Showering Al Fresco

One of the pleasures of living in Santa Barbara is being able to take an outdoor shower all year round. When we were in the design phase of our backyard landscaping project, my husband’s priority was a hot tub. We both agreed we wanted a fire pit, but what I wanted most was an outdoor shower.  I fondly remember my first outdoor shower at the Jersey Shore when I was just a kid. There was something so invigorating after a long sandy day at the beach about being able to rinse off outdoors!

Fast forward forty plus years and I was able to design my own shower with my contractor. I knew I wanted it to be simple and that I didn’t want to be standing on concrete. I also didn’t want it to be enclosed.  Our back yard is very private surrounded by a thick wall of bamboo  (so worrying about putting on a show for the neighbors isn’t really an issue).  It also needed to blend in with the surroundings. I didn’t want to see bottles of shampoo and soap. So we devised a simple post made of ipe (the same kind of wood we used around our hot tub.) We had an ipe deck made to cover the concrete and the drain. The post looks solid from the front and sides but is actually open in the back to hide the plumbing and a shelf for shampoo and soap.

hidden shelf
hidden shelf

My contractor came up with the idea to hide the hot and cold pipes and valves in the back. We could set the water to the temperature we liked which allowed us to have just one small handle on the front of the post.

single handle
single handle

A small stool to lay your towel or to sit and voila! Heaven!

shower stool
shower stool

There is nothing quite like feeling the sun on your face, a gentle breeze, and looking up at a deep blue California sky while showering!  It’s just one more thing I love about living in the Golden State.

outdoor shower
outdoor shower

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