Thinking About… an Outdoor Shower

By Kate Riley July 24, 2014

Exhausted, we took a break from demo yesterday to sit by the pool and we watched the kids playing in the water as we talked about different ideas for future improvements. The topic turned to outdoor showers – they have a way of leaving an impression, especially the ones from favorite vacations.

We so loved the bamboo walled outdoor shower at the Kauai beach cottage and many years ago we visited a dear friend in Siena, Italy, she had a simple outdoor shower on the side of her small home with a view of the valley in Tuscany, dreamy! We got to thinking that with a pool (or a beach or lake nearby), it makes sense to have an outdoor shower for the practicality and ease of rinsing off and I started thinking about tucking one into a corner and then started searching online for different ideas. 

I just love these outdoor showers, some open, some private, all they require are a shower head and a perch for soap/shampoo and towels… oh yeah, and that little detail called new plumbing…  

corner outdoor shower

mcalpine booth & ferrier


outdoor shower billfry

bill fry construction


  outdoor shower

hus & hem


porch outdoor shower

rethink design studio


ebony stain outdoor shower

skona hem


private outdoor shower

siemasko & verbridge via houzz


rustic outdoor shower

 bede design


outdoor shower patterson homes

 atlanta homes mag / patterson homes


But then again, anyone could save the expense of plumbing with a hose hookup like this (although no hot water). 

orvis outdoor shower


Have any of you installed an outdoor shower at your place? Have memories of one you enjoyed while on vacation? ..



  1. Do it! There is nothing like it from both a practicality point as well as the loveliness of an outdoor shower under the sun/stars. We love ours and use it daily – whether we’re sand covered or not!

  2. Kate, I adore that little wall fern in the first pic and the white barn door in the second last one. So sweet.

  3. One of my favorite things about renting a house near the beach is the outdoor shower! But, for our house one doesn’t make any sense. Could you install a hose hookup and have a spot for the hose to stay in the sunlight so the water would be warmer?

  4. Although we do not have a pool, lake or ocean nearby, I have been trying to get my husband to put an outdoor shower in our yard for the past five years. Each time we do yard work and we are sweaty and dirty, I think that an outdoor shower would be a perfect stop before coming inside. My husband seems to think the neighbors would like “the show!” So far I have lost my battle, but I’m still trying! And yes, many memories of outdoor showers at the beach. Somehow showers are just better when you feel the cool air on your feet!

  5. These are so cute! My grandfather installed a simple outdoor shower at his beach house when I was a kid. My cousins and I LOVED it! We could come in from the beach, rinse off the sand and salt, and hang out on the porch while we waited in line for the real shower inside. Though I have to say hot water is a must! Even on warm days that hot water in the shower was so inviting!

  6. I’m a big fan of outdoor showers. My sister had one at her house on Cape Cod. In summertime when she had lots of family visiting we were able to get through the morning shower line a lot faster by having some people shower outdoors in the very private beautifully decorated with plants shower. It’s a great way to reuse gray water too as there can be plants nearby to catch water and the runoff from the shower can go to the lawn. If the showerhead has a handle and hose it can double as a dog washing station. Win win! In the pictures above I’m not a fan of the one on the porch; it just looks slippery and dangerous!

  7. We had an outdoor shower at a place that was cold water only and because of that, we didn’t use it. It wasn’t really in the right area for one anyway (rainforest in Hawaii, nowhere near a beach) and it was completely open so even though nice ambience, the neighbors could see if they REALLY wanted to. Eek!

    But I’ve seen some beautiful ones that are slightly enclosed so you have the option to take a “real” shower outside if you want to. I think if you have the means to hook up some plumbing and it would benefit, go for it!

  8. I do not like the ‘rethink design studio photo’. i would worry about water damage to the door. And hey the last photo ‘orvis’ wonderful idea. that way when your not there you can remove your hose.

  9. We had an outdoor shower at a house we rented in St John, USVI a couple years ago. The house was very secluded, overlooking the ocean. A unique experience I won’t soon forget!
    Connie, I agree with you on the “rethink” design, but it was the steps that scared me. Think of slipping down those wet steps! Ouch!!

  10. There is an outdoor shower at the beach house we have stayed at in Rehoboth, Delaware. Even though there is a full bathroom inside it never was used for showering because everyone preferred to use the cool outdoor one. If you have the space for one, DO IT!!! I would!!!

  11. We stayed at a resort in Mexico once, and it had a walled outdoor shower with lush plants planted all around. It was the best part of my vacation!

  12. I like the orvis because it’s simple with a nice style to it. I never thought about an outside shower only because pool water is not like swimming in the ocean. I say go for it if that’s what you want.

  13. I live in Santa Cruz in a small beach bungalow four blocks from West Cliff Drive. When we bought our house our daughter was active in Junior Guards and we were always at the beach boogie boarding. We put in an outdoor shower within 6 months of owning our house and of all the DIY projects, minor and major overhauls we’ve done on our little (850 sq. ft) house – IT WAS THE BEST THING WE EVER DID!

    For the obvious – getting all the sand off outside – it is fantastic. But for me, I use it year round. I love showering outside. In winter when the air is cool I’ll go out at night and take a long, hot shower and it just feels great (full moon especially!). My other favorite time to take an outdoor shower is in the morning on weekends when the sun is directly on the back of the house so I’m bathed in direct sunlight – it just feels good! We built a simple enclosed redwood enclosure and I have lots of succulents and twinkle lights out there. Whenever we have house guests I always encourage them to take an outdoor shower and they all just LOVE IT! Do it you will love it!

    • I love showering outside too Meg – in he moonlight? Enchanting!!

  14. The hose hook-up gave me a flash back to the outdoor “shower” at my grandmother’s cottage. It consisted of some concrete patio slabs on ground and a hose looped through the TV aerial. Classy, I know. Shampoo and soap sat on a short piece of wood that was propped on the cross braces of the aerial. The shower’s redeeming feature was that it did have hot water. My dad ran a hot and cold water line into the hose bib and then a Y connection merged them into the one hose. A wash station on the side of the shed held a basin, a hand towel and a mirror. The outhouse was down the path a little bit. I dunno why we had all this because the cottages did have indoor plumbing.

  15. We put one in when we put in our pool. I will tell you that in the summer, no one showers indoors! We have houseguests coming next week and I chuckled when I was in the bathroom to tidy it up and realized no one has used the bathtub in months! I actually wiped out a little dust from the tub.

    Ours is simple and since we have no neighbors behind us, we have lots of privacy. The deer often amble by and it is heaven. Also, I use it to wash my dogs, it is very handy.

  16. Yes…a vacation memory. We had one at our hotel in Costa Rica (the Capitan Suizo, like a little slice of paradise). We had our own bungalow with an outdoor shower surrounded by tropical foliage…it was amazing.

  17. I love an outdoor shower. My uncle’s house on the Jersey shore had one. We wanted to put one here ( in Fl), but local building codes required you have a drain connected to a waste pipe (to the septic system) if the shower had hot water. Why? I have no idea!

  18. If your outdoor tap is located near your kitchen sink chances are they are using
    the same water lines and the cost to add a hot waterline running from the
    Kitchen to the existing outdoor faucet may not be all that expensive.
    That would provide the hot water for the hose option you showed
    in one of your pictures.

    You might want to at least get a quote before dismissing the idea to know
    if it’s worth considering.

  19. If you have a beach/lake house, outdoor shower is a must! Not only is it very well looking, but it’s also very practical! Personally, I wouldn’t choose “bede design”, while I would die for “hus & hem” idea! “Bill fry construction” looks great, too, and I it seems to be quite easy to install.

  20. Whenever we vacation on the Cape, we make sure the place we rent has an outdoor shower (most do). It is truly wonderful and I wish we had one at home. A great idea!

  21. We had an outdoor at our accommodation when we holidayed in Fiji and it was magical. At our last house we had an outdoor bath tub and we plan to do that again at out new house. I hadn’t considered a shower but may add that too. We live on ten acres in the country so no worries about privacy. There is nothing like lying in a warm tub when it is (literally) freezing outside. The only thing is not to be too far from the house, the dash from tub to house can be REALLY cold!!

  22. I think it’s a wonderful idea. We would have one in a minute if it were possible. We have close neighbors and the plumbing is such that it would be impractical. If you live in a climate that is warm most of the year it would be fantastic. We’ve really enjoyed the places we’ve stayed in where they had an outdoor shower.

  23. I fondly remember outdoor showers when staying at Rehoboth, Delaware. Id love one at my home but really no place to put it. So refreshing! And no shower to clean! I’d have to have an enclosed one, not comfortable letting it all hang out. We have a hot tub to relax outdoors though. But if I can ever afford a vacation home, An outdoor shower is mandatory!

  24. We currently live in AZ and we recently bought a home. We can’t wait to save up enough money to add a pool in and an outdoor shower! Fell in love with the outdoor shower from the cottage you stayed at in Kauai. That’s our goal! Love your blog, always has great posts!

  25. What a timely post….we just installed an outdoor shower last week at our lake house (cabin) in Maine. I can’t wait to use it. I have great memories of using outdoor showers when we rented beach houses during my childhood, so I couldn’t wait to have one of my own to use, especially at night under the stars! We have yet to install the surround, so it was great to get some inspiration from the pictures you shared. Good luck with your plans! P.S. The cost for ours was only $300 to run the hot/cold water lines and install the basic pipes and fixtures. It’s located on the outside wall next to our bathroom, so that may have helped keep the cost down. I think the investment will be well worth it!

    • Thanks Kim! I’ll have to run a hot water line from the second story master bathroom but it’s just straight down so as soon as I can get a contractor to give me an estimate, I’m making plans!

  26. In Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia the shower stalls are open to the sky. There is a canopy of live oaks that rustle in the breeze, song birds flit about, and the shower spray sparkles when the sun hits it. The water source is collected in a solar heated retention tank. It’s painted black to absorb the sunshine.

    • I love that Kerry, thanks for sharing about the solar heated tank!

  27. Outdoor showers bring back so many childhood memories of spending summers at the beach in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware. Coming up off the beach at the end of a long day covered/crusted in salt and sand, standing in the outdoor shower with the warm water running over my head and down my arms and legs, rinsing it all away. Even now, sitting here writing this post, brings a smile ti my face with so many happy memories! Thank you for your blog post today, it’s just what I needed to read. Thank you…

  28. We have an outdoor shower at the beach that we also love. We have young kids like you, and I would recommend at least one hand-held adjustable shower head for them. It makes it so much easier for them. We also have a raincan for the adults. It’s awesome!

  29. Hi Kate…
    One of my girlfriends has the best of both worlds without requiring the extra plumbing. She has french doors that open to the outside garden from her large master bath shower. So after a long day of gardening, she can walk directly into the shower from outside… or she can leave the doors open any time of year without going outside. Her property does have lots of natural privacy, but the window panes on the doors are frosted if extra privacy is needed. Can’t wait to see what you do with your space! Thanks for all your great posts!

  30. We had our plumber install an outdoor shower on the back side of our master shower when we remodeled. Living in a beach town with surfers in the family, it has been great. It also comes in extremely handy for washing our dogs and they love the warm water.

  31. Hi Kate!
    I love my outdoor shower! It’s on the outside wall of a bathroom so I was able to utilize the existing hot and cold water lines.  It’s wonderful to be able to shower outside after working in the yard or to be able to wash the dogs after they’ve played in the horse pasture. Since I live in the country, I don’t have to worry about neighbors…the horses don’t seem to mind when I shower!

  32. Make sense near the beach or lake, but Las Vegas?! Especially when the West is in severe drought.

  33. One of my favorite outdoor showers belongs to Lauren Liess at pure style home. I would die to have one off my bedroom.

  34. Seletti makes a gorgeous copper outdoor shower that hooks up to a hose. It’s super affordable too!

  35. Love the outdoor shower or rinse off areas . . . Bet if those concerned about drought areas looked around the net there are clean cheap ways to recycle the water. Although if it is private enough it is your shower then I don’t see how it is using any more water than if you take your shower indoors

  36. We put an outdoor shower in at our lake cottage and it is everyone’s favorite part of being at the lake. We use it three seasons. The hand held shower head makes it really practical for rinsing the sand off your feet, and off the dog too! Nothing like showering outside. It’s pure bliss.
    Here is a link to the blog post I wrote about our shower. Hope you enjoy it.

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