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Adam Smith of Portland invented the DIY Floral Grid, a reusable, plastic gadget that holds flower stems while youâre arranging blooms in a vase. (Adam Smith)
We asked moms to tell us what product or service, real or imagined, could add to their home life and they answered with creativity.
In a nutshell, moms crave sustainable, healthy indulgences and someone or something to help the family with household chores and entertainment. Frequent delivery of fresh produce and guilt-free desserts would be nice, too.
So would converting a stuff-filled garage into a yoga studio, game room, running track with TV screens, car wash and mechanic shop, hydroponic garden, library with a librarian, spa with 6-foot-deep tub or a theater for movies, plays and concerts.
It would be nice, some moms say, to have in-house singing, cooking or art lessons as well as a hair salon. A recurring role in “Grimm,” “Portlandia” or any other show or film shot in Oregon would be kick.
And while moms are dreaming, how about a staff master gardener, compost wrangler, valet, nutrition-chef, personal trainer, massage therapist, chocolate maker, harpists, thank you note writer, party planner, photo curator, Portland parking specialist and anyone else to help free up time for family and fun.
The handy devices moms suggest include a self-restocking fridge and pantry, errand zapper, clutter catcher and stress eradicator. Or better yet, no electrical, plugged-in gadgets at all. Instead, a return to that peaceful garage-turned-spa
Of course, when we asked for ideas we also heard from a lot of manufacturers promoting their offerings: From a Michael Aram Vincent Ring Catch and a Mackenzie-Childs Butterfly Garden Enamel 2-quart tea kettle to a portable full-body Body Dryer that uses super-compressed ionized air ("never use a germ-filled towel again") and ABCO wireless shower speakers so Mom can to sing along to her favorite songs and chat on the cell phone while lathering.
Portland-based Decorview thinks Mom should have iPad- or remote-controlled window shades to let herself or babies sleep longer in a dark room with the shades lowered during the day or to let Mom easily raise the shades to wake up a recalcitrant teenager with a blast of sunshine.
We fell for this one: Adam Smith of Portland invented a gadget that holds flower stems while arranging blooms in a vase. When ready, the recycled plastic grid slides away but leaves the flowers in place. The grid, an alternative to landfill-bound floral foam, is made of recycled plastic in the Pacific Northwest. The device is on to raise funds for final tooling and the Mother’s Day reward includes five design templates and one of the grids. Or the grid can be purchased after May 8 for $9.99 plus shipping at www.DIYFloral.com.
Here are a few more ideas we received from moms:
Many liked the idea of having more room for the family to gather, a separate His and Her kitchen, and a private place for Mom to read, write and practice her music.
Merry Vediner of Ashland: "I would like to have giant paper towel-like rolls of bedding at the head of kid’s beds with perforated tears so you can just rip off the old ones. I would also like beds that can be tipped to pour the kids out. It would also be helpful to have a dishwasher that works like the Dyson hand dryers, just insert and slowly pull out clean dishes. Showers and toilets should be self-cleaning like ovens. Windows should be able to work like power windows in cars, and come up all clean on both sides. Ah, dream on."
Carolyn McCulloch of Southeast Portland: "My suggestion would be a spa-like bathroom with a soaking tub that is handicap assessable but does not scream ‘a disabled person lives here!’ That’s the kind of bathroom I have and it is not relaxing to me at all."
Annette Leveque of Gresham: "I have a Roomba (robot vacuum cleaner) for the floor that I love. My fantasy would be that like in the movie, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," the Roomba could suction itself to windows to wash them and also hover and dust. I would also love a car that had a built-in vacuum so I didn’t have to drag the shop vac out to the driveway. And a Roomba that washed and waxed the outside of the car would be awesome."
— Homes & Gardens of the Northwest staffconcert, film, movie, music, tv