Home & Design

Things Our Homes Need Right Now!

NOW THAT WE ALL HAVE giant walk-in showers (we do, don’t we?), wine coolers in the kitchen and, goodness knows, granite countertops, I’ve identified two more things we all should aspire to:

A bathroom fridge for our cosmetics!


A cosmetics cooler from Biszet.

Good to know such a thing exists: I’ve read about a medicine chest from Robern that includes a refrigerated compartment, but this dedicated cosmetics cabinet comes from Biszet, a German-based outfit that aims at “adding a luxurious touch to everyday objects.” At somewhere between $2,500 and $4,000, these refrigerated units—a freestanding tower or a wall-mounted cabinet—surely qualify as that.

With high-end creams and foundations more costly than we ever could have imagined, a cooler to preserve them may not be the worst idea in the world. But with air conditioning more prevalent in American homes than in those elsewhere, perhaps our Crème de la Mer is not quite so much at risk. (The cabinet is also a good environment for temperature-sensitive vitamins and medicines.)

The company seems to have sales offices in Germany, Hong Kong, Russia and the Middle East. Surely the U.S. will be next?

A car turntable for the driveway!


I’d hate to make a three-point turn in this driveway! / From the Carturner website.

No more backing out into traffic (in some towns that setup is even illegal and it can be alternatingly frustrating and dangerous). With a car turntable in front of the garage, or instead of one, you can nose right out into traffic.

Car turntables have been around for more than a century, used in railway, truck and bus depots. And of course we see them at car shows, the latest flash of horsepower twirling in front of our eyes. But the turntables from Carturner and CarouselUSA, among others, are including homeowners, those with fancy car collections and those who are space- but not money-constrained. Carturner’s website cites models at $12,000 and $13,000, while CarouselUSA offers models costing up to about $35,000.

Turntables can be installed atop the driveway (meaning a three-inch-high lip) or  Webmotion1-2-embedded to be flush with the driveway  surface. But, Carturner points out, you do need 15½ feet across, to accommodate the turntable and, of course, the length of the car.

Okay, so you already have towel warmers!

Myson has the most wonderful assortment of towel warmers—wall- or floor-mounted,  freestanding electrical plug-in models and models built right into your electrical or hydronic heating system, the last a great bet should you have the good fortune to still have radiators. In fact, as Myson points out, there are models that can actually replace the radiator in your traditional bathroom. For those who prefer contemporary design there are sleek versions that climb up the wall or range across the lower edge of the room.


A Myson towel warmer.

Towel warmers are no doubt more common in Europe than in the United States because Americans’ love of central heating makes them a luxury rather than a necessity. But there’s nothing wrong with that.

My challenge to the design world!

As I contemplate (optimistically) the next 20, 25 years of my life, I tend to look glumly at the long flight of stairs that leads me to the second-story bedrooms and the other one that takes me down to the laundry.

Yes, there are those truly ugly chairlifts that disfigure the house, and of course those with the square footage and the dough can opt for a residential elevator.

But I don’t want to travel from one floor to the next in a box! I want to be a part of the house, not walled off from it, floating from floor to floor that way we do in a department store. What I’m challenging the industry to devise is an attractive ESCALATOR for my house! And I’d like the treads to be wooden, like the old escalators at Macy’s Herald Square (yes, apparently at least one of them remains).

With all the tech brains out there, this should not be a feat too far. But maybe I’ll be long gone by the time those guys are arthritic enough to yearn for such a thing. Sigh. But you read it here first.

—Nancy McKeon
Nancy McKeon is the managing editor of MyLittleBird. Read more about her.

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