Have you ever thought about bringing some outdoor bathroom ideas into your plot? Their popularity is on the rise, and it's easy to see why, whether you want something practical or simply spa-like.
There are many beautiful tubs and outdoor shower ideas to choose from. And that's before you start thinking about the surroundings, too. With the right materials and accessories, an outdoor bathroom can be just as sophisticated and stylish as an indoor one, all while benefitting from being out in the fresh air.
So, if you like the idea of a quick freshen-up on a hot day or a long and luxurious soak beneath open skies, an outdoor bathroom could be just the thing your garden needs. We've rounded up some of our favorite looks to get you inspired for your own.
10 luxurious outdoor bathroom ideas to elevate your plot
You're bound to find something you love in our edit of outdoor bathroom ideas – whatever size of plot you're working with.
1. Keep it rustic with a timber garden room
Complement a rustic decking area with a timber-clad shower unit for a naturalistic yet super-chic look. Add a door and you can up the privacy easily if needed.
A chrome built-in shower fixture will keep it feeling contemporary, while a bath mat and towels offer the opportunity to add a pop of color. Be sure to add some sturdy hooks so you can hang them within arm's reach.
2. Create an indoor-outdoor flow
If you love an open-plan layout for your home, then consider extending your bathroom outdoors. Take this fresh and serene scene as an example, which opens onto a courtyard shower space.
Go for matching paving ideas both indoors and out and a cohesive garden color scheme to up the feeling of flow further. We're big fans of the minimal vibe and wooden cladding used here, while plenty of plants add to the luxurious feel.
3. Mix up the textures for a modern vibe
You really can get creative when planning outdoor bathroom ideas and build a space that reflects your individual style. Here, a mixture of corrugated metal and wood has been used, alongside a vintage-style shower basin and eye-catching shower head. We think the results are spectacular for a space-saving solution that's practical as well as chic.
Note the hooks conveniently secured to the slatted garden fence, for keeping towels, brushes, and other bits and bobs nearby.
You could also hang a bunch of eucalyptus, inspired by model Kendal Jenner, as suggests the team at Essential Living (opens in new tab). 'If you suffer from any summer allergies like hay fever, the essential oils released by the eucalyptus can help open your sinuses and clear your head,' they add.
4. Up the privacy with bamboo screens
'It is extremely important you feel secure and comfortable in your outdoor bathroom,' says Essential Living. And even if your garden is isolated, with no chance of being overlooked, creating a private aesthetic and 'outdoor room' vibe may still be an important factor.
There are all kinds of stylish garden screening ideas to choose from, from partition walls and fences to plants, all of which will help give the space a sense of exclusivity. Here, bamboo screens have been installed along the opening of the zone and can be adjusted whenever needed.
5. Add a cover for all-weather use
Adding a cover, whether that's a small roof or a pergola, over your garden bathroom is useful for a few reasons.
Firstly, it can up the level of privacy if you're overlooked from above. It will also keep off the rain or the blazing midday sun, meaning you can use the space whatever the weather. What's more, covered deck ideas are useful for defining the area as a real outdoor 'room'. You can even add string lights or climbing plants to up the ambiance further, or recessed spotlights to boost the practicality when night falls.
Rather than covering the whole zone, pick certain sections, for instance, over your outdoor bathtub ideas or sink area as shown here. That way, the space will still feel open and airy.
6. Opt for an island-style space
Mix rustic wood with modern concrete for a striking style that'll transport you to your own faraway paradise. This space is fully kitted out with all the bathroom features you could want, against a backdrop of architectural greenery for an extra jungle-like vibe.
An array of decorative vases and lighting add a homely feeling to the area. We're fans of the stepping stone pavers underfoot, too.
Love the look? Our tropical garden ideas will help you extend the theme for the rest of your space.
7. Surround with a stone wall
Want to enclose your garden bathroom ideas? Consider opting for a show-stopping garden wall. This textured stone design is perfect for a naturalistic backdrop alongside plenty of foliage and makes a striking contrast against the smart, white tub.
Alternatively, you could breathe new life into a smooth-textured wall with a lick of brightly-colored exterior paint. An azure blue or ochre yellow could transport your plot to the sunny climes of the Med, while a soft gray or sage green is always chic.
8. Create a 'room' with plants
'A hot, outdoor bath is the perfect chance to wind down after a long day, whilst embracing the beauty of outdoors,' says the team at Essential Living. A freestanding one feels especially luxurious and can create a private, spa-like setting. Or, opt for a stylish, sunken design.
Enhance the relaxing vibe by choosing plenty of greenery to surround your bathing space. Raised wooden beds can be built around your tub, for instance, and filled with some of the best screening plants, such as bamboo. Or, you could simply gather together an arrangement of large, freestanding planters.
9. Light it up by night
This tucked-away, heated shower is in the garden of a coastal home, and is great for a relaxing rinse after being ocean-side all day. And, due to the integrated outdoor lighting, it can be used whenever needed. We like the wooden design scheme too, which fits into a nautical theme.
Of course, water and electrics can be a dangerous mix, so ensure you have a set-up like this installed by a professional.
10. Keep it open to the elements and embrace the view
If you're lucky enough to have a sprawling view of the great outdoors, then you may want to position your bath to make the very most of it, rather than blocking yourself in. And if you're a fan of the back-to-basics charm of rustic garden ideas, then a look like this might be for you.
This tub blends in beautifully with its surroundings, as it has been carved from stone. And that elegantly arched tap adds a touch of contemporary cool. Pop a stool nearby for placing a cold glass of bubbles and you'll be all set for a relaxing afternoon soaking in style.
What should you consider when planning an outdoor bathroom?
Every good landscaping idea needs to start with a plan, and when it comes to alfresco bathrooms, there is a lot to consider.
'Setting is important,' says Tessa Holmes of Canopy & Stars (opens in new tab). 'People love far-reaching views and magic spots, but also consider how far they'd have to trek from the indoor space.'
You'll also want to think about the privacy of the zone, as mentioned above. And, 'make sure there's somewhere to hang a towel and keep a drink to hand,' Tessa adds.
It's also a good idea to choose a color scheme for your space for a pulled-together look. The team at Essential Living and color expert Momtaz Begum-Hossain (opens in new tab) suggest a mix of fresh blue, earth green, muted gray, and silver for a 'tranquil paradise' vibe. Incorporating these colors into your tiles, towels, bath mats, soaps, and other accessories will help reinforce the theme. If that doesn't take your fancy, there are all kinds of palettes to choose from – whether you want to go bright and bold, soft and neutral, or deep and moody.
Of course, there are plenty of practical factors to think about too – from the budget and size of space you have available to the plumbing and electrics. You'll also want to spend some time thinking about which features you want to include – do you want a sink, or maybe even a toilet, too? Bringing a professional onboard is recommended, who can help you create a space that suits your needs.
How do you build an outdoor bathroom?
Building an outdoor bathroom can be simple or complex, depending on the design you want to achieve.
'Outdoor baths can be as simple as a tub you fill from a hose and drain into the ground or plumbed into your home's hot water system and connected to your drains,' says Thomas Goodman, Construction Expert at MyJobQuote (opens in new tab). 'When and how often you plan to use the bath will determine how elaborate you want the installation to be.' This goes for an outdoor shower, too.
'Baths that drain into the garden may need some form of system to ensure the water soaks down into the ground without water-logging or trickling towards your house,' he continues. 'Recycling your bath water to water your plants can be as simple as a length of pipework with holes punched in for irrigation.
'However, this will limit you to using plant-based soaps and bathing products. You should also source eco-friendly cleaning products to prevent chemicals from seeping into the ground.'
The materials you choose are also important as your outdoor bathroom will need to stand up to all seasons and weather conditions. 'If you're going for a rustic feel, then wood may be your top choice,' says Thomas, 'but, it will need to be treated or suitable for outdoor use. Concrete is another option, but this can stain over time and may need resealing.' You may also choose to incorporate pebbles, flagstones, or tiles.
If you have any doubts, or are going for an ambitious design, seek help from a professional landscaper and builder who will be able to install your new outdoor bathroom ideas safely and successfully. Our guide on how much does landscaping cost has lots of general advice if you're wondering how much to budget for.
The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion. But, she loves all things digital too. She joined the team at Gardeningetc after working as a freelance content creator for a web agency, whilst studying for her M.Sc. in Marketing. Now she feels lucky enough to combine both digital and botanical worlds, every day.
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