I spent Christmas at my brother Daniel's property in Queensland, Australia where he is developing a small organic farm. The entire property is a work in progress, however he's managed to nearly complete his unusual outdoor bathroom which sits on the edge of a hill overlooking a small valley, so I took some pictures and I'll share the details with you here.
As you can see from my photographs the bathroom is completely detached from the living quarters - this is part of a theme Daniel has going and later I'll post details of his outdoor kitchen as well. To those who live in cold places this might seem a bit unusual, however when you have a hot climate like they have there, it makes perfect sense to take the indoors outside.
Unfortunately my camera wasn't working so I had to take the pictures on my phone - they're not quite as clear as I'd like but they still give you a pretty good look at what he's done.
As with many of the other structures around the property, he is going for a look which is reminiscent of the kinds of structures early settlers built to work and live in while also trying to show respect for the environment in which it sits, while at the same time adding a little modern styling as evidenced by the diagonal cladding. He's not trying to pretend he isn't imposing his will on the surrounding landscape, but he's not trying to subjugate it either - I really like his approach.
Where possible the materials are recycled. Nearly all of the cladding - the wood and the steel - have been re-purposed from older buildings in the area, as have the door and the wood framed casement window you'll see when we go inside.
Here's the view from just outside the bathroom looking down into the lush valley below...
This is not a primitive "outhouse" like you find at many outback properties in Queensland, something which becomes clear as you open the door to find you're greeted by a combination of modern appointments with a touch of the traditional...
The large window on one side of the shower makes you feel like you're actually taking a shower in the midst of nature rather than inside a room. There's also no shower curtain or cubicle which would make you feel closed in - something that would have totally destroyed the effect. This window is one item which isn't re-purposed and was specially ordered to create the effect. The glazing is self-cleaning, which is necessary because this part of the bathroom is about 5 feet of the ground.
The view is totally amazing! You don't have to worry about privacy because the glass is tinted and is reflective from the outside (unless it's night and you have the lights on), and there's also a valley and a hill between the bathroom and the nearest neighbor.
The way Daniel works is that for the most part he forms an idea of what he wants to achieve, and then goes scouring the local garage sales and renovation sites looking for materials and allows the things he finds to evolve the design as he goes. Sometimes even the dimensions of a structure he's creating will be dictated by the materials he finds - this leads to having left over materials, bits and pieces, but they can always be stored away and put to use in a later project.
However, when it came to the tiles he decided on the specific color you see in the photos and bought those new. He wanted to ensure that they were not too bright as anything too close to white would be, and at the same time not too colorful - the whole idea was to neutrally "frame" the view and I feel he achieved that. Of course that takes a bit of extra planning to ensure there's no waste so if you're considering a tiling project then you should use a calculator as he did to work out how many tiles you need to order - there's one on this page where you can click on "Tile Calculator" in the top right corner of the page and it will pop up.
The open effect is further enhanced by the way he created a skylight out of a piece of corrugated plastic in the middle of the ceiling...
On the other side of the room the vanity and toilet are fairly standard. You might be wondering why I didn't tidy up a bit before taking the photos - that's because I prefer to see rooms as they are lived in rather than artificially prepared for display. The mirror frame is made from old wood he found lying around and it actually looks quite similar to some of the old trees on the property.
I hope you've found my brother's rather unique bathroom as interesting as I did - and feel free to share the pictures on Pinterest if you like them.
I took a lot of photographs of other projects going on around the property and over the next few weeks I'll post some of those as well.
You might also like to read:
• How To Create A Romantic Bathroom Setting
• Upgrade Your Bathroom Without Violating Your Lease
• My Mother's Bath With a View
• Cute and Fun Designs for Kids’ Bathrooms