Generic filters
Exact matches only

Unleashing the Bath Outside


The concept of soaking in a bath as a ritual of relaxation is nothing new.

Unlike baths of the 1800s, today’s bathrooms have become synonymous with luxury, tranquility, and a reconnection to oneself.

The trend of moving bathrooms outside began a few years ago; however, they were only initially embraced within the hospitality industry as resplendent luxury, not as an everyday amenity. 

Nevertheless, new home designs and major bathroom renovations are fully embracing the outdoor bath and have unleashed the bathroom to the exterior of the home.

In fact, it is estimated that in 2015, 10% of National Kitchen and Bath Association members have included an outdoor shower or bath in a project and that number has only continued to increase in 2016.

Creating an outdoor respite for bathing is now a must-have amenity in new luxury home design whether the home features an outdoor soaking tub, a rain shower with a view, or simply a wall of glass bringing the illusion of merging indoor and outdoor spaces.

Outdoor baths can come in a variety of shapes and sizes to fit almost any home and nearly every budget. Typically, the design of an outdoor bath falls within one of three categories: entirely open to the outdoors, placed in the outdoors, or having a view of the outdoors. No matter which style you prefer, the outdoor bath amenity creates a luxurious environment.

In new home design, outdoor bathing should be discussed at the beginning of the design process. At this stage, the outdoor bath can be designed into the flow of the home, ensuring connectivity to the master bedroom, pool, spa and workout facilities. It’s also important to consider outdoor baths early in the process as frequently designers use outdoor bathrooms to visually and architecturally connect indoor and outdoor spaces.

Glass walls that can visually, but also functionally open to the outdoors, are also popular choices for creating an indoor/outdoor bath amenity. Additionally, innovative bath products and designs are assisting create dynamic bathing spaces such as allowing amenities to be split between indoor and outdoor spaces. This is exemplified in a private shower inside with a luxurious bath connected outside.

If you’re considering a new home design or even a major renovation, it is recommended you look into the outdoor bath feature at the onset of your project. No matter which style fits your dream bath, a fabulous spa-styled outdoor bath considered at the outset of your project can be designed to blend privacy with luxury, allowing the room to become a haven for rejuvenation.

As the Hawaiian artist Ethan Fierro so eloquently expresses it “as humans, we are not in touch with the natural world, and there is something inside of us that longs for it.”

Therefore, as designers and architects, I encourage you to push the boundaries of traditional living and look for ways to connect to nature, especially while taking a bath. After all, nothing is more luxurious than relaxing ‘au naturel’ in the BVI.

Photography courtesy of OBMI, and Oil Nut Bay by Christian Horan Photography 

Marvin E Flax

Marvin E Flax

Marvin is the Managing Director of OBM International, leading the global master planning, architecture, and design firm in its Tortola office. Creative by nature, Marvin uses the beauty of the BVI for inspiration.
Marvin E Flax

Latest posts by Marvin E Flax (see all)

Like this article? Sign up to our newsletter!