dcsimg

landscape

Summer weather report: Outdoor showers

There are bath people and there are shower people. Just like people who own a cat and a dog, there are people with baths and showers. My back could be gnarled with sprung muscles, and I’d still prefer the shower. A few years ago I stayed with friends in Hawaii and they had an outdoor shower. You could smell the plumeria and hear the cascading waves just across the hedges.

On hot summer days growing up in California, we used the garden hose to rinse off chlorine from the pool and changed outside. An outdoor shower with the fresh air all around is heavenly. And for those who are bath people, outdoor showers are incredibly useful in protecting your skin, your bathing suit, and the indoor carpeting in your home.

For less than you pay for designer coffee each week, you can put up a simple spray shower in your lawn, or patio. And for a little more cash, you can have all the hot water you need to warm right up. Don’t be surprised if, before long, you find yourself showering out in the garden each morning.

On the bucket list

Photo by Taylor Hawkins

Photo by Taylor Hawkins

Starting simple, you can set up a shower for pennies. Since you fill the pail yourself, you can control the temperature of the water. Cost: $, Utility: pool rinse only.

Bare basics

Photo by Nabuzz

Photo by Nabuzz

The next step forward is to eliminate the job of the bucket-filler. This stand-alone outdoor shower mounts at your tap. If you have basement windows, be careful where you place this fixture! Cost: $, Utility: pool rinse and shower (exposure warning).

The sun also rinses

Photo by Solar Fizz

Photo by Solar Fizz

The Swiss have invented an outdoor shower that uses solar panels to heat the water up to 158 degrees (you may prefer cooler temperatures). The makers of Solar Fizz say you can set it up in one minute by connecting the gizmo to the garden hose. These inventions suit my idea of outdoor improvements: you unpack them and screw them in. Cost: $$, Utility: pool rinse and shower using green or sustainable soaps (extreme exposure warning).

Build your own

Photo by Rona

Photo by Rona

If you want to download the plans for building this partition shower, visit Rona. Finally, for the shy, here’s a shower with panels that offers true privacy, and note the low shower head for your feet and toes. Cost: $$$, Utility: pool rinse, pet shower, human bliss zone.

I may have painted bathing preferences with a broad brush. For those who are too conflicted to choose, try this:

Photo by House Interior Design

Photo by House Interior Design

Living in planes, trains and automobiles

Americans are peripatetic by nature. Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like somewhere else. We’re on the move, a trait that led to the creation of a vast mobile home and RV culture. My favorite children’s book was The Fabulous Flight of Peter and Gus. Peter has a shrinking disease and when he’s down to mere inches, his father builds a dome house that he straps to a seagull. Gus flies the boy around the world.

Airborne architecture

Photo by Yanko Design

Photo by Yanko Design

There’s no such thing as curb appeal when it comes to the Wolke 7, a flying home created by Swiss designer Timon Sager. Yes, it’s yet to rise from the drawing board, but one can dream…

Just walk away

Photo by N55

Photo by N55

The Walking House was created as a modular, solar-powered dwelling that simply picks up and moves when you’re ready. The windows are made of polycarbonate. A small greenhouse addition is optional for those who want to beat a path to self-dependence.

Hold the mail

Photo by Lovely Listing

Photo by Lovely Listing

I found this photo at Lovely Listing, but there was no accompanying text. Let’s make some up. “This home for recluse mariners was created out of whole cloth and dropped into the South Atlantic, whence the family poodle was swept overboard in a storm and paddled all the way to Galveston with a fabulous tan.”

The whole kit and caboose

Photo by Dornob

Photo by Dornob

Presidents and film stars used to have their own railroad cars chock full of sitting-room furnishings and lavish designs. How cool would it be to latch up with the Trans-Siberian railroad or hitch your home to a train across the Canadian Rockies?

Tom Joad’s ghost

Photo by Skipper Web

Photo by Skipper Web

Americans never simply began to live in cars; they just changed vehicles from covered wagons and buggies. I admire Steinbeck’s account of the destruction of farms and desperate migration in the Joad’s overstuffed 1926 Hudson flatbed. I’ve had moves that felt like this.

Be glad you have a home, wherever it may be!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)

    Ben

  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.