Grab bars for tub/shower that are more aesthetically pleasing

We are contemplating a bathroom renovation this year, and given my terrible balance and vertigo issues, grab bars seem like a very good idea.

But I'm concerned about the aesthetics of the bars...they are always so ugly and industrial looking. They scream "hospital" or "old people!" And not in a good way.

Has anyone seen any variations on the grab bar theme that are a little more visually appealing and -- dare I say it? -- cool?

Several years ago when we redid a bathroom I found some alternatives to those you are referencing.  I don't recall the brand, however.  The one we selected was part of a regular suite of bath fixtures from a well-known manufacturer.  Keep looking.  Perhaps you can find some that are cool enough.

Something like this, a grab bar with a shelf?

Would this one be a possibility? It has a curved, wave shape rather than the usual clunky bar.  First link didn't work, so here is another view (but the image is all the way at the bottom, in the featured view) :

From cody's link, this is what I have in brushed nickle:

The one Cody highlighted is quite "cool"

We are designers.  We originally installed them for my MIL in one bathroom because we had to.  

We have just renovated our master bathroom and we are about to install them because we want to.  They really are nice to have. grin  Buy nice polished chrome or polished nickel versions with lovely escutcheons and enjoy the sparkle!  

No need to install the dull stainless steel hospital grade options.  If it is a shower, also consider adding the little vertical bar at the entry.  Kessler showed my MIL how to use it to transfer in and out safely and I was amazed at how well it worked.

Can they go in horizontally and do double duty to hang bath mats or washcloths or similar?

@sac, that's exactly what ends up happening.

RH, Perrin & Rowe and Lefroy Brooks all had ones we considered.  They're not cheap (RH being the cheapest, the latter two matching the polished nickel fixtures we used from them in each of the two bathrooms we redid) but you can google their offerings and get an idea to match elsewhere if the cost is too steep.

sac said:

Can they go in horizontally and do double duty to hang bath mats or washcloths or similar?

Yes.  I have one horizontally over the tub that serves as a towel rack for a dry towel.  Very handy.

Awesome! Thanks, those are all great options. My parents did this back in the 90s, and maybe they had not come up with nicer options yet, and I hated what they had installed. As you say, hospital grade. But it's nice to know there are better possibilities.

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