April 14


11 ways to create a stunning outdoor bathroom and elevate your backyard bathing experience

Outdoor bathroom ideas – 11 ways to make bathing in the yard beautiful

When you think of a bathroom, your mind probably goes to your house or apartment, with the typical indoor setup. But have you ever considered having a bathroom outdoors? After all, there’s something magical about being able to bathe in the open air, surrounded by nature.

For those lucky enough to live in a warm climate, an outdoor bathroom is not just a luxury, but a practical necessity. In places like Australia, where the weather is often sunny and beautiful, installing an outdoor bathroom can give you easy access to water while enjoying the outdoors.

Architects and designers have come up with some amazing ideas for outdoor bathrooms, and they can be found everywhere from beach houses to gardens. One popular design concept is a sunken bathroom, where the bath or shower is placed below ground level, giving you a sense of privacy while still being in nature. Another idea is to have a bathroom that is fully open to the outdoors, with only a bamboo or wooden screen for limited privacy.

Having an outdoor bathroom can also be a great way to bring a little bit of luxury into your daily routine. Imagine stepping out of your house and into a beautiful oasis of relaxation, complete with a copper bath and a rain shower. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a long day, or to start your morning off on the right foot.

And if you’re worried about the cost of installing an outdoor bathroom, don’t be. There are plenty of ways to make it work for any budget. You can plan your own bathroom design and do it yourself, or hire a professional for a more high-end look. Either way, you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of outdoor bathing without breaking the bank.

So if you’re lucky enough to have a yard or outdoor space, why not consider adding an outdoor bathroom? It’s a unique and luxurious addition that will enhance your home and allow you to experience the beauty of nature while still enjoying the comforts of a private bathroom.

Outdoor bathroom ideas

Outdoor bathroom ideas

While bathing indoors is a common practice, having an outdoor bathroom allows you to connect with nature while still enjoying the comforts of a private space. From rustic cabins to modern designs, there are plenty of outdoor bathroom ideas to transform your yard into a beautiful bathing spot.

One example of a stunning outdoor bathroom is the McNab House. This house features hut-like structures that house the baths, allowing the homeowners to bathe in privacy while being surrounded by nature. The baths are designed with practicality in mind, with each hut having its own copper bathtub.

In New Zealand, outdoor bathrooms are becoming more popular as homeowners embrace the idea of bringing the indoors outside. These designs often feature gardens and lush greenery, creating a peaceful and tranquil environment for bathing. These outdoor bathrooms offer a sense of escape from the everyday, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of your surroundings.

If you live in a location with warm weather year-round, an outdoor bathroom can be the perfect addition to your home. Not only does it provide a convenient way to cool off after a day at the beach, but it also adds a touch of luxury to your outdoor space.

When it comes to outdoor bathroom designs, there are many practical considerations to keep in mind. For example, installing a water feature or shower can help to create a spa-like feel. Sunken baths are also a popular choice, as they allow you to soak in the water while still being able to enjoy the view. Additionally, placing your outdoor bathroom near the kitchen can make it easier to access water and other amenities.

Architects Stephanie McNab and Petunias have worked on several outdoor bathroom designs, and they believe that privacy is key when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor bathing experience. They suggest using tall plants and screens to create a sense of seclusion, while still allowing for plenty of natural light to filter through.

One example of a stunning outdoor bathroom is the McNab House. This house features hut-like structures that house the baths, allowing the homeowners to bathe in privacy while being surrounded by nature. The baths are designed with practicality in mind, with each hut having its own copper bathtub.

No matter what style or design you choose, an outdoor bathroom can be a stunning addition to your home. Whether you prefer a rustic cabin or a modern oasis, there are plenty of options to choose from. So go ahead and start planning your outdoor bathroom today!

1 Nestle a family sized tub next to the house for ease

If you have the space near your house, why not create an outdoor bathing area that is easily accessible from the inside? By placing a family sized tub next to the house, you can enjoy the convenience of indoor plumbing while still enjoying the outdoors. This is especially practical if your outdoor bathroom is located near the kitchen or the bathrooms inside your home.

Having a tub outside can be a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. Instead of having to travel all the way to your backyard, you can simply step out of your house and into the tub. This not only saves you time and effort, but it also allows you to enjoy your outdoor space without having to go too far away from your indoor amenities.

When it comes to the design of your tub, consider using materials that can withstand the outdoor weather. Copper tubs, for example, are a popular choice for outdoor baths as they age beautifully and develop a unique patina over time. You can also opt for more modern materials such as acrylic or fiberglass, which are lightweight and easy to clean.

If you’re worried about the cost of installing a tub outdoors, there are many affordable options available. You can find pre-made tubs that are specifically designed for outdoor use, or you can even repurpose a vintage tub from your local salvage yard. Another cost-saving option is to build a wooden tub using reclaimed materials.

Before installing your tub, make sure to consult with a professional for advice on plumbing and safety requirements. It’s also important to check your local building codes and regulations to ensure that you comply with any necessary permits.

Overall, having an outdoor tub next to your house can be a practical and luxurious addition to your outdoor living space. It allows you to enjoy the benefits of bathing in nature without sacrificing the convenience of indoor plumbing. So, next time you’re thinking about upgrading your bathroom, consider adding an outdoor tub!

2 Sink a hot tub into a deck

If you have a deck in your outdoor space, consider sinking a hot tub into it for a luxurious bathing experience. This option is perfect for those who enjoy spending time in their gardens and want to create a private spa-like atmosphere.

By sinking a hot tub into your deck, you can create a seamless transition from the deck to the hot tub. This will give you the feeling of stepping onto a private beach every time you use it.

Stephanie McNab, an architect and founder of the design firm McNab Architecture, suggests incorporating a hot tub into a deck to create a sense of luxury and relaxation. She says that this design allows homeowners to fully enjoy their outdoor space while also having easy access to a bathing area.

When planning to sink a hot tub into a deck, it’s important to consider the location and size of the tub. McNab advises thinking about how the tub will fit into the overall design of the deck and the surrounding gardens. You should also consider the weather conditions in your area and choose a tub that is suitable for outdoor use.

Installing a hot tub into a deck can be a practical and cost-effective way to add a luxurious bathing area to your outdoor space. McNab suggests using materials such as copper and wood to create a natural and inviting atmosphere. She also recommends incorporating plants, like petunias, into the surrounding area to enhance the overall design.

3 Roof your outdoor bathroom for year-round use

3 Roof your outdoor bathroom for year-round use

One of the key factors in creating a fully functional outdoor bathroom is ensuring that it can be used throughout the year, regardless of the weather. Roofing your outdoor bathroom is a crucial step in achieving this.

To better understand the benefits of a roofed outdoor bathroom, we turned to Stephanie McNab from Graduated Architecture in New Zealand. According to her, having a roof over your outdoor bathroom not only protects you from rain, but also provides shade during hot summer days.

Stephanie says, “Though it might seem better to shower under the open sky, a roofed outdoor bathroom offers more practical advantages. You can still enjoy the feeling of being in nature while being protected from the elements.”

There are various roof designs that you can consider for your outdoor bathroom. Architects like Stephanie recommend using materials such as copper or corrugated metal to create a unique and stylish look. These materials not only provide protection from the weather, but also add a sense of warmth to the space.

Furthermore, a roofed outdoor bathroom allows you to enjoy bathing even after the sun has set. Stephanie suggests installing soft, warm lighting to create a cozy and inviting atmosphere. This way, you can relax and unwind in your outdoor bathroom even during the evenings.

When it comes to roofing options, there are a few different designs you can choose from. One popular option is a sunken roof, where the roof is lower than the surrounding area. This creates a sense of privacy and seclusion, making your outdoor bathroom feel like a hidden oasis.

In Australia, outdoor bathroom designs often incorporate a high roof that allows for good ventilation and natural light. This is especially important in humid climates, as it prevents the bathroom from becoming stuffy and damp.

While roofed outdoor bathrooms offer many benefits, it’s also important to consider the accessibility of your outdoor bathroom from the house. You don’t want to have to step outside in bad weather just to access your bathroom. Architects suggest having a covered walkway or even integrating the outdoor bathroom with the exterior design of the house to ensure easy access.

Overall, installing a roof over your outdoor bathroom is a practical and stylish solution for enjoying bathing outdoors year-round. By incorporating the right roofing design and materials, you can create a space that allows you to connect with nature while still being protected from the elements.

4 Put an outdoor bathroom in the perfect spot

Having an outdoor bathroom can be a great addition to your home, especially if you live in a place with warm weather or near a beach. It allows you to take advantage of the natural surroundings and enjoy the beauty of nature while still having the privacy of your own room.

When designing your outdoor bathroom, it’s essential to consider the location and find the perfect spot. Stephanie McNab, an architect from New Zealand, suggests that bathrooms should be placed strategically so that they work harmoniously with the rest of the outdoor space.

Stephanie McNab states, “By placing the bathroom in the right spot, you can create a better connection with nature and enjoy the beauty of your surroundings.” She recommends locating the outdoor bathroom near gardens, trees, or other natural features that can create a sense of serenity and privacy.

According to Stephanie McNab, bathrooms that are placed in a secluded area are more likely to make you feel like you’ve found a hidden oasis, away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. She advises positioning the bathroom in a spot where it can nestle into the landscape and become a part of it.

When it comes to practical considerations, Stephanie McNab suggests thinking about water and access. You’ll need to take into account the plumbing and drainage requirements for the outdoor bathroom, as well as ensuring that it’s easily accessible from the main house.

While installing an outdoor bathroom might come with additional costs, Stephanie McNab believes that the benefits outweigh the expenses. She explains, “Outdoor bathrooms can add value to your home and enhance the overall lifestyle experience.”

There are various design options for outdoor bathrooms that can suit different preferences and aesthetics. From fully enclosed showering spaces to open-air designs with high walls for privacy, there’s a design that will work for every individual.

Architects and designers often use materials like copper, wood, and stone to enhance the outdoor feel and create a seamless blend between the bathroom and the exterior environment. They also incorporate natural elements like plants and flowers to add a touch of nature to the space.

In Australia, outdoor bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular, and designers are known for their innovative approaches to outdoor living. From sunken baths to outdoor showers, there are plenty of options to choose from when it comes to finding the perfect spot for your outdoor bathroom.

In conclusion, by carefully planning the location of your outdoor bathroom, you can create a bathing space that seamlessly integrates with nature. Whether it’s near a garden, nestled in the trees, or strategically positioned for privacy, the perfect spot for your outdoor bathroom will enhance your overall outdoor experience.

6 Find a sheltered spot for your outdoor bathroom

When it comes to designing your outdoor bathroom, finding the right location is key. You want a spot that is sheltered from the weather, while still giving you access to nature. Stephanie, a graduated architect from Australia, advises finding a practical spot that is away from high winds and extreme weather conditions. This will ensure that you can enjoy your outdoor bathing experience without any disruptions.

Many homeowners choose to have their outdoor bathroom nestled among their gardens or next to a pool. This way, you can enjoy the peacefulness of nature while still having privacy. Architects like Stephanie often recommend installing an outdoor bathroom near the kitchen or living room, as this makes it easier to access the necessary utilities.

One popular option for a sheltered spot is to build a structure around your outdoor bathroom. This can be as simple as a wooden hut or as elaborate as a fully-furnished exterior room. By enclosing the area, you create a private space for showering and bathing, while still being able to enjoy the outdoors.

For those who prefer a more open and natural feel, you can opt for a sunken outdoor bathroom. This design allows you to be surrounded by nature while still having some protection from the elements. Copper baths and showers are common choices for these types of bathrooms, as they can withstand outdoor weather conditions.

Overall, finding a sheltered spot for your outdoor bathroom is essential for creating a practical and enjoyable space. Whether you choose to build a structure or go for a more open design, make sure to consider the weather and your location. With the right spot, you can have a beautiful outdoor bathroom that blends seamlessly with your surroundings.

7 Add a colorful focal point with tiles

Adding vibrant tiles to your outdoor bathroom can create a stunning focal point that draws the eye and adds a pop of color to your space. Whether you choose to cover an entire wall or just a portion, incorporating tiles into your outdoor design can make a bold statement.

When it comes to tile options, the possibilities are endless. You can choose from a variety of colors, patterns, and textures to create a look that suits your personal style and complements the surrounding outdoor environment. Consider using mosaic tiles for a unique and artistic touch, or opt for larger, solid-colored tiles for a more modern and sleek aesthetic.

One popular approach is to use tiles to outline the bathing area, creating a defined space within your outdoor bathroom. This can be particularly effective if you have a sunken bath or shower area, as the tiles can help to highlight this feature and make it the focal point of the space.

Another idea is to use tiles to create a decorative feature wall. This can be achieved by selecting a bold pattern or vibrant color for the tiles, which will instantly catch the eye and add visual interest to your outdoor bathroom.

Additionally, adding tiles to the floor of your outdoor bathroom can have a major impact on the overall design. Consider using patterned tiles to create a unique and eye-catching floor design, or opt for a more subtle colored tile to add a touch of elegance.

When selecting tiles for your outdoor bathroom, it’s important to choose ones that are suitable for outdoor use. Look for tiles that are water-resistant, non-slip, and resistant to fading in the sun. This will ensure that your tiles stay in good condition, even in the face of harsh weather conditions.

Installing tiles in your outdoor bathroom may require professional assistance, especially if you’re not experienced with tile installation. It’s important to consult with a qualified tile installer to ensure that the job is done correctly and to avoid any costly mistakes.

Adding colorful tiles to your outdoor bathroom can not only enhance the overall design, but it can also help to create a sense of privacy and create a spa-like retreat in your own backyard. So why not consider incorporating tiles into your outdoor bathroom design?

8 Make outdoor bathtime a couples retreat

One of the best ways to enjoy an outdoor bathroom is with someone special. Whether it’s your partner, spouse, or a close friend, sharing a bath in the open air can be a romantic and relaxing experience. Here are some ideas to create a couples retreat in your outdoor bathroom:

  1. Nestle your bathtub in a secluded spot: Find a spot in your yard that offers privacy and seclusion. You want to create a cozy nook where you and your partner can unwind and enjoy each other’s company.
  2. Think about showering together: If you don’t have space for a bathtub, consider installing a spacious shower that can accommodate two people. Showering together can be just as intimate and enjoyable.
  3. Less is better: Keep the design of your outdoor bathroom simple and minimalistic. A clutter-free space will help create a sense of tranquility and relaxation.
  4. That’s baths with a view: Position your bathtub or shower in a way that allows you to take in the beautiful surroundings while bathing. This could be overlooking a garden, a beach, or a sunset.
  5. Bring nature inside: Incorporate natural elements like plants, flowers, and stones into your outdoor bathroom design to create a seamless connection with the outdoors.
  6. Make it practical: Consider adding practical features like hooks for towels, shelves for toiletries, and warm lighting for a cozy atmosphere.
  7. Graduated access: If you have a sunken bathtub or shower, consider creating steps or a ramp for easy and safe access.
  8. Enjoy a private room above: If you have a two-story house, consider adding an outdoor bathroom on the upper level. This will give you a private space to enjoy outdoor bathing while still having convenient access to your indoor bathroom.

No matter the size, cost, or location of your outdoor bathroom, these ideas will help you create a romantic and relaxing space for you and your partner to enjoy. Get inspired by the beautiful designs and architecture of outdoor bathrooms and start planning your own couples retreat in nature.

9 Find space for an outdoor bathroom on the roof

If you’re looking to truly elevate your outdoor bathing experience, why not consider installing an outdoor bathroom on the roof? This unique location not only provides an incredible view but also offers a sense of privacy and seclusion that can’t be attained on the ground.

Architects and designers from Australia and New Zealand have been working to incorporate outdoor bathrooms into their designs, taking advantage of extra space on top of homes and buildings. With easy access to water and plumbing throughout the house, installing an outdoor bathroom on the roof is a practical and unique solution.

These rooftop bathrooms are designed to blend with the surrounding gardens and nature, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the outdoors. They often feature open-air showers, sunken baths, and private spots to nestle in and enjoy the view. With the right plan, your rooftop bathroom can become the perfect oasis in the sky.

One example of this unique design can be found in Stephanie McNab’s Copper House, where a rooftop bathroom with a sunken bath provides a luxurious spot for bathing and relaxation. The high-above location offers a breathtaking view of the beach and the open sky, creating a truly remarkable bathing experience.

When considering the location for your rooftop bathroom, think about the weather in your area. If you live in a place with mild and sunny weather throughout the year, having an outdoor bathroom on the roof might make perfect sense. However, if you are faced with colder temperatures or frequent rain, you might want to think twice before taking the plunge.

Before starting the installation process, it’s important to consult with professionals and gather advice on the cost, feasibility, and safety of your plan. An outdoor bathroom on the roof can be a stunning addition to your home, but it requires careful consideration and planning.

So, if you’re looking for a unique and refreshing bathing experience, without having to leave the comfort of your own home, consider finding space for an outdoor bathroom on the roof. It’s a design concept that brings together the best of both worlds – the beauty of nature and the convenience of modern plumbing.

10 Plan for privacy

10 Plan for privacy

Privacy is an important factor to consider when designing an outdoor bathroom. Here are 10 tips to help you plan for privacy in your outdoor bathing space:

  1. Choose the right location: Select a spot in your yard that is away from prying eyes and provides a sense of seclusion.
  2. Create a natural barrier: Use plants, such as hedges or bamboo, to create a natural privacy screen around your outdoor bathroom.
  3. Add a fence or wall: Install a fence or wall around your outdoor bathing area to provide privacy.
  4. Use curtains: Hang curtains around your outdoor bathroom for an easy and flexible privacy solution.
  5. Build a sunken bath: A sunken bath can provide privacy by being set below the ground level.
  6. Install a shower screen: Use a shower screen to enclose your outdoor shower and provide privacy.
  7. Consider the weather: Plan for privacy that can withstand different weather conditions, such as wind or rain.
  8. Add a roof or canopy: Install a roof or canopy over your outdoor bathroom to provide shade and privacy.
  9. Install a privacy door: Add a door to your outdoor bathroom for a private and enclosed space.
  10. Choose the right materials: Use materials that offer privacy, such as frosted glass, bamboo, or copper.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your outdoor bathroom provides the privacy you desire while still allowing you to enjoy the beautiful outdoors.

11 Put your outdoor bathroom amongst nature

If you think that outdoor bathrooms are only for homes in warm weather areas like Australia and New Zealand, think again. While it may be true that the cost of installing an outdoor bathroom can be high, the benefits are well worth it.

After all, who wouldn’t want to bathe outside, surrounded by nature? Stephanie McNab of Architects EAT agrees. She graduated with a Masters in Architecture from Unitec in New Zealand and has fully embraced the idea of outdoor bathrooms. Her advice is to “design a bathroom that feels connected to nature, no matter where you live.”

With outdoor bathrooms, access to the outdoors is a crucial step. While not all homes have easy access to a private garden or yard, finding a spot outside that nestles into the natural surroundings is possible for most homes.

One popular location for an outdoor bathroom is alongside a garden. McNab suggests planting petunias and other colorful flowers outside the bathroom to create a sense of privacy and separation from the rest of the outdoors.

If you plan to incorporate nature into your outdoor bathroom, consider using natural materials such as wood, stone, or even copper. These materials not only have a better chance of withstanding the weather, but they also blend seamlessly into the outdoor environment.

A sunken bath in an outdoor bathroom can also create a perfect spot for bathing in the outdoors. The design of the bath should be practical and user-friendly, without sacrificing the aesthetic appeal.

Outdoor bathrooms are not just for those with large gardens or spacious yards. Even small homes or huts can have beautiful outdoor bathrooms that make the most of their limited space. By careful planning and design, these outdoor bathrooms can be both practical and aesthetically pleasing.

So whether you live in a warm weather area or not, don’t let the weather stop you from enjoying the outdoors while bathing. Incorporate nature into your outdoor bathroom and create a private oasis that you can enjoy all year round.



Q: Can outdoor bathrooms be used in all types of homes?

A: Yes, outdoor bathrooms can be incorporated into a variety of homes. Whether you live in a house or an apartment, you can think about adding an outdoor bathroom without any issues.

Q: Are outdoor bathrooms only popular in New Zealand?

A: No, outdoor bathrooms are popular across the globe. Many people enjoy the experience of bathing in nature and being outside while showering.

Q: Can outdoor bathrooms be used throughout the year?

A: Although outdoor bathrooms are designed to be used outside, some may not be suitable for extreme weather conditions. It is advisable to check weather-resistant materials and installations that can withstand different climate conditions.

Q: Do outdoor bathrooms offer privacy?

A: Yes, outdoor bathrooms can offer privacy. Depending on the design, you can create a secluded space in your yard where you can enjoy a bath or shower without being seen by others.

Q: How can outdoor bathrooms be integrated into the house?

A: Outdoor bathrooms can be integrated into the house’s exterior or placed in a separate structure like huts or beach shacks. Depending on your preference and the layout of your yard, you can choose the best location for your outdoor bathroom.

Q: Are outdoor bathrooms practical?

A: While outdoor bathrooms may require additional maintenance and proper plumbing solutions, they can offer a unique and enjoyable bathing experience. The practicality of outdoor bathrooms depends on the design and execution.

Q: Can outdoor bathrooms save water?

A: Outdoor bathrooms can save water compared to indoor bathrooms if they are equipped with water-saving fixtures and have efficient drainage systems. However, individual usage habits will also affect water consumption.

Q: Can outdoor bathrooms be used year-round?

A: Depending on the location and climate, outdoor bathrooms can be used throughout the year. However, in colder regions, it may be less practical to use outdoor baths during winter months.

Q: How much do outdoor bathrooms cost?

A: The cost of outdoor bathrooms varies depending on the design, materials, and plumbing requirements. It is best to consult with architects or designers to get an accurate estimate based on your specific plans.

Q: Can outdoor bathrooms be installed in Australia?

A: Yes, outdoor bathrooms can be installed in Australia. In fact, the outdoor living culture and beachfront architecture make Australia an ideal location for outdoor bathrooms.

Q: Can outdoor bathrooms be part of an open plan kitchen?

A: While it is possible to incorporate an outdoor bathroom into an open plan kitchen layout, it is important to consider the practicality and specific requirements of both spaces. Consulting with professionals in architecture and design is recommended to ensure a seamless integration.

How much does it cost to build an outdoor bathroom

Building an outdoor bathroom can be a great addition to your exterior space, allowing you to enjoy nature while bathing or showering. But how much does it actually cost to build an outdoor bathroom? The cost can vary depending on various factors such as the location, design, and materials used.

According to Stephanie McNab, an architect who has worked on outdoor bathroom designs in Australia and New Zealand, the cost can range from $5,000 to $50,000 or more. The cost will depend on the complexity of the design, the materials chosen, and the amenities included.

If you’re looking for a basic outdoor bathroom with a simple shower and toilet, you might be able to find more affordable options. However, if you want a luxurious outdoor bathing experience with a sunken bathtub, private garden, and high-end materials like copper or stone, the cost will be higher.

Stephanie suggests that those on a budget can still create a beautiful outdoor bathroom by opting for less expensive materials and simpler designs. For example, instead of a fully enclosed bathroom, you can opt for an open-air design that blends in with the surrounding nature.

  1. Location: The location of your outdoor bathroom can have an impact on the cost. If you already have easy access to water and plumbing, the cost will be lower. However, if you need to install plumbing and water lines from scratch, it will add to the overall cost.
  2. Design: The design of your outdoor bathroom will also affect the cost. Complex designs with custom features will be more expensive, while simpler designs will be more cost-effective.
  3. Materials: The materials chosen for your outdoor bathroom will have a significant impact on the cost. High-end materials like copper or stone will be more expensive, while more affordable options like wood or tile can help keep costs down.

According to Stephanie, the cost of building an outdoor bathroom can also vary depending on the weather and climate of your location. For example, in areas with harsh winters, you may need to invest in additional insulation or heating elements to ensure the bathroom can be used year-round.

Overall, the cost of building an outdoor bathroom will depend on your specific wants and needs. It’s essential to have a clear plan and budget in mind before starting the project. Seeking advice from architects or outdoor bathroom specialists can also help ensure you get the best design and value for your money.


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