Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Private Idaho: A Rustic Outdoor Shower in Sun Valley


Private Idaho: A Rustic Outdoor Shower in Sun Valley

May 31, 2016

A rustic outdoor shower in Idaho’s scenic Sun Valley takes its inspiration from the surrounding landscape. Says Ketchum, Idaho-based landscape architect Ben Young, “You’re out there in nature, so why not experience that feeling of being in nature in your outdoor environment?”

Surrounded by an aspen forest and constructed of simple, basic materials, the design of Young’s outdoor shower is one that would look good in any natural setting. Here’s how to recreate the look:

Photography courtesy of Ben Young Landscape Architect, except where noted.

1-outdoor-shower-idaho-ben-young-gardenista copy

Above: The freestanding shower is sited at the edge of a terrace near the master bedroom. “The whole idea is to just be out there in the aspen forest,” says Young. “We have the screening because even in a private area surrounded by trees people like the embrace of screening. It gives them sense of more security and intimacy.”

The structure is constructed of beams of Douglas fir and wall panels of willow twigs. “The top beam has a shadow effect on top of the willow to protect the panels,” says Young. “If you protect them, the panels will last a lot longer.”

The Structure


Above: A 156-long roll of 39-inch-high Willow Fencing And Screening is $47.35 from Amazon. Photograph via Amazon.

“The key is to design the space so you’re working with the full panel size so you don’t have to cut these willows,” says Young. Cutting is a mess and they splinter.”


Above: Photograph via J&W Lumber, which sells Rough Douglas Fir timber in various sizes ranging from 2-by-2- to 12-by-12-feet dimensions; for more information and pricing, see J&W Lumber.

Young specified beams of Douglas fir, a long-lasting hardwood readily available on the West coast. “If you’re on the East Coast, you can use light oak or locust instead,” he says. “We stained the beams to get a graying effect.”

Fixtures and Fittings


Above: A slatted matt that also serves as drainage grate is made of cedar. “You can also make the supportive grate from slates of locust,” says Young, who designed the structure for water to drain directly into the earth beneath the shower.


Above: A Marlin Stainless Steel Outdoor Shower With Foot Shower is $599.95 from Signature Hardware.

“Depending on local codes, you may have to actually connect to your sewer link,” says Young. “Check that out during the design process.”

For year-round use, Young specified a water-evacuation system to force water out of the pipes and into the same drainage system as the main house. “You want to make sure the pipes don’t freeze if it’s 10 degrees below zero,” he says.


Above: A wood slat grate serves double duty as bathmat and enables water to drain directly into the earth. For a ready made option, consider Skagerak’s Bathroom Mat, which measures 28.8 inches by 15.75 inches and is $199 from Danish Design Store.

western-cedar-board-gardenistaAbove: Clear-surfaced Western Cedar measuring 1-by-6-by-10 is $20.98 from Lowe’s.

Hardscape and Plants


Above: Adjacent to the shower is a pathway edged by two ground covers, sweet woodruff and lady’s mantle.


Above: Photograph by Erin Boyle. Deer-proof and suited to shade, Sweet Woodruff is $7.95 apiece from Great Garden Plants.

“We just used the two different kinds of ground cover, sweet woodruff and dwarf lady’s mantle, to make a nice carpet,” says Young. “It’s low maintenance, so you  don’t have to do much.”


Above: Photograph via Monticello Shop. A Lady’s Mantle plant is $12 from Monticello Shop.


Above: Irregular Bluestone Flagstones are available with a natural cleft surfaces in various thicknesses ranging from 3/4 inches to 5 inches; sold by weight at Hedberg Supply. For more information and pricing, see Hedberg Supply. Photograph via Hedberg Supply.

Young specified a local metamorphic limestone for pavers. “But you can also use bluestone or a sandstone,” he says. “The ideas is for the irregular pieces to contrast with the clean lines of the structure.”

Finally, get more ideas on how to integrate and design an outdoor shower with our Hardscaping 101: Outdoor Showers design guide.

(Visited 762 times, 1 visits today)
You need to login or register to view and manage your bookmarks.

Product summary  

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation