How A Monkey Made a (Steam) Believer Out of Me ….

The older I get the more I realize that the answers to many of my design dilemmas can be solved with a bit of time communing with nature.  Stuck on finding a color combo?  Go to the botanical gardens and take a gander at the flowers.  Want inspiration on how to combine materials for a project?  Take a hike and see how Mother Nature effortlessly butts wood, flora and rock together into interesting combinations.  Need a solution on how to approach a client’s request for soothing experience in their bathroom but hates baths?  Talk to a monkey…….


The monkeys of mountainous Japan have long known about the therapeutic qualities of steam.  Their common sense didn’t jump over that chromosome differential we share, so I was in the dark about steam for a long time until my trip to London.

You see, the last time I was in Europe I traveled through Germany and avoided the public baths like the plague.  Maybe it was my puritanical American upbringing or that recurring dream of being nude in front of a group of people, but the thought of “freeing my willy” in front of group strangers sits about as well as me giving Bernie Madoff my living savings for “safe keeping”.  However, meeting one of the founders, Martha, of Mr. Steam in London changed my notion and completely opened my eyes (and the client’s eyes) to the therapeutic qualities of steam showers….

Mr Steam Generator

I know.  I know.  You are wondering what that thing is that closely resembles your car radio.  That my friends is a revolution in a tiny metal box.  As Martha explains it, steam therapy isn’t just for spas and luxury resorts thanks to their innovative approach to the technology. Thanks to America’s propensity for glass shower installs, very little retrofitting has to be done to accommodate  Mr. Steam’s residential series of products.  Matter of fact, the base line of products can be had for less than some mid-level tubs.  In design, it’s about trade-offs and since my client wasn’t crazy about a tub, the notion spending about the same and getting an in-home spa hit the nail on the head.

So I would like to thank Mr. Steam and monkeys for potentially solving my design dilemma.  Now if you excuse me, I am going to consult with the monkeys on tax shelters for 2014.  I figured they helped once, it couldn’t hurt to ask.  Have a great weekend!

[pictures courtesy Norikazu Satoni & Mr. Steam]

Check me out on PinterestTwitter and Insta.gram for more musings on design, food and just plain randomness. You can also find me at my online shop for Joy & Revelry.

disclaimer:  mr. steam was a sponsor of blogtour london 2013 but all thoughts and opinions are mine.

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