SPEC: Great Finds Inspired by Our Best Houses
These innovative products include lighting, shelving, paneling, tables, an energy monitor, a stool, clocks, house numbers, a security app, a fan, and a hot tub.
Luxuriously Simple Pendant
Driven by the desire to find a unique light fixture to hang in his shop in New York City, and inspired by the delicate elements of flowers, designer Jeremy Pyles created the first Stamen pendant lamp in 2003. Over the years, that initial concept blossomed into dozens of lamp styles, vases, and other glass products, which are all hand-blown in Niche’s studio in Beacon, N.Y. Each pendant’s shape has its own story to tell, and each new design is carefully refined in a collaboration between Pyles and the glass artisans and technicians who assemble these functional works of art.
• Several colors and cord lengths to fit any location
• Incandescent or LED long-filament bulbs
• $550 to $1470, depending on shape and color
Endlessly Adaptable Shelving
With a nod to classic office storage systems of the ’50s and ’60s, Modern Shelving designed their PAL series to be a dichotomy of physical strength and delicate appearance. The foundation of each wall unit is two or more extruded aluminum poles that sit on the floor and firmly attach to the wall. Add any combination of the modular shelves, work surfaces, and cabinets, and the possibilities are endless. There are standard kits for everything from simple bookcases, to entertainment centers, to entire-wall units, but you can buy any number of individual components to create your own custom storage display.
• Aluminum hardware and shelves in satin anodized or powder-coated white, black, or bronze
• Custom colors available
• Cabinets available in a variety of wood species
• Pole heights from 84 in. to 105 in.
• Cabinet heights from 15 in. to 26 in.
• Prices depend on size and options, starting at $359 for 26-in. 5-shelf unit
Wood Panels Reimagined
Formology put a new spin on their already unique CrossCORE technology (a method for producing high-quality decorative veneer plywood) with their new LignaFORM panels. Unlike typical plywood that hides its structure under a single sheet of continuous veneer, LignaFORM turns the laminated layers of wood outward, creating slender repeating patterns that will add character to any woodworking or home-building project. The process starts with conventional plywood and laminated structural beams as raw materials, which are sliced and reassembled into smooth, uniform sheets ideal for custom furniture, paneling, and other architectural applications.
• Standard thicknesses: 3⁄4 in. or 1 in.; custom thicknesses up to 3 in.
• Several patterns in birch, poplar, and fir
• Panel size: 48 in. by 96 in. (47 in. by 95 in. for birch)
• Fabricate and finish similar to most other wood products
• $14 to $18 per sq. ft.
Beautifully Balanced Dining Table
Copeland Furniture blends minimalist styles, from classic Shaker to modern Scandinavian, with traditional New England craftsmanship in every piece they make. The Exeter dining table is no exception. Solid wood and precision joinery are what make the table’s remarkable shape possible. Opt for the self-storing extension table if you need to switch between intimate family meals and large holiday dinner parties. Or go for a glass top if you’re more interested in admiring the gravity-defying table base.
• Constructed of solid walnut or cherry
• Tops in single leaf, double leaf, rectangular glass, and round glass
• $2220 to $6996, depending on wood choice, size, and style of top
Energy Tracking in the Palm of Your Hand
The Sense home-energy monitor is a powerful tool that gives you detailed information about your home’s electricity consumption. In the past, you would need to install sensors all over your house to really know what slice of your monthly utility bill went to each appliance, light, or electronic device. But Sense can track where all the electricity goes even though it only measures the flow of power at your home’s main circuit breaker. Because every electrical device has a unique power signature, the smart monitor tracks patterns of energy usage over time and identifies which devices are which. You can watch your power use in real time on the free Sense smartphone app, plus Sense will notify you as it detects your home’s various power demands so you can tell if it might be a good time to replace your old water heater or retire those incandescent bulbs you haven’t gotten around to changing.
• Requires Android or iOS app plus Wi-Fi connection
• Provides alerts and notifications when electrical devices are in use
• Sense home-energy monitor: $299; Add-on solar PV monitor: $50
Rustic Iron for Any Surface
Whether you use it to accentuate an outdoor fireplace or to cover your entire house, Bridger Steel’s Truten A606 naturally weathering steel will add a warmth and texture you just can’t get from any other building material. Once exposed to the elements, the outer layer of the metal forms a durable rusty finish that ranges from a deep reddish-brown to a bright burnt orange. Bridger offers the 22-ga. Truten sheet metal in several standard profiles—including standing seam, corrugated, and simulated batten—and they can also fabricate custom panels to meet the needs of any project you can dream up.
• Suitable for any roofing, siding, or paneling project
• Metal comes in an oiled grey color that weathers to rust over time
• Metal will weather differently depending on site conditions
• Quotes available with project specs
The Original Swing-Out Seat is a signature piece from Get Back Inc., a company devoted to artfully giving new life and purpose to antique industrial objects. Modeled after compact cafeteria fixtures from a century ago, these cantilevered stools will add comfy spots to sit in any kitchen or other casual space without cluttering up the room. And when you’re done sitting down, just gently swing them out of the way. Cast out of sturdy ductile iron and assembled at Get Back’s workshop in a historic factory building in Oakville, Conn., the Swing-Out Seat will hold up to whatever you can throw at it, and look good doing it.
• Metal frame in clear coat or satin black paint
• Wood seat in unfinished poplar or varnished mahogany (suitable for outdoor use)
• $500 to $550
A throwback to the electromechanical digital clocks found on nightstands around the world in the ’60s and ’70s, the Brick by LEFF Amsterdam is a sleek timepiece you’ll be proud to prominently display anywhere in your home. The balanced proportions and subtly radiused edges work in harmony to turn this seemingly simple box into an elegant piece of functional art. Two things to note: the Brick is only available in a 24-hour variant, and at over 6 in. tall, it will certainly stand out, whether you decide to hang it on the wall or place it on a tabletop.
• Rough dimensions: 14 in. wide by 6 in. high by 5 in. deep
• Hand-finished stainless-steel case; acrylic face
• Copper, brass, or black/black: $379; stainless steel/white or black: $329
Tiles with Wall-to-Wall Appeal
When choosing tile, it can be intimidating not only to find a style that creates the feel you’re looking for in your home, but also to choose a pattern that won’t look dated in a couple of years. The Mate porcelain tile collection from Mission Tile might just be the answer to this dilemma. Even though the collection only comes in two patterns (Marble and Earth) and just a handful of muted colors, it somehow seems universal enough to fit any room or architectural style. The Earth pattern, with its subtle color variation from tile to tile and its suede-like texture, tones down even the sharpest modern space, while the classic look of the Marble pattern adds richness to any room. Use Earth or Marble individually for a sense of harmony, or pair them up for a stimulating contrast.
• Shapes: square, rectangle, hexagon, chevron, fes, and mosaic
• Colors: Earth comes in ivory, smoke, gray, and olive; Marble comes in black and white
• $6.15 to $16.69 per sq. ft.
The font aficionados at House Industries took the same level of care and attention to detail that architect Richard Neutra famously put into his own work when they introduced these bold aluminum house numbers that bear his name. Based on typefaces Neutra used himself, the raised letters are easy to read from a distance, and when showered with sunlight, the numbers cast strong shadows that highlight their purposefully drawn lines. House Industries sells the numbers through the trusty source for modern classics, Design Within Reach.
• 4 in. or 6 in. high
• Brass plated, anodized black, or aluminum finish
• Made of solid aluminum mounted on stainless-steel threaded rods
• $30 to $40 each
Extraordinary Home Security
August Home’s Smart Lock Pro isn’t the only app-controlled security device on the market, but it just might be the only one
to put a comprehensive collection of must-have features into a beautifully designed, easy-to-use package. The Smart Lock Pro
is compatible with Apple’s Siri right out of the box, and adds Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant communication when paired with the optional August Connect Wi-Fi Bridge or August Doorbell Cam Pro. But even without those other smart-home devices, you can still use the August Android or iOS apps to remotely monitor, lock, unlock, or give others access to your door from anywhere.
• Installs in minutes to most single-cylinder deadbolts
• Gray or silver finish
• Automatically locks and unlocks door when paired with free app
• Smart Lock Pro: $229; Smart Lock Pro and Connect
Wi-Fi Bridge: $279
New Fan on the Block
With the plethora of ceiling-fan choices on the market, it must be tough for a manufacturer to come up with a fresh idea, but Hunter has certainly done that with their Cranbrook model. Though its shape has distinctly midcentury-modern influences, this refreshing take on the ubiquitous ceiling centerpiece will look good in any style of home. The cylindrical lampshade feels like a seamless extension of the motor body above the blades instead of an afterthought. The 52-in.-diameter fan is powerful enough to cool large rooms, but the gentle taper of its angular blades means it won’t be visually overpowering.
• Includes hand-held remote, dimmable LED light, and hardware for several mounting heights and positions
• Gloss black or mint green
It’s hard to imagine a place where the handsome but tough Mira Work Table wouldn’t come in handy. You could put it on your patio where it might double as a potting bench and an outdoor bar. Or maybe use it in your mudroom to collect all of the odds and ends that don’t have a dedicated coat hook or cubby. But with its rugged good looks, the Mira table may just charm you into making it the center of attention in your foyer or living room.
• 35-1⁄2 in. high by 43 in. wide by 19-1⁄2 in. deep
• Hot-dipped galvanized steel and FSC-certified acacia wood
Continually Customizable Hot Tub
It’s more than just the award-winning good looks that make Bullfrog Spa’s STIL hot tub line stand out from the pack. Every STIL hot tub includes Bullfrog’s JetPak hydrotherapy system with quick-release removable seat backs. Each JetPak-compatible seat allows you to instantly swap in any of six types of jets, depending on the type of massage or relaxation experience each occupant wants. These streamlined jets paired with right-size plumbing and plenty of foam insulation add up to a customizable, comfortable hot tub that’s also extremely energy efficient.
• 4-seat model: 5 ft. 8 in. by 7 ft. by 31 in.; 6-seat model: 7 ft. 4 in. by 7 ft. by 34 in.
• Touch screen with optional app control system
• Dealer pricing ranges from $11,700 to $15,960
To see photos of all of these products, please click the View PDF button below.