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The term “shower stall” often conjures a utilitarian, single-person spot meant for one thing: getting clean. These fantastic showers are a different animal — in many of them, solid walls and opaque barriers have been largely banished to let in light and views, making an everyday wash an exhilarating experience. Take a look at 14 examples that challenge the bathtub’s title as the ultimate place for a relaxing soak.

Badeloft

Outdoor ConnectionBefore we lather up, let’s make two assumptions: 1. there is proper privacy, and the windows aren’t open to the street or neighbor’s house and 2. heating systems are in place or not needed. (Hot water has a way of warming up a space.)

This Berlin bathroom, by Badeloft, illustrates the concept perfectly: The shower is completely open to the views and the light provided by the bank of exterior windows. (Shades rise from the bottom up to provide a privacy screen.) The view outside the window isn’t the only attractive thing to look at; the glass wall makes it possible to admire the wood grain of the pine ceiling and walls. The designers installed a rain showerhead, something that is high on the wish lists of many homeowners.


Brandon Architects, Inc.

At 6½ by 4½ feet this shower, by Brandon Architects of Costa Mesa, California, has ample room for two people to enjoy the water view. With architectural details such as the arch, this shower is far from a box relegated to the corner of the bathroom — it’s the star of the design stage.

David Coleman / Architecture

This wet room (a bath area with drainage and waterproof surfaces that mean no glass enclosure is needed), by Seattle’s David Coleman, has a double connection to the outside: the large window behind the tub and the skylight overhead.

John Donkin Architect Inc.

Without the windows, this shower and wet room, by John Donkin of Ottawa, Ontario, would be less remarkable. But with them the room gives bathers the experience of showering outdoors, minus the drafts. This home, built with the help of RND Construction, was named Green Home of the Year by theGreater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association.

LeichtUSA

Not everyone has a master bath that faces an empty beach or a dense forest. LeichtUSA in Irvine, California, gave the owners of this dreamy bath privacy by creating a walled courtyard outside the window. The wall is high enough to provide screening but not so high that it blocks out mountaintop views.

This curbless shower, by Granit Chartered Architects in London, is almost invisible in this elegant bath. The window provides light, ventilation and a sense of openness, but for privacy reasons can’t be seen through.

Roger Turk/Northlight Photography

Roger Turk/Northlight Photography

Insider InterestHaving a dream shower doesn’t mean the room has to possess a stunning outdoor view. Many architects and designers are creating drama through materials, making a shower in a totally enclosed space a transportive experience.

The shower in this houseboat project, by G. Little Construction of Port Townsend, Washington, has a mere porthole window to the outside, but it doesn’t feel constricted.

The patterns in the Black Cloud onyx make an engaging, topographic map-like landscape. Four body jets in addition to an overhead and hand shower make this imagined landscape a rainy one.

Starion Custom Residences

The striated patterns in the marble in this wet room, by Starion Custom Residences of Phoenix, make it seem to exist in the clouds.

k YODER design, LLC

Sometimes it’s the material mix that makes a fantasy shower. Take this three-sided shower, by k Yoder Design of Philadelphia. “The gray-blue matte glass tile mosaic and soft brown linear-striped porcelain tile are illuminated by a skylight. The curbless shower includes a linear floor drain. The simple, clean geometric forms of the shower fittings include body spray jets and a handheld shower wand,” say the designers.

Jacob Snavely Photography

There is just one dominant tile pattern on the wall and floor of this shower, by New York’sid 810 Design Group, but it shows the power of repetition.

Domus Nova

This London bath, by Fossey Arora, shows that a small amount of tile also makes a big impact in a shower. The explosion of color and pattern in this relatively small bath scores high on the dreamy scale.

Robert Nebolon Architects

Another houseboat project — this one is by Robert Nebolon Architects of Berkeley, California — relies on the pattern of a glass and metal shower door for drama.

Robert Nebolon Architects

A clerestory window does provide light, but the wow factor is the multipaned shower enclosure.

Nerland Building & Restoration, Inc.

Of course, beauty need not be dependent on square footage. This bathroom, by San Francisco’sNerland Building & Restoration, is not large, but the view of the stained glass window from the shower makes it feel expansive.

Domus Nova

Another not-too-big bath — this one is by Fossey Arora — relies on form, trim and a bold splash of green tile in a mostly white environment to make this shower irresistible.Big or small, dreams are enjoyable — and they can come true in any room of the house. Contact us today for your idea bathroom remodel.