We’ve been starting work on plans for our beach house renovation, and I can’t wait to share so much of our design process in the coming months. But today, we’re talking about one very specific and very exciting element of the project. For the first time ever, I’ll have a standalone bathtub–and I want to make it the statement-making focal point to our master bathroom. I’ve been deep in inspiration gathering, and have a Pinterest board dedicated to all the beautiful bathtubs I’m discovering, because, you guys: there are so many good ones out there.
Lots of my favorite designers have posted crazy good bathtubs from homes they’ve designed, and I’ve plumbed the feeds of my favorite hotels around the world for spaces that channel spa vibes. I’ve narrowed my favorites down to the top 17 most beautiful bathtubs on the Internet. Scroll on and prepare to feel a little more relaxed just by gazing at them…
image above: justin coit featuring lauren conrad’s home
image: Susanna Cots
Mix Minimalist Shapes with Natural Texture
This is currently my top inspiration photo for our master bathroom–the minimalist tub feels warm and earthy next to all the natural materials: wood floors, stone sink basins, woven accessories. Everything about this image is just perfection.
This unconventional shape just screams “spa getaway” to me–I love the heaviness of the substantial stone tub, and the monochromatic palette and huge windows in this space truly lets the outdoors in.
Let the Light In
Placing a standalone tub right next to a sunny window is always a good idea. This one, in Emily Henderson’s mountain house, makes the most of the beautiful view from all angles. Just make sure to consider window treatments that will provide privacy when you need it!
Bring in Sculptural Elements
This beautiful bathtub from designer Athena Calderone’s Amagansett home feels sculptural and artistic–and those vibes are echoed in the minimalist artwork, curvy vessels, and raw wood bathtub tray she added to the mix. It adds up to a look that’s both simple and incredibly expressive.
image: Athena Calderone
Accessorize with Unexpected Pops of Color
This clean-lined standalone tub could feel extremely minimal in its neutral bathroom space, but the addition of colorful, textured rugs brings global style and vivid color–and I absolutely love it. It’s a great example of how the final touches can make a room.
Let a Statement Tub Be the Star of the Bathroom
Take me here. This is one of my favorite bathrooms I’ve spotted on the Internet, and a lot of it has to do with the absolutely beautiful bathtub that’s the star of this show. I love that the designers kept the rest of the space in quiet neutrals so as not to detract from this beauty. But those neutrals are warmed up with loads of texture and mixed natural materials, and the result is pretty stunning, don’t you think?
Bring a Shower and Soaking Tub Together
I love the way this space was maximized by sectioning off one side of the bathroom for the rain shower head and soaking tub to share a space. The floors run seamlessly throughout, and the bathing space is divided by just a glass panel for an effect that feels open and airy. This mid-size bathroom feels so much bigger than it actually is.
Don’t Be Afraid of Vivid Color
This emerald green bathtub is one of the dreamiest things I’ve seen in a while. One simple move–a brightly colored tub–transformed a simple bathroom into one that’s unforgettable. If we do decide to go this route in any of the bathroom spaces at the beach house, I’ll take a cue from this designer’s use of classic, black and white tiles that let this stunner of a tub really shine.
Turn a Standalone Tub into a Combo Shower
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a rain shower head that flows directly into a standalone tub, but it totally works. With this setup, a statement tub could actually fit into a pretty small bathroom space, especially when it’s an unconventional round shape like this one (which is also better for catching shower splashes.) Simple, rustic touches, like a woven basket full of towels, make this bathroom feel so inviting.
Photo by Taliah Lowry, Byron Beach Abodes
Embrace a Monochromatic Palette
This tub is made of stone that blends near-seamlessly with the plaster walls and built-ins behind it, and I couldn’t love the monochromatic effect more. The soft curves and organic shapes make this bathroom feel like it’s been here for centuries; textured natural accessories and a simple woven rug complement the simple beauty of this space.
Go Clawfoot for a Classic Vibe
The simple palette and clean lines of this room help a classic clawfoot tub feel almost modern. I love the playful black feet of this tub and the echo of black on the lower part of the ladder next to it.
Get Creative With Bathtub Storage
For me, this entire beautiful space is made by the unexpected wood built-in just above the tub. It echoes the wood ceilings and provides a minimalist storage solution that doesn’t at all detract from the super modern vibe of the room. The secret here is restraint: the designer allowed the tub and built-in to take center stage, without adorning the room with any other decor details. Well, aside from those jaw-dropping floors, that is.
Photo by ArchDaily
Make the Most of a Bathroom Alchove
This bay window feels like it was begging for a beautiful tub to fill it, and the sweet, smaller-than-usual one they chose fit the bill perfectly without overwhelming the space. Simple and gorgeous.
Consider Unexpected Flooring
I used to think that wood floors were off-limits in a bathroom space because of the moisture, but thankfully engineered wood has come a long way, and there are loads of solutions that can stand up to a few splashes. This herringbone pattern brings so much interest to a neutral-colored bathroom–as does the curved built-ins, marble backsplash, and single brass sconce. It’s one of those perfectly designed spaces that makes me want to take notes.
Embrace the Contrast
Wouldn’t you be tempted to keep these windows open all the time? I can almost feel the breezes–heavenly, with a standalone tub placed just under this gorgeous window. The black-framed window and black-and-white floor tiles make a major statement in this otherwise simple space.
Bring in Unexpected Metals
One surefire way to make a simple white bathtub feel more design-driven is by introducing an unexpected metal to the plumbing fixtures: the one above looks like copper, and I love how the handheld showerhead keeps it modern by mixing in matte black. I’m personally considering brass fixtures for our master bath at the beach house–it would be a leap for me (I’ve currently got matte black throughout our house), but I’ve been collecting lots of inspo and am loving the softer patina of aged brass.
Add Extra Storage With a Ladder
One potential design challenge of a standalone tub is storage: you’ve got to be strategic in where you store towels and bath products. Rather than add shelves to this beautifully simple space, designer Amber Lewis leaned a rustic wood ladder against the wall that’s perfect for hanging towels at the ready for when you climb out of a long soak. Plus, it adds a sculptural, natural decor element that I love against these bright white walls.
Photo from Amber Interiors.
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