In Hot Water

It seems like outdoor bathrooms are finally taking off. I feel like they were a fairly fringe concept just a few years ago – the sort of thing that people rigged up using an old tub they found on the side of the road, a DIY water heating system and some bamboo screening. Now it’s looking like the height of luxury to have this kind of set up, except with standard bathroom plumbing and landscaped pathways leading up to a designer tub. 

Maybe this has been going on a while; I don’t know. But it really hit me when I saw that my parents had left open a Bogue Living article on the subject, after years of them dismissing the idea that bathing should occur anywhere other than in an enclosed room with off-white walls and a tiled floor. Could this be the year my parents invest in the bathroom remodel of my dreams? They’ve got that weird side courtyard going unused, after all. Maybe I’ll move back in with them. 

I wonder when kitchen and laundry designers for Melbourne homes are going to cotton on to this concept. Maybe not ever… see, with an outdoor bathroom, the idea is largely that your in the bath, and that the bath is steaming hot if the weather is cold. With a kitchen or laundry, it’s a bit different because you’re not enveloped in hot water. Sure, those places can get pretty warm, but you’d still end up having to crank everything up in winter to stop in order to boil your water and whatnot. 

Now that I think about it, I guess outdoor bathrooms aren’t that different in that respect. The hot water is going to go cold much more quickly, unless you’ve got some kind of hot tub thing going on where the water is perpetually being heated. Maybe that’s why, traditionally, you have a turbo-charged spa if long outdoor baths are your bag. Hmm.