Sand and beach homes go together like paper and glue: They’re inextricably-linked facets of coastal living. If you’re lucky enough to live within walking distance of your own beach, the route you take from your front door to the bathroom is probably caked in a permanent layer of sand and mud during the swimming season. Fortunately, there are a range of tasteful outdoor bathroom options designed specifically to keep that beach mess outdoors. Read on to learn more about this hot new design trend.
Form and Function
The most common outdoor bathroom design features two rooms, one housing a toilet and washbasin and the other a shower and related facilities. Both are open-air, although the toilet area is usually fully-enclosed and features a solid wood or tile floor, depending on the specific design. Since indoor space constraints don’t apply in the great outdoors, these rooms can be far larger than a typical in-home bathroom.
Most outdoor shower rooms are built to resemble a natural environment. They’re often roofless and well-vegetated, with stone flooring only in the immediate vicinity of the shower and natural ground cover elsewhere to promote effective, environmentally-friendly drainage. The best outdoor shower-bathroom complexes have dual entrances that permit entrance from the outdoors into the shower area as well as from the house into the connected toilet area.
If you live near the ocean or a major lake, there’s probably a wealth of old maritime equipment, nautical construction materials and seashells not too far from your home. Consider building at least part of your outdoor bathroom out of these recycled, locally-sourced materials. You can rig up a conch shell for use as a showerhead and build the shower’s enclosure with old ship timber, for example.
Invent a Theme
Keep your outdoor bathroom in tune with your house’s architectural and interior-design elements by assigning it a specific theme. For a Pueblo-style southwestern flair, use pastel clay, tasteful floor tiling and patterned wall tiles. For a beach theme, you might want to incorporate the aforementioned seashell showerhead and other touches like nautical-themed shower curtains and brightly-painted floorboards.
Be Two Things At Once
Take your outdoor bathroom’s shower off the grid by making arrangements for natural drainage. This works especially well in dry climates or sandy soils, which readily absorb excess water. If you have neither, don’t worry: Plant some native vegetation around your shower, along with some natural ground cover, and let nature take its course. As a bonus, you’ll have a lush garden to enjoy while you get clean.
Even if you don’t host guests at your beach house every weekend, you can turn your outdoor bathroom into a high-class spa without breaking the bank. Buy a few plush robes and towels that are consistent with your bathroom’s design and stock it with oils, salts, herbal soaps and anything else to make the experience of using it more memorable. When your guests finally do arrive, they won’t ever want to leave.
No matter where you live, outdoor bathrooms are an innovative and tasteful way to make your private time more interesting. They can also reduce your home’s impact on sensitive coastal or desert environments without costing you an arm and a leg. Design your new outdoor bathroom today and start living better.