If you aren’t already familiar, since 2002 Cooking Light magazine has featured a new Fit House on an annual basis. This is a house “dedicated to both personal and environmental fitness.” It is made from environmentally sound materials, offers energy saving appliances and provides an overall healthy living space. Well it just so happens that back in 2003 I was a Cooking Light subscriber (yes, one of my other passions is cooking good food) and yesterday I was flipping through their quick summer suppers issue when I spotted a spread for the 2003 Fit House. It wasn’t the outside of the house that caught my eye – it wasn’t even the inside so much, though by all means I’d take it if someone was handing them out. What got my attention were the special features offered inside. They got me thinking about all the cool stuff we could put inside our dream Craftsman house, though clearly too many of these little features would eventually break the bank, there’s no harm doing some investigating. Two of the features I could really dig having in my home are:
1 . Central vacuum – In the Fit House there was a toe kick in the kitchen that fed into the vacuum system. Just sweep the dust and crumbs into the system and voila – no dingy dustpans needed. Also, a central system does a better job of removing all the crap in the air like dust, pollen, allergens and diaper cooties, though I have no substantial evidence to back my diaper cootie claim. They used a company called Beam Central Vacuum Systems and according to the installation page on their website, the average cost for a complete system starts around $1000. And that’s in new or existing homes. They also state that a system can be installed in old homes within a few hours and without disturbing the walls – you can even install them yourself if you’re feeling ambitious. I don’t know how it can be so easy, but what a cool feature to add to your home. And if it truly does improve indoor air quality like it claims, this is a definite worthy feature.
2. Recycling Chute – This is comprised of a magnetic flip door that opens to a chute and leads to a recycling bin in the garage or outside the home. The Fit House used a product by Australian company Recyclit. There are no prices on their site but I did email them and hope to hear soon. I really think this is a great idea. You could use it for recyclables but also for all your standard trash as well. No more trash odors, or taking out the trash. Plus chutes are just plain cool. I know this will have an impact on energy efficiency, after all, you have to cut a hole in your wall to make this work, but that’s all part of the give and take process. And I’d be willing to comprise some of that energy efficiency for something like this. I don’t imagine the cost will be that significant either. What a simple, yet brilliant idea.
Those are just two of the many clever features in the 2003 Cooking Light Fit House. As I continue looking into all the options available for our dream home, I’ll introduce more of these. I’m sure there will be many…gotta go, I can hear my wallet sobbing.