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Nothing could be more relaxing and luxurious than bathing outdoors at home. If you’ve every thought about designing an outdoor home spa, this article will show you how!
No, we aren’t talking about a porta-potty and a sun shower here! For those who love going to spas, the obsession with having a home spa takes hold with a passion. Once you’ve had a home spa, you’ll wonder how you lived without it, especially if you live in a place where being outdoors is a fabric of lifestyle in the warmer climes!
And while we’ve already presented ideas on Designing a Spa Bathroom, the ultimate home luxury is a true outdoor home Spa. Read on to learn how you can create your own spa heaven right at home, whether you have $50,000 to spend or only a few hundred dollars to spend.
In this two part series, Rosalind Croad will tell you why you want an outdoor bathroom and spa and how to go about planning and designing yours!
The Home Spa Advantage
An outdoor bathing setting can be so much more than just a shower set up for a quick rinse. Traditionally, an outdoor bath has been just a spigot tapped into existing pipes for economy. Today’s sophisticated outdoor bathroom design incorporates custom fittings.
Reconsider the basic stall of metal or wood. You can use indoor goods, from linen curtains to mirrors, to outdoor advantage. For domestic bliss, there’s nothing quite like a luxury spa fitted outdoors, your own personal slice of heaven under the stars.
Outdoor baths, spas and showers are a vacation-home luxury that conjures the spirit of summer and pleasant evenings spent outdoors. Remodel your bathroom with a sunny view and enjoy a novel way to bathe and soak up your garden view with a new outdoor spa/bathroom design.
But Why Would I Want To Bathe Outside?
An outdoor bath is one of life’s finer pleasures. You can be creative with the fixtures you choose and how you install them. Suppose, for example, that you want to construct a completely open-air room, one with both bath tub and shower. You could use conventional fixtures and faucetry, but an exterior setting presents a fine opportunity to try something unusual and more in tune with a garden location for your bathroom design.
The outdoor bathing setting allows you to indulge your imagination and create an open-air room with exposed plumbing and out-of-the-ordinary fixtures made from everyday objects.
Outdoor Bathroom Materials
The materials you use for your outdoor bathing oasis must be resistant enough to stand up to the harsh outdoor conditions. You should make use of materials that can stand the setting but have natural earthly groundings that will be at home in the outside location.
Galvanized metal is created with a thin layer of another metal (usually zinc) over it to create a protective seal. This will prevent corrosion making it an excellent option for an outdoor bathtub. The distinctive mottled finish of galvanized metal can add a raw, industrial feel or texture to your bathtub.
Porcelain and acrylic also are excellent options for an outdoor bathtub. Natural rock and stone are probably the most commonly used material for outdoor spa surrounds, shower stalls and surrounding areas.
When wood is used outdoors it will inevitably age in a variety of ways. Some woods, like cedar, turn a silvery gray with exposure to the outdoor elements. Painted wood can fade and peel. To create wood that simulates the patina of age without the wait, you may want to consider pressure washing or sandblasting it.
Linen is a fantastic material to make use of in your outdoor setting. It is both natural and sturdy. Linen is woven of yarns that are spun from the durable fibers of the flax plant. It is twice as strong as cotton, yet softens with washing. An ideal summer weight fabric, lightweight linen makes perfect outdoor curtains, providing privacy while still allowing sunlight to shine through.
Outdoor Bathroom Color Schemes
You needn’t go far to incorporate the colors of nature into an outdoor bath; they’re there waiting for you.
Faded painted colors on background walls, especially an almost Tuscan pink, will add soft, earthy notes. For hot climates and summer homes, white and blue is a classic combination.
In the outdoor setting, without walls to paint, make use of the bathroom accessories to add color splashes and complement the gorgeous natural features. A white linen shower curtain will pick up the white of the flowers; blue towels will mirror the blue of the sky.
Blue also is a color that fades well when exposed to the elements. Fresh green in a range of hues will round out an outdoor plant-filled palette. Adequate seating will make your outdoor spa comfortable; a place you want to spend time relaxing with family and close friends. Use cushions and pillows to pull the color scheme and mood of your outdoor spa decor together.
Outdoor Bathing Privacy
Of course, planning your outdoor spa and bathing space must include how you will create privacy and seclusion so that you can truly enjoy that outdoor bathing experience. Plants and landscaping should be placed where you can enjoy their natural beauty and benefit from their cover.
Put up a privacy screen or use a trellis or open-air structure around your outdoor tub and grow vining plants or hanging container plants.
Placement of your tub or shower in the least conspicuous area of your yard will help further increase privacy. Be sure to plan ahead for lighting too; some overall ambient lighting will be needed, but add some low voltage accent lights to feature your outdoor bathroom in low light for increased privacy at night.
Outdoor Bath Tubs
In general, bathtubs are virtually rooms unto themselves. This holds even more truth when installing a hot tub or bathtub outdoors. As it is the focal point in an outdoor design, the bathtub needs careful consideration to get the right one for you.
Essentially a bathtub is just a large waterproof vessel. An outdoor bathroom setting allows you to be imaginative with anything that could serve this purpose. For example, you could use a galvanized bin from a feed and farm supply outlet, set up a plumbing system and convert it into a rustic bathtub that is sure to be unique.
It helps to understand what different forms are made for, how the choice of materials might affect them, and what the environment requires. If you use metal, is it galvanized or otherwise rustproof? Copper, for example, commonly used for tubs in the nineteenth century, is a great conductor of heat but corrodes unless it is sealed or lined with tin.
If you want to explore unusual fixtures, think function first; your shoulders should fit well under the rim and legs extended. Sure, outdoor bathtubs are custom designed and there are no rules, but whatever installation you choose, try the tub out first; there’s no better way to ensure the performance of your bathtub than sitting in it.
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