Five Colorado interiors experts tell us about their favorite tubs.By Laura Beausire
There’s something about soaking in a bathtub that makes problems simply melt away. Whether you’re relaxing in candlelit comfort, hiding with a favorite book, or just swimming in bubbles, taking a bath is good therapy. And if the tub happens to be really beautiful? Well, that’s even better.
Many of the most popular tubs today are freestanding pieces that act as functional sculpture, giving even an ordinary bathroom the luxurious mood of a private spa. Feel like splashing out on a fabulous new bathtub? We asked five Colorado interior designers to show us their favorites.
The Halley tub by Jetta
The designer: Laura Medicus, owner and principal of Laura Medicus InteriorsTub talk: “Most of my clients who love bathtubs are women. They love the quiet time. Many of them have full time jobs and children, and it’s a time that they give to themselves. That quiet time spent in a bath is incredibly rejuvenating.”Why this model gets top marks: “Number one is comfort: I take all my bathroom clients to a local plumbing showroom and have them sit in a variety of freestanding tubs—the Halley tub is the number one tub in comfort for the vast majority of them. Number two is the look: I like the graceful, oval shape. It fits in a variety of home styles—from contemporary to eclectic—and the oval is a good shape for a tighter bathroom. Number three is the price: Compared to similar bathtubs, it’s a great value.”What kinds of spaces is it best for? “It comes in a 60-inch size for smaller bathrooms and a 68-inch length for larger bathrooms, and I like that versatility. If you’re looking for a graceful, clean-lined, freestanding bathtub, this is it.”Installation tips: “I love bathtubs like this in front of a window or even in a little alcove. It’s nice to draw attention to them with the architecture of the room.”Recommended plumbing fixtures: “I’m a big fan of Brizo’s Odin and Delta’s Trinsic faucets. They’re simple, graceful tub fillers that match the clean lines of the tub.”Price: The 60-inch model is $4,901, and the 68-inch is $5,264Where to find it: Rampart Supply
The Elise tub by MTI
The designer: Pamela Chelle, principal of Pamela Chelle Interior DesignTub talk: “[The bath] is one of the few remaining spaces of respite, where you can truly unplug.”Why this model gets top marks: “This tub is made of primarily organic natural stone, with a resin binder. It retains more heat than an acrylic tub, has no hollow areas, and has a beautiful matte finish that is unmatched with an acrylic tub. It also has a center drain and is symmetrical, which is great for multiple reasons: You can lie at either end and won’t be sitting on the drain, and it can comfortably accommodate multiple users at once. The pitch of the back is also extremely comfortable for relaxing in a bath.”What kinds of spaces is it best for? “This tub is very versatile, as it is fairly petite, and the tub filler can be located in multiple areas.”Installation tips: “The Elise is beautiful from all angles, but is a true showstopper from the front view. Centered in front of a window would be stunning!”Recommended plumbing fixtures: “I would highly recommend using a tub filler that pairs with the rest of the plumbing selections in the same bathroom space, in the same finish.”Price: The 66-inch model is $6,251Where to find it: Winnelson, Ferguson, or Ultra Design Center
The Avalon tub by Native Trails
The designer: Julee Wray, founder and lead designer of Truss InteriorsTub talk: “[The tub] is a place to relax and rejuvenate. People are seeking to have their homes act as a sanctuary of beauty and comfort more than ever. This tub achieves a luxurious yet relaxing vibe to aid in just that.”Why this model gets top marks: “I love the natural materials and craftsmanship they put into every tub. They use a proprietary mix that makes the tub highly resistant to staining and wear and tear. We specified this tub for a client who requested a very ‘earthy’ and ‘Japandi-vibe’ bathroom. She requested using as many natural material products as possible.”What kinds of spaces is it best for? “Freestanding applications. The large version is great for a large master bath and the smaller version for a smaller master bath.”Installation tips: “Wherever it will have a presence in a room.”Recommended plumbing fixtures: “We like a satin gold or bronze with the earth color, or nickel with the cream and gray versions. Just note that the tub has a center drain, so make sure you place your tub filler accordingly.”Price: The 72-inch model is $9,795, and the 62-inch model is $8,490Where to find it: Rampart Supply
House of Rohl’s Victoria + Albert Toulouse Freestanding Soaking Bathtub
The designer: Jodi Cook, owner and principal of Cook Design HouseTub talk: “Baths are representative of taking a moment for yourself. For many of us, a bath forces us to slow down and do nothing. Water is also incredibly therapeutic, and baths can reduce levels of stress and inflammation. What’s not to love?!
I highly recommend that you ‘try on’ tubs like you would a pair of shoes. Climb into them in the showroom! You want to be sure that the tub isn’t so big that your feet can’t touch the other side, or you’ll be floating away during bath time. You also don’t want it to be too small, or your knees will always be cold. It’s important to get a good fit.”
Why this model gets top marks: “The shape is simple and stately, and the rolled edge makes it comfortable under the neck. I also love the material. It’s a Quarrycast material, which is a trademark mix of volcanic limestone rock and high-quality resin. The result is a material that holds heat well—like a cast-iron tub, but without the weight. It feels great under the hand, unlike acrylic tubs, which often feel plastic-y to our clients. I’m a big fan!”What kinds of spaces is it best for? “Because of its simple, tailored shape, the Toulouse works well with a variety of design styles.”Installation tips: “It is a freestanding tub, so you need to have a bathroom with room to accommodate this type of fixture. That said, it has a fairly small footprint, so it tends to fit in most primary bath spaces. I love the visual impact of centering the tub on a window.”Recommended plumbing fixtures: “A freestanding tub filler is a must. You can really use any style, but I love the classic styling of the Perrin & Rowe Georgian Era Floor Mount Tub Filler. Perrin & Rowe also happens to have one of the prettiest polished-nickel finishes in the industry, in my opinion!”Price: $4,761Where to find it: Ultra Design Center
The Borghi tub by Antoniolupi
The designer: Yvonne Jacobs, principal of Jacobs + InteriorsTub talk: “I personally love taking a bath. It is very ritualistic; it’s luxurious and relaxing. Clients who ask for them always have something in mind and want to create a certain atmosphere around them. It’s about treating yourself and caring for yourself.”Why this model gets top marks: “The colors are so rich and the material is elegant and so indulgent! I love the idea of integrating color and light into a bathtub—so beautiful.”What kinds of spaces is it best for? “A large bathroom with natural light. This bathtub is a statement piece and needs room to be a show-off.”Installation tips: “I would install it in front of a large window, leaving space for in-floor plumbing.”Recommended plumbing fixtures: “I can see a modern plumbing set; something from Gessi would be gorgeous.”Price: $27,200Where to find it: Solesdi