Affordable luxury is an oxymoron, but South Bay homeowners are finding creative ways to make the beach lifestyle comfortable and convenient. Whether you live on The Strand with a patio full of sand or inland with garden soil and grass, an outdoor shower helps keeps the interior of your house clean.
However, more homeowners are discovering that an outdoor shower can be both utilitarian and a relaxing retreat. Options abound that fit every style and budget—ranging from designer-created spaces to big-box store DIY installations.
South Bay interior designer Caroline Burke says her clients “want the outdoor shower to be integrated into the house design, and include both a shower and a foot bath.” For a Bali-inspired home, Caroline incorporated a wall of bamboo, teak wood, rocks and modern fixtures. When designing an outdoor shower for a Nantucket-style home, she opted for a white wood-plank shower surround with nautical-inspired fixtures including a surfboard backdrop.
Manhattan Beach-based Strand Boards showers have taken the South Bay by storm. Founded in 2015 by Hans Thadhani, the company uses real surfboards to create showers, chandeliers and furniture. “We use real boards for the authenticity, the cool factor and because real boards can withstand the water from the shower, the weather and wetsuits,” says Hans. Strand Boards range from the straightforward Classic Line to the Elite Shower Line that can be customized with options that include homeowner names and extra components.
Simple outdoor shower options can be found at big-box hardware stores. Another solution—one of the most stylish and easiest—is the Seletti “Aquart” shower by Selab. The sleek copper shower is mounted on a cement cylinder and only requires a hose adaptor for an instant outdoor rinse.
When considering the entire shower area, it’s important to remember all of the things necessary for an outdoor shower. Waterproof storage containers can hold clean, dry towels and robes, while hooks are perfect for hanging up wet, dirty towels. Soap, shampoo and lotion can be easily stored on shelves, while flip-flops can rest on racks. Teak, rubber or microfiber mats offer stability under wet feet.
Once only for beachside homes, outdoor showers are a common element that solves a host of problems including dirty feet and muddy dogs. If there’s space for a bench and a sunset, the outdoor shower is elevated to a room with a view.