Looking for a $6000 toilet? Don't worry, peeps, Kohler has you covered. And if you cased the Dwell on Design show at the Los Angeles Convention Center over the weekend, you would have seen one — well five of them — neatly ensconced and beautifully lit in Kohler's booth, an elegantly modern trailer deposited near the back of the West Hall's large space.
Sure, the toilet (sit tight: more details after the jump) wasn't the only conspicuous consumption item at the show — it was just the most obvious. A ton of outlets hawk lavish items affordable only to Wall Street and Hollywood's greatest plunderers simply to stay solvent.
Not that this deterred us from attending (or writing about it), of course. Here's our top picks and niks from our cruise through the show. If you attended and have a fave, share your own prop in the comment section.
5. Numi, “Kohler's Most Advanced Toilet”
Do you argue with your man because he never puts the seat down? We have the $6,000 solution — the Numi, Kohler's computer-aided toilet. It comes with a touch screen remote control that runs a plethora of functions — some of which you may never have even known you needed. It opens and closes the seat cover, lifts the seat itself and offers a gamut of individual settings. They include: heating, lighting, music, bidet functions (front or back positioning, and a dryer, for Chrissake!) as well as water temperature.
Bathroom users may input individualized settings (in case you've always wanted a toilet that remembers you). There's even a magnetic plate to house the remote so that it doesn't get lost like, say, your man's car keys.
Kohler's installed an environmentally sensitive eco-flush option that reduces the amount of water going down the drain. The manufacturer has long brought environmental features to this most mundane of objects, but the Numi is so far into Marie Antoinette territory, it's an oxymoron here. List price? $6390 according to a Kohler salesperson.
4. Ten Banded Orb Light, Caleb Siemon + Carmen Salazec
The show standout and momentary convention center escape to the ephemeral world — closer to art than design. These hanging lamps are translucent glass balls banded with subtle but evocative color schemes that are illuminated by a single visible stark light bulb from within.
Each globe is hand blown in Caleb Siemon and Carmen Salazec's Santa Ana studio without a mold. There's nothing mechanized to them. But it's the application of color that is the most time consuming. Each band of gorgeously saturated hue is applied individually. Siemon studied his craft in Murano, Italy, the Mecca of the glass blowing world. But in his hands the art is neither a historic relic nor misappropriated to the post-modern realm. Instead, by so honestly featuring aspects of each era, Caleb Siemon + Carmen Salazec produces a visual that is true to each.
The lights retail for $1000 and are about 9″ in diameter. For more info, visit their site.
3. GRASSsit by MiNARC
We couldn't resist these playful bar stools that feature covers made from synthetic turf that designers Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson recycle from ball fields. Trust an Icelandic team to figure out what to do with this material that is seen more often tearing up footballers' knees than gracing a high-design home. Dögg Ingjaldsdóttir told us the stools displayed at the show were outfitted thanks to a San Diego-area high school football field. (By the way, they included yard lines.)
The decidedly lowbrow material is contrasted by stainless steel stool stands that swivel and adjust in height. Perfect for Sunday game-viewing in the home theater bar. Dwell on Design-goers got a first look at the line that is so new the only way to purchase it is through the team's website. They'll throw you back $400 a spin.
2. Softwall Room Divider, Molo
Now that you've settled into an art loft, you might have discovered all that open space is great for making art — not so good for privacy or day-to-day functioning. A number of companies have begun offering a variety of room dividers. We've got a design thing for the Softwall, Molo's freestanding, portable, modular solution.
At Dwell, the company showcased two options. They literally built a booth, complete with a sales counter, from accordioned TyvekÂ®, a white polyethylen fabric that is tear and water resistant. (You see the material every time you use a FedEx envelope.) Molo boosts its semi-translucent characteristic with installable LED lights. Meantime, the company's onsite conference room was fashioned from accordioned brown kraft paper. Check the Molo site for price and variable sizes.
1. New Work by Kazuhiro Yamanaka
Each year, Dwell hosts a curated show of design work. A mini-gallery in the midst of the commercialism of the trade-show, it's always a fascinating stop. This year's effort was co-curated by designboom.com and focused on Japanese designers. One of them, Kazuhiro Yamanaka, is included in MoMA's permanent collection.
Yamanaka's underlying ethos is “maximum impact with minimum materials.” His hanging, folded-metal lamps on display at Dwell on Design were no exception. They are coaxed from a single sheet of aluminum, which is sliced and folded to create an ultra-minimalist metal lampshade. Yet, the simple lenticular sheet that Yamanaka skins the metal's surface with changes their entire equation. It creates an optical illusion that shifts the lamps' color from a white to a saturated cobalt blue, depending where the viewer is standing. Though, Yamanaka's clients include Pallucco, the design is so new, it hasn't been manufactured yet.