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I saw a television commercial recently where a man was so dedicated to his cellphone that he moved through his morning routine without looking up once. He even had it in the shower with him, covered in a plastic baggy!

The advertiser may have been pointing out our extreme dependence on our devices in a funny way, but what struck me is how unnecessary it was for that man to be attached to his phone. There are lots of other ways to check Facebook, send email or text without having to hold onto a phone.

What I’m getting at is how technologically advanced the bathroom has become. So advanced, really, that having a television mounted on the wall is almost passé!

Check out some of these tech ideas. Which ones do you just have to have?

The High Tech Medicine Cabinet

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Medicine cabinets have come a long way since they were little cabinets stuck into a wall. They were barely deep enough to hold many of the bottles, jars or tubes that populate our bathrooms. Not to mention the fact that keeping medicine in a room that can get quite hot and humid is not exactly the best way to keep that product fresh.

Now, you can buy a medicine cabinet that comes in various depths to suit your needs. Better yet, the latest incarnation is a cabinet that is split. In other words, half is the regular shelved cabinet that we all recognize. The other half is refrigerated. In this age of popular, organic face products and yes, even medicine, the cooled section offers safe storage for all the natural and perishable bathroom products we buy.

Music To Relax By

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Remember the days when you’d cart the portable stereo into the bathroom so you could listen to music while soaking in the tub? Ok, I admit it, I still do this.

For those of us who love nothing better than to accompany a relaxing soak with the music we love, there’s a new trend in bathroom design that is sure to make us happy. It’s the surround sound system built right into the bathroom. No portable stereos are necessary. Just switch it on digitally, choose your playlist and you’re ready to spend some quality time with your tub.

Hands-Free Technology

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Hands-free toilet levers, faucets and hand dryers have been fixtures in public bathrooms for years. But, no one ever really thought about bringing that technology into the home. The move in recent years toward a more spa-like home bathroom experience, though, has created greater interest in bringing those products into the privacy of our homes.

The world of bathroom technology, especially digital technology, is really ramping up. Every year, home shows feature a long list of new ideas for our home. I can’t wait to see what else designers think up!

 

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Admit it, wouldn’t it be great if everything you needed was located within an easy step or two from the patio chair on which you’re sitting enjoying that great book you’ve been meaning to read? Picture yourself there. A cool beverage sits on the table near your elbow; the water, gently lapping in the pool, is close by, even the bowl of chips sits within easy reach.

What if I told you that you could have that?

The outdoor room is the latest trend to hit home and landscape design. Not exactly an overnight sensation – people living in warmer climes have been enjoying them for decades – they’re a wonderful way to fully enjoy the three most comfortable seasons before the rain and snow move in.

We’ve seen the outdoor living room, the outdoor kitchen, even the outdoor bedroom. Well, get ready for this one. How about the outdoor bathroom?

Ok, I know … it’s not exactly a new idea. Everyone’s heard of the old, drafty outhouse harboring all the creepy-crawlies from your nightmares. Scratch that image from your mind forever. I’m going to introduce you to something much better: the beautiful, outdoor bathroom.

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Imagine a backyard get-together or a pool party. You and your guests need a place to rinse off the suntan lotion and salt water, change into fresh clothes or just cool off. The last thing you want is to have your guests trekking pool water, sand or wet towels through your nice, clean home.

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A well-designed outdoor bathroom can solve all those problems. Design it as large or small as your space allows, include toilets, vanity or shower depending on how you’d like the room to be used. Given the extent of new and inexpensive materials available today, building a private, cozy and beautiful space is entirely possible.

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Indulgence? Perhaps. But, don’t you think we all deserve an outdoor, home spa to wash away all the cares of the day? I’m thinking that yes, we all do!

Over to you. What features would you need to have in your own outdoor bathroom design?

 

 

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Imagine yourself arriving home from a long day at work. You’re exhausted. You drop your bag by the front door and head directly to your steam shower. Twenty minutes later, you emerge refreshed and ready for whatever the evening will bring.

Wait. You’re not done yet. That wonderful shower that brought you so much peace now has to be cleaned.

Believe it or not, there are people out there who love to clean. Silly, right? For most of us scrubbing and wiping are just boring chores, not to mention unhealthy since so many cleaning products contain toxic chemicals. Because your steam shower is healthful and rejuvenating, keeping it clean should be, too.

Grocery store shelves are loaded with all the standard cleaners. So, I’ve put together a Top 5 list of green cleaning solutions that you can use instead. Toxic products are just not necessary under normal circumstances, and may actually end up damaging shower and countertop surfaces. Natural cleaners can cut through dirt with ease and with few, if any, adverse side-effects to your health. They’re also often more economical and can be used to clean any room of the house.

1. Homemade Lemon Juice & Water

We already have many of the ingredients necessary to make our own cleaning products. Check out the chart below to see which product works best on which kind of problem.

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One of my favorite go-to cleaners that I always have on hand is a ½-cup lemon juice and ½-cup water solution that I pour into a spray bottle. I use white vinegar in the same amount as a substitute for lemon juice, too. It’s a great glass, countertop and anything cleaner.

2. Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day All-Purpose Cleaner

“Garden-fresh scents uplift your mood while adding a little spring to your step,” reads Mrs. Meyer’s website. Well, that promise alone would convince me to spend an hour cleaning. Mrs. Meyer’s products do not contain the typical long list of toxic chemicals, like phthalates, petroleum distillates and parabens, found in most cleaning products. The company derives its formulas from renewable plants, and does not test its products on animals.

3. Shaklee Get Clean Basic H2

Because this cleaner is concentrated, a little will go a long way. Shaklee has been ahead of the trend by committing to organic, green cleaning products since 1956.

4. Simple Green Naturals

This cleaner is the ultimate multi-tasker. Use it in on every part of the bathroom and in the laundry, too.

5. Green Works by Clorox

It would be really easy to discount this product. Clorox usually makes products that are chemically-laden. Could the company just want to jump on the green bandwagon? Perhaps. It’s worth noting though that a lot of people buy Clorox products. By introducing a fairly green cleaner (97% natural) at a reasonable price, the company is helping to bring eco-friendly products to more people.

Look for these symbols

All is not lost if you can’t find these exact products or make the solutions yourself. Before placing a bottle of cleaner into your cart, look for these symbols. They will help you identify the green products among all the others.

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Ecologo is recognized worldwide. Products, packaging and services have been certified as having reduced environmental impact.

 

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EnergyStar products must use less energy, save you money and protect the environment.

 

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Leaping Bunny ensures that no animals were used in testing at any phase of a product’s production.

 

Tell us what your favorite cleaning products are.