You know the old axiom: for want of a nail, a shoe was lost. In this case, for want of a nail, a working rubber gasket, a well-calculated electrical circuit and your tools and appliances can blow up in your face.

It’s said that Darwinian laws cull the shabby from the durable. In the case of tools, appliances and furniture, the culling is assisted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The CPSC rounds up public complaints of product hazards and leans on manufacturers to gain recalls. Here are a few recent ones:

Give ‘em the chair

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

Office Depot has agreed to recall 319,000 Brand Biella Leather Desk Chairs sold in the U.S. and Canada between January 2002 through December 2008. If the weld to the seat plate has yet to give way and send you flying, it just might. Check with Office Depot to see if your chair is potentially unsettling.

Not your biggest fan

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

The CPSC has encouraged Westinghouse to recall 7,000 ceiling fans (24, 30 and 42-inches) for fire and electric shock hazards. It was found that the two 60-watt bulbs in the fan light exceed limits and can cause overheating or failure. Check the CPSC’s recall page for model numbers involved in the recall. (If you need moving air, open a few sliding windows.)

Cut to the chase

Photo by CPSC

Photo by CPSC

Just in time for summer: a fire-hazard recall of more than 20,000 Husqvarna grass and hedge trimmers with a faulty rubber fuel spacer. The units in question were sold at Lowes, Sears and Husqvarna stores from May 2011 until January 2012. Consumers are asked to call Husqvarna toll-free at (877) 257-6921 for recall details.

A word of appreciation

The CPSC says that faulty consumer tools, appliances, toys, furniture and other items cost the nation more than $900 billion a year. Big props to the CPSC and consumers that file reports on product incidents. You can report your experiences to Safe Products, the CPSC’s reporting arm.

Working from home has its privileges, not the least of which is an endless supply of GOOD coffee. It’s a plus when you have a great view out the window and can commit to regular hours. I don’t need a lot of high-powered gear, either. Your only limitations are the dimensions of your room.

Kudos go out to Deskography, a website that allows you to upload photos of your home office. Some people simply seem to be gloating about their gadgets. But you’ll find fabulous ideas there if you shuffle through the  postings.

Slender, useful home office designs

Photo by Deskography

Photo by Deskography

California interaction designer Travis I. has uploaded this shining example of a simple and functional office at Deskography. His setup includes a Macbook Pro and Dell 2408WP 24″ Ultrasharp monitor.

Home improvements by design

Photo by Deskography

Photo by Deskography

That’s right: this nifty office constitutes a home improvement as well as a stylish nook. Web designer Chris D. of Brooklyn, NY, nailed the dismount with his intelligent use of limited space. This warm and attractive setup includes a 15″ 2.4Ghz Macbook Pro, HP LP2475w 24″ Monitor, Harmon Kardon SoundSticks II, and Logitech MX Revolution Mouse.

Multi-tasking monstrosity

Photo by Deskography

Photo by Deskography

Accountant Derek R. goes against type in this home office photo he uploaded to Deskography.  All I can say is:  :(

The Creativity Den has a dandy photo roundup of home office ideas scoured from Deskography.

Put down the pedals with this office

Photo by Tech Crunch

Photo by Tech Crunch

ChaCha search engine CEO Michael Arrington has a home office replete with an eight-screen monitor array and keyboard in front of a recumbent stationary exercise bike. Tech Crunch serves up the details.

Me so cramped

Photo by News Design Interior

Photo by News Design Interior

Miso Soup Design has created this bamboo-laminated plywood set-up for a workshop project in Sweden. If I had this for a home office, I’d gladly commute.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.