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Susie Mahler, owner of Café Max in Northern Indiana, made her sauna dream a reality by converting her spare bedroom into a beautiful custom sauna. Read the following testimonial to hear about Susie’s Finnleo sauna experience.

  1. What motivated you to get a sauna?
    I have always loved the feeling of deep warmth that I get from a sauna.  Aside from soaking in a tub which leaves skin dried and pruned, there is nothing that gives the same warmed-to-bone feel like a sauna does.
  2. How did you come up with your sauna plan?
    I had a sauna in another home 30 years ago.  I found I never used it because of two reasons. One was it was a DIY version. While it looked beautiful, it never heated hot enough. I learned that’s why you hire a professional.  Second, was the location of the sauna. It was in a large bathroom in the basement. For me, out of sight truly is out of mind.  Therefore, since I did not see it daily, I forgot about it.When I started thinking about a sauna this time, it made me really think about how I use my house currently and what I love about it. I love that I had a second bedroom made into a dressing room filled with natural light.  A dormer in the dressing room had unused exercise equipment just sitting there.  I thought a sauna in that space would be the perfect location, as it would be seen and used daily and incorporate the natural light which I loved.
  3. Why did you choose to do a Finnleo Custom Cut sauna and what are some of its special features?
    To keep the natural light streaming into the dressing room, I wanted to make one of the sauna walls all glass. This meant a Custom Cut sauna would be needed.  To retain the natural light, we added a stationary thermal pane window inside the sauna room.  This protects the original window and look from the exterior. It also helps retain the heat in the unit.  With the dressing room and sauna being small, I wanted the door and wall to be all glass.  I also wanted to go with Finnleo’s “Modified Deco” Interior with its floating middle platform to make it feel more open.  That also allows the original oak floor to draw your eye from the dressing room into the sauna giving the feeling that the sauna is larger. The lighting was placed underneath the benches which gives a nice, warm glow and pattern on the oak floor as it peeks between the duck boards.
  4. Why did you choose Finnleo?
    There was a lot of information out on the internet.  Finnleo ended up standing out from the rest. The customer service and their level of knowledge of the products was exceptional.  My endless emails and phone calls were answered every step of the way, throughout the design process and all the way until the order was placed.  It’s that kind of service that let me know I chose the right company.
  5. How do you use your sauna?
    Northern Indiana is cold and damp during the winters which means I’m constantly cold.  The idea of a sauna was really a way for me to get warm.  However, it has proven so much more. I use my sauna 3-6 days a week for a true sauna experience. My usual duration lasts 20-25 minutes and the ability to adjust the heat setting is great. While I enjoy 140-160 degrees Fahrenheit, it doesn’t have to be that temperature every time.  A quick 20 minutes in the quiet warmth and I’m a new person.I’ve realized that experiencing a sauna at a club or hotel and a home sauna are very different.   At home there is a greater sense of relaxation.   You aren’t concerned of taking too much space by lying down, or listening to others chatting, or staying covered with your towel.  Walking into your private home sauna is a completely relaxing experience.  You are greeted with calming silence. The warmth envelopes you and a deep breath comes naturally.  The shoulders relax as you lay down.  The only thought is how much you enjoy the smell of the wood.  The mind is finally empty of all other thoughts.   This is not what happens in a public sauna.  My home sauna is not only good for my body but for my mind.  Some people meditate to reduce stress… I now sauna.
  6. What has it meant to you to have a sauna?
    More than just warming my body, I find my sauna really quiets my mind.  There is only the heat, the smell of the wood and me.  I disconnect from everything when I’m in the sauna.
  7. What do you like the most about your sauna?
    The feeling of peace it brings me.  Some people use meditation to calm their mind.  Guess you could say a sauna is my form of meditation.
  8. Would you recommend Finnleo?
    I own a restaurant and talk a lot to my customers.  I’m always promoting things I believe in.  I can’t think of anything I would have done differently.  My Finnleo sauna is incredible and I am glad I made the decision to have a Custom Cut unit installed.

Sauna Details


At Finnleo, we love to hear from customers about their sauna experiences. Submit your sauna experience and we may feature you on the Finnleo blog. Also, don’t forget to tag your saunas on social media with #MyFinnleo.

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