During the summer months, maximizing your time outside is crucial. From swimming, hiking, gardening, and lounging there’s no better place to be than outdoors. Let’s add one more outdoor activity to the list: showering. Does this seem odd? It shouldn’t.
Many people have been adding outdoor showers to their homes, especially as they have focused on more time in their own backyards, and bridging the gap between indoor and outdoor living.
Outdoor showers can be convenient and luxurious. Imagine coming home from a long day at the beach when you’re sun-kissed and sand-covered. Rather than trekking your sandy self inside, you can cool down and clean off when extending your al fresco experience into the evening.
Mimi Meacham of Marian Louise Designs in Houston, Texas, shares creative outdoor shower ideas that you can use to elevate your own en plein air bathing area, whether you’ve just installed one or want to glam up an existing one.
“Utility and function are key in an outdoor shower,” says Meacham, “but at the same time you want it to flow with the overall design of your home.”
1. Start small by installing hooks as your first outdoor shower idea
Simple but necessary, hooks are the perfect starting point for adding a decorative touch to your outdoor shower.
Meacham says, “Ornamental yet functional hooks are a must, and they add so much utility yet design flair to the shower. [Plus],you need somewhere to hang your towels.”
Depending on how much space and installation you’re able to do, hooks can be over-the-door-style hanging hooks or hooks that require in-wall installation. Go for something in a waterproof wood like teak, or a hook with a little more flair.
2. Color can make your outdoor shower pop
Regardless of the design or material that your outdoor shower is made of, you can make it your own by adding pops of color.
“An outdoor shower is the perfect place to play with color, either through tile, paint or even plants,” Meacham notes.
Peel and stick tiles seamlessly add a pop of color without any of the messy installation that ceramic tiles require.
Make sure to read the fine print when purchasing as you’ll want a tile that is waterproof and will hold up against water and steam—and weather.
3. Give your space a spa treatment by adding greenery
You can begin decorating your space in a way that adds both comfort and luxury.
When thinking of outdoor shower ideas, start from the shower head by hanging fresh eucalyptus or lavender. The shower steam will bring out the plants’ natural essential oils for added aromatherapy.
If your shower has room for some décor, consider adding a plant that does great in humidity like a Bird’s Nest fern. Find the perfect hanging planter to add some tropical ambiance to your space.
4. Don’t overlook safety, but make it stylish
Meacham says her design clients often forget about safety factors when coming up with outdoor shower ideas.
“This may not sound that exciting, but surfaces can get slippery, so it's critical that you bear this in mind when picking your floors.”
Your outdoor shower will need a mat to help with slippage. While you may go for something clear and plastic in your indoor shower, go for something with more natural materials for an outdoor shower. Look for a mat made of teak that can withstand lots of water and remain slip proof. Plus, it will age beautifully.
“It can also be helpful to add a bar that you can hold onto as needed, which can double as a towel rack,” Meacham suggests.
There are so many options to choose from when it comes to shower grab bars. You can find a variety of lengths to suit your needs as well as finishes that match your aesthetic. Go for a no-drill option so you can install it anywhere.
5. Add storage and seating for convenience
To make sure you don’t get caught without a towel, add a deck box or an all-weather cabinet close by.
No matter the outdoor shower ideas you have, there are many options that fit different décor styles or environments, and some even lock.
What’s helpful, notes Meacham, is “building in a cubby to hold shampoo and conditioner, or adding a bench that can both hold products and serve as a place to sit or even help you bathe little ones.”
Go for something that you can tuck in a corner and has an extra level for storing products.
6. Pretty it up with traditional bathroom accessories
Meacham says to make the most out of your outdoor shower. “If you have the space, you should try and think of it more as an outdoor bathroom instead of just an outdoor shower. Add a sink, a mirror, even a shower door.”
There are fantastic options including a no-fog mirror from OXO, which take up little space and require minimal installation.
“The more enclosed and private you can make it feel, too, the more apt you are to use it like an indoor shower.”
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.