It doesn't look that fancy in this picture, because this is the reality. A big soaker tub isn't practical in the real world. There was a large couple of steps if you wanted to climb into the tub. There was no shower door and the space was too wide to install a standard shower rod, so we strung a wire across the space so we could shower. Also, it was a hand-held shower, for those of you who haven't tried holding a shower nozzle in one hand while washing your hair and body with the other hand, you have no idea how annoying that can be.
Initially the brown color of the bathroom seemed calm, and relaxing, after nine years of that, it was just dark and depressing. There was no counter space for everything, there's still not, but we're working on that.
The other problem with this tub was that the previous homeowner did it and he didn't know what he was doing. He never sealed the grout around the tub, so it quickly went from a light cream color, to an orangy brown that would not come clean. You could not reach across the tub to clean it without falling in head-first, so you had to climb in the tub and get cleaning products all over yourself on a weekly basis. I ended up just not using the bathroom, and instead, hauling all my stuff downstairs, and using that bathroom.
We knew we would have to re-do this bathroom if we ever decided to sell this house, but after dropping 30k to do the outside of the house, there wouldn't be any money to do this for quite a while. In comes M's mother, gifting us money to re-do the bathroom. It wasn't enough to go hog-wild with the re-model, but if we were careful, and got some estimates, and bargained the price down, we might just be able to do it. It took about 6 weeks to complete, but it's so nice now. Next post, the rip out phase.