How to Decorate a Garden Tub

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Think 'luxury' when you're decorating with a garden tub as the focal point of your bathroom. Since the finest hotels and spas have garden tubs, think like a guest and figure out how to have everything at your fingertips to make each bath a calming, relaxing experience. With just an hour or two of work beforehand, you can enjoy a bubble bath in your newly-decorated garden tub.

Things You'll Need

  • 6 cup hooks
  • 3 lightweight curtain rods
  • 2 pairs of sheer curtains; one extra-wide pair
  • 2 yards of ribbon matching or contrasting with the curtain color
  • 2 shallow unbreakable trays or one tray and one small basket
  • Live or silk plants and flowers
  • Small candle holders and votive candles
  • Incense burner and aromatherapy incense
  • Create some drama. Put a pair of cup hooks into the ceiling above the tub's two front corners, and 2 two more cup hooks above each of the tub's back corners. Gather one of the extra-wide sheer panels onto a curtain rod, and hang the curtain above the side of the tub. Repeat for the other side. Hang the other pair of sheer panels at the front of the tub. Make a curtained grand entrance for the tub by gathering each front curtain panel with a ribbon tied around the middle. Let the ribbons trail gracefully down the panels.

  • Tie rolled washcloths with a piece of matching or contrasting ribbon around the middle, and stand them on end in a shallow tray for the spa look. Set out all those little sample bottles and specially-milled soaps from hotels that you've collected over the years on another (unbreakable) tray or in a small basket nearby.

  • Plant a garden area outside the window with as many small shrubs and lovely flowers as you can squeeze into the space. If the garden doesn't get enough sunlight to grow real flowers, keep the space filled with silk ones. Now you have the visual pleasure of soaking in a hot tub in the middle of a flower-filled meadow.

  • Put a series of small candle holders and votive candles on the rim of the tub (on the side where you don't step in) and also an incense burner stocked with aromatherapy scents.

  • Keep plump bath towels handy on a small bench to one side of the tub and a thick terrycloth robe is also nice. Use an old-fashioned wooden coat rack to hold your robe for an unusual touch.

Tips & Warnings

  • If there's a window above your tub but no view and no way to have a garden either, cover the window with fake stained glass from a wallpaper supply store or an arts and crafts shop.
  • Put non-skid strips on the bottom of your garden tub, but look for ones that are flower-shaped.
  • Don't place anything breakable on the tub's rim. Broken glass or ceramic is hard to pick up completely if it smashes on the bottom of the tub, and you can cut yourself badly.

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