Charming Ways to Style a Clawfoot Tub

After months of prepping and planning for your bathroom remodel, you’re now the owner of a sophisticated, high quality clawfoot tub. But there’s just one thing — you’re not quite sure how to style it. Where do you put your toiletries? What’s the best place for towels? And what about fitting in all the decor ideas you’ve saved on Pinterest?

If these questions are running through your head, we’ve got you covered with 20 charming ideas for styling your clawfoot tub.

Keep it Simple

Decorating your bathroom and styling your tub can have a huge impact on the room’s look and feel. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go crazy with decor to create a charming atmosphere.

Caroline Wilder, creator of the ByWildBlog, says to keep things simple and tidy. She suggests draping fresh eucalyptus in your bathing area for a fresh dose of aromatherapy. To access your bath toiletries in a way that doesn’t feel cluttered, Sophie Davies at The Private Life of a Girl says a tiny stool placed next to the bathtub works well. You can use it display bathroom essentials and decor while keeping the space around the bathtub clear. Similarly, a bathroom cart, which can be moved to different parts of the bathroom, can accommodate different uses. Polished Habitat’s Melissa George styles her cart with a basket full of towels, reading material and decorative items.

Another chic storage option is to get a bath caddy. When the caddy isn’t in use, The Style Curator recommends layering it with bathroom decor items. Gather a few clean hand towels and fold them neatly on your caddy, then layer soap dishes, loofahs, plants and other bathing items on top for a dynamic look.

To achieve a charming style, your bathroom needs elements that make people feel comfortable and at ease. An easy way to do this, as Homify suggests, is to add neutral-hued elements like decor made from stone and wood. Woven materials like baskets and jute rugs can be placed alongside your tub to add warmth and comfort.

Get Creative with Storage

To keep things tidy and convenient, consider strategic shelving near your bathtub. Caroline Picard, assistant editor at Good Housekeeping, suggests displaying colorful, chic linens on a standing wooden ladder leaned against the wall. In addition to contributing color and sophistication, the towel rack can be positioned so it’s easy to reach from the tub.

You can also think about adding built-in shelving to the wall at the head or end of your bathtub. Elise Moreau at Decoist says recessed shelves can work well even in small bathrooms, helping to elevate storage space and keep clutter at bay. If you’re having trouble styling these shelves, Sabring Pflug of Peach and the Willow suggests using apothecary jars in sets of three, which can store essentials like cotton balls or soaps.

To really take your bathroom up a notch, award-winning designer Kerrie Kelly urges homeowners to consider towel warmers. This amenity not only keeps your towels neat but adds both comfort and class to your bathroom.

Spruce up Walls

If you’re looking for a way to amp up your bathroom decor, start by identifying the colors and themes you want to employ. Take a look around the rest of your house to see what’s already present, and work with that as you style your clawfoot tub.

Designer Caroline Burke suggests using a color wheel to find complimentary colors that look streamlined with the rest of your bathroom. Your choice depends on what you’re trying to achieve; monochromatic color schemes, for instance, create a luxurious and elegant feel. Plus, simple colors and materials put people at ease and create a sense of relaxation, writes designer Diana Hathaway Timmons. To create a monochromatic scheme, start with a soothing color and then pair it with layered lighter and darker shades to add depth.

If you want bolder and colorful, Archiscene explains that brightly patterned wallpaper in blues, greens or even pinks will add life to a space — especially when combined with freestanding sinks and tubs. Another way to jazz up lackluster walls around your tub is to add shiplap. Allure social media editor Rebecca Shinners says that shiplap, which can be created with tongue and groove wood from hardware stores, is an affordable way to mix textures and add detail.

Think Timeless

Keeping up with trends can be both stressful and pricey, especially when you feel pressured to buy new decor every year. To overcome this losing battle, Sarah Fogle of The Ugly Duckling House suggests ignoring trends all together. Instead, she recommends pairing a clawfoot tub — which already has a timeless appeal — with unique vintage pieces that stay classy throughout time.

Neutrals are another bathroom design element that you can always count on to stay in style. Becki Owens Design says neutrals can be played up through soft bathroom elements like glass canisters filled with bathroom necessities. These neutrals contrast well against colored clawfoot tubs and cast iron tubs in copper and other natural colors.

Another way to add timeless color and charm is through a vintage bathroom rug. Kelsey Kloss at Elle Decor suggests investing in a high quality, absorbent rug that’s both comfortable and practical. She also says that if you want to create a sanitary aesthetic, you should opt for cooler colors, like light blues and purples.

If you want to create a warmer, cozier feeling in your bathroom, a vintage or persian rug might do the trick. Designer Sarah Sherman Samuel says that adding a vintage rug to her bathroom helped warm up the space and make it feel complete. Oriental and persian rugs look especially chic and timeless when paired with clawfoot tubs, and they also help keep tile warm and cozy in the winter. Jahann and Sons Persian Rugs explains that oriental rugs made of cotton are the most resilient against water damage and dry rot. Rugs with a wool pile are also a good choice, as long as they have a cotton foundation.

Dress up Window Coverings

Placing your clawfoot bathtub near a window offers floods of natural light and serene views. However, this setup requires some amount of privacy. Instead of opting for ordinary blinds, choose a charming window covering that reflects your bathroom’s style.

Miller’s Interior Designs makes a case for drapes in the bathroom, explaining that they can set the tone for the entire room. When pairing a drape with your clawfoot tub, consider elements like pattern, texture and color to enhance or compliment the mood. If you’re looking to achieve a charming country cottage style, for example, opt for burlap or unbleached muslin.

According to Lucia van Gerwen, window treatment consultant at More Than Curtains, plain sheer curtains are a popular modern way to create spa appeal. Floor to ceiling sheer curtains can be tied back behind a clawfoot tub for an added sense of luxury.

images by: Quinn Kampschroer, Chelsea Francis, Engin Akyurt