Home Design Ideas

This is our curated list of the most interesting and unique products and ideas for your home or apartment. This includes everything from furniture, clocks, plants, wall art, bookshelves, fish tanks, and much more. All of the home design ideas and products featured here can be bought from around the web (and we show you where). But the images found here can also provide inspiration for DIY projects or home improvements without buying anything at all. Buy what you need, build what you want, and combine ideas to create a modern house that you love.

Amazon Alexa Gen 2

For the past three years, Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has been invading homes inside the case of the Echo smart speaker. Alexa has been answering questions, turning on smart lights, adding things to shopping lists, ordering things from Amazon, and playing music for millions of people. The Echo essentially established the smart speaker market, which now has entries from Google, Microsoft, and soon, Apple.

After expanding the line with the smaller and super-popular Echo Dot, the portable, battery-powered Tap, and the more expensive, but ultimately less thrilling, Echo Show, Amazon has finally gone back and updated the original Echo. The new Echo, which is heretofore known simply as the “All-new Echo,” as the original Echo no longer exists in Amazon’s world, comes with a smaller, simpler design; better aesthetics; supposedly improved audio; and, most importantly, a significantly lower price of $99.

That lower price is the main draw for the new Echo. If you’ve been holding off on buying one because the original’s $180 cost kept you away, or you are looking for a second Echo for yourself or as a gift, the new Echo is a much easier purchase to make.

But aside from its smaller design and new, customizable appearance, the new Echo isn’t hugely different from the first model. It still performs all of the same tasks, can still hear its wake word from across the room, and still doesn’t have great audio quality for listening to music. If you already have a first-generation model, it doesn’t make much sense to replace it with the new Echo — you don’t gain much with it and in some instances, you give up some.

Still, thanks to that new, lower price, the new Echo should be just as enamoring and appealing as the first Echo and will likely keep Amazon at the forefront of the smart speaker world.

The most obvious visual difference between the new Echo and its predecessor is the device’s size. Where the first Echo’s size and shape was akin to a can of Pringles or tennis balls, the new model is more like a can of Foster’s beer. It’s short and stout, about two-thirds as tall as the first model, but with a slightly larger diameter. That should make it a little easier to tuck into a shelf or hide away in a corner of your living room or kitchen.

The Echo’s new swappable decorative shells are also designed to make the device blend in with your home better. The first model’s black (and eventually, white) plastic finish gave the device an ominous obelisk vibe that didn’t do anything to diminish the Big Brother feelings that come along with an always-listening internet-connected device in your home. In contrast, the new model comes with a fabric cover in a variety of grays (basically, dark, medium, or light gray) that’s both more appealing to look at and should fit better in modern decor.

You can also purchase various shells to change the look of the Echo, including a silvery gray, walnut, or oak finishes. But since the shells are just plastic and not actual wood or metal, none of the optional decorative covers look as good as the standard fabric one to me.

The simplified design of the new Echo trades the rotating volume ring for plus and minus buttons, like found on the Echo Dot. They work just as well, and since most of the time I adjust the Echo’s volume with voice commands, I don’t miss the ring at all. The new Echo has the same number of far field microphones to pick up voice commands (seven), but Amazon says it has second-generation technology that’s improved over the first model. I haven’t noticed a significant improvement in my testing however, the new Echo hears me just about as well as the prior model did. Most of the time, it hears me on the first try, even when it’s playing music, though occasionally I have to repeat the “Alexa” wake word. It is no better or worse than the Google Home or Harman Kardon Invoke in this regard.

The other new feature with this Echo is the ability to output its audio to a larger speaker or stereo system over a 3.5mm auxiliary cable or Bluetooth. This works the same as it does on the smaller Echo Dot, and makes it easy to add voice control to your existing stereo equipment.

On the inside, Amazon has added Dolby sound processing in an effort to make the Echo’s 2.5-inch subwoofer and 0.6-inch tweeter sound better. But in side-by-side testing, I didn’t find the new Echo to sound any better than the prior model, and for listening to music, I actually preferred the first Echo’s sound.

The new Echo’s sound is sharper, with more treble than the first model. That’s good for hearing Alexa speak back to you, or for cutting through the din of a running faucet if you’re using the Echo in a kitchen. But for music, the sound is thin and flat, with even less bass than before. The old model had a softer sound with just a little bit more bass that’s much more pleasant to listen to.

It almost goes without saying, then, that the new Echo doesn’t sound as good as theGoogle Home or anywhere near as good as the Harman Kardon Invoke or Sonos One. It’s not even as powerful or fun to listen to as some portable Bluetooth speakers, such as the JBL Charge 3 or UE Boom 2. That’s a little disappointing, given that Amazon itself admits that the most common thing people do with the Echo is listen to music. Most people will be content with the Echo’s sound quality for casual listening, but given that it is the one area most often complained about with the first model, I’d have to liked to have seen more improvement here.

Amazon has added a number of new features to Alexa, the smart assistant inside of the Echo, including control of Fire TV set top boxes and improved smart home controls. Since Alexa runs entirely in the cloud, it doesn’t matter which Amazon Echo device you own, it performs all of the same functions on all of them. You don’t need to buy a new Echo to get the latest Alexa features on your first-generation model.

And the new Echo performs all of those voice-controlled functions just as well as its predecessor. I use an Echo in my kitchen to add items to a shared grocery list that my wife and I both have access to on our phones; I use one to turn on lights throughout my house; I use an Echo Dot to control the Fire TV box connected to the TV in my play room; and I use another Dot as an alarm clock next to my bed each morning. Once you have Alexa in one room and have configured it to do more than just play music, it becomes the type of thing that you want in every room of your home

Amazon’s clearly tapped into an alluring idea with the Echo, and even though the company won’t admit how many it’s sold so far, by all accounts it’s a successful product. In light of that, the latest version doesn’t rock the boat too much. It doesn’t improve the Echo’s rather poor audio quality, nor does it introduce any new, groundbreaking features. It just does the same things in a smaller, cheaper design. That’s enough to keep Amazon ahead of its competitors, which are all a step or two behind the Echo line-up.

In all honesty, Amazon really didn’t have to do much to the Echo to make it more appealing. It just had to make it less expensive, which is exactly what Amazon did here. The real product Amazon is selling is Alexa, and for an in-home virtual assistant, Alexa is very good. And if you want the best way to use Alexa, the new Echo is it.

Source: The Verge

Latch C Iphone Smart Lock

Latch C Iphone smart lock is introducing a new smart door lock today that can be controlled with an iPhone. It’s called the Latch C, and in addition to iPhone control through Apple’s HomeKit platform, it has all the same smart features as the original Latch door lock: a built-in camera to see who’s at your door, the ability to use passcodes and cards instead of a key, and a recorded log of who’s come through.

The Latch C is much smaller than the original Latch lock, called the Latch M, because it’s designed for a different type of doorlock. Where the Latch M was built for tall mortise locks, the Latch C is meant for simpler cylindrical deadbolts, which aren’t attached to the knob. That allows the unit be a lot smaller while still offering the same features — though it also means that, like the M, it can only fit on certain types of doors.

Unfortunately, whether your door is compatible with a Latch lock doesn’t really matter, because you still can’t actually buy one. Rather than sell directly to consumers, Latch has built its business around selling locks to the real estate companies that build and operate apartment buildings. It’s hoping new and existing apartments will outfit residents’ doors with Latch locks, giving the units a high-tech perk.

Latch R, M, and C locks
Latch R, M, and C smart locks

Photo: Latch

Latch offers conveniences to real estate companies, too. Those companies want locks that log comings and goings for security reasons, and Latch provides a website for building owners to manage all of their installed locks and the ability to audit who’s come through them. Locks cost $399 each (it also sells an electronic model called the Latch R), and they require an ongoing subscription to Latch’s management service.

Latch isn’t sharing how many doors its locks are installed on yet, nor will it say when it plans to start selling directly to consumers, which its website suggests will happen eventually. “It is less typical for individuals to own their own units in [modern apartment buildings] and so we’ve focused on selling to large building owners directly,” Latch CEO Luke Schoenfelder wrote in an email to The Verge.

As for other smart platforms, like Google Assistant and Alexa, Schoenfelder said that Latch sees “a variety of interesting opportunities” but said that Apple has “done a phenomenal job” addressing security concerns. It should also be possible for the Latch M to eventually be updated with HomeKit support, though Schoenfelder only said that additional details of Latch’s HomeKit implementation would be announced in the future.


Source: the Verge

Top Gifts & Gadgets 2017

Here are the Top Gifts & Gadgets 2017. Everything you need to know for you or your loved ones.  We will update This page all the way up to Christmas.

  1. Halo One Bluetooth Speaker– $150

The Halo One Wireless Speaker is inspired from the nature of simplicity and unity, Halo One is an original, modern, and breathtaking new designed Bluetooth/NFC speaker from Gingko. The aesthetically and fashionably shaped sound box reveals sexy curves and wood texture and delivers smooth sense of touch and phenomenal audio quality


halooneweb2. Stainless Steel Lowball – Vacuum Insulated Cup With Lid 12 oz– $15

These stainless steel Lowball tumblers are made with superior quality and individually hand inspected before delivery to you. Magnum Steel tumblers are designed to last a lifetime.

Stainless Steel Lowball is great for both hot and cold drinks for your drinking pleasure.

3. Apple Air Pods – Wireless headphones– $159

After a simple one-tap setup, AirPods are automatically on and always connected.1 Using them is just as easy. They can sense when they’re in your ears and pause when you take them out. And the AirPods experience is just as amazing whether you’re listening to your iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, or Mac.



4. Apple Watch Series 2.– $369

Built-in GPS. Water resistance to 50 meters.1 A new lightning-fast dual-core processor. And a display that’s two times brighter than before. Full of features that help you stay active, motivated, and connected, Apple Watch Series 2 is designed for all the ways you move.



5. Dad hats– $21

A dad hat is a baseball cap that’s canvas or cotton and has a slightly curved brim (not too curved, though) and is probably a little oversized on the wearer. Unless, of course, you’re actually a dad—then it probably fits you perfectly.



Half way through the Top Gifts & Gadgets 2016

6. Go Pro Hero 5– $399


The GoPro Hero 5 is the latest addition to the gopro lineup and probably makes the biggest jump out of any so far. It is waterproof out of the box without any case. It has a touch screen on the rear and is also voice activated.

7. Tile Slim– $30

Tile Slim is the newest Bluetooth Tracker from Tile. And it will hopefully save you money by not letting you loose so much money.

8. DJI MAVIC – $999

Image result for dji mavic

THE DJI MAVIC PRO is small and Portable yet still has all the great features we have come to expect from DJI.

After the initial burst of Drones Onto the Scene 5 years ago. The whole industry has been moving towards smaller, easier, and better quality.

Up until now you always had to sacrifice one of those to get the others. The MAVIC give you everything you want

9. Electric Skateboard– $300

swagboard by swagtron top

The skateboard of the future is here! Swagboard NG-1 NextGen boosted electric skateboard takes the fun of a typical longboard to the next level. This futuristic motorized skateboard is built with a 7-ply Canadian maple wood deck, durable polyurethane wheels, and solid grip tape for a more comfortable and secure ride. This boosted board can hold weights of up to 176 pounds and can travel up to 11 mph!

10. NES Classic Edition– $60

Image result for nes classic edition


The NES Classic Edition system is a miniaturized version of the groundbreaking NES, originally released in 1985.

Just plug the NES Classic Edition into your TV, pick up that gray controller, and rediscover the joy of NES games.


So there you go. The Top Gifts & Gadgets 2017.


Halo One Wireless Speaker

The Halo One Wireless Speaker is inspired from the nature of simplicity and unity, Halo One is an original, modern, and breathtaking new designed Bluetooth/NFC speaker from Gingko. The aesthetically and fashionably shaped sound box reveals sexy curves and wood texture and delivers smooth sense of touch and phenomenal audio quality.

Halo One meets  people’s desire for adding an unusual, inspiring, and aesthetic table art  in their living or working space, as well as seriously improving their listening experience.

Halo One, better in one…



Tesla Solar Roof- Powerwall 2

Tesla Just unveiled a game changer in the Solar world. Tesla Solar Roof is an integrated Solar panel into a roofing material. This product is both functional and beautiful

Musk said the secret to the Tesla solar roof appearance is a special coating that becomes more or less see-through depending on your viewing angle. He described it as a series of micro louvers that work like a privacy screen on a laptop, and said the company is working with 3M on the tech. The effect is dramatic in person. From shallow angles, the tiles appear nontransparent. But as your viewing angle approaches 90 degrees, the underlying solar cell becomes more and more visible. The result is a tile that permits the passage of sunlight from overhead, but still looks opaque to anyone at ground level.

For those concerned about the strength of the Tesla solar roof made of glass tiles, Musk showed the audience footage of a drop test to demonstrate that the glass was tougher than materials like clay and slate. “It’s never going to wear out, it’s made of quartz, it has a quasi-infinite lifetime,” Musk said.

“We need to make solar panels as appealing as electric cars have become,” Musk said. He wants to make every roof solar, by making it irresistible. “It needs to be beautiful, affordable, and seamlessly integrated. If all of those things are true, why would you go any other direction?” Why, indeed. Musk makes a strong case, but it’s one he only partially supported this evening; Tesla’s panels certainly look good, but Musk provided no details on pricing, availability, or the installation process.

A Better Battery

The solar roofs are designed to be used with the Tesla Powerwall. Version 2.0, which Musk also unveiled today, is a bright white rectangle, and flatter than the first version, which Tesla released in April 2015. It will cost $5,500 for 14kWh of storage and 7kWh peak power draw. That’s enough to power a four bedroom house for a day.

The new roof and battery are both part of Musk’s master plan to save the world through sustainable energy. Yes, you could go out and buy a solar system now, but the large, purple-black sheets of glass don’t exactly blend in on a period house—or most other properties, for that matter. Beyond a certain grudging respect for your green credentials (and lower utility bills), they don’t make the neighbors jealous in the way a Tesla Model S in the driveway does.

Hatching Dragon Candle

Great Balls of Fire. The Hatching Dragon Candle is here.

Just light up the wick and as the wax begins to melt, the scaly exterior will fall away to reveal a rather coy looking baby dragon.

Everyone knows that if you want to rule the Seven Kingdoms you’re going to need a little assistance of the ‘fire-breathing’ kind. Whilst you’ll never be able to fully train a dragon (no matter what Dreamworks might have you believe), this hatchling gives you the unique opportunity to nurture a close bond while it’s still young.

Aquafaucet Waterfall Spout

These types of faucets are getting more and more popular and this is one of the nicer variations on the market, made by Aquafaucet.

It’s a single handed bronze faucet with ceramic valve.

What you’re paying for here is quality, materials, and most importantly the design and look. You don’t buy this faucet just for functionality; the people who buy this are attracted to the design and the unique look, or think it’ll improve a bathroom or other room with a sink somewhere in their home. That’s what makes it worth it, and it certainly does look great in a lot of different bathroom settings so we can see why it’s a popular product right now.


Wine Bottle Cork Light

Turn your empty wine bottles into tabletop lamps with this LED cork light.

Each cork contains a single bright LED that creates elegant tabletop lighting.

The light is designed to charge quickly via USB. Each cork has a USB charging port hidden inside.

Once the charge is complete, the light will run for 3 hours without needing a recharge.

Here’s a diagram explaining the basics:

wine bottle light cork kentucky home



Ventless Table Top Fireplace

This sleek tabletop fireplace is made by a company called Moda Flame. The fireplace is portable and can be used in any indoor or outdoor setting. It requires no chimney or ventilation thanks to the ventless ethanol fuel that it burns.

moda flame ventless ethanol fireplace

Because it runs on ethanol, it gives off a very minimal amount of heat. So this is not the right product if you’re looking for a heat source to replace a traditional fireplace. But if you’re looking to add visual appeal to your home and reproduce the visual effect that a fireplace creates, this is a really good choice for any room in the house.

The ethanol required to run the fireplace is sold separately and is not included.

This particular fireplace model, called Vigo, can burn for approximately 2.5 hours without refilling the tank.

Sentient Live Edge Table

Live edge is a term that refers to furniture made using the entire tree, including the “live” part of the wood- the outer rings.

When a piece of live edge furniture is created, a log is cut into slabs and the entire slab is used, leaving the natural edge.

Live edge furniture design can be found in large pieces like beds and tables, but also smaller ones such as lamps.

Some of the highest quality live edge tables available on the market are crafted by a Brooklyn, NY company called Sentient.

They create a variety of pieces but might be best known for their live edge dining room tables. The picture below shows a live edge table created from two pieces of maple bridged by glass.

Sentient colorado live edge glass dining room table

Live edge furniture is typically created by expert woodworkers that know how to bring out the unique features of each slab, because no two starting pieces are alike (and no two finished pieces will look the same).

Sentient have become experts of this craft and their work goes beyond building for the home- they design and build live edge tables for the restaurant/hospitality industry as well. Over time they’ve built a very solid reputation for the quality of work they deliver.

Here’s another example of a live edge table, one of Sentient’s larger pieces:

Live edge dining room table sentient furniture brooklyn ny

Aside from tables, you can find a variety of other live edge furniture on their website including couches, chairs, beds and nightstands.

If you’re looking to invest in a truly unique piece of home furniture for yourself or a family member/friend, we recommend checking out the site. If nothing else, you’ll see some amazing photos.