Category Archives: Product Design

Nest x Yale Lock Touchpad

New smart lock offers real time access with app and passcodes

Nest, maker of the smart thermostat has partnered with Yale, the established lock brand to create the Nest x Yale Lock, the new smart lock that addresses household security issues with a smartphone app, passcodes and touchpad system.

As the responsibilities of modern life require more time spent away from home, the risks that brings increase as well. Multi-generational households are another common reality bringing along its own unique set of challenges.   

Smart Lock Technology

Nest x Yale Lock touchpad and deadbolt

Image source:

The Nest x Yale Lock has the ability to lock and unlock doors from anywhere with just a smartphone. This means small children or elderly adults can’t just wander off because all deadbolts lock automatically. The app can turn house lights on remotely before you even leave your office, so you can always be aware and feel confident on your property. 

If you’re concerned what happens in case of a power or cell tower outage, don’t be. In the event of either a power or Wi-Fi failure, your smartphone can override the outage and unlock the door. Should phones become unavailable, the lock can be opened using the touchscreen. 

Digital Trail

If there are teenagers in the home, it’s good to know who is coming or going. This smart lock can be programmed to send you a text message when a particular code is used or if a door is unlocked when it shouldn’t be. 

Some Specs

Next x Yale Lock touchpad mounted on door

Image Source:

The touchpad on this lock runs on 4 AA batteries and stores up to 250 passcodes. Add or delete users easily, as needed. Installation is simple — in most cases, it can be installed with only a screwdriver.

To protect it from physical and digital breaches, the Nest x Yale Lock sports a rugged outer case and boasts strong encryption. The touchpad is available in three finishes: Polished Brass, Oil-Rubbed Bronze and Satin Nickel.

The Nest x Yale Lock is part of the ‘Works with Nest’ family of smart home devices. When used with the Nest Hello video doorbell, for example, it can unlock after confirming a visitor’s identity. The lock also integrates seamlessly with the Nest Secure alarm system.

The Nest x Yale lock is available for delivery this month. For more information visit: Nest x Yale Lock

5 Top Picks for Best Designed Kitchen Tools

Whatever the time of year, we love our holidays. When they’re upon us, our thoughts naturally turn to the traditional meals that take center stage. Whoever is doing the cooking, well-designed kitchen tools can make all the difference.

The truth is, not all kitchen tools are made equal. It’s not always about price either, but it is about design. So, here’s a round-up of my top 5 kitchen tools designed to make someone’s kitchen duty a whole lot smoother.

1. Magnetic Measuring Spoons

Magnetic Measuring Spoons

These measuring spoons made the cut not only because they stay together in the drawer. Each spoon has three outstanding design features: an oval side to fit into narrow spice jars, a round side for measuring liquids and all have a flat base for resting on the counter without spilling the contents. Genius.  Prepworks by Progressive Magnetic Measuring Spoons, Stainless Steel – Set of 5

2. The Garject Garlic Press

The Garject Garlic Press

Photo Credit: Dreamfarm

The Garject takes the concept of the self-cleaning garlic press two steps further with its ability to press unpeeled garlic, as well as a built-in lever to eject the peel. It also comes in several colors.  Dreamfarm Garject – Self-Cleaning Garlic Press with Peel Eject (Red)

3. The CO2  Wine Bottle Opener

CO2 Propelled Wine Bottle Opener

Photo Credit: Cork Pops

CO2 is carbon dioxide, the same stuff we exhale with every breath and apparently, it also makes opening wine bottles really easy. This bottle opener is designed with two small blades on the inside that you turn around the top of the bottle to slice the foil off the top. The needle then pokes through the cork. Then, you push the top to add a blast of pressurized CO2 into the bottle. This makes the cork pop out. Amazing.  Cork Pops CO2 Propelled Wine Bottle Opener, Giovanni Collection

4.The All-Clad Immersion Blender 

All-Clad Immersion Blender

Aside from wattage and function controls, the basic design for immersion blenders has remained essentially unchanged. The money feature in this design is the longer shaft that works with deeper pots and bowls. Less mess is always best.  All-Clad KZ750D Stainless Steel Immersion Blender with Detachable Shaft and Variable Speed Control Dial, 600-Watts, Silver

5. The Williams-Sonoma Ultimate Carving Board

The Williams-Sonoma Ultimate Carving Board

Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma

With a price tag that’s over $200, this one’s a bit pricey, not gonna lie. But when you can take the roast beast straight from the oven to the carving board without even having to lift it off the roasting rack, that’s impressive.  Made of American black walnut with a custom-fitted stainless steel rack. Exclusively at

Cooking and feeding others is a noble act. Show some love for the cook in your life, especially if that cook is you!


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Tartan Plaid Potted Cyclamen

Using Fall Fashion’s Trendy Plaids at Home

Though plaids and checks are pretty standard for fall and the holidays, there’s just something about about the cool air and brightly colored leaves that makes us reach for the cozy and familiar.

This year, checks, tartans and plaids dominated the fall / winter fashion runways – in everything from plaids at Stella McCartney, to buffalo checks at Dior.  It has been said, as fashion goes, so goes the rest of the world. In keeping with that sentiment, here’s a round-up of some easy ways to incorporate this year’s top fashion trend for fall and winter into your home.

The Bedroom

Ever since watching the first “Home Alone” movie many years ago, I’ve been intrigued by the idea of styling the bedroom for the holidays. What better way than with a cozy flannel tartan plaid duvet cover and shams?

Land’s End Velvet Flannel Plaid Duvet Cover and Shams in classic tartan plaid ($109 – $169)

Land's End Velvet Flannel Plaid Duvet and Shams

Photo Credit: Land’s End

The Dining Room

There’s nothing quite like a festive table to set the right tone for a holiday meal. Spiking your dinner table’s holiday factor by ditching the formal silverware in favor of some plaid-etched flatware is a safe bet.

Plaid-Etched Flatware

Tartan-Etched Flatwear

Photo Credit: Houzz

If you’re looking to make a statement with your holiday table not only this year but for years to come, consider investing plaid dinnerware.  Bright and cheerful, yet easy, plaid plates are the set it and forget it option that will work hard from Thanksgiving all the way to New Year’s Eve.

Lenox Winter Greetings Plaid 5 Piece Place Setting

Lenox Plaid Plates

Photo Credit: Lenox

The Tree

Because it’s just not Christmas without ornaments…

Waterford Green Plaid Heart Ornament

Waterford Plaid Heart Ornament

Photo Credit: Waterford
















Suzanne Kasler Mackenzie Plaid Ornaments – Set of 12 $89

Suzanne Kasler Mackenzie Plaid Ornaments

Photo Credit: Ballard Designs

Taking the Chill Off

Coming in from the cold is even better when you get to sip your favorite hot beverage in a plaid monogrammed mug.

Pottery Barn Plaid Alphabet Mugs $8 each

Plaid Alphabet Mugs

Photo Credit: Pottery Barn



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freestanding wall

4 Paths to a Multi-functional Work Space

The need for a multi-functional work space is fast becoming the norm in the modern office space. As a result, the challenge of making offices conducive to collaborative, independent and free-address work styles is the new order in workspace design.

1. One approach is to create separate areas within the larger space. Often the cost, building codes and disruption involved make this option prohibitive.

Enclosure 4008 / Seeyond

Enclosure 4008 / Seeyond

Using freestanding, non-structural partial enclosures such as these, not only addresses those issues they can also be moved to accommodate future changes or relocation. Custom made from 100% recyclable lightweight thermoplastic resin, these by Seeyond require no tools to assemble they can be customized further with graphic light and sound options.

2. Despite all the hype around open plan concepts, a more pressing concern has emerged around the need for spaces in which to do focused work. In her bestselling book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, author Susan Cain suggests that 90% of workers say they need quiet, private spaces at work. Over 40% say they don’t have them.

Steelcase has taken the research seriously enough to have collaborated with the author to develop a collection of five fully integrated  work space designs that support specific postures, work styles, quiet and privacy.

3. Probably the most common way to render a work space more versatile is to reconfigure it into separate zones. Modular storage systems such as Territory by Inscape Solutions, is designed for those ever-changing work space needs. What’s new here is the easy mobility and maximum flexibility while keeping important documents and items close at hand.

Edison Electric Height-adjustable table

Edison Electric Height-adjustable table by

4. Finally this list would not be complete without mentioning the work surface height option. Simply adding or replacing stationary desks or tables with adjustable-height work surfaces may be all that’s needed. Aside from the reported health and psychological benefits of varying task heights, the truth is people come in all sizes and not all tasks are better executed sitting down. The Edison Electric Height-adjustable table lifts and lowers with the touch of a button. It accommodates one or two users at a time and comes with an array of customizable features.

There are many options for making the most out of an existing space. These are only four, but the choices have never been more plentiful than they are today. The returns on the investment will be well worth it.

*This article is not sponsored.



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