People are bringing this bathroom furnishing into their gardens - should you make this bold move?

This is the outdoor status symbol of the summer - would you dare to try it?

Outdoor bathtub in a garden
(Image credit: Victoria + Albert Baths Taizu bath)

As we look to blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living, we are seeing a rise in unorthodox exterior decor- from architectural salvaged goods and outdoor fireplaces, to most currently, garden bathtubs. 

If you look past the initial unconventionality of this status symbol, you are left with a modern garden idea that is equally beneficial for your wellbeing. As the early signs of brighter seasons emerge, we are thinking less about mundane exteriors and more about shaking up the ordinary - especially when it involves the timeless beauty of a freestanding bathtub. 

While there are a number of ways to bathe in the grandeur of this quintessential trend, Victoria + Albert Baths urge you to choose an 'opulent circular' tub, with a 'chamfered edge and sculpted detail at the base for ultimate comfort.' It is, therefore, easy to see the appeal to this remedial craze as people look for an alternative to more conventional garden water features. 

See: Garden Room Ideas - From Chic Sheds To Garden Offices & Garden Spas

Outdoor bathtub on a sunny terrace

(Image credit: Victoria + Albert Baths Napoli bath. Credit: @elquestro El Questro Homestead in Australia's Kimberley region.)

'I much prefer the outdoor bath to a spa pool that uses the same water over and over again filled with chlorine,' emphasized Bridget Foley of Bridget Foley Design.

'A bath full of freshwater or the onsen is blissful,' she added. 

The bold beauty of this trend does, however, come with a caution, as this statement piece is easy to get wrong. So, we caught up with garden design experts who offered their tips on making this daring piece work in your garden. 

'After a day toiling in the garden, there is nothing as sweet as soaking into a hot bath in a lush garden setting. Outdoor bathtubs allow for a multi-sensual experience; you can relax taking in the views of the garden, with the sounds of the birds, the wind in the trees, and the multitude of scents around you,' shares James Walkinshaw, Senior Designer at Xanthe White Design.

Outdoor bathtub in an urban garden

(Image credit: ictoria + Albert Baths Marlborough bath. Credit: Techne Architecture + Interior Design and Tom Blachford Photography.)

James continued, reminding us of the fundamental practicalities to consider before taking the plunge.  

1. Pick the right location

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is the tub's location, as James highlights:

'Choose a private location in the garden so you can fully relax, but somewhere still within easy reach of the house.'

'On cool evenings, you'll want to be able to get indoors quickly when you get out of the bath,' he adds. 

'While wood-fired tubs can add an extra dimension to the experience, my preference is a tub plumbed into the hot water line so you can draw a bath easily whenever your body is sore and ready for a soak.'

Outdoor bathtub in a leafy garden

(Image credit: Victoria + Albert Baths Taizu bath.)

2. Consider the practicalities

Beyond the aesthetic and therapeutic value of a garden tub, James reminds us that this piece is, after all, a bath, and will, therefore, need maintaining in ways beyond your average tub. 

'You'll need to allow for drainage. Can you accommodate this water in the garden? A soak pit or perforated drainage pipe could be an option. Alternatively, get a drain layer to connect the tub to your wastewater line,' he suggests. 

'You'll also need to cover the tub when not in use. This could be a timber cover or something as simple as a tarpaulin with stretchy ties.'

See: Modern outdoor furniture ideas for gardens and backyards

3. Look beyond the tub

Botanical style bathroom

(Image credit: Dobbies)

As a designer, James reminds us that the overall impact stretches beyond the tub. He urges us to look beyond the feature and prepare your garden so that it showcases the furnishing in the best looking (and most practical) way possible. 

'Create a place to hang a towel or a robe and something soft to step out onto. A bench seat is a great addition as it allows you to dry your feet before popping on your slippers and doubles as a place for a candle,' James suggests. 

He also urges us to think about the lighting, sharing: 'Garden spike spotlights can help to illuminate your path to the bath but avoid too much artificial light around your tub. I stick to one or two candles for a truly natural experience.'

Could this be our most daring and yet elegant summer yet? 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.