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A Clawfoot Tub Declawed

By House*Tweaking on Mar 20, 2012

Recently, I’ve been sharing snippets of our master bathroom reno.

We’re this close to having a fully functioning bathroom in the Underdog! I should be able to post more progress pics later this week. The bathroom is one necessity almost crossed off our ‘Must-Have Before Move In’ list. Yippee!

Even though we have a second full bathroom {which will mainly serve our kiddos and guests} still in the gutted stage, we think we could realistically move into the Underdog without it being completed. We’re okay with sharing one bathroom for a while and finishing the other bath after we’ve moved in.

Even so, that’s not stopping us from brainstorming ideas for the kid/guest bathroom. One feature we want to incorporate into the kids’ bathroom is a vintage clawfoot tub that we bought on craigslist.

After a hauling snafu, we were left with a three-footed clawfoot tub. Handy Hubby was confident he could replace the broken foot. But a few weeks ago, a friend of mine in the design/event planning field – who knows me all too well – encouraged me to take a peek at page 121 of the March 2012 Martha Stewart Living glossy.

I don’t subscribe to Martha Stewart Living so I shelled out the $5 for the single issue. It was sooooo worth it.

There on page 121 was a vintage clawfoot tub that had been modernized by removing the traditional feet and replacing them with a wooden base instead. I was in awe. I showed it to HH and he said “I’m doing that.”

It looks as though our clawfoot tub will be getting declawed in the near future. I even went as far as to contact the designer whose tub was featured in the glossy. Turns out she’s one of my favorite professional interior designers of all time, Jessica Helgerson. You may have heard of her. She’s responsible for these lovely spaces…

Crazy good, right?

Anyhow, I contacted her since I read in the magazine that her own handy hubby had DIY’d the vintage tub’s wooden feet. Honestly, I didn’t expect to hear back from her. I mean, after all, I’m just a wannabe designer who writes a little blog and she’s this uber famous designer with professional training. Much to my surprise, Jessica replied to my brief email! Turns out the wooden feet are two pieces of douglas fir scribed to fit the bottom contour of the tub. Essentially, the wood base acts as a cradle to hold the tub. No adhesive, no welding required.

We’re so in. If all goes well, our vintage clawfoot tub will be getting a facelift footlift. I still plan to paint the exterior of the tub a charcoal gray. That, along with a new wooden base, should bring our craigslist find into line with our more modern aesthetic. See, some design ideas from the pros are applicable to us average peeps! You’ve just got to be on the lookout for them. Or have a friend with a good eye looking out for you. Thanks Stephanie!

What do you think? Have you seen clawfoot tubs with wooden bases before? This is the first I’ve heard of them but apparently they’re out there. Any other ideas for modernizing a clawfoot tub I should know about?

To check the rest of Jessica’s downsized cottage retreat, click here. I’m in love.

images: 1-4) Dana Miller for House*Tweaking 4-8 ) Lincoln Barbour Photo & Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

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