Chicago Life and Style.

Your Home. Your Life. Your Style

Two great ideas for your unused tub.

I noticed a trend, back during the boom, when new construction was popping up everywhere, that developers were opting not to put tubs into guest baths, leaving just the giant fancy one in the master that pretty much never gets used.  This was especially prevalent in higher end homes that could support the costs of extra tilework and frameless glass showers. It seems like a good idea since most people prefer walk in showers anyway. Until you remember that people are still having children. And kids LOVE tubs.  My clients and I have walked out of many a beautiful home, single family and condo alike, because there wasn’t a suitable bath for the children and the parents don’t want to share their master retreat (and I agree with them!).

If you did end up with a developer standard guest bath, there is a good chance you have a shower/tub combo. I do. And while my daughter does still loves her baths, she does jump in my shower now and then too.  So, what to do with that tub? Let’s address it with the two key points important in, well, everything. Function and style.  From a function standpoint, tubs make excellent mudrooms. Huh? Yep. Mudrooms, you know, that luxury that big single family homes boast and most of us will never own.  I’ll explain, I promise.

In addition to baths, my daughter LOVES the snow. Loves it.  Although we haven’t had much this winter, I have been out playing in it with my two kids (human and dog) for hours and hours.  Proper snow play requires proper snow gear. Snowpants (ski pants if you’re a grownup and too cool for snowpants), hats, gloves and mittens (important to double layer), boots, ear muffs etc.  If you’re doing it right, you are going to come home alternately hot and frozen and soaking wet. So, what are you supposed to do with all that snow covered, wet gear? Well, put it in your mudroom and let it drip dry out of the way.


Here’s where the mudroom comes in. These removable hooks might be the best invention ever–and they can turn that unused tub into a mudroom.  They attach to any flat surface and remove with no residue and no damage–easy to take down in a minute if you actually need to use the shower and look decent hanging there if you have house guests that peak behind the shower curtain. The best part is that you can hang as many as you want at any height you want-so everyone can be responsible for hanging up thier own snow things. Don’t worry about them being sturdy enough, I have hung my three-quarter length insulated parka on them with no problem and during the holidays these same hooks hold our Christmas stockings chock full of presents.  As for clean up. once everything is dry, just turn the shower on and all that dried salt and dirt disappear. I’ll take that kind of cleanup over mopping anytime.

Now, on to style.  I think most people would rather not have a shower curtain hanging but what other option do we have short of installing glass? I was in a home at 57 E. Delaware the other day and saw an ingenious idea.  the clear shower liner was still hanging from the shower rod but the entire thing was hidden by a ceiling mounted curtain–a real curtain. When you think about it, the fact that we hang a traditional curtain rod a foot below the ceiling is a big reason it doesn’t look good–of course, that’s important for ventilation but not when its not in use. So, you simply open the full length curtain during the shower and just use the liner. It means you either have to use two rods or mount the curtain from the ceiling but wow, what a difference.

Do you have a great idea? Send it to me!


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