Will Millionaires' Toys Reach Masses?Amy Stevens - THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Here are the items that the most discriminating homeowners are demanding-and the ones builders and architects say are most likely to be coming soon to a subdivision near you:
DRY-CLEANER RACKS IN THE CLOSET
Judy George really blew away her Coral Gables, Fla., neighbors with her motorized clothes rack. "We have a wonderful home, which we're blessed to have, and we collect art," Ms. George says. "But my friends take one look at my rotating closet carousel, and they really go, 'WOW.'"
After she bought the electric rack for her 14-foot closet several years ago, Ms George says, at least 10 of her friends followed suit. But the racks, which work just fine like the industrial models that dry cleaners use, aren't for everyone. Prices range from about $2,700 for a six foot closet to about $4,600 for a 15-foot closet, according to Donald Weiss, owner of White Home Products Inc., Kenilworth, N.J., which makes the "Closet Carousel" for home use.
Ms. George claims she got the idea years ago from a magazine article that featured such a motorized closet carousel in the closet of comedian Robin Williams. No less a clothes horse than actor George Hamilton is said to have one, too. "He never stops talking about his unit, including when he was on his 'George and Alana' talk show," Mr. Weiss says. "It's a very sexy product, it really is," he says.
But already, there are omens of a downward drift. In perhaps the ultimate sign that an upscale bauble is about to be seized by the masses, Mr. Weiss just started advertising the "Closet Carousel" on "The Weather Channel."
But there is still one closet luxury left for the elite. Mr. Chan recently completed a job for a "Hollywood person" who demanded a fashion-show-style model's runaway, lined with mirrors, in her closet.