Shopping? Check out our latest product comparisons

Around The Home

Panasonic launches High Definition web-based service to offer the world's finest art and p...

June 16, 2006 Panasonic Direct is making available the world's finest high definition art and photography for use on Panasonic HDTVs through its newest web-based service, the Panasonic HD Image Gallery, it was announced yesterday. The Panasonic HD Image Gallery features an extensive library of downloadable HD image collections powered by GalleryPlayer. The content available includes masterpieces from Monet, DaVinci, and Andy Warhol to photographic imagery from National Geographic, Time Life, and 30 other leading content partners.  Read More

Guggenheim Museum to feature Zaha Hadid's Futuristic Z. Island Kitchen

June 14, 2006 When world-renowned architect Zaha Hadid was asked to design a kitchen by DuPont and Ernestomeda for the Milan Furniture Fair, the chances were that it would be very special, but it’s hard to imagine how delighted DuPont must have been with the result, which not only showcases the company’s remarkable design material Corian to perfection, but has just gone on display in the Guggenheim Museum in New York as part of a special exhibition celebrating Hadid's equally remarkable worldwide projects. The exquisite Z. Island is equipped with numerous futuristic features such as embedded heating membranes, touch control panels, sound activators and scent dispensers, LED lighting and a multimedia entertainment system, including a flat screen and an Apple Macintosh Mini for serving iTunes. Such has been the interest in the kitchen that Ernestomeda is now offering the kitchen as a special, on- request production. Be sure to see the images in the extensive photo gallery.  Read More

The Messermeister Magnablock Pro

June 6, 2006 One thing that all fine culinary artists have in common is a love of their knife collection. The knife is the primary tool of food preparation and a fine knife collection is sure sign of someone who takes pride in what comes out of their kitchen, be it a professional pastime or otherwise. The Messermeister Magnablock Pro will probably find its way into the homes of many master chefs as it’s the best way yet that we’ve seen to artistically showcase cutlery. While traditional, bulky knife blocks store knives in slots, the Magnablock Pro securely holds knives on its exterior in a beautiful fan-like shape. Cooks can easily identify each knife for the specific task at hand. Shaped at 90 degrees, the inside of the solid beech wood block consists of strong magnets that securely hold up to 10 knives, with five on each side.  Read More

Modular Treehouse Concept

May 16, 2006 .There’s something primal about tree houses that enthralls children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. We’ve previously covered the exquisite designs of the English Treehouse designer-builders PearTree which include everything from custom-designs through two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites (extensive image gallery of fabulous treehouses here) , and we’ve waxed lyrical about the Free Spirit Sphere, but this latest concept tree house from UK-based Design Studio Sybarite excited us to new levels. The company is developing a modular tree house concept which we think could become very popular. The ‘belly’ of the tree house accommodates undulating kinetic baffles that utilise wind power to generate electricity. The plan form also meanders to the extent that modular sections can be prefabricated so that the overall size can vary from a single bedroom house up to a five bedroom model. The prefabricated design can be installed on site within two weeks, is extremely lightweight, uses many recycled products, is part self-sustainable and low on maintenance. Sybarite has offices in Italy and China too – ring them up and tell them you want one (because we do). and make sure you check out the image library which has just been updated  Read More

The Magic of a treehouse

UPDATED May 13, 2006 Treehouses have a magical quality that sparks the imagination of children and returns adults to long lost afternoons filled with secret adventures. However, few of the corrugated iron structures we cobbled together as kids could approach the impressive scale and fairytale qualities found in PearTree Treehouse designs. Individually tailored to each customer's requirements no matter their age, PearTree projects include two storey adult treehouses, home offices and even 30 seater conference suites. Extensive image library here.  Read More

Panasonic to sell 103-inch plasma display

April 23, 2006 Worldwide demand for plasma TV screens is expected to top 25 million units in 2010 – plasma displays are just that much bigger for the price. Accordingly, we have a market shaping up as a wonderful contest between the world’s largest plasma manufacturers. Prior to 2006, LG and Samsung had both displayed 102 inch not-for sale plasmas, but in January at CES, Panasonic unveiled a 103 inch and claimed the heavyweight championship. Now, Panasonic has decided to put the 103-inch screen into production. Yes folks, you’ll actually be able to buy one before the end of the year though no price has been mentioned just yet. We think this will signal a declaration of war in the very large display market as the highly competitive Korean companies LG and Samsung love to play “mine’s bigger than yours” and can be expected to focus attention on the area.  Read More

New clothes washer  uses steam and no detergent

April 23, 2006 The electric-powered clothes washing machine was invented less than 100 years ago. Before that time, was the washboard (now better known as a musical instrument) and before that clothes were washed by hand using a variety of instruments, most notably the worlds’ favourite all-time multipurpose tool, the rock! The science of cleaning our clothes has advanced rapidly in the last few decades, and a new washing system from LG that incorporates steam technology to clean clothes without the use of detergent is a significant breakthrough. The steam capability can be used as a stand-alone 20-minute SteamFresh Cycle, which refreshes clothing, or combined with a normal hot or warm water wash cycle for better cleaning and a reduction in wrinkles. Not quite as historically significant but worth a mention for those interested in making the most of their time, is the Remote Monitoring System. Also from LG, the system has a remote monitor that enables consumers to monitor cycle progress while they focus on other activities around the home. The remote monitor shows the progress and remaining time on the washing, refreshing and drying cycles. This system, which utilizes Power Line Communication (PLC) technology, is easy to use and works by simply plugging the monitor into any electrical outlet within the home.  Read More

Electric Cooled and Heated Seat Cushion

April 13, 2006 Recent advancements in thermo-electric technology have made possible a seat heating and cooling cushion and it’s just coming to market in the United States. Our understanding is that seat cooling cushions have been available for a short time through accessory shops, but this new cushion heats and cools. The Cool-or-Heat seat cushion easily installs on top of any seat and obviously works great on any vehicle seat on a hot day powered by the 12-volt DC vehicle lighter adaptor, but also can be used on an office chair, home lounger, and even outside on the patio – anywhere there’s an AC wall outlet.  Read More

Nespresso InCar coffee machine concept

April 10, 2006 – “Design” and “innovation” were the buzz words this week as thousands converged at the Milan furniture fair Salone del Mobile. Creativity was also flowing at the Triennale, one of the primary centers for emerging trends of modern decorative and industrial arts, as the winners of the 2005 Nespresso Design Contest were announced. We love the the capsule-based single cup coffee concept which has grown remarkably over the last decade through the likes of Nespresso, Senseo, Tassimo et al. Given the compact nature of the pod-based coffee systems, Nespresso initiated a design contest encouraging European design students to explore and consider new innovations in the coffee lifestyle without boundaries—freeing themselves from traditional conceptions of coffee and coffee preparation. Students were also urged to consider how coffee rituals will evolve in the future. The results were fantastic, with the winning concept a “Nespresso Card” which holds coffee preferences for registered individuals, thus enabling them to access their favorite coffee anytime, anywhere. For our money though, the second-placed “Nespresso InCar” coffee machine aroused the most interest. Though only a concept we’ve got three people in our office alone who would buy one. The idea is that the machine fits conveniently into the centre console of a car and doubles as an armrest when travelling.  Read More

The inverted Martini glass

April 10, 2006 UK-based designers, Tomek Rygalik and Jorre van Ast have been named winners of this year's Bombay Sapphire Designer Glass Competition for their glass 'Inverted'. Chosen from 26 global finalists gathered for the final judging and celebration of martini cocktail culture at Superstudio Piu in Milan (part of the Milan Design Week), Rygalik from Poland and his Dutch design partner, Jorre van Ast, who studied together at the Royal College of Art in London, collected the US$15,000 prize. The winning glass recognises the importance of three elements to the glass design - the bowl, stem and base - and then plays with the archetypal form by placing the stem above the bowl. Holding the delicate stem creates a new, elegant, drinking experience for the martini cocktail.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 27,836 articles