NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – With all the gadgets and home products out there, we’re always looking for the ones that will function best and look good doing it – things that are clever in use and design.
This year, Architecture Digest’s digital channel, Clever, rounded up 50 of these products for its first annual Cleverest Awards.
“Our editors spend countless hours searching for the best and most exciting products out there,” Associate Features Editor Nick Mafi told CBSN New York’s John Dias.
Some of the designs may seem surprisingly simple, like colorful cutting boards or a space-saving bike rack.
“The criteria is that it is multi-functional and beautiful and, in a clever way, brings something more to your life,” said Mafi.
Like portable speakers.
“In the world of portable speakers, there’s a lot of options, but the reason we think that this is the best one is you can see by the shape it provides 360 degrees of rich, quality sound,” Mafi said.
The battery will keep it humming for 16 hours, and the inconspicuous base is also the charger.
So far, about two and a half million simple smart plugs have been sold. They can operate appliances or whatever you want from an app on your phone.
“This is a really easy way to start stepping foot in smart home technology,” said Mafi.
From smart to sleek, there’s a carafe that takes plain filter water to high design. Also on the functional design-front for your kitchen, is a knife rack that can hold up to 10 knives at once. The open design makes a stylish statement and strong magnets hold knives securely in place.
Super sleek watering cans and the unlikeliest of umbrella stands also make the list, and a hideaway table and chairs are a standout in surprising design.
An air purifier also makes the clever cut by working so silently you won’t even know it’s there.
Even a potted plant gets a clever design treatment.
“If you’re like me, you really struggle keeping any plant in your home alive. But this really alleviates that concern,” said Mafi. “What makes this different from a lot of other self-watering devices is that there’s actually a little pocket of air that allows the roots breathe, as well.”
Prices range from $25 to nearly $1,000, and you can expect to see more of these great designs in the future.
“This was Clever’s first annual Cleverest Award, but we’re turning it into an annual event,” Mafi said.
To see the complete list, click here.