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Kohler Habitat Masterbath Environmental Enclosure: $20,000 bathroom luxury c. 1978

Kohler’s Habitat Masterbath Environmental Enclosure introduced in the late 1970s was an indoor sauna-meets-sunning bed with three cycles: Sun, Steam and Rain. According to reader Ryan, it cost $20,000 back in the day — wow! Want one?: It comes with this 1979 time capsule house in Sturgis, Mich., via listing agent Dennis Bamber of Cressy & Everett Real Estate. In their comments here on the original story, readers identified a bunch of wonderful features inside this amazing house. Reader Steve H. was first to spot the Kohler Habitat Masterbath Environmental Enclosure.

Steve said: 

I wonder if that big recessed box in the bathroom (right after the pool pics) could be a Kohler Habitat Environmental Enclosure?

Featured as a discontinued item on Kohler’s website (photo above)

A brochure on ebay

There can’t be many of those around anymore!

And then Ryan responded to Steve H.:

I thought the same thing about the Kohler habitat. Those were over $20K back in the 80s!

Googling around, I found the Owner’s Manual to the Kohler Habitat Masterbath here. It explains the three cycles. Yowza. I need one NOW!  Talk about “spa” bathrooms — they weren’t invented in the 21st Century — this is proof they were invented in … 1978!

Thank you, Steve H. and Ryan, what fun fun fun — in the sun, steam, and rain! This one also makes the Woddities — “wonderful oddities” list — 11 years into this blog, they’re harder and harder to come by, we’ve seen soooo much.

Fab photos by Randy Mason of Next Door Photos Michiana 

  1. I don’t know how many were manufactured but however I have one of them in our master bedroom. Took me forever to determine exactly what it was, but with the help of a friend was able to find the patent number and discovered that it is a 1978 Kohler habitat.

  2. Carlee says:

    That’s what I was thinking- maintenance alone would be costly/time consuming. We live in a house built in 1961 with many original features- keeping up with a few things around here has sent us on a wild goose chase to find the right people/person to do the job we need. A place like this could need many things fixed often, aside from day to day care. But I love it and would totally live there if I could afford it and have a butler. Haha

  3. Meghan says:

    Stumbled across your site while googling Kohler Habitats. We have one in our home in excellent condition. It still works and honestly, we don’t use it very often at all, just because we are on the go a lot.

    I would gladly sell it, but it’s hard to find a buyer when so few people know of its existence.

  4. Karen L Strickland says:

    We have one ( bought a house built in the late 70’s ) with the original manual and it has a printed face page with the # 205 hand typed. So at least 205 were built ?

  5. Lisa Marie says:

    I noticed in the ad that it says the cypress deck is removable, presumably to use the jetted tub underneath. Does it recess or do you have to lift it out? It looks like it would be heavy. That would be the one inconvenience. I would love to have one of these, but I live in a mobile home and my one small bathroom isn’t much bigger than one of these.

  6. Meghan says:

    You do have to life it out, but I don’t think it’s heavy. The “deck” is slatted, so it isn’t one giant slab of heavy wood.

  7. Marden says:

    I remember the environment chamber from a Popular Science article. Always wanted one. Valves were gold plated and thought wood was teak.

  8. John Ficarrotta says:

    Back in the 1990’s my Seattle based company sponsored a reward trip to Coeur d’Alene Idaho. Being from back East I had no idea what it would be like; but I was the head of the Seattle office so I played my part. The place on the lake was breathtaking. But what made the trip was I got upgraded to the Presidential Suite on the top floor. Maybe you have seen it. The glass bottom pool on your balcony coming off the Master Suite. Doesn’t get much better than this one. The hot tub on the roof from you room. Etc.

    In the bathroom of this Master Suite was one of these shower habitats and it was great. It was a conversion from a stall shower.

    It had all the features; but closing the doors and setting to steam was by far the best. I always wanted one after that but never did oblige myself.

    Thanks for the cool memory.

    John

  9. lenora yankacy says:

    We have one of these in our h1983 home on Oklahoma. Use some times but not often. I now use the “jungle steam” for sinus issses. I’M SO happy to find a manual for it. We’ve looked before and had no luck. Would love to figure out more about it.

  10. Darren Guth says:

    We had one. Used it alot . The wood came out but only thing below was steam vents. The glass inside on back wall was a lighted heated compartment for towels. Speakers inside for music. Loved it. Steam for I think 20 minutes.. then rain spickets in temp controlled rain… Then headlamps and wind. Fun stuff and very high tech for 1982. Digital readout etc

  11. Clementina Lewis says:

    I used to have one in my house in the 80’s and 90’s,until I sold my house in 2007,when my kids where grown up and gone,and I needed to down size.
    I still miss my environmental unit,I wish I could still have one

  12. Elmer says:

    We have a Habitat (model K-60 by Kohler), had not used it for years , but want to use it now , started it up again after cleaning the spray nozzles, & only not getting a lot of water pressure to have a nice rain.
    What is the problem . Was installed in 84 but was. Demo unit.
    Elmer
    Thanks

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