Yes, Your Home Can Have An Outdoor Shower
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Yes, Your Home Can Have An Outdoor Shower

Design pros say owners of suburban and city dwellings increasingly want to enjoy the thrill of sudsing up in the fresh air.

By Allison Duncan
Fri, Aug 12, 2022 9:43amGrey Clock 2 min

LATHERING UP OUTDOORS is among life’s most wholesome kicks. Sun hits body parts that rarely see the light of day while water falls like rain beneath blue sky. Why must one wait for a stay at the beach to enjoy a fresh-air scrub?

One needn’t, says New York City designer David Frazier: “Outdoor showers enliven a daily task and are becoming increasingly popular in metropolitan locales,” he said. Outside stalls exemplify biophilic design—a trend connecting people to nature that has surged during the pandemic, said Graeme Labe, principal at hospitality design firm Luxury Frontiers in Johannesburg, South Africa. His studio recently outfitted luxury resort Camp Sarika by Amangiri in Canyon Point, Utah, with shower cabinets that open onto a soul-soothing vista of red-sand desert mesas.

To a greater degree than their country cousins, outdoor “city” showers must balance privacy with delicious exposure to the elements—unless commissioned by exhibitionists. Designers rely on everything from frosted-glass cubicle walls to portable folding screens to ensure discretion without killing the view or the al fresco feel, says New York architect Philip Consalvo. Mr. Frazier walled one outdoor shower in a West Point, Ga., home with a mix of pierced brick and horizontal cedar slats. Fresh air can squeeze through but nosy eyes can’t.

In a well-secluded yard, you can just slap a faucet against a wall and plumb it. Otherwise, you need walls to block the neighbours’ sightlines. In Austin, Texas, designer Claire Zinnecker and architecture firm Alterstudio were tasked with creating a plein-air shower for clients who had only side neighbours to contend with. They created a roomy but private alcove enclosed on three sides by a teak fence, a tan-brick wall and glass doors to an interior bathroom.

Lush vegetation can help. The walled garden of furniture designer Glenn Lawson’s 1920s Spanish revival home in Los Angeles is jungle-y enough that just two shower partitions sufficed. He chose inexpensive, naturally waterproof stucco to align with his architecture.

If your shower is surrounded by taller buildings, modesty requires more cover overhead. Susana Simonpietri, founder of design firm Chango & Co., topped the stall in her Brooklyn townhome’s garden with a trellis and encouraged climbing vines to make it opaque.

In Sharon, Conn., textile designer John Robshaw fitted a shower rig to his suburban home’s shingle siding so he could rinse off after tending to his garden. Though he shielded his setup from neighbours’ eyes by planting flowering dogwood, he realized his own guest-room windows posed a problem. The shower, he said, was “tricky to use when guests are in town.” Interior drapes offered a solution.

Reprinted by permission of Mansion Global. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication:  August 11, 2022.


Interior designer Thomas Hamel on where it goes wrong in so many homes.

Following the devastation of recent flooding, experts are urging government intervention to drive the cessation of building in areas at risk.

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RMIT expert says a conflation of factors is making the property market hard than ever to predict

By Robyn Willis
Thu, Oct 6, 2022 9:52am < 1 min

A leading property academic has described navigating the current Australian housing market ‘like steering a ship through a thick fog while trying to avoid obstacles’.

Lecturer in RMIT’s School of Property Construction and Project Management Dr Woon-Weng Wong said the combination of consecutive interest rate rises aimed at combating high inflation, higher property prices during the pandemic and cost of living pressures such as the end of the fuel excise that occurred this week made it increasingly difficult for those looking to enter or upgrade to find the right path.

“Property prices grew by approximately 25 percent over the pandemic so it’s unsurprising that much of that growth ultimately proved unsustainable and the market is now correcting itself,” Dr Wong says. “Despite the recent softening, the market is still significantly above its long-term trend and there are substantial headwinds in the coming months. Headline inflation is still red hot, and the central bank won’t back down until it reins in these spiralling prices.” 

This should be enough to give anyone considering entering the market pause, he says.

“While falling house prices may seem like an ideal situation for those looking to buy, once the high interest rates, taxes and other expenses are considered, the true costs of owning the property are much higher,” Dr Wong says. 

“People also must consider time lags in the rate hikes, which many are yet to feel to brunt of. It can take anywhere from 6 to 24 months before an initial change in interest rates eventually flows on to the rest of the economy, so current mortgage holders and prospective home buyers need to take this into account.” 


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