July 28, 2016

Now Or Never: Standalone Tubs

Get designers’ takes on current trends in our online series Now or Never.

standalone tub

Once considered aspirational, the price of standalone and hot tubs have dropped and become an attainable luxury for many. We asked two designers to weigh in, and both of them give standalone tubs a thumbs up. Before heading out to a hot tub store, you might want to first get their tips on how to incorporate the elegant bathing basins into your bathroom, below.

Philip Mitchell, Philip Mitchell Design Inc.


“I love standalone tubs, and I don’t think of them as a trend! For a historic restoration project, I’ll use a traditional claw- or ball-foot tub, but also I love using more modern, clean-lined tubs in contemporary residences. I often design our clients’ bathrooms around features such as a standalone tub. Sometimes I incorporate them into a bay window alcove to utilize an exterior view while one is bathing. In other scenarios, I have actually placed the standalone tub in the center of the room where there is no view, allowing it to be the feature of the space. Standalone tubs are also brilliant in bathrooms where you want to give the illusion of more space. Ironically, because more floor area is exposed, they don’t read as bulky as a built-in tubs.”

Karen Cole, Cole Design Studio


“Nothing is more romantic, beautiful, or luxurious than a quiet soak in a hot, deep tub with bubbles to get away from it all, yet still feel very cocooned. In the past, huge copper slipper tubs sat in the middle of the room and were filled by buckets of boiled water. It seems that ‘what’s old is new’ again, since today freestanding tubs instantly make a contemporary statement. The freestanding tub requires a certain luxury of surrounding space, but not too much. Moving the tub away from the walls enhances a quiet sense of ‘alone’ time —  it’s like floating in your own little boat just near shore. Ideally tubs should be placed under or in front of a window with a view if privacy allows, or a beautifully tiled wall backdrop with a ledge, with a small table nearby for toiletries.”

Author: Wendy Jacob

Philip Mitchell portrait, Caroline Ryan Karen Cole portrait, Angus Fergusson Interior, Donna Griffith


Wallpaper by Peter Costello


Interior, House & Home February 2013 issue