Outdoor Shower - Naturally!
Having an outdoor shower can give you a truly cathartic feeling as well as being sensuously liberating and 'being one with nature'.
Typically a garden shower may be used poolside, to rinse off sand and sea or to cool off on a hot day. There may be no need for privacy because you'll be wearing swimwear.
However, our focus here is on having your garden shower as part of, or an extention to your bathroom where you have total privacy and the freedom to take a shower in the nude.
The elements used to create privacy could be wholly natural and from natural materials. So think bamboo blinds, linen curtains, wood fabric screens, tall shrubs ...and so on.
Outdoor showers are open to the sky and showering at night under the starlight sky will be a unique experience!
Just take note: If you have tall buildings overlooking your outdoor shower area, opt for a lattice or trellis "ceiling" with colorful climbing vines.
Plumbing for Garden Showers
Regular outdoor showers don't require any special plumbing fixtures. In fact, installing a garden shower costs almost the same as an indoor shower.
The distance from your hot water heater to your outdoor shower must be short so that there is little or no energy wastage. Instead of using your existing hot water system, you can hook your shower to a solar water heater (that you can build yourself!). Not only will this turn out to be super cost effective, but it will also utilize all the available sunlight to give you hot water at your command.
Fix a second set of plumbing controls at a remote, but insulated, location. This is important if you live in a cold region. Learn how to drain the water pipes to get the maximum use from them per season.
You have to consider the local building codes and regulations as well as the design to ensure that drainage is not a problem. After all, when you use hot water, soap, and shampoo, the resulting waste water needs to be engineered into a septic tank or a dry-well system. And out of sheer respect for your environment, collect the gray water and use it for watering your garden and plants.
A suitable location for gray water dispersal is one that inclines away from the house. A more detailed route may need to be worked out to encourage proper drainage of waste water.
Design Note: An idea for a free-standing outside shower is to create it in the form of a shell/spiral. This will ensure total privacy without having to enclose the shower area entirely.
The waste water then drains into a buried holding tank which overflows into a rock-filled trench and soaks away.
The Ideal Opportunity for an Oasis
With so much air and natural light available, you may choose to create your outdoor shower within a "forest". Just think of the variety of foliage shapes and colors and the odd exotic orchid or anthurium that you can play with!
If you have the space, but no access to the outside (e.g. upstairs) you can still create the look and feel of outdoor showers:
Some bathroom designs featured on this page are with the kind permission ofIf just having an outdoor shower is not enough for you, then take the concept further and go the whole way!
Sun Resorts Limited as per the copyright notices on the images.
Visit our page on Outdoor Bathrooms for more ideas and guidelines.
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