How do you steal a bathtub? At last fall's Cersaie event — a trade show for ceramics and bathroom furniture held each year in Bologna, Italy — thieves managed to cart off the prototype for Rapsel's new Grandtour bathtub right from the exhibit stand. Designed by Carlo dal Bianco, the porcelain tub has an ornate silhouette inspired by cornice moulding. It does not, however, include an invisibility cloak or moving straps. That anyone managed to walk away with it unnoticed is so impressive, I'm inclined to yell, "Bravo!"
While I don't condone the action, I understand the desire. The romance of climbing into a bath filled with bubbles to wash away the day gets a reality check when you're crammed into a tiny tub, knees shivering in the air and water sloshing on the floor whenever you move — which is often, because you're so uncomfortable. In those moments, what could be more luxurious — more worth it — than a big beautiful soaker tub?
Here are three designs I wouldn't steal, but would definitely beg and borrow for:
The Vieques tub was designed by Patricia Urquiola for Agape in 2008. It holds up to 370 litres of water and can be outfitted with a teak backrest (yes, please!) and shelf, where you can perch things like soap or a flute filled with champagne. I wish it also came with the Italian villa it's photographed in here, but beggers can't be choosers.
It took all my willpower not to climb into the Organico tub when I spotted it in the Bisazza showroom in SoHo last May during New York Design Week. Created by Spanish sensation Jaime Hayon, it perfectly balances a boxy Scandinavian shape with slim legs inspired by vintage clawfoot tubs. Streamlined and glamorous, it turns the bathroom into the showpiece of a home.
Thumbelina was my favourite fairytale when I was a child, so it follows that the Be tub is on my current wish list. Inspired by a walnut shell, its curvy organic shape is gently peaked at both ends and gives the sensation of being safely cocooned in the palm of Mother Nature. Made in North America for Montreal-based company WetStyle, it was designed by Canada's own Patrick Messier.
For more tub inspiration, see our Bathroom Design & Decorating Guide.