Soaking tubs are survivors. Amid the many efforts during the downturn to cut all things extraneous from floor plans, there were times when it looked as though stand-alone tubs might go the way of the formal living room. But tubs have endured and once again are becoming a focal point, making their way into places like the master bedroom, according to Marc Thee, co-CEO at Marc-Michaels Interior Design in Winter Park, Fla., who discussed the trend at a design seminar in January at the International Builders’ Show.

“When emphasized as a spa-style retreat, they can become an emotional draw for buyers,” Thee said of soaking tubs. And with good reason: for buyers looking for a sanctuary, few features in a home offer the serenity of a good soak. Combine that with natural lighting and a view, and you’ve got a memory point that’s hard to beat. 

So come take a dip in some design ideas from homes ranging from an updated farmhouse to a modern manse, all offering a tub bathed in natural light from well-placed windows.