Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Sauna

When we bought our house, there were several outbuildings scattered throughout the property. There was the old sheep barn that was collapsing in beyond repair, there was an aluminum shed, a quirky wood shed, a pole barn, the barn with the guest quarters, and the sauna (pictured above).

The old sheep barn, the aluminum shed and the quirky wood shed all got hauled away to the rebuild it center. The rest we kept, including the sauna.

I'll give you a quick tour. It's a small two room sauna that reminds me of the old rustic camps I use to visit in Maine.

I can tell you that Hubby was beyond thrilled when he discovered this building on our first tour of the property and imagined sitting in here after a long day of skiing. The above room is the changing room and has lots of old vintage towel racks, old hooks, a little vanity and benches to sit on.

Even Lucy was excited about the sauna. Here she is taking in the ambiance of the old steam room. Aren't the benches classic? And see the old shower faucet hanging from the cross beam?

But Hubby's dream came to a screeching halt when the house inspector warned us that the above water tank was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. In other words, don't use the sauna in its current incarnation - ever.

Hubby had ideas to update the system but when we realized that all of the wood in the steam room had been coated with urethane, we knew we'd have to reside the whole interior as to not get high on toxic fumes. The charred wall was also a deterrent - obviously the barrel stove was a fire hazard.

So it sat.

Until one day a couple of winters ago, we put my old treadmill in the changing area and started using the space as a workout room. And that's when we decided that the building would serve us much better as a home gym than a sauna.

Let me just say that we're not gym people. We know this because we bought gym memberships a year ago this month and pretty much never went. This was mostly due to the inconvenience of driving into town all the time. When we did go, all we used were the treadmill (which I had at home) and the elliptical machine (which we just bought).

So instead of renewing our very costly gym membership, we've decided to use the funds to create a home gym, conveniently located within walking distance from the house. We'll be tearing out the wall in the middle in order to create a large one room space so that both the treadmill and the elliptical machine will fit side by side. These will go where the steam benches are now.

We'll insulate the vaulted ceiling, perhaps add a sink since there's already an existing water line, and paint everything white. We have some extra tongue and groove flooring left over from the porch, which we'll use to cover up the concrete floor. We'll paint the floors historic gray as they already have primer on them. We also plan to replace the plywood door with the old french exterior door we removed from the main house.

So that's the plan but I can't say for sure when the cosmetic stuff will happen! But I'll keep you posted!



  1. How wonderful! My dear neighbors have a 2 room "cabana" just across a walk from their back door. They use it as a home gym.

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps When I started looking into moving up into the mountains...one of the must-haves on the list was out buildings. What is now The Little Red Shop was lined floor to ceiling in Alaskan Yellow Cedar by the previous owners of the property. (It still is) Is that what you have in your sauna?

  2. Hi Julie, I think it's pine paneling. It's the same paneling that was up in the guest house and also, the upstairs half story before we remodeled it. I think it's kind of charming in a vintage kind of way but was really pleased with the look it created when we painted it. Yes, outbuildings are so very useful...can't imagine where all our stuff would go if we didn't have them!! ; ) Trina

  3. Well that does sound like a really good plan...but oh that sauna sure did sound amazing...well not the toxic and hazardous part, yep a gym it is!!

    :) T

  4. That looks like an amazing sauna (minus the hazards of course!). RIP sauna! I imagine such a nice gym will be quite motivating ;)

  5. I'm so jealous!! I want some 'outbuildings'! I love the idea of a home gym- you're going to get so much use out of that! And I see Miss Lucy already has her 'floor routine' down!! :)

  6. Hi Trina,

    I can picture it all white. It will be gorgeous. I know even though it will be a home gym it will be the prettiest one I've ever seen.


    p.s. Did you make your own seitan or use store bought. I'm still trying to perfect my own. I'd appreciate any tips. Did you use to be a vegen/vegetarian? Just curious.

  7. Hi Joan xoxo, I know last night we 'worked out' (sounds so funny when I say it) and Lucy just watched from the floor. She thought it was quite peculiar to go to all effort and not get anywhere...and I kinda agree with her!!! ; ) Trina

  8. Hi Janet, Oh my I only ever used store bought - good for you for making your own!! I'm sure it tastes even better when homemade. I was never a vegan but I did use to eat a lot of soy products for protein. xoxooxTrina

  9. Very nice house.....an a very nice blogg....
    have a nice day:)

  10. A fab idea Trina but after my recent 'efforts' to exercise at work, my advice to you both is 'Dont' take the stairs!'
    Millie ^_^

  11. Awww...the sauna...a good old Finnish sauna. We grew up with them and now have a modern version at Windy Ridge. Nice to have in the Pacific Northwest:)

    Beautiful home...found you in CL and realized you don't live too far from us. Lovely blog!


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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