When it comes to giving gifts for the home, there’s nothing wrong with buying a blender or a toaster oven. But it might be more fun to give someone a gift they’ll love – but would never have actually bought on their own. These gifts are fun with a functional purpose – but four out of five of these gifts are actually under $100, and the fifth is under $200.
Sometimes the best gadgets are also the most low-tech. It seems hard to believe, but this is a portable humidifier that requires no batteries – just water. Just fill it up and the special paper disperses water into the air. It may not provide all the moisture a room needs, but it’s pretty and it’s unique – a perfect gift, and incredibly affordable at $22 plus shipping from Japan. Available at Japantrends.com.
Made of recycled water bottles, these vertical planters are actually designed to be hung indoors. The plastic protects your walls, while providing a great way to grow a “living wall” that takes houseplants to the next level. Pair it with a drip irrigation system on a timer and the free Koubachi plant watering app to make indoor gardening easier, or if you want to spend more, the Koubachi plant sensor. The sensor lives in your plants to monitor soil conditions, and will actually alert you when a plant needs water. Florafelt wall garden start at $59.00 from PlantsForWall.com. The Koubachi app is free, but sensors start at $99.
Composting is great in theory, but it does involve keeping stinky food garbage around longer than we otherwise would. The Fresh Air Compost Collector is a great choice for anyone who wants to be a little more environmentally friendly but can’t get rid of compost immediately, like apartment dwellers, or even just doesn’t want to deal with that smell. The unit uses compostable bags to make disposal quicker and easier, so think about buying an extra set of bags too. $30.00 from Uncommon Goods.
This is the perfect example of a great useful product you may not be willing to buy for yourself, but would be awesome to have. Designed by engineering students at Cooper Union, the rapid beverage chiller is actually the most efficient way to cool down your drinks. It only takes one minute to cool down a can and an entire wine bottle only takes 6 minutes. Wine people in particular will love it, since you can set an exact temperature for your drinks and never have to worry about whether you’re serving whites at the right temperature. Currently $66.76 from Amazon.
Mario’s talked quite a bit about the Lowe’s Iris Home Automation System. It’s a complete system that will allow you to control your home from a phone or computer, even when you’re not there. The kit starts at $179 from Lowe’s. Mario’s complete explanation of how the Iris works below: