Best New Products to Make the Neighbors Jealous
Exotic, enviable, outlandish—whatever the opinions, these products from the International Builders Show will draw comment
You can't stroll the aisles at the International Builders' Show without rubbernecking at a handful of the exotic, enviable, or just plain outlandish products on display. They're sure to provoke an opinion—find one for your house and let your jealous neighbors share theirs.Nothing says "Wow!" quite like a 5-foot-long sheet of flame dancing on a bed of broken glass. The gas Fireplace Xtreme cranks out 95,000 Btu (most fireplaces produce around 23,000) to keep you toasty on cold nights. Approx. $4,500; Fireplacex.com.
Finlandia's Ever Ready AV electric sauna heater thawed out our winter-weary bones by almost instantly raising the sauna's temperature to a piping 180 degrees. The clear cedar kits with a 6-kw heater start at approx. $6,440; Finlandiasauna.com.
This flat, low-voltage wire is so thin that you can add light fixtures or home-theater equipment wherever you want without cutting holes. Just stick it on a wall or ceiling and then conceal it beneath a coat of drywall mud and paint. Approx. $2 per linear foot; sconce and speaker kits also available; Flatwireready.com.
The swiveling lens on Halo's flush-fitting trim kit for recessed downlights allows you to aim light exactly where you want it. They're available in three metallic finishes—nickel, copper, and bronze—and mount into round, low-voltage ceiling canisters. Approx. $45; Halotg.com.
Lifeware home control software connects everything to everything else, so one set of controls operates lights, blinds, stereo, thermostat, everything. Working with Windows Vista Media Center software, the system provides complete control of subsystems and digital media throughout the home. You can even wire up the Xbox.For pricing, see Exceptionalinnovation.com.
Rutland gutter supply fabricates copper gutters, leaders and rain chains—and honestly, storm water runoff never looked so beautiful. These drainage sculptures include loop designs, lilies, tulips, and Japanese bells. Have a look at their extensive selection and prices at Rutlandguttersupply.com.
The days of craning your neck and shifting into reverse are behind you. With this motorized merry-go-round planted in your driveway or garage, just spin your car to face the street. Quick getaways have never been so easy. Approx. $9,800 for 14-foot model (Mini Cooper sold separately); Carturn.com.
McCoy has a sauna for everyone. Customize one for your dream spa using their free design assistance and nationwide certified installers, or order one of their Western Red cedar modular kits. They even have a portable version that cams together like Ikea furniture and can be moved from room to room through standard doorways. Turn on the heat via a small plug and play heater or a full boiler system, or McCoy's latest: infrared panels that tuck behind walls, offering an immediate blanket of comforting heat. See McCoysauna.com for pricing.
Stair lifts, wheelchair lifts, and of course elevators for every budget and need. Thyssen Krupp brings complete access in your multilevel home. If you have room for a closet, then you have what it takes to get to "the next level". For the cost of a minor home improvement, Lev promises the luxury and convenience of a home elevator. With three different sizes to choose from and a bevy of design options that help blend your new home elevator seamlessly with your house. See Thelev.com or Tkaccess.com for pricing.
The Velux Sun Tunnel: Bring natural light to a dark windowless room with a satellite skylight. A magnified dome-shaped lens mounts to your roof and a highly reflective flexible duct carries amplified sunlight to your remote room. Similar to installing an exhaust fan, the Sun Tunnel is available in variety of profiles to accommodate your roofline; Velux.com.