Outdoor showers are not just for those with lots of outdoor living space. These functional and fun additions are just as well suited to urban living as they are to rural. Outdoor showers can be as glamorous or as rustic as your personal style dictates and as simple or elaborate as your budget allows. If you're considering adding an outdoor shower to your home, look at the three different outdoor shower styles listed here to find what best suits your comfort and way of life.
Why an outdoor shower?
Outdoor showers can be a wonderful addition to a home, merging indoor and outdoor living and allowing for a different connection to nature no matter where your home is. There's something appealing about being able to look up and watch the clouds float by or feel a fresh breeze during your shower while still maintaining privacy and comfort.
Outdoor showers can:
- Create a connection to nature by providing an ambiance that can range from a relaxing spa to an exotic tropical vacation.
- Help keep the dirt and mess outside (think: your spouse after gardening, the kids coming in from playing, or even your four-legged friends).
- Be a great way to add an extra shower or expand your current bathroom space without the expense of a full-blown bathroom addition.
If you're considering adding an outdoor shower, determine what it will primarily be used for, and consider the aesthetics of your home. Below are three ideas to help you decide which outdoor shower is best for you.
1. Indoor-outdoor combination
If you like the idea of an outdoor shower but are nervous about privacy or future resale value, a good option is to create a combination indoor-and-outdoor shower.
Some homeowners choose to create an outdoor shower by using a glass door to separate the indoor shower area from an open-air outdoor shower surrounded by walls. This structure allows you to create an ambiance or mood that fits your home's unique style and still provides an outdoor shower area that feels like a private retreat. You can match the architecture of your home with modern painted metal, rich and natural hardwood, or concrete blocks. If you really want to kick it up a notch, add a bathtub for a true spa retreat feel.
2. Wild and free
If you're not so concerned about pristine clean or getting from A to B after the shower, you might consider placing an outdoor shower next to the jacuzzi, pool, or lake to wash off after a dip. You can make it private so you can take a full shower or totally open for just a quick rinse in your swimsuit.
Existing fence lines, a side yard, or a nook make great locations for a simple outdoor shower like this. Use an existing wall to mount a curved shower curtain rod, and you have an instant outdoor shower space. You can even buy freestanding shower stall kits that come with the rods, curtains, fixtures, and flooring. If you live in a colder climate, there are portable or temporary versions so the shower can be taken down at the end of the outdoor season.
3. Au naturel
If you have the space and privacy for it, you may prefer to really embrace the outdoor shower vibe and opt for no walls.
If there's a chance you won't have complete privacy but you really want the nature view, use lattice, bamboo reeds, or separated boards so that you get a glimpse of the outdoors without the full exposure. Plant climbing vines in and around the structure so you get the best of both worlds. You could also create a banana circle, letting those water-loving plants soak up the shower water while creating a living wall for privacy. Or just go for it -- mount the showerhead to a tree, toss your towel over a limb, and take a rinse.
Whatever your outdoor shower style, don't forget to add towel hooks, something to hold your soap, and potentially outdoor seating to place your clothes on or to sit on while getting dressed. If the location you choose is not by the house, consider adding a pathway so you can actually stay clean as you make your way back inside. Outdoor showers can fit any lifestyle and are certainly a fun way to change things up from the status quo -- and possibly make your property stand out when it comes time to sell in the future.