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.

They say there’s a wrench to fit every nut. That’s a metaphor for saying that there are bathroom designs to fit every taste and eccentricity. The unique comfort stations below prove beyond all doubt that everyone has their own notion of a place to roost and attend to their ablutions.

The bathroom gets the shaft

Photo by Homestone

Photo by Homestone

World-class designer Jorge Luis Hernández Silva really pushed the design envelope in this Guadalajara condo conversion that situated the bathroom atop an unused warehouse elevator shaft, 15 floors from the ground. I would purchase a wide area rug if I lived here.

The not-so-super Mario

Photo by Findboom

Photo by Findboom

If you spend half your hours paying video games and the other half reading cheat sheets, you’ll love this bathroom dedicated to the leaping and gathering of bonus points. There are bathroom designs suited to World of Warcraft (nothing like spears on your bath wall) and other contemporary games, too.

Fruits and nuts

Photo by Obsit

Photo by Obsit

While this looks absolutely refreshing, I couldn’t stand this shower treatment for long. For one thing, I associate kiwi fruit with its rugged, itchy skin. I’d prefer pictures of fish. On the high side, the rest of the otherwise bland room really benefits from the warm light through its sliding windows.

Soaping up to soaps

Photo by Building Design Ideas

Photo by Building Design Ideas

It’s been a long, tiring day. Slip into the tub in this Japanese-style bathroom, have a glass of wine, and unwind to your favorite show. Don’t drop the remote!

Pioneering bath designs of the North Star State

Photo by Stan Hecker

Photo by Stan Hecker

I’m giving big props to the people I met in Fairbanks, AK, during a winter where temperatures dropped to 68-below-zero.  Because of former gold mining, the local water can be polluted on the outskirts of town where people go without plumbing. They use the outhouse no matter the season. Now that’s true grit. Why not put some fiber cement siding around the facilities and stay warm?

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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.