By Annie Depont – Editor of Traces Magazine- translated from the original French version

From my many trips to Japan, I have documented some of my favorite experiences there. The places I stayed in were full of ideas, some of which followed me home. So when I returned, I didn’t give up until I was able to make some of them happen, and that was the case with my little Japanese bathtub!!

It is rare in North America, where I live, to see wooden bathtubs. Finding one that was small enough to fit into my tiny bathroom was an additional challenge.

So, I appealed to a friend of mine, Wendy a Home Stager, or decorator, if you wish, who was to head the project, and started by searching for this rare pearl! It had to be custom made and it started with, as most works of art, her drawing. A design always begins with a drawing… so at that point it was a lot of fun for the both of us!

It was at the time of manufacturing that the difficulties arose. We had chosen a supplier specializing in the construction of wooden saunas, installed outside (preferably in front of a lake …) but when the “tub” was delivered to us, it proved not quite as waterproof as advertised. Let’s imagine a wooden wine barrel that would continually leak!

Just so you know, a Japanese wooden bath should always remain moist, this way it will contain its water without leaking. It is the same concept as in wooden boats, which need to sit in slings in water before letting them float on their own, so the wood will swell enough to become watertight. As for this tub concept, it is also “better for the planet”, because since you don’t completely empty it between uses, it conserves water. So, for those who wonder about the cleanliness of the bath, it is not a question of bathing in it, but more like relaxing with some essential oils after showering, kind of like a hot tub without the jets or going to the spa

We were told by the manufacturers that you need to wait a few days for it to stop leaking, but it constantly leaked (in a friend of Wendy’s exterior garage) so we weren’t able to install it of course! It continued to leak for weeks on end, so in the meantime there were months of negotiations with the supplier and its representatives, to the point that I almost gave up my dream. I had already paid and now it was a matter of recovering all the money before turning to another more conventional choice.

That’s why I was relieved to have called on my friend Wendy from the beginning. She’s the one who did “all the dirty work” with the manufacturer. Constant emails and phone calls, only to hear” it was custom made so you can’t return it!”, even though there was a 5 years warranty on it! As Wendy had said to them, “what was the warranty for, the only function it had was to hold water!!” Shortly after a lot of back and forth with no resolution in sight, they went on vacation so months and months went by since it had been originally delivered in July! So now it was becoming wintertime, and the water was starting to freeze in the tub in the garage!

Until the day when…

In short, Wendy managed to bring the project to fruition! She finally convinced them to pick the tub up and fix it ( with their knowledge, since they make these things!!) and  test it for leakage, then ship it back with no extra cost!

Lets just say, this was not a small item to pick up and return! LOL!!

I usually like to tell stories by illuminating the easy side of processes. The behind the scenes like the ballerina’s effort is never shown. But now I have to say that I would never been able to do it alone.

If you need to do renovations or create a new space at home, whether to sell or enjoy it yourself, don’t hesitate to call on a professional who will coordinate your work and save you countless hours, money and puzzles, while being perfectly attuned to your needs and follies.

Thank goodness I was in such good hands with Wendy Trautwein from Nuances du Nord, and highly recommend her design services!