Aquafarm is exactly what it's named for: It's a combination of a self-cleaning fish tank and herb garden (the plants on top get their nutrients from the fish waste on the bottom)!
The product comes with herb seeds and a coupon for a free fish.
Retail price is $59.99.
For more info, go to www.backtotheroots.com.
www.colorcord.com offers pendant light sets with vibrant-colored cords and sockets that are decor statements onto themselves.
Retail prices starts at $30.
For those who already miss the classic 60-watt incandescent bulb, Phillips has the SlimStyle LED that casts a 360-degree circle of warm light that recalls the style.
And the SlimStyle will last for 20 years!
It's available at Home Depot or www.homedepot.com for $9.97.
Dr. Doormat is no ordinary one; it's antimicrobial-treated, which traps germs, dirt and even toxins on your shoes, thus preventing them from entering the house. How cool is that?
Cost is $26.99.
Visit www.drdoormat.com for more details.
The Nest may be the world's easiest (and best-looking!) thermostat; it remembers the temperatures you like and when you like them, then adjusts itself throughout the day (so cool!).
The Nest can be operated remotely from your computer, tablet or smartphone; just connect it to the wifi.
Retail price is $249.95.
For more info, visit https://nest.com.
Dressing Up a Bare Wall
A trio of intricate mirrors makes limited space more interesting. Try Better Homes and Gardens Florence Mirrors in a set of 3.
Retail price is $19.88
Want a simple gallery-style wall?
Start with something longer at the center, then accent with a mix of smaller frames.
Better Homes and Gardens Frames start from $6.96.
For more info, go to www.walmart.com.
Painting the ceiling a brighter, glossier white than the walls draws the eye up.
More Recent Home Design Innovations
Chip It is a free online tool that turns any image or photo into a palette of up to 10 Sherwin-Williams paint colors.
For more details, check out www.letschipit.com.
The Homestyler site is a fast, easy and free way for drawing floor plans, creating 2-D or 3-D designs for interior and exterior projects.
Check out www.homestyler.com for more info.
Whirlpool (www.whirlpool.com) has a new line of Internet-connected appliances that will let you know when your laundry's done, for example; or change the fridge temperature or work the dryer by tablet or smartphone.
Sherwin-Williams has also gone high-tech with a special formula paint that reduces household odors.
For more info, go to www.sherwin-williams.com.
A dining room area can also double as an excellent workstation, as can a breakfast nook.
Either area (or both) can be outfitted with storage bins and containers that can easily fit on shelves.
A portable scanner not only cuts down on clutter (some don't even require a computer).
And there are now wireless printers that can be tucked away neatly inside a bench drawer.
Sources: "why we love innovation" by Diana Dickinson, Walmart ad, "curating a cottage" by Paige Porter Fischer and "calm, cool and collected" by Kit Selzer-Better Homes and Gardens, May 2014, "50 make-life-better innovations" by Jennifer Wilson-Better Homes and Gardens, May 2013,