Archive for the 'New Products' Category

Cool home gadgets and stuff

Maybe I don’t get out enough, or maybe it’s the altitude, but when I’m in an airplane and I pick up Sky Mall magazine, I get excited about home gadgets and stuff. Here’s a taste, clockwise from above left: Pet chair — Where I live, the other human on the premises (a.k.a. my husband) doesn’t [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing back the iron

Perhaps it was on the same the day scientists figured out how to nanotechnologize (a new word, you read it here first) Dockers slacks to repel all wrinkles and stains that home designers decided we no longer needed a place for an ironing board. Au contraire! In fact, some of us prefer natural fabrics like [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The high end of eco lighting

These lamps were designed by Deniece Duscheone, an award-winning lighting designer and a LEED-accredited professional. Her most recent project was the $56 million renovation and re-design of the US Grant Hotel in San Diego. The four lights above are named, from left to right: Stem, Firefly, Cocoon and Flur. They are made for Duscheone’s company [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

New Products: deck boards in new colors, composite railing systems

In case a new deck is in your future, your decision-making-process just got more complicated. Here are some new products being introduced by TimberTech: BuilderRail (top photo) is kind of cool looking with black metal balusters and composite rails. It was introduced at the 2008 International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla., and the rails are [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

This just in: Modern ceiling fans have remotes, not chains

With-it people probably already know this, but I just found out: Some modern ceiling fans have remote controls, not pull chains. I discovered this while watching "Find Your Style" on HGTV, and I think it’s a pretty good idea. The upside: no chain or string hanging down. The downside: yet another remote in our lives. [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

A cool, mod overhang option

As I asked in an earlier posting, what do you do if your front entrance is without distinction? Or your side or rear entrances, for that matter? Arnie and Lily chose one route to solve that problem at their Downey home. But here’s a neat plant-on solution I saw at the Builders Show. Offered by [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Dinner guests snooping through your prescriptions?

Just kidding. I think. But nosy visitors reading the labels on prescriptions — or even "borrowing" a few — was the first thought that popped in my mind when I saw this clever hidden cabinet on the Charles and Hudson blog. I mean, I don’t even have any prescriptions. But if I did, I’d certainly [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

New appliances are smarter than ever

From what I could tell at the International Builders Show earlier this month, GE’s research and development department has been working overtime. The new products introduced at the show number in the dozens. Here are a few to take note of: • Smart frontload washer and dryer: With these latest editions to the smart appliance [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Trends, we’ve got trends

Trends are a big deal here at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla. That’s because the housing market is down, way down, and builders need to figure out what buyers want. A trend forecast conducted by researcher Gopal Ahluwalia, with the National Assn. of Home Builders, and Gayle Butler, editor-in-chief of Better Homes and [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

There could be a price to pay for $1 glue guns

And that price could be "electrical shock and burns," according to a recent recall notice by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. This device, called a Crafters Square Hot Melt Mini Glue Gun, was made in China and about 253,000 of them were sold at Dollar Tree, Dollar Bill$, Dollar Express, Greenbacks, Only One $1 [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

New Product: TimberWolf composite fencing

I’ll be blogging live next month from the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla., but manufacturers are introducing so many new products now that I’m getting a head start. One of these is TimberWolf, a wood-composite fencing material made by FiberTech Polymers of Santa Ana. The fencing is manufactured, the company says, from 100% post-consumer [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

The fine art of chair making . . . NOT!

There must be an art to chair and stool making. I say that because some manufacturers seem to have missed that mark. All the chairs and stools on this page (and many more than this) have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission for being unsafe, with some collapsing and causing bruises, cuts, and [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

One cool tool

If you have a deserving DIY-er on your holiday gift list, one of these new small cordless screw guns is a cool way to go. Bosch came out with its little 10.8-volt Pocket Drive powerhouse less than two years ago. Designed to fit in a construction worker’s tool belt, it will drive 300 3-inch screws [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Scary Stories: counterfeit circuit breakers, collapsing patio chairs

Even on Halloween, a house shouldn’t be so scary that your circuit breaker fails to trip when it’s supposed to (because it’s counterfeit!) and your patio chair collapses beneath you. And so that’s why these products, both made in China (are you shocked?), have been recalled, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Want to act like a rich person? Get personalized fire protection

An article in today’s L.A. Times describes how some well-to-do homeowners got concierge-level protection during the recent wildfires. As subscribers to AIG insurance company’s Private Client Group protection, some of these homeowners were the happy recipients of fire-retardant foam sprayed over their multimillion-dollar homes and properties. But these folks didn’t have to worry about shortages [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Got this grout sealer? Beware . . .

This is kind of an old story: Stand ‘n Seal grout sealer was found to be dangerous and was recalled in 2005. But this is just the kind of home-improvement product you would have in your garage or under your sink for years and not even realize the use of it could put you in [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

American Clay plaster kit: Do try this at home

One of the most compelling products to be displayed at the upcoming West Coast Green building conference (San Francisco, Sept. 20-22) will be American Clay plaster, a natural clay application that can give otherwise ordinary walls depth and a warm glow. Manufactured in and using materials from the United States, American Clay, based in Albuquerque, [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Email from your trash can: “Empty me, I’m full”

Who knew the future could be so delightful? Here is a story from CNN called “High tech meets high tide at beach of the future” that details some computer-based innovations planned for the beach in Ocean City, N.J. There are electronic wrist bands to keep track of kids, and wireless internet capacities, and electronic signs [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s not just a shower, it’s an experience

You know what’s needed during a stressful remodel? A shower experience! This new offering from Kohler is so over-the-top decadent that, well, it demands to be tried out. The Kohler DTV custom showering experience combines water flow and temperature, chromatherapy (colored lights), sound, and steam mist with aromatherapy to create individual showering experiences. Let’s say [...]

Read the rest of this entry »

Recent appliance recalls . . . or, that’s why you fill out warranty registration cards

When you buy new appliances, do you fill out the warranty registration cards? I don’t. I get tired of spreading my information to marketers. However . . . as I’ve been perusing the product recall website of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission I realized, uh oh, those cards are how I would be contacted [...]

Read the rest of this entry »