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Archive for Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bathtub couches go from trash pile heap to living room chic

Ruff House Art, a local Lawrence company, takes discarded cast iron clawfoot  bathtubs and turns them into chic couches. The company is competing in The Green is Universal Contest.

Ruff House Art, a local Lawrence company, takes discarded cast iron clawfoot bathtubs and turns them into chic couches. The company is competing in The Green is Universal Contest.

April 12, 2011

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In today's Town Talk, reporter Chad Lawhorn features a local Lawrence company that is making good - and stylish use - out of old bathtubs.

• It is a little bit bathtub and it is a little bit couch, and of course, something that unique also is a little bit Lawrence. A Lawrence-based company called Ruff House Art is gaining some national recognition for making couches out of old cast iron, claw foot bathtubs. The company is in a national “Green is Universal Contest” being sponsored by the online retail site Etsy and the Green is Universal web site.

The idea for a bathtub couch is the brainchild of Jill Morrison, who owns the company with her husband, Jared. Morrison had a career in the marketing industry as a designer, but then found herself out of a job as the economy soured. So, she decided to start her own business (we’re two for two in that category today). The business originally focused on custom-designed wedding invitations, but then she got the idea of bringing new life to old cast iron tubs that she says often times get tossed aside. (Well, not really tossed. I would hate to meet the guy who actually tosses a cast iron tub.) She notes that Audrey Hepburn lounged around in a bathtub couch in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s and that got her to thinking about how her business could make the product. She says all the couches are made from tubs of the late 1800s or early 1900s, and are a very green product because they reuse something that otherwise would take up space in a landfill, or even worse, in a ditch or a hedge row somewhere.

You can vote for the product in the national competition here. (Note, it appears you have to log in and register on the web site to vote.)

Comments

Bob Forer 3 years, 8 months ago

am not against going green, but I am sick and tired of all the shysters falsely touting their product as "green."

"She says all the couches are made from tubs of the late 1800s or early 1900s, and are a very green product because they reuse something that otherwise would take up space in a landfill, or even worse, in a ditch or a hedge row somewhere."

Sorry sweetie, but most bathtubs from that era were made of cast iron, and were usually free standing with legs. Accordingly, they are sought after and very popular in both new and remodeled bathrooms. A junk one will typically bring at least 75 dollars, and sometimes more, if it is unusual or in top condition. And any tubs that aren't recycled typically end up at the scrap metal dealer, as they are very heavy and bring a nice dollar as scrap iron, which is recylced. Hate to destroy your sales pitch, but there is nothing green about your business, so please find another marketing angle.

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