Gee-Whiz Home Gadgets

Interior and home-design experts weigh in on their absolute favorite home gadgets—those indispensable thingamajigs and go-to gizmos no household should be without.



“The hot item is Sodastream—it makes seltzer water and is extremely 'green'. Instead of throwing the traditional CO2 cartridges used to make seltzer into a landfill, it uses refillable carbonator bottles that are recycled and reused.”
—Jim Raneri, co-owner of Charles Department Store in Katonah


“I love the Stainless Steel Magic microfiber cloths that clean stainless-steel refrigerators so they look gleaming and shining—it’s a miracle at taking away the streaks. And I also love the OXO peeler—it peels anything and everything and has a great feel in your hands.”
—Architect Carol Kurth, the Office of Carol J.W. Kurth in Bedford
http://www.westchestermagazine.com/images/2011/WH/Spring2011/Buzz/gadgets/stainless-steel-magic.jpg

“Something I can’t live without: the JarKey. It is very inexpensive and pops open screw-top jars without any trouble; I can’t open jars without it. I also can’t live without a power screwdriver.”
—Interior Designer Linda Yepez, Linda Yepez Interiors, Millwood

“My pocket knife is my favorite gadget by far—I bought ten of them and sprinkled them around the house and car. It’s great for everything—removing splinters, prying nails or thumbtacks, cutting rope or wire, getting paint specks off windows, opening boxes and FedEx envelopes, cutting loose clothing threads, and a good fifty other things.”
Roy Estrow, co-owner Country Willow Home, Bedford Hills

“A multi-tool that includes folding pliers, knives, screwdrivers, scissors, and wire cutter. It’s like a mini-toolbox that you can clip to your belt. Several companies make them, but I think the one by Leatherman is the best.”
—Ian Baren, Vice President, Katonah Architectural Hardware in Katonah


“My Radio Shack wireless TV headphones—so I don’t have to hear my daughter watching TV as I go about my day.”
—Designer Patricia O’Shaughnessy, Patricia O’Shaughnessy Design, Bronxville


“Everyone should keep on hand a small bottle of AFTA—it also comes in spray form. It’s a dry-cleaning solvent used to remove oil-based stains, gum, wax, crayon, et cetera from fabrics and rugs, and it is especially good for materials that should not get wet, such as silk, wool, and cotton or linen velvet.”
—Laurel Bern, Principal, Laurel Bern Interiors, Goldens Bridge


“A solar flashlight. It never needs batteries, and I can keep it ready all the time. If I ever have to go outside in the dark or the power goes out, I’m set.”
—Architect and Designer Michele Rudoph, Riverside Design Pound Ridge


“The Zyliss garlic press. Crushing the garlic releases more flavor than chopping, and it’s easy to clean, too.”
Designer and General Contractor Gregory Allan Cramer, Gregory Allan Cramer & Company, Scarsdale

 


“My Swivel Sweeper carpet sweeper. We have a cat and a dog, so we’re constantly vacuuming and the carpet sweeper allows for a quick touch-up.”
—Designer Nicole Aversa Pushkal, Nicole Interior Designs, Tuckahoe


“The Nespresso espresso coffee machine—because it’s easy to use, makes good coffee, and looks good.”
—Designer Beata Buhl-Tatka, Beata Buhl Interiors Armonk


“My Black & Decker DustBuster. It’s just so easy to pull out and do a quick clean up instead of pulling out the vacuum.”
—Designer Hope Simkowitz, Hope Simkowitz LLC, Waccabuc

“The slow cooker, aka the Crock-Pot. With just a few minutes of preparation in the morning, I can come home and have a meal waiting for me—and avoid the four-hundred snack calories I would consume while making dinner from scratch at night.”
Lyn Peterson, Founder Motif Designs, Mount Vernon

 

—With research by Dana Salzman and Maggie Bacon