Take Bath Time Outside with These Stylish Showers and Tubs
These creative design ideas and accessories add both practical and aesthetic dimensions to alfresco bath time
Written byChantal LamersJune 5, 2006
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Thomas J. Story
1 of16Thomas J. Story
When building a wood slat shower like this open-air countryside version, take a moment to consider your storage needs. Here, an additional wood beam behind the pipes makes for a seamless shelf for propping shampoo. A tight row of hooks holds towels and a miniature staghorn fern for a little pop of greenery.
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Optimize for Comfort
An outdoor shower at set on a campsite-esque vacation property may call for some creativity. This custom wood structure shelters its occupants from the sun, which provides some cooling relief following a long day outdoors. The shower is smartly outfitted with an on-demand hot water heater, which runs off the site’s liquid propane tank. Hooks and swing-arm racks make accessing and drying towels a cinch.
More Videos From Sunset
Courtesy of Pack Design Group
3 of16Courtesy of Pack Design Group
Leverage a Corner
Make the most of a corner of a side yard by carving out a picture-perfect, post-saltwater shower niche with a simple wood slat design. The simple motif is repeated on the shower floor over a soft bed of gravel, which soaks up water and disguises the drain.
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Take It with You
Tired of bringing sand and dirt home with you? If so, just take your shower with you on the road. A roof rack-mounted solar shower is especially useful during a camping trip or surfing outings.
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Capitalize on a View
Whether or not your unspoiled perch is riverfront property, repurposing an outdoor tub can be an easy means to cool off during the hot season or to head outdoors for a steamy soak in colder months. Here, a pile of stones stabilizes the tub, and stumps act as natural catchalls for towels, shampoo, and the all-time kids' bath essential of rubber duckies.
6 of16Kat Alves
Grow the Perfect Backdrop
Ivy-covered walls are so romantic (for reference: Paris). To add a lush element to an outdoor bathing space, place an antique cast iron tub against a wall of ivy or similar climbing vines. In lieu of a spot for wall hooks, simply add a folding stool to stack towels and washcloths.
Placing a tub on a deck just outside a master bedroom or bathroom makes stepping into an alfresco bathing situation all the easier. Use wood walls to create privacy where needed but, whenever possible, don’t dare obstruct the view.
Kat Alves for Gold Dust Collective
8 of16Kat Alves for Gold Dust Collective
Carve Out Space
Define an outdoor bathing space with a circular river rock zone, and pair it with a couple of paver stones to function as smooth bath mats. Salvaged wood stumps make respectable side tables and a simple lantern will add the idyllic flicker of candlelight during evening soaks.
Courtesy of Aquart
9 of16Courtesy of Aquart
Creating your own outdoor oasis is a cinch with this freestanding outdoor shower. This beauty combines industrial concrete with modern copper and a red water knob for a vintage touch. Simply connect it to a hose.
Aquart Lux Outdoor Shower
Courtesy of Terrain
10 of16Courtesy of Terrain
Protect Your Feet
Just like indoors, a bath mat is essential, but in this case more to protect your feet from the ground and keep them clean than to keep you from slipping.
Slatted Teak Doormat
Courtesy of CB2
11 of16Courtesy of CB2
Add a Place for Everything
Don’t forget the caddy, an essential for those who like to read or sip tea from inside the tub.
Live Edge Wood Bath Caddy
Courtesy of The Citizenry
12 of16Courtesy of The Citizenry
Set Up a Landing Spot
This natural leather folding stool is easy enough to trot in and out of the house for stacking towels and other bath-side items.
Palermo Tripolina Camp Stool
Courtesy of Anthropologie
13 of16Courtesy of Anthropologie
Scrub to Perfection
Just as indoors, the perfect outdoor shower accessories can make or break your bathing experience. This scrub brush massages and exfoliates skin as it cleanses, the ultimate trifecta.
Heaven in Earth Massage Brush
Courtesy of Onsen Saru
14 of16Courtesy of Onsen Saru
Maximize Your Soak
Create a spa-like experience with Onsen Saru’s blend of Himalayan pink salt and magnesium flakes, scented with Japanese Matsu Pine and Cedarwood. The soak rejuvenates your skin and helps you unwind and clear your mind. What more could you want from bath time?
Hot Spring Bath Soak
Courtesy of Dr. Bronners
15 of16Courtesy of Dr. Bronners
Consider the Environment
It’s always a good idea to use biodegradable soap and shampoo, but especially important if your bath or shower water drains into your garden or outdoor space. A favorite is Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Eucalyptus Soap, which can also help clear congestion.
Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Eucalyptus Soap
Courtesy of June Home Supply
16 of16Courtesy of June Home Supply
A light and airy turkish towel is the ultimate way to dry off after an outdoor dip—not to mention the towel itself dries in a flash.