Tag Archives: bathtubs

Steer clear of these 6 bath design trends

Enormous bath tubs

For decades we all heard we needed to have an enormous, master bath tub for resale. While you may have never get into it, the next owners will. Unfortunately they won’t either and I seriously doubt being sans tub will be a deal breaker. If you are a bath taker, opt for a smaller profile free standing tub or a standard size drop in. Under no circumstance, add steps. The safest way to get into a tub is to sit on the edge and swing your legs over.

Large tub with step

Bright colors

Some people think intense colors are a great way to jazz up a neutral bath. Bright colors can feel overwhelming and can be reflected back onto your skin or cause issues with color matching. Choose a calming spa like color that works with your tile. Some of my favorites Sherwin Williams “Sea Salt” or Benjamin Moore “Silver Crest”. Consider an accent rug or a bright shower curtain if you are looking for ways to add color.

Bright color bathroom

Busy patterns

Wallpaper in a bath can be fabulous. Bold patterns work well in powder rooms where the occupant isn’t spending a lot of time. Master and guest baths though should feel subtle in texture or tone on tone patterns.

Busy bath wallpaper

Pedestal sinks

While they look attractive, pedestal sinks don’t offer any storage, especially in a bath that’s used for bathing. Their limited surface doesn’t leave much room to spread out grooming tools such a hair dryer or even a razor and shaving cream. The most versatile and valued solution is a vanity cabinet outfitted with an under mount sink.

Pedestal sink with no storage

Protruding wall cabinets

Wall hung cabinets make an already small space seem even smaller since they project into the room at eye level. Opt for a recessed cabinet with a mirror to make the bath feel larger or even open shelves for an updated feel.

Wall hung bath cabinet

Too much tile

Decorative tile is fine in small doses, but covering the entire bathroom is too distracting. Competing tile sizes and patterns create the same issue. Tiling a bath completely, which allows for easy care, can be attractive when large format tiles of the same pattern and color are used.

Bathroom tile

Mr. H says: If you forgo a bath long enough, even the fleas will leave you alone-Enjoy!

History of the Bathtub

Nothing is more relaxing than soaking in a hot bath.  Throw in some essential oils and a few aromatherapy candles and you have an inexpensive at home retreat.  With the current home spa trend reaching a fever pitch,  the bathtub certainly as come a long way from the tin vessel that had to be hauled in and filled with buckets of water heated over a fire.


Early bathing plumbing systems have been dated to 3300 BC,  when copper water pipes were discovered beneath a palace in Ancient India.  It was during the Roman Empire that daily bathing became the custom and both public and private baths were commonplace.

Water Color of a Roman Bath House by Leon F Nowak

Before indoor plumbing became the norm, portable bathtubs, were used.  These large, relatively light containers made of tin or copper were usually positioned by the fireplace and filled with hot water.  Legend has it that the phrase “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” originates from the idea that an entire house hold would share the same bath water starting with the head of the house and ending with the baby.  Since the water would be so dark with dirt that the baby could be accidentally tossed out.

baby in tin bathtub

The wealthier the home, the larger and more elaborate these vessels became

Antique copper bathtub

By the mid-19th-century, some larger homes became equipped with water heating devices allowing the bath tub to be permanently built in usually surrounded with a wooden box.

Built in metal bathtub

The Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House

The iconic clawfoot tub, originated in 18th century Holland.  With it’s signature ball and claw design, this cast iron tub became the height of fashion bathing in the 19th century.


Most early bathtubs were fabricated from cast iron with a porcelain glaze fire on top of the metal.  Cast iron had many drawbacks as it is very heavy, remained cold even after hot water was added, and rusted easily if any of the glaze chipped away.  In the early 1900s, manufactures began producing the solid porcelain tub in both freestanding and built in forms.

Porcelain tub

White porcelain was the norm as it appeared disinfected and hygienic.   That changed around the 1930’s when color pigments were applied to the unglazed vitreous finish.   Pink, blue, and green bathrooms were wildly popular through end of World War II.

Pink bathtub

Today, bathtubs come in a myriad of shapes, sizes, materials and functions.

Kohler whirlpool tub

Mark Brand Architecture

Freestanding tubs have enjoyed a resurgence over the last few years, with designs to fit all design styles.

Photo by Jared Rice

Mr. H says:  You can never have too many bubbles in the bath-Enjoy!