Flip through the pages of and furnishing style, decorating or architectural magazine and you will soon realize that freestanding baths are a design statement for the 21st century.
In splendid isolation in the center of a grand room, the freestanding bath is the focus of an important bathroom. An alternative to the quick shower culture, freestanding baths speak to pampering and sybaritic luxury.
Often made of very special materials such as marble, copper, and fine hardwoods, freestanding baths are furnishings of beauty. Even the smaller size 60 freestanding bathtub is generously large and deep, to allow for stretching out and a really good soak. Of course, there will be ample surfaces around the bath for scented candles, books, bottles of wine in ice buckets, delicious snacks, rare flowers, the finest bath oils, and every comfort for the decadent bather.
The practical advantages of a free standing bath become obvious when you are converting an older building with large rooms. In these older properties, the actual bathrooms are often very pokey – hygiene was not given high priority in the past, and the wealthy residents of a home would bathe in a tub in front of a fire. For modern living, many families choose to have a shower room attached to each bedroom, and then a larger bathroom for more luxurious and relaxing occasions. The benefit of free standing baths is that they use space in a larger room more effectively, as well as course as being an important design feature with their central positioning in the room. A really special bathroom features twin washbasins, bidet, separate toilet, perhaps a shower and definitely an open fire place in colder climate. A mass of storage space for towels and bath unguents is a must – this will create a bathroom which is totally about pampering yourself.
Before installing a freestanding bath, you will need to talk to an expert plumber who will make sure the structure of your house is strong enough. Some freestanding baths are extremely heavy and would be too much weight for certain floors.
One of the most beautiful bathrooms with a freestanding bath I ever experienced was in a hotel in London. My room had a 60 freestanding bathtub made of green marble, without any taps, which allowed you to really stretch out and let the water wash away the stresses of the day. But the really special thing was that the bathroom itself looked out over a deer park, so you could lie back in your bath, glass of champagne in hand, whilst admiring the beauty of the landscape and watching the deer. Water was piped up from the base of the bath, rather than from taps. The owners thoughtfully provided chestnut essence bath oils to match the chestnut trees in the park.
This bathroom was said to have been installed especially for King Edward VII and his mistress of the hour when he was a guest in the great house, and it was easy to imagine the royal frolics!