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Great Balls of Ice

Whiskey on the rocks. For some drinkers, that’s their preference. For purists, whiskey should be had straight-up. But we imagine both groups could come together and share a drink cooled by a large, impressive-looking ice ball.

Indeed, well-to-do Japanese (preferring communalism over conflict) have been drinking whiskey with large ice balls for nearly as long as they’ve been drinking whiskey. Initially the ice balls were carved using an ice pick or, more dangerously, an ultra-sharp sushi knife. In recent years, though, the Japanese have been using a special ice ball molding machine. And now, thanks to the cool Japan Trends Shop, you can make ice balls by machine too.

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The Cool Cooling Fan Without Blades

Look up “fan” in the dictionary and here what you’ll see:

fan   |fan|
1. an apparatus with rotating blades that creates a current of air for cooling or ventilation.

So what do you call an object designed to create a current of air for cooling or ventilation that doesn’t use rotating blades?

Dyson, an English manufacturer of innovative products, has dubbed their bladeless fan to be an “air multiplier.”

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To Each Their Own Refrigerator Module

Nearly all refrigerators are designed for single-family households. Ask someone who has lived in a group house or shared living situation and you’ll get a story of woe about a time that someone was looking forward to enjoying a lunch of leftovers only to go to the fridge and find their meal usurped by a roommate. (Curiously, the speaker is always the victim in these stories, never the perpetrator).

To the rescue comes the Electrolux Flatshare Fridge—the refrigerator designed for shared living situations.

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World’s Best Electric Kettle

If you haven’t used a Breville Variable Temperature Kettle you could be forgiven for thinking that all electric kettles were the same. If you have used a Breville then you already know the three qualities that make it the best on the electric kettle on the market:

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The Best Single-Cup Coffee Maker

The Keurig single cup coffee maker is one of those rare items—like a TiVO or a BlackBerry—that can engender a near cult-like fanaticism among its users. People tend not to simply own a Keurig but be possessed by them. One blogging housewife even exclaimed “I wanna marry my Keurig coffee maker!”

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The High Design Fukasawa Humidifier

We remember humidifiers from our childhood as those bulky, loud, ugly things over in the corner. There was perhaps no household appliance more in need of a design makeover. And there is perhaps no designer more up to the task than Naoto Fukasawa, a designer with over 40 awards whose work is widely credited with inspiring the best of Apple’s designs. So now your children can have as their humidifier a piece of elegant artwork on a self or bedside table. The Fukasawa Humidifier runs extremely quietly and has the option of adding aromas to the water vapor. It is sold almost exclusively in Japan, but thanks to the folks at the Japan Trend Shop it is available in Europe and North America too. US$319


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