It’s time to take a breather circa 1975, courtesy of the best bygone, groovy bathrooms – which would be nothing without their larger-than-life tubs. These babies were the heart of the retro restroom. We’re talking tubs with jets, and psychedelic tiles; tubs with matching shag rugs, and enough space for everyone to unwind at your after-hours-aperitivo. They weren’t just tubs. They were temples for mischief, and we’ve trawled the internet to bring you the very best of their kitsch glamour. So throw on some Hall & Oats, crack open a Coors, and let’s snuggle up to some bubbles…
You don’t have to be a sociologist to get why these babies made it big in the 1970s. But essentially, in their own small way, they embodied the commercialisation of the counterculture. Or, in more diplomatic terms, the integration of its love for communal living into mainstream society. On the other hand, one could argue that #extra tubs have been around forever; the first hot tubs were basically cozy little magma cauldrons called “calderas”, and were holes carved out by nearby volcanic eruptions that were filled with hot rocks and water. Technically, many planets’ craters are also known as “extraterrestrial calderas,” which bodes well for the prospects of finally having a jacuzzi on Mars. But we digress.
People weren’t just opting for more space, but more personality in their bathrooms. The tub was the focal point, but there was great attention to detail given to everything from the colour of a sink, as evidenced by this aggressive “COME ALIVE!” ad:
The bidet got a matchy-matchy facelift:
And brown toilets were a thing. Unfortunately.
It’s not that larger than life tubs died after 1979. But once the glimmer of the counterculture’s communal lifestyles faded, they just weren’t the same. Also, shag carpet = mildew party. Still, the legacy of these fabulous setups lives on. Case in point: this sexy- awkward ’90s basket-ball-tub:
You can also get a taste of that 1970s rub-a-dub glamour at the utterly, wonderfully ridiculous “Love Hotel” (otherwise known as “Cove Haven”) in the Poconos, Pennsylvania. Not only do they have heart shaped tubs, but you can actually bathe with your beloved in a giant champagne glass. (For all the deets, see our article on the resort):