Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I think the last time I took a bath my bedtime was 8:00PM, I had a strange obsession with Bo Duke (of Dukes of Hazzard fame), my only fear was, well, fear itself, and the most important accessory in our tub was the on/off valve.  My how things have changed!  I stay up a tad later, the love of Bo Duke has faded, and even bathtubs have evolved into rather complicated machines (and, yes, they ARE machines). In the design of a few different bathrooms I'm doing now for clients, each has a stand-alone bath as the central focus. Choosing the floor to ceiling glass tile, floating vanity, Jetson's-type toilet (it will even dry your under-pinnings at the wave of a hand), windows with hidden blinds in the glass...those were all simple choices compared to the list of options that came with the BATHTUB!  On-demand bubbles, programmable temperatures and hidden LED lights (for those of you who live in Las Vegas) are just a few of the options for these tubs that can flirt with the $10,000 price point. One major feature I mentioned to a few clients was the materials used to make some of these budget busters. Two of the above are made of ACRYLIC and feel, at least to this snooty designer, like cheaper, more mainstream bathtubs.  One is made of cast iron and weighs about as much as a Chevy! What does that mean for the buyer looking for bubbles to tickle their sweet spot? Acrylic scratches easier, feels cheaper and just doesn't look as substantial as the cast iron (first image here). So, when shopping for expensive items like this, my suggestion is to jump off the internet and into a showroom, even if that means driving a distance to test them out. Remove your shoes and climb in. While I picked a few for a techie couple when we saw them in person they went a completely different direction. Had the wrong tub arrived weeks later they would need a lot more than soothing bubbles to chill out!
INEXPENSIVE SPRUCE UP: If you're looking to fix up that sad bath but don't have the moolah to do it, here are a few ways to change things up:
1.) Remove the large, boring mirror and replace it with a framed, store-bought mirror. Home Goods and Ikea have beautiful mirrors for under $50!
2.) Add crown molding to that boring mirror and paint it a fun color.
3.) Head over to Bed Bath & Beyond and buy vibrant colored towels and a shower curtain.
4.) PAINT! If paint scares you or you don't have time to paint the entire bath, just do ONE wall..maybe behind the mirror and make it a WOW color...dark grey, black, orange, or STRIPES. What a difference a little paint will do, TRUST ME!
5.) If you're feeling ambitious or have a bit more DIY skill, replace the tile behind the shower/tub insert. The Home Depot and Lowe's have a surprisingly good selection of inexpensive tiles.
Have a DIY transformation you'd like to share? Email me at and I'll share it here!