Bringing Your Bathroom Outside: Part Two

WORDS Vanessa McCulloch IMAGES Supplied

Whether it’s showering with the sun on your face or enjoying the vista from a bubble-filled tub, there’s no reason why you can’t get that holiday feeling in your bathroom at home. Two design experts share their know-how.


These days, shower heads have gone high tech with luxe offerings such as chromo- and aromatherapy (yes, showers that spray out essential oils as well as water). But if we’re honest, no matter how top end your bathroom is, nothing compares with showering outside. ‘Remember to have a hot water connection outdoors so you can shower any time of day. Even in good weather you want it to be warm,’ says Lisa Millbacher of Bespoke Bathrooms. And who doesn’t want to shower under the stars?

Think about positioning for privacy, but also so you can enjoy as much natural light as possible, and consider whether you’ll be showering more in the morning or in the afternoon. It’s essential to have good drainage, and if you want a grey-water system, Lisa’s advice is to factor this in right from the start. ‘It’s difficult to retrofit it, but grey-water systems and solar panels are the way to go,’ she says.


In Jon Case’s design experience as a partner at Antoni Associates, ‘the most successful bathrooms are the simplest ones’, as seen in this minimalist masterpiece. His advice, if the location allows, is rather than focusing on fittings at the outset, think about what the outside offers and how you want to incorporate it in your design.

‘It’s all about the atmosphere. In this bathroom, the shower feels like it’s outside and, thanks to the glass around it, the view can also be enjoyed from the bath,’ he says. Designed to let in as much natural light as possible, this bathroom has a sliding door that can quickly transform the bathroom into a private space. ‘When the weather’s cold or there are people on the deck you can close it up, effortlessly.’

The choice of materials supports the seamless inside-outside flow: the timber on the shower floor continues outside and the mirror in the shower extends the view even further. The materials also echo the allure of the outdoors. ‘Rather than prestige marble and polished surfaces, clients are going for barefoot luxury with weathered materials,’ says Jon.

‘People’s lives are stressful, and your bathroom should be a relaxing space where you can escape from reality.’ In line with creating a stress-free zone, shelving sits behind mirrors, plugs are hidden, and invisible drawers are revealed at a push within the timber vanity. You have the view and the immaculate design, but Jon still has one crucial tip for bathroom nirvana. ‘His and hers is essential,’ he says. ‘From basins to storage, it should be non-negotiable!’

This article was originally featured in IMAGINE. Missed Bringing Your Bathroom Outside: Part One? Find it here.