How To Decorate A Garden Tub

Garden tubs, also known as soaker tubs, have gained immense popularity in home design in recent years. While some folks look for more custom, unique bathrooms, others have edged away from the anchored whirlpool tubs that dominated builder grade bathrooms in the early 2000s. What sets these gorgeous tubs apart? A few things — garden tubs are freestanding, oval, and both deeper and wider than standard baths. Their massive size allows most adults to become completely submerged in the water, more akin to a jacuzzi than a bath tub. 

The term garden tub comes from its alleged origin story, in which 18th century French aristocracy had their baths pulled to a window so they could view their gardens, as noted by MasterClass. Because they are freestanding and usually won't have ledges around them, it can be hard to approach decorating these classic soaking tubs while keeping them super functional. Our guide will walk you through a few tips to style your garden tub to make every day feel like a spa day. 

Add some plants around your garden tub

No matter your personal style or the color of your bathroom tile, houseplants go with everything, including garden tubs. If you aren't sure where to start, check out our list of The Easiest House Plants To Grow. Some of the most stunning varieties of houseplants for your bathroom include monsteras, pothos, and ZZ zenzi plants. Houseplants also have the added benefit of purifying air, and being around natural plant life can make you feel calmer and more tranquil, according to Healthline. Even if your bathroom is lowlight and inhospitable to plant life, consider a faux plant so you can have the soothing pops of green in your bathroom. 

Try to find different shapes and sizes of both plants and pots. Larger potted plants can be sat directly on the floor and create a luxurious vignette around your garden tub. Smaller plants look great on a vintage dresser or nightstand. To make a truly memorable display, add in candles, essential oil diffusing rods, and glass jars of your favorite bath salts.

Add shelving around your bathroom

While freestanding garden tubs are visually stunning, they can be a little difficult to work around both function and style-wise, per The Spruce. Unlike a shower or standard bath tub, you won't have ledges or hanging racks to keep your bath essentials. That's why it's important to add shelves around your garden tub, which can collect your luxury spa items as well as offer additional display opportunities. Paintings, cut flowers, candles, plants, and so much more will look stunning. 

These shelves can stay beautiful too — remember that the garden tub is meant to be a place to luxuriate, so you don't need to put all of your hygiene essentials on the shelves. Think more along the lines of bath salts and beads, bubble bath, and nice lotions. Even if you don't have the wall space, or even close by walls, you can use other surfaces like dressers, nightstands, accent tables, and even freestanding shelving units. A bamboo bathtub tray is also a great place to put a cup of tea or a glass of wine, as well as provide an opportunity for decorating.