Expert Talk: Freestanding Bathtubs Create a Splash

I have always wanted a freestanding bathtub. I’m not really sure why. There is just something so appealing about all the different sizes and shapes and how they sit independently in a room and seem to virtually say, “Look at me” And today these designers have given me 16 more reasons why I need to get one.

Crisp Architects

Use this view. “I must acknowledge that the homeowners drove the decisions for all these bathtubs,” states James Crisp of Crisp Architects (see next photo too). “The actual inspiration is the opinion. If a master bathroom has another shower and room for a freestanding bathtub strategically positioned to enjoy a fantastic view, the big question is why not?” This tub is from Waterworks.

Crisp Architects

Soak from the sunset. For this particular bathroom, Crisp picked a classic black claw-foot tub. “Who would not wish to relax in a hot bath whilst looking to the sunset round the rolling hills?” he asks.

Susan E. Brown Interior Design

Highlight the positive. “Prior to its own remodel, this master bath needed a built-in vanity and bathtub surround that started at the entry door from the sinks and has been carried all the way around into the shower,” states Susan Brown of Susan E. Brown Interior Design. “By using a freestanding bathtub and separate vanities, I understood the space would be opened yet still feel cohesive with the integration of similar colours and finishes”

She adds that “having negative space surrounding the bathtub gives more emphasis to it because the pièce de résistance of this room. I continued to highlight that aspect with hidden accent lighting which shines through the onyx bathtub deck and down onto the iridescent turquoise glass tiles, making an ‘incredible soft glow,’ as my customer put it.”

Gibson Gimpel Interior Design

Be inspired by your journeys. “The perfect way to integrate my client’s love of his Hawaiian journeys into his conventional Craftsman bungalow master bath was to create a spalike focal point for this freestanding nickel-lined copper tub,” says Emily Gibson of Gibson Gimpel Interior Design. “Though the style is totally different from the Egyptian bungalows he enjoys on his holidays, the bathtub elicits the unique and relaxing setting of this luxury hotel that he experiences every day in his Dallas home.”

Zack|de Vito Architecture + Construction

Require an artistic strategy. “I think to actually make a freestanding bathtub work, you will need space, which is often not available in a standard bathroom, states Jim Zack of Zack/deVito Architecture + Construction. “These clients were very hands on and selected this tub themselves, but we were thinking about the other materials in the restroom. The sculptural quality of the stone and the craftsmanship of the stonework is amazing, and this tub has a very sculptural quality to it which is enhanced by placing it on a plinth.”

Zack elaborates: “A lot of these design decisions in other areas of the apartment were made to showcase the clients’ collection of artwork and sculpture, and the master bath was not any different, as you can see in the shelves we inserted to display part of the collection.”

Inspired Interiors

Produce a moist room. This bath had a starring role on HGTV’s Bang for Your Buck. “The bathroom was completely reconfigured and shuffled around,” says Emily Mackie of Inspired Interiors. “The room has 14-foot ceilings, and there’s a massive skylight overhead”

She explains that “the thought was really to place the soaking bathtub in an environment below the skylight, and also have it share the area with the shower instead of dedicating space to every one of them. It made more sense to enable the bathtub water to reach the bathtub and be part of an integrated area.”

Glass mosaic tile “was used across the open air shower and the bathtub place,” Mackie notes. “The MTI whirlpool bathtub has jetted attributes and remote controls, while the shower has a Grohe fixture with a flexible arm. There is also a heated towel bar”

In Detail Interiors

Move with stone. “I rarely use anything but freestanding baths. I really like them!” States Cheryl Kees Clendenon of In Detail Interiors. “This one is from Turkey and is solid marble. The owners are from Louisiana and like darker colors and rich texture. We wanted to showcase the distance, and placing the tub in front of these windows was perfect — it actually became the centerpiece”

Randall Mars Architects

Attempt a modern take on traditional. “The proprietor enjoys traditional claw-foot bathtubs, but the house called to get a contemporary fixture,” states Randall Mars of Randall Mars Architects. “This tub by Wetstyle has modern lines with the exact same feeling. In addition, it floats nicely in the space and enjoys excellent views. The pocket dividers offer privacy while flood the room with light”

Kerrie L. Kelly

Think green. “This bath was an ecochic endeavor where we used several natural or recycled/reclaimed products,” says Kerrie L. Kelly of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. “The clients fell in love with the hammered-copper bathtub when they found it. Fortunately the whole bathroom was demoed, therefore we had the opportunity to take an current tub/shower and clandestine the room to adapt a large bathtub and separate freestanding bathtub. It now serves as the centerpiece to the master suite renovation”

Mahoney Architects and Interiors

Can it for Mom. “The thought for this gorgeous bathtub came from my customer Susan,” says Colleen Mahoney of Mahoney Architects. “She wanted her master bath to incorporate a freestanding bathtub where she could sense that she was getting from all the demands of her daily life — a place with a feeling of refuge and silent. The tall ceilings and suspended chandelier bring about the feeling of luxury. In a busy mom’s life it’s very good to have somewhere to escape”

Give your guests the ideal. “This bath is situated within a dormer gable on the top floor of a large house, and it receives rare use,” states Dennis Budd of Gast Architects. “When the bathroom door is open, the area’s position adjacent the open stair’s upper hallway landing enables occupants to look at the bathtub, dormer windows and decorative full-height tile wainscoting as they ascend to the roof level”

He adds, “The bathtub is earmarked for guests staying on this degree, but we opted to use this particular freestanding slipper bathtub with a reflective, burnished cast iron end primarily since it is sculptural and decorative in character.”

Heal the bathtub such as furniture. “The proprietor simply fell in love on this tub and needed to have it,” says Colleen Knowles of knowles ps. “It worked flawlessly in this old home, where we changed an excess bedroom into a fabulous master bath. The vanities and tub look like furniture things set around the room in an interesting way, and the design leaves the large, original windows unobstructed.”


Add curves into a rectangle. “For this bathroom we wanted a means to keep as much floor space as possible and create an ‘unfitted’ look in the exact same time,” says Lance Stratton of Stratton Studio. The bathtub we selected has a small footprint but still appears substantial. Its own slipper shape provides some relief to what’s an otherwise rectilinear room”

Jamie Herzlinger

Celebrate luxury. “My inspiration for this bathroom was modern elegance,” states Jamie Herzlinger of Jamie Herzlinger Interior Design. “Modern can occasionally get very cold, but freestanding baths celebrate luxury and sensuality. So I always feel that if you’ve got the time to enjoy a bath, whether alone or with somebody else, it’s an occasion that has to be celebrated. Nothing beats taking a bath in a freestanding bathtub for a sensuous experience.”

Try this in a smaller bathroom. “Freestanding bathtubs, or claw-foots for this matter, possess a character about them,” says Sophia Cok of Design Associates. “They have the ability to turn bathing into a luxurious experience.”

She adds that “freestanding baths also have a tendency to be less cumbersome or bulky. They work better in smaller bathrooms which may not have room for a large whirlpool bathtub, which also tend to look dated over time. This tub was selected to maximize the wonderful Montana views”

anat shmariahu

Construct a spiritual retreat. “The master bath in this endeavor was part of a second floor remodel,” says Anat Shmariahu of ANAV Design. “The clients wanted their bathroom for their ‘living room’ They’re very busy people, and the bathroom is a relaxing space for them, a time for being together.”

“For me personally, freestanding baths reflect luxury, calm and a spalike environment, which is precisely what my clients were looking for. We wanted to make this a spiritual environment so that when you input you are immediately transported. The bathtub was really bought before we finished the layout. My clients just fell in love with it, and it became the key focal point in this master bath”

See related