Typically, when you think of freestanding bathtubs, the first thing that probably comes to mind is a clawfoot or pedestal style tub. But while these are great for a classical style (or even, sometimes, a more modern one) Victorian-inspired tubs aren’t the only type of tubs that can be installed on their own, without a bathtub mount. In fact, many designers are turning to innovative, modern designs to create artistic tubs for a more contemporary setting.
The silhouettes of the different types of clawfoot tubs are so iconic that you can probably call them to mind all on your own. But modern freestanding bathtubs shy away from those well-known shapes to create a different and unique visual experience you won’t get from a traditional tub. This Serenity from Virtu USA is an excellent, simple example: it has a rectangular base and rim, but the sides slope gently inwards, creating a look that’s both curvy and geometric. In profile, it has the feeling of a silhouette, echoing a traditional tub but with a modern flair that’s all its own.
Something else you’ll find among modern freestanding tubs are designs that are specifically intended to play with the eye. In fact, some of the most unique freestanding tubs are ones designed like optical illusions, that demand a second glance. This uniquely concave Palazzo Tub is a great example. Now, the inside of the tub isn’t quite so steeply sloped – that wouldn’t be comfortable at all – but the sharply indented sides offer a cool twist on the conventional rectangular tub, as well as a look that’s sleek, simple, and eye-catching.
A big part of what makes a clawfoot tub is… the claw feet. It’s right there in the name, and part of what make the design so iconic. But modern freestanding bathtubs often intentionally go in a dramatically different direction to create a new style. I particularly like bathtubs that swap out the metal feet for wooden bases. Not only does this allow for tubs that have a more unique shape (since they don’t need legs or bases), but the bases themselves can be really stylish and elegant, with a streamlined natural feel that’s perfect for a spa style.
One of the main aspects of modern bathroom design is geometry and minimalism. In the strictest sense of modern design, you want all straight lines and hard angles to help direct the visual flow of your bathroom. Of course, if you just want a plain jane rectangular bathtub, you can get basic acrylic built-in model for a few hundred dollars, but it definitely won’t have the kind of striking visual appeal you’re probably going for. Instead, look for tubs like this Caesar tub, with tight corners and sharp angles, which will give your tub a nice sense of geometry with a more shapely figure.
The Little Details
Of course, not everything that makes a modern freestanding bathtub interesting has to be a major design feature. In fact, sometimes it’s the smaller details that can really make a tub shine – and make it more enjoyable to use. This Tullia Tub from Venzi has a unique internal design. The actual tub part is slightly inside the outer shell and differently shaped, offering a cool double-layered style, room to deck mount your tub filler, and (maybe more importantly) a naturally integrated back and arm rests that blend seamlessly while offering a superior comfort.
Keep It Simple
Finally, if the aim of your modern bathroom design is to maintain a clean minimalism, you should probably keep one cardinal rule in mind: Keep it simple. The most ornate tub isn’t always the most beautiful, or even the most appropriate. There are many beautiful modern freestanding tubs that are perfectly elegant in their simplicity, both free from historical styles and lovely to look at in their own right, without any gimmicks. If that sounds right up your alley, consider this Tropicana Tub from Pacific Collection. With simple curved sides and enough room for two, it makes a simple, elegant centerpiece for a relaxing, spa style modern bathroom.
What do you want most out of a modern freestanding bathtub? Are you looking for a dramatic focal point, or just a more contemporary style for your dream bathroom?