The new must-have among the wealthy? Toilets. Lots of them. According to West Coast real estate agents, the one percent is redefining status by how many bathrooms a house holds, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“You almost cannot have too many bathrooms,” Boyd Smith, a broker who represents areas including Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge, told the newspaper. The newest trend among the affluent demands at least two bathrooms per bedroom, as to not inconvenience guests with a restroom wait while entertaining. The excess of bathrooms also allows for privacy, concealing medicine cabinets and toiletries from visitors, brokers explain.
Bob Ray Offenhauser, an architect based in Studio City told the Times residential bathrooms don’t really resemble traditional washrooms anymore. “The bathroom has become the dressing room,” he said of his work for clients, and not of French aristocrats. The recently retired architect usually planned his custom built homes with at least two bathrooms for the master bedroom, adding at least one per additional bedroom, and often anticipated more requests from the owners.
In Beverly Hills, one estate includes 30 bathrooms while another $40 million Bel-Air mansion claims 41 restrooms. Konstantine Valissarakos, a Loz Feliz real estate agent, admits one of his clients asked only to view homes with at least 15 bathrooms because of constant entertaining. “I wouldn’t look at a two-bathroom house,” financial planner Lynda Shim told the Times while house-shopping at a Brea development.
Some industry insiders believe it’s a generational trend, explaining baby boomers are “going for exactly what they want,” according to Diana Schrage, a senior interior designer at the Kohler Design Center in Kohler, Wis. She also attributes the opulent bath experience to the cultural obsession with spa treatments and better health and wellness. “Boomers are looking at bubble massages and different water experiences as taking care of their bodies,” she said.