Check Out These Amazing Outdoor Showers
Who knew a place to rinse off could look so cool?
Consistency was key in designing this outdoor entertaining area for a waterfront home in Middletown. “The main house is a Victorian stick shingle-style New England home so we were careful to recreate the spirit of the original design in everything we did around the property,” says David Andreozzi, whose Barrington architecture firm handled the design of the space.
Classic materials like bluestone and red cedar were used to keep the overall look uniform. The owners spend as much time kayaking off their dock as they do in the pool, so they needed to be able to hop from one activity to the next and easily access the shower and changing area, too. Proving it’s never too late for one last swim, a light was added to the shower so it can be used even after the sun goes down. Other considerations for the shower, like ease of maintenance, were addressed via rot-resistant wood and a removable ipe wood drain board on the shower floor. And while the shower abuts the road, you’d never know it thanks to the combination of a stone retaining wall, cedar enclosure and some creative landscaping that offers 100 percent privacy for this Aquidneck Island oasis.
When architect Gale Goff was designing this Little Compton home with detached garage-guesthouse, she needed a way to get the owners between the two buildings without having to worry about the spring mud in this wetlands-heavy area. A covered walkway seemed like the perfect solution. Her clients also emphasized the importance of an outdoor shower, so Goff incorporated one as the walkway’s focal point. The Little Compton-based architect took creative steps to ensure the fourteen-by-five-foot shower blended with the clean lines of the surrounding buildings. The structure is made of horizontal slatted western red cedar boards that coordinate artfully with the beveled clapboards on the house. “The idea behind the shower is that it plays with positive-negative space,” Goff says. Simple hardware and swinging lumasite panels that separate the changing area from shower complete the space. For the outdoorsy owners who also have an in-ground hot tub on the property, it’s become a frequent stop after a day at the beach or biking.
After the owners of this waterfront Jamestown home returned from a trip to Turks and Caicos, they were determined to recreate the Zen-like feel of the resort in their own backyard. DiMauro Architects, with offices in Jamestown and Newport, was hired to execute their vision, which included a pool with infinity edge, hot tub, sun deck and dining area with low-lying fire pit. Every detail was considered to ensure the new space felt like a beach escape and the outdoor shower area was a primary element in the plan. “We wanted it to feel like you’re at the beach, where you get out of the water, pop into the shower, rinse off and keep going,” explains architect Ron DiMauro. Ipe wood decking and the shower’s driftwood-like base give the area an old-school boardwalk feel, while the round-tube stainless steel piping and rain head by Calazzo lend a modern touch. Despite the lack of walls — which guarantees full view of Narragansett Bay — the owners don’t have to worry about privacy thanks to a border of arborvitae just beyond the shower area. Regardless, it’s easy to be worry-free in an outdoor oasis like this. “The owners come down here and just melt,” says DiMauro. “If this weren’t New England, they’d be out here year-round.”
A few things to consider before installing your own outdoor shower.
The walls of the shower should be at least five foot ten inches in height. That way, even the tallest person won’t feel exposed.
Let There Be Light.
The shower will likely get the most use at the end of the day, so make sure it has lighting with a waterproof switch.
Air It Out.
Place the shower on the side of the house where it’s sure to get plenty of sun and ventilation to prevent rot and mold.
Quality Is Key.
Opt for decay-resistant materials and quality hardware that can stand up to the elements.
The ideal shower has both a dry and wet area. The former should include a bench, pegs to hang clothes and a barrier that separates it from the shower. The latter should have hot and cold water and shelving for toiletries.
Remember to remove the piping in the winter so it doesn’t freeze up and burst.