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.


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Capital cities lead the way as median home values see clear upswing

Thu, Jun 1, 2023 2 min

Home values continue their upwards trajectory, recording the strongest monthly growth in 18 months, CoreLogic data shows.

The property data provider reports that their Home Value Index has noted a third consecutive rise in values  in May, accelerating 1.2 percent over the past month. This is on the back of a 0.6 percent increase in March and 0.5 percent rise in April.

Sydney recorded the strongest results, up 1.8 percent, the highest recorded in the city since September 2021. The fall in Sydney’s home values bottomed in January but have since accelerated sharply by 4.8 percent, adding $48,390 to the median dwelling value.

Melbourne recorded more modest gains, with home values increasing by 0.9 percent, bringing the total rise this quarter to 1.6 percent. It was the smaller capitals of Brisbane (up 1.4 percent) and Perth (up 1.3 percent) that reported stronger gains.

CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said the lack of housing stock was an obvious influence on the growing values.

 “Advertised listings trended lower through May with roughly 1,800 fewer capital city homes advertised for sale relative to the end of April. Inventory levels are -15.3 percent lower than they were at the same time last year and -24.4 percent below the previous five-year average for this time of year,” he said.

“With such a short supply of available housing stock, buyers are becoming more competitive and there’s an element of FOMO creeping into the market. 

“Amid increased competition, auction clearance rates have trended higher, holding at 70 percent or above over the past three weeks. For private treaty sales, homes are selling faster and with less vendor discounting.” 

Vendor discounting has been a feature in some parts of the country, particularly prestige regional areas that saw rapid price rises during the pandemic – and subsequent falls as people returned to the workplace in major centres.

The CoreLogic Home Value Index reports while prices appear to have found the floor in regional areas, the pace of recovery has been slower.

“Although regional home values are trending higher, the rate of gain hasn’t kept pace with the capitals. Over the past three months, growth in the combined capitals index was more than triple the pace of growth seen across the combined regionals at 2.8% and 0.8% respectively,” Mr Lawless said.

“Although advertised housing supply remains tight across regional Australia, demand from net overseas migration is less substantial. ABS data points to around 15% of Australia’s net overseas migration being centred in the regions each year. Additionally, a slowdown in internal migration rates across the regions has helped to ease the demand side pressures on housing.”



Chris Dixon, a partner who led the charge, says he has a ‘very long-term horizon’

Americans now think they need at least $1.25 million for retirement, a 20% increase from a year ago, according to a survey by Northwestern Mutual

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