We all have too much stuff we don't need and never use because as modern day consumers in a land of abundance we're programmed to swipe the card and think (and pay) later. So as the Great Recession and real estate market slump sap our buying power, and we all take stock of what's really important in our lives, let's take a look at some things for your home that strike us as ridiculously useless and overpriced.
We're not debating your constitutionally guaranteed right to spend whatever you want, but these things are really over the top, from pet palaces to fancy bathtubs that cost as much as the Gross National Product of some small nations.
The Recession's Most Ridiculous Luxuries
The bath folks at Kohler, who make terrific products, are pushing it with this $9,000 (plus installation) gizmo called the VibrAcoustic, a special bathtub that shoots sound waves and Chromotherapy (colored lights) through you body while you soak. The tub creates "an environment of harmony that is invigorating and restful," the company says - if you don't put the live Kiss concert on your playlist, that is.
The AP reports that fancy doghouses complete with chandeliers, crown moldings, and designer paint an wallpaper sell for between $5,000 and $30,000. Business has been slowed by the downturn, although one client ordered a miniature Spanish cathedral for their Chihuahua decorated with granite floors and stained glass windows.
We love Dutch designer Tord Boontje, who also makes great stuff in the budget range, but paying $4,950 for his The End Revolution Swivel Chair with water-jet cut wool felt that looks like it's been put through a shredder (or the cat got to it) is just not value for money in tough times. We know it's limited edition design-art and all, but how do you clean the toast crumbs out of this thing?
This hulking hybrid grill - the K900 from Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet - is the only one to cook with wood, charcoal and gas, just in case you needed all three. There's also a spring-assisted 60-pound hood (otherwise you'd get a hernia) and it's all wrapped in heavy-gauge stainless steel. Getting those burgers well done will set you back between $12,995 to $15,980.
The Arkena outdoor shower looks cool and sleek and oh-so-Italian and has enough solar cells to let you take a nice nice long hot shower, the company promises. But according to the always cautious green patrol at treehugger.com there's probably only enough juice in that shower head to power a cell phone. So we don't know how solar-powered this really is. And of course, taking a long hot shower isn't exactly environmentally-friendly. No indication what the Italian version might cost, but treehugger notes that instead of buying this one (no indication of how much it costs) you can build a DIY outdoor shower for about $5.