Ok, it's a lame title, but I couldn't resist, I've been accused of being a ham more than once. I've been filing away information I've received on new, or maybe not new, but cool, (literally) products for a short while, and I'll share a few with you. I see a strong green theme here.
A little while ago I was an absolute expert in ice machines and the quality of ice making due to a client's needs. I can tell you what's important: clarity, shape, taste, and energy use. Scotman's new Brilliance residential ice machine has these covered. The machine has a water quality sensor to detect hard-water conditions and purge mineral laden water with every harvest cycle. Unlike refrigerator ice, odors are not an issue in the Brilliance. Energy savings include the use of half the energy and 1/3 the water used compared to previous models. AND, the ice melts more slowly, how about that!?
I like this hardware from Sea-Stones. It's something I've certainly seen over the years, but I like this collection. The stones are very varied, and I'd encourage you to use a variety of stones as a result. Don't just get one color/texture. Mix 'em up! Sea-Stones also has stones to be used as towel/coat/other hooks, another fun idea. The stones are found on New England beaches and a new quarried stone is "replanted" in the water to ensure the beach remains as it should for future generations.
Is bigger better? When it is, it seems to be a necessity. Take a look at Dacor's new 36" Epicure Renaissance wall oven. I'll tell you something. At first, I felt a little weird about such a big oven in regard to energy. But, with the ability to cook two turkeys, 144 cookies or any other combination of multiple foods, we may just have a new definition of energy savings via one oven rather than having to use two. Hmmmm....