02 Jun 2015

A Steamy Afternoon in New York City

@steamtherapy, #BlogTourNYC, Architecture, Design Week, Interior Beauty, Interior Design, Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Modenus, Mr. Steam, Neoclassicism, New York City 2 Comments

In this world of rushing to get things done, there is something somewhat decadent about taking exquisite care of one’s self.Lagrande piscine a Brusa (the great bath at Bursa Turkey by Jean-Leon Gerome (1885).jpg13

Of course, we expect others to be clean and well-groomed.  Yet our focus is usually upon the end result, and not the process, much to the detriment of not only our pleasure, but also our health.  What does this have to do with interior design?  A lot!  Read on for the answer…


This lifestyle of rushing — to get our work done, get our children where they need to be, get dinner on the table, all the myriad activities that make up our lives—all this rushing diminishes the joy of life.  Happiness resides in the present, and if we’re always rushing, we’re not even aware of any feeling besides…rushing, n’est-ce pas?  This is why I regard not rushing to be the epitome of luxury.

So it was with high expectations that after 4 days exploring New York City during Design Week, immersing ourselves in fabulosity  [at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House, the Frieze Art Fair, Wanted Design, Chelsea Market, and ICFF where we saw a multitude of innovative and impressive designs (more on that later!)]  as part of the #BlogTourNYC by @Modenus, we were royally treated by Mr. Steam (@steamtherapy) to an afternoon at the Aire Ancient Baths in TriBeCa in lower Manhattan.


The sheer variety of architecture in NYC could cause whiplash if I tried to see everything as I passed by.  But upon entering the Ancient Baths, its relaxed aura of thick brick walls, tall Corinthian columns, and dimmed lighting imparted a sense of peace.  A place to take a deep breath and exhale.

I’ve never been to a public bath before so when I saw it on the #blogtournyc itinerary, it brought to mind the exotic paintings I’ve seen of half naked humans lounging around, doing nothing or…having orgies.  I knew they weren’t on the agenda, but the possibility of nudity gave me pause.  Fortunately, swimsuits are required.  


The lobby of Aire Ancient Baths

After changing into our swimsuits and donning terrycloth slippers with rubberized soles and terrycloth robes, we went down a flight of steps into a darkened vault lit entirely by candles.  It was magical, like stepping back in time. 


The warmth and humidity enveloped me like a gentle hug.  A spa assistant explained the various pools and pointed out the showers for after the salt pool.

The photos above are the actual Aire Ancient Baths, but picture them with steam like this:


Feeling tired, I tried a quick dip into the cold bath (not the really cold one with the block of ice floating in it!), and immediately felt refreshed.  Off to the first tepidiarium pool which was as warm as the Gulf of Mexico in summer, good preparation for the next pool which was good and hot.  I swear I could feel my muscles unknotting.  Next up was the jacuzzi to enjoy the great jets of water massaging my back.


I didn’t know what to expect in the flotarium (salt water pool) but I had to try it.  I wish I had totally let go and rested my head in the water, but we were all going out to dinner directly afterward and I didn’t think I’d have time to redo my hair.  


So instead of fully immersing, I held onto the thoughtful grab bar on the side, which was a good thing because that salt water was enough to float a car!  I had to giggle as the salt water forced me to relax on my back and refused to allow me to sit upright.  I bet you could fall asleep in it without fear.


Feeling relaxed to the extreme, almost ready for a nap, I enjoyed a longer dip in the cool pool which again made me feel totally refreshed. Honestly, I don’t think I’d enjoy being one of those crazy people who run into the ocean in winter, but I love-love-loved the hot/cold/hot/cold experience.  Could it get any better than this?  Why yes it could. 

Just when I thought the spa bath experience was over (and I didn’t want it to end!) I found we were also being treated to a mud facial and steam room!

Mrs. Steam aka Martha Orellana slathered a very special mud from Morocco on our faces and told us to let it dry, then go into the steam room until the mud softened.  Then we could remove it with a damp washcloth.


The glass steam room was so steamy, it was impossible to recognize anyone except by their voices.  I wasn’t familiar with the benefits of steam beyond having a facial.  I knew steam opens pores and that the facial mud draws out impurities.  But did you know that in 1 square inch of skin, we have about 1,000,000 pores?  That’s a lot of cleansing! Vivid Steam Collection 2

Steam is great for cleansing and detoxing as it causes the body to sweat and get rid of impurities.  This means it’s important to drink plenty of water both before and after to stay hydrated. The heat causes the blood vessels in the skin to expand which causes an increase in blood flow and circulation.  This in turn brings more nutrients to the skin.  As a health and beauty benefit for the skin, steam has no competition.

See what John Basedow, author of Fitness Made Simple, has to say in 33 seconds about steam baths.


As I sat in the steam room, my sinuses and lungs became clear, no meds needed.  I felt clear headed and able to breathe deeply, and as relaxed as a wet noodle.  Steam is also great for relaxing stiff joints and sore muscles.  It also burns off 150 calories in a 15 minute steam session at 114 degrees.  I’m adding a Mr. Steam to my wish list!

After washing off the dried mud, this is how my skin felt.  In fact, it’s how my whole body felt–brand new!


Now I’m back home and sorely missing that steamy experience.  Did you know that it’s quite feasible and not as expensive as you’d think to convert a shower in your own home to a steam shower?  No more allergy meds, no more Advil for aches and pains, and clear, baby soft skin?  Yes, please!

See an example of all the ways you could enjoy a Mr. Steam home steam shower here.  (and the shower doesn’t have to be this big!)

Yes, design is not just about looking pretty.  Interior design is about creating an environment that nurtures you, body and soul.  If you’d like to find out what’s involved in getting a Mr. Steam shower in your own home, please get in touch.  I’d love to tell you how you can benefit from taking exquisite care of yourself and your loved ones with a Mr. Steam in your home.

To your good health (and beautiful skin!)




2 Responses to “A Steamy Afternoon in New York City”

  1. Wilsonart at ICFF says:

    […] to follow along on my BlogTourNYC experience, see my posts Smart & Sexy in the Bathroom,  A Steamy Afternoon in New York City, and Someone’s in the Kitchen at Kips Bay Decorator Show House.  And if you’re […]

  2. Smart & Sexy in the Bathroom says:

    […] beautiful designs, click here.  To see more about my design experiences on the BlogTourNYC, see A Steamy Afternoon in New York and Someone’s in the Kitchen at Kips Bay Decorator Show […]

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