Towel warmers, for the uninitiated, are exactly what they sound like. If you love the idea of that straight-from-the-dryer warmth radiating from your towels after you get out of the shower, a towel warmer might be just the ticket. Most towel warmers are designed to run safely 24 hours a day and don’t require anything more than an outlet. Both wall-hanging and moveable floor models are available.
Towels warmers don’t necessarily have to be just for the bathroom either. If you have a hot tub you enjoy during the winter, an outdoor towel warmer might be just what you need after getting out.
A backsplash is a necessary part of the kitchen, behind the stove and preferably the sink as well, but what materials are in style these days? There are quite a few options. Glass is trendy right now, making a comeback from its earlier heyday in the 50s. Ceramic tiles are an old standby that remain popular and are available in practically unlimited colors, finishes, and textures. Stone backsplashes are a nice choice, with the most durable being granite. Granite should be resealed biannually to protect from moisture, however. As handsome as marble is, the porous nature of the stone means it absorbs dirt and grease.
Today’s RVs are taking on the luxuries of today’s houses. Technology is drastically changing what the field offers. Whatever your idea of an RV is, you’ve probably always assumed they’re just for land… Think again. The Terra Wind, an “amphibious motorcoach,” is an RV that can go on land and in the water. For more information and pictures, visit the Terra Wind homepage.
Portable hot tubs (those purchased from a dealer rather than custom-built) are all looking fairly similiar these days. Remember those round wood hot tubs that Hollywood made popular back in the 70s? Instead of being fueled by gas or electricity, they were fueled by wood-burning fires. Technology may have made them nearly obsolete, but there are still those who enjoy the idea of soaking in a wood-fired hot tub made from cedar planks with the crackling of a fire in the background.
If that sounds appealing to you, check out Snorkel, a company in the Pacific Northwest that specializes in making those old-fashioned hot tubs with modern day technology.
Stainless steel appliances are very trendy right now, but anyone who owns them can tell you they have a knack for picking up stray fingerprints. I decided to hunt for possible solutions. EVERBRITE™ Protective Coating claims to “protect stainless steel from corrosion, salt air pitting and provides excellent fingerprint and smudge prevention.” Frigo Design offers a “fingerprint-less stainless steel.”
If those ideas fail or aren’t practical, you may want to refer to this Cleaning Stainless Steel FAQ from DoItYourself.com.
Home building trends have been moving to bigger and bigger houses of late. On the other hand, average lot sizes are getting smaller due to increasing development costs and already-crowded urban areas. People have the idea that small is not desirable, and they want to buy as large of a house as they can afford, but that may lead to small yards with the feeling of less privacy. Fortunately, luxury housing and quality living doesn’t need to be about size.
With outdoor fireplaces, water gardens, and pools and spas growing in popularity, the backyard is becoming the new living area. The large, open areas make it ideal for entertaining. And if your guests are going to get hungry, as guests have a tendency to do, you’ll need to feed them.
Your menu need not be limited to what you can barbeque any more. Outdoor kitchens, complete with wood-burning ovens, are expanding the possibilities. Instead of ordering pizza, a wood-burning oven lets you make your own. They’re not limited to that, though. Wood-burning ovens are excellent choices for roasted, baked, and grilled dishes as well.
Shopping for a new oven? According to this year’s House Beautiful Annual Product Guide, Dave Heigl, director of CabinetWerks Design Studio (Milwakee) chose the following as the three best ranges available today…
Are small appliances running amok on your countertops? An appliance garage might be the answer. Built out from a nook or corner, appliance garages store and hide microwaves, toasters, blenders, choppers, and other frequently used but clutter-inspiring appliances. An appliance garage looks like a cabinet that drops all the way down to the base of the countertop. The front opens like a roll-top desk and provides easy access to your most often used kitchen gadgets.
Got a backyard swimming pool or spa? There are all sorts of new technologies coming out to make care and maintenance easier. Swimming Pool Maintenance Meets Technology is an article that discusses automating things like lighting timers, pumps, heaters, and chemical distribution. Safety is also mentioned with a look at some of the options available to lessen the likelihood of accidents in and around your pool, especially important for families/neighborhoods with lots of kids.