consumers, as well as hoteliers, are interested in bringing back the baths reminiscent of the Roman Empire for the ultimate in pampering.

Shane Inman is president and senior principal interior designer of The Inman Company. He is currently a blogger for the Chicago Tribune at ("The Interior Design Savant") and is a featured designer on, where you can view his portfolio. Reach him at (231) 392-5548;