Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday poll: the endangered claw-foot bathtub

I need your help. I need you to tell me if my idea is charming, trashy, ridiculous, whatever.


So. This isn't a great picture, but it's mainly because I had to take it through the wall, because I couldn't get to the room on the other side because of construction.

Note the debris everywhere.

So, we have this claw-foot bathtub in the bathroom that's being demolished. I have always wanted a claw-foot tub. I think they're so charming.


It turns out that I'm not related to anyone who wants a claw-foot tub. Betty wants a shower in her bathroom. When we eventually redo ours, we'll have a shower as well. Our bathroom isn't big, and Nick hates tubs. Particularly claw-foot tubs.

I don't even particularly like baths. But as I said, I've always wanted one of these tubs.

So here's my idea: we put it in Jordan's room and fill it with pillows. Picture the above tub clean and full of colorful throw pillows. And maybe some stuffed animals and books.

What do you think?

I feel like as he gets older, it'll be a great place to climb in and out of, to hang out and read, whatever. I would love to have had an offbeat space like that when I was younger.

This is all well and good except. Of course there's an Except. Actually, there are three.

Except 1: They're heavy as sin. Australian Builder said he would do this for me because he really likes me. He said this with clenched teeth, impressing upon me that he would, he really would, but he's not offering this lightly. I'd be getting special treatment.

Because, you see, it will take four men to carry it down the stairs and even then would be a struggle. And once it is there, he is never moving it for me again. I can't just call him in a couple months and be all, "Oh, AB, I'd like it out now."

This is exactly how he put it. In a high voice with some hand waving. This is exactly how I imitate my mother.

But seriously. I can have it, but there is no changing my mind. If it is there, it is there forever.

His preference, however, would be to sledgehammer it and take it out in manageable pieces. Like, today. But he likes me, and he is giving me a little time to sort this out.

Except 2: Nick thinks the idea is stupid. It'll take up a lot of room and it's not practical.

And see above - once it's there, it's there for life. No mind changing. Do I really want to commit to a bathtub for life? Lisa?

(Umm...I But life is a very long time...?)

Except 3: The use of a bathtub for purposes other than bathing is possibly trashy. Like having cars up on bricks in the front yard in Kentucky.

There are my Excepts. I continue to think it would be charming, but I'm not 100% sure. And it's not like I can test it out. I can't even have them set it in one place in the room and then decide it would go better elsewhere.

Sooo, with all that said, what do you think?

A. Absolutely keep it. The pillow idea is adorable. And when are you ever going to have another opportunity to have a claw-foot tub?
B. Tubs belong in bathrooms. The idea of a tub in a bedroom is definitely trashy.
C. Don't commit to something you can't change. Better to just get rid of it.
D. I like the idea, but good luck on the convincing Nick business.
E. Other: ____________________


  1. Meeeeh. We have a claw-foot tub that we use for bathing, and I love it, but it is not easy to get in and out of. It doesn't strike me as a place to cuddle up and hang out, pillows or no. Have you thought about trying to sell it? Those things can fetch a pretty penny.

  2. I'm totally mixed

    A. The idea is really cool and very you, the tub is charming

    C. Pain in the arse to move. Jordan might hit his head on it? I searched for a nightstand for 2 years before I found an antique desk which is perfect, charming and functional - the pencil tray holds chapstick nicely, alarm clock sits on the seat so the light isn't in my eye in the dark and the desk part holds novels and magazines I'm reading. But I can move the desk if I get tired of it.

    D. Definitely, good luck. Use sex if you must? (You're welcome Nick)

  3. I think the idea is SO cute. And imagine how cool he'll look as a teenager with a bathtub! in his room! But if it's really THAT heavy, I'd tend to say get rid of it, begrudgingly.

    Unless you could hack a chunk out of it to make it lighter (Sortof like this that i'd seen mentioned on other blogs:

  4. Oh, I have such an irrational love of clawfoot bathtubs! That being said, the permanence of it would scare me (this from the girl with 4 tattoos) since if you're in that house until he's a teenager, he might not be a teenager that's cool with having a bathtub in his room. As much as it saddens me, I vote for C :-|

  5. C. with an Except being if you have no tub where will Jordan bathe?

    If that's not an issue, I'd call an antiques dealer and see if they're interested and want to haul it out and pay your for it. Failing that, let AB get it out any way he can.

  6. I'm going with other. I wouldn't put it in the bedroom, but that's because my toddler would give himself a concussion on the thing (I swear, he leads with his head).

    But I don't think I'd get rid of it either, as I ALSO love them. What I'd do, if I had an outdoor space that would accommodate it, is turn it into a planter. But then maybe that's utterly and completely white trash. But I think it sounds darling in my head, a claw tub filled with flowers?

  7. E: Put it in there for a while, see how you like it, and if you don't, list that baby on Craigslist for $250 and watch it fly out the door on it's own accord. Seriously, those things are in high demand for people with older properties that they are trying to renovate, and they're usually willing to move them themselves.

  8. A. Totally A. If I had a super strong Australian builder and a way to bring the tub from DC to Columbia, I would steal it from u in a minute. By the time Jordan out grows it, he'll be a teenager with 4 strong friends to help him carry it out of his room, and they'll enjoy destroying it. So really, its a win/win.

  9. I think keeping it in J's room is a great idea, but I'm also all for the sell it and make whoever buys it find the people to haul it as well because I don't think it should be demolished. I would love to have one in my house those old things.

  10. Oh I LOVE claw-foot tubs so I'm not sure I'm the right person to answer. I would definitely say A though. And D of course! xx

  11. A: I think it's a cute idea. And just because this builder says he's not moving it doesn't mean you couldn't pay someone else to get rid of it someday... why is it now or never? Try it out!

  12. My two cents = I vote for C.

  13. Sorry, but I have visions of Jordan cracking his head on it or breaking his lip open. Maybe it's the nurse in me. That said, I LOVE the link Temptest posted. ADORABLE. Do you think you could pull that off?

  14. If I lived nearby, I'd take it off your hands. I say post it on Freecycle or Craigslist and get someone to take it off of your hands.

  15. We really wanted a clawfoot tub to replace the cast iron art deco number (antique, but not nearly so sexy) in our bathroom. However, when we realized: a) how heavy those things are and how much effort it would be to remove one and replace the other and b) how expensive a clawfoot tub is to acquire, we abandoned the idea.

    I vote E: Get rid of it by making sure it finds a nice home, at a salvage building piece-parts yard, at the very least, if nobody snaps it up on Craigslist.

  16. I think the idea is cute, but I don't think the pillows would cushion it quite enough for it to be a practical playspace. Especially as J is not likely to be petite.

    I would point out that getting rid of it is unchangeable, too. But as much as this pains me, I think you might be best off selling it or letting them smash it to bits.

    Would that I could take it off your hands!!!!

  17. SELL IT. Do you know how old it is? Go to ebay and type in clawfoot tub. You'll be amazed. Then, use that money to pay AB!

  18. I just found this on Little kids! Enjoying a tub!

    Wendy - Wellll, yah. That's my mom's thing - too hard to get in and out of.

    I just looked on craigslist and people are selling them for the $100 and $200s. Not that that's nothing, but it's not extraordinary.

    HK - It is very ME, isn't it? Just not very anyone else I live with, alas.

    And as for the D suggestion, we'll see. I'm sure this just made Nick like you even more. :)

    Tempest - I LOVE that. Absolutely love it! But doing that to our tub would necessitate hauling it down three flights, hiring someone to make it into a tub, and hauling it up two flights. Will never happen, particularly as Nick would not be on board.

    moosie - You made me giggle with the balking at permanence and then pointing out you have four tattoos. It is true that the inability to change it on a whim is daunting.

    Coleen - You made me laugh and you made good points here and on FB. Fooey!

    lacochran - We have many tubs in this house. It is ridiculous. None of the bathrooms are in stellar shape, but we have a lot of them.

    Ginger - One of my friends suggested that, but we have no yard! And I would definitely feel trashy putting it on the deck. If Nick would let me, which would never, ever happen.

    Katie - I actually really like this idea. It wouldn't be permanent if I could find someone else to take it and to haul it...

    Jac - You make a good point. And he might actually really enjoy it.

    Megan - I am really leaning towards having someone take it if we don't use it. I hate to waste it.

    Miranda - You are EXACTLY the right person to answer as you seem to share my opinion. :)

    Sara - Thank you. I think it's really cute, too.

    kate.d. - Argh! Practical!

    Stacey - And more practical! I suppose it could be a menace. Although not more than Nick's couch with that middle leg of death that keeps breaking my toes...

    I love Tempest's suggestion but it would be really expensive and a lot of effort for us to get it out, find someone to do that, get it back in. Nick wouldn't go for it. Although you know, he's so good with his hands...maybe he'd be able to cut the tub??

    Miss Dallas - I appreciate it. Yah, good suggestions.

    Keenie Beanie - If we get rid of it, this might be the best approach. It seems such a waste to break it up.

    Jessica - Oh, sigh. Would that you could as well.

    cla517 - No, I don't, but our builder might be able to guess. It's in good but not perfect shape.

  19. Google couch tub and look at images. Kind of cool. I'm thinking you won't like it in J's room. But it might be cute on the patio as a couch or you can do what I did and make it in to a fish pond! LOVE it! But please whatever you do...sell it or give it away! Don't let them destroy it!

  20. Oh sister, I want you to be able to keep your tub, but tub in a toy room sounds like a recipe for disaster!

    It's a great-looking tub, but seriously, sell that puppy on craigslist - to someone who will cherish it and send their four beefcake brothers to your house to take it off your hands.

  21. I agree with the others - DO NOT DESTROY IT!! I would personally keep it, and if the time comes when Jordan doesn't want it in his room then sell it (and have the buyer arrange to have it moved). It's antique! It's pretty! It's in demand! Why would you allow someone to break it into little pieces?!?

  22. I was going to suggest Gingers idea. If done right, I dint think that it would look trashy. But it would then involve having to take care of plants which is where I have a problem.
    Could you put it in Jordan's room and maybe build a sail for it and turn it into a sail boat like space. If course you would need some pillows so he doesn't hurt himself but it might be a nice place to read or pretend play.

  23. E. Sounds too dangerous for a kid to play in. God forbid it fall over. What about using as a planter in the backyard? If you hate it like that list on craigslist and someone can come take and and clean it up.

  24. I say keep it, that's a pretty badass idea.

    Except that my first thought was he may hide girls in it underneath the pillows. Perhaps not now, but when he's old enough to open the front door himself...

  25. As much as I love claw foot tubs, and the idea of turning one into a couch is cool, they are steel so are cold even with pillows and blankets and if the room isnt very big then its going to be over powering everything and while its going to be fun for Jordan the novelty will last a month or two maybe at most and the planter thing only works if you have a huge garden and it can be hidden under trees and planted full of flowers or filled with fish otherwise yeah it's tacky. On a final note, kids trip and fall often and I have visions of J mashing his lip against it or splitting his forehead open so inasmuch as it pains me, while your idea totally rocks, it totally has some cons worth weighing up. Oh and J will definately hide girls in it when he can take my word for it.

  26. F... for FISH! lily pond on the deck with goldfish!!!

    i would even volunteer to help you with this!

  27. I'm going with C but ... it makes me sad. Sledgehammer? Really?

  28. I thought "oh my God, that is so tacky" but then I saw the link to the library tub and that was awesome. A tub as a reading corner/nook would be fantastic. For an older child. My 18 month old would slip and slide in it, bust her head open and hide chicken nuggets in it. It is definitely cute, but I don't know how feasible. It won't be long before J is in a toddler bed and able to climb into it at night if he wakes up.. I think it is definitely a supervision required thing at his age.

  29. I'm all for A. The thought of that beautiful thing being sledgehammered to death makes me feel a little bit like weeping. If I lived anywhere near you I'd offer to take the thing off your hands myself... It's not like you can't hire somebody to move if out if in five or ten years you totally hate having it in J's room...

  30. Is there no possibility of keeping it and converting it in to a shower?


  31. My view of it is that it's dumb (no offense). Bathtubs are usually very slippery and not very forgiving surface if one was to fall. I can imagine him climbing in and out, slipping (or falling) and hitting his head on the edge, and there goes your afternoon for a trip to the ER for a few stitches...

  32. Lisa-- I see Jordan in a few years, maybe two, taking the pillows out and using the tub for its original purpose. He will fill it with water because, it is a bath tub. The comments on selling it are excellent--the St Paul family love claw foot tubs. Martha

  33. We have one for bathing. I have painted it's toenails pink. It is VERY hard to climb in and out of and a rather deep, narrow space for just hanging out in. It also can't just sit anywhere on a floor because it is so incredibly heavy (cast iron after all)and must have it's feet resting on joists because mere floorboards are not enough. If you aren't going to bathe in it, I'd use it as a whimsical planter or advertise for someone who wants it to take it off your hands.

  34. I've had claw foot tubs and I don't think they're all that difficult to climb in and out of. My kids would go ape shit for this idea. And if I didn't let them do things because they looked dangerous or they might crack their heads, well, let's just say the park wouldn't be any fun at all.
    Do you ever read Free Range Kids?
    I say "Do it." Keep it as long as he's interested, then sell it.

  35. Did you consider a "Mary in the bathtub"? You know, set on end coming out of your deck with a statue of the virgin Mary inside and flowers and cherub angels around it? You'd be the only one on your alley to have one. Adam has a claw foot tub for his herb garden in back but its mostly out of sight. I vote for using it as a shower base in your bathroom or selling it. Smashing it would be sad.

  36. A. with a caveat - in the future if you decide you don't want it, NICK can take a sledgehammer to it:)

  37. I've had and loved clawfoots, but that was then, this is now. Now I want a walk-in shower.

    I say if you can't sell it, give it to whatever charity will come get it.

    Because if it's going to be a pain to get rid of now, why would it be less of a pain later?

  38. I am a day late, but...planter! Use it as a lovely planter. I would have loved it as a little girl (or hell, now), but I suspect it's more of a little girl interest than a little boy interest.

  39. Even a dayer later. In no way, shape or form should hou even think about demolishing that tub. I've seen them used as planters, as some have suggested, and they look good. If you end up deciding against it in the house, have AB move it outside and someone will take it off your hands. You can count on that. Tubs like this should never be destroyed.

  40. Rachel from Chicago5/03/2011 4:05 PM

    Hey! I JUST saw this and immediately thought of you! Yet another option! (Sorry, I don't know how to do the shortened url thing)


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