Magic mirrors and magic windows – in fact, magic glass surfaces all over the house – will soon become commonplace, thanks to breathtaking advancements in computers, computer interfaces and, of all things, glass. It's all about the glass. The leading U.S. innovator in glass for consumer electronics, Corning, has developed a technology that enables it to manufacture flexible glass as if it were printing wallpaper. The flexible glass will be used as a computerized touch surface, theoretically turning any surface – from refrigerator doors to countertops to entire walls – into smart‐touch displays that function like iPad devices. This glass will have the moisture permeability, temperature tolerances and clarity of glass but the flexibility and low cost of plastic.
The dream bath: Greek island idyll. Is escaping to a private whitewashed cottage in Mykonos your idea of heaven? Re‐create the look at home with a pared‐down palette of blue and white, along with a few classically Greek details. American Clay makes real clay plaster that can be tinted in any hue and applied to your walls for a gorgeous textured look. Keep a small, potted herb garden in the windowsill for fragrance and beauty. Try thyme, oregano or mint. If you have enough sun and space, you could even bring in a potted lemon tree. Sinkside, choose handmade pottery to hold soap and toothbrushes. A classic Greek key print on the edges of towels or trimming window shades would be a nice finishing touch.
Dual‐flush toilets. Toilets consume far more water than any other indoor fixture, accounting for 30 percent of most homes' indoor water use. Dual‐flush toilets, increasingly common in homes, are an easy way to cut water use without compromising effectiveness. A dual‐flush toilet differs from standard models with two flush options: one for liquid waste, which uses less than a gallon of water, and a second for solid waste.