There are bathtubs. And then there are beautiful bathtubs that warm, coddle, relax and rejuvenate you. Check out these ideas for making bath time the best part of winter in Northern Michigan.

Michigan Barn Bath // Photo by James Yochum

Northworks Architects and Planners converted a dilapidated 19th-century barn on a 60-acre farm outside Niles, Michigan, into a weekend getaway. The client, an art gallery owner, wanted to maintain its agrarian vernacular while modernizing the building’s function. Architect Austin DePree created a corncrib-like structure to disguise the main master bath and installed a sliding barn door. Against the dark reclaimed wood walls, he juxtaposed a bright white tub and sinks with modern polished-chrome fittings. The freestanding oval soaking tub provides a place to relax and recharge. Sconces with bronze metal cages and glass shades housing a single bulb add an industrial touch.

  • Faucets: Hansgrohe by Axor Line
  • Wall Mount Sinks and Bathtub: Duravit
  • Floor: Reclaimed Barn Wood
  • Window: Marvin
  • Wall Sconces: Bright Electric Supply Co
Fireside Soak // Photo by Mike Gullon

The design team, headed by Dawn Whyte of Petoskey Kitchens, dreamed up this master bathroom reno in a Lake Charlevoix home. The owners asked for a spa-like bathroom with an upscale, transitional feeling. Check that! The dark porcelain field tile grounds the room, while the Calacatta Zebrino parquet mosaic and white, free-standing tub brightens the space and lends the upscale feeling they were seeking. The electric fireplace sets a smoldering ambiance.

  • Designer: Petoskey Kitchens
  • Field Tile: 12″x24″ Foussana porcelain in gray
  • Marble Mosaic: Calacatta Zebrino parquet
  • Bathtub: MTI Boutique Series Sculture Stone
  • Fireplace: Amantii Linear electric fireplace
The Zen of Elegance // Photo by Beth Singer

In this Cottage Company design, the neutral palette lends depth and airiness to the space through a variety of textures and finishes, allowing a subtle interplay of warm and cool tones. The master suite is all about windows and views—defined by the embroidered draperies which add additional texture and interest. Shiplap walls, geometric marble tiles, polished nickel plumbing and a stellar Waterworks soaking tub work together to make this master suite feel elegantly sophisticated.

  • Designer: Cottage Company
  • Bathtub: Candide by Waterworks
  • Tub Filler: One by Kallista
  • Tile Floors: Arctic Siberian Heron by Glazzio Tile
  • Towel Bars: Modern by Emtek
  • Drapery Hardware: Modern by Finial Company
  • Paint Color: White Dove by Benjamin Moore
  • Side Table: Hyde by Cyan Design
Cottage Fresh // Photo by James Yochum

V-groove vertical planked walls add a cottage flair to this tub design by Jill Brecheisen of Kitchens by Design, as does the color, Benjamin Moore’s Beach Glass. “It’s the perfect cottage color to offset the white cabinetry, trim work and to frame the bathroom’s view of Walloon Lake,” Jill says. She chose an oval-shaped tub to save space and had it under-mounted for a seamless transition. The pale gray-veined quartz top on the deck coordinates with the adjacent countertops.

  • Designer: Jill Brecheisen of Kitchens by Design
  • Bathtub: Underscore by Kohler
  • Quartz Countertops and Tub Deck: Lincoln by Aurea Stone
  • Cabinets: Dura Supreme Inset in Linen White
  • Planked Wall Paint: Beach Glass by Benjamin Moore
  • Trim Paint: Toque White by Sherwin-Williams
Doors to Heaven // Photo by Courtney Kent

Designer Meagan McLain of McLain Designs worked with the homeowner to turn her vintage, out-of-the-box ideas into a modern functioning bathroom. Count using the antique leaded-glass doors salvaged from an old home in Detroit to turn the tub area into a private suite as a small stroke of genius. Antique lighting and real porcelain knobs on the vanity (that won’t yellow over the years) are other notable touches. As for plumbing fixtures that would look just right, that took “going through many books,” Meagan says.

  • Designer: Meagan McLain of McLain Designs
  • Bathtub: Cast Iron by Kohler, from Wittock Supply
  • Antique Doors: eBay
  • Lighting: Grey Wolf Creek
  • Shower: Exposed Wall Mounted Dual Control Thermostatic Mounted Dual Control Bathtub/ Shower Mixer in English Bronze by Rohl from Wittock Supply
  • Bath Faucets: Wall Mounted Traditional Country Spout Lavatory Faucet in English Bronze by Rohl from Wittock Supply

Elizabeth Edwards is managing editor of Northern Home & Cottage,