5 Amazingly, This is Not One-of-a-Kind
Some 72,000 miniature Swarovski crystals bedazzle a toilet designed by the Japanese design firm Lixil. The commode will cost you around $130,000 and, perhaps more amazing than the fact that anyone made this toilet at all, is the fact that it was not designed to be a one-of-a-kind item, but rather a regular offering.
4 Getting Back to Nature
If you ever find yourself in northern Laos, you might be able to satisfy some childhood dreams of living in a tree house. Several hotels and retreats there feature arboreal accommodations, and beyond the fun of sleeping in a tree, you also get to (meaning have to) manage bodily functions up there. Fortunately, most of these locations feature full bathrooms with modern amenities, the slight twist being that you are hundreds of feet off the ground and often taking care of business on open-air balconies.
3 For the Exhibitionist
If you have ever dreamt of casually going to the bathroom in the middle of a crowded city street, Italian-British artist Monica Bonvicini has answered your call! She created an “œartwork”consisting of a toilet and sink encased by walls made of one-way mirrors. The user can see out into the world as if surrounded only by glass, while the passerby sees only a large reflective cube and remains blissfully unaware of what’s going on mere inches away.
2 A Commode Fit for a King
This is a cautionary tale: If you build a veritable palace out of gold in Hong Kong, and then a worldwide recession hits largely due to the artificially inflated American housing market, the golden toilet will be among the first things to go. At least that’s what happened to the people of the Hang Fung jewelry company, who, yes, built a toilet out of solid gold. It was part of a golden bathroom created back when gold sold for a mere $200 an ounce. As prices soared past $1,000 an ounce and profits fell worldwide in 2008 into 2009, Hang Fung realized it was time to take the plunge and melt down the classy commode.
1 The Future is Here
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Japan’s futuristic toilets is that they’re so common, most citizens of Japan take them for granted. The Japanese Future Bowl (not what they are actually called at all) is essentially three units in one, all linked by a programmable computer with easy-to-use buttons and a digital display. With a few taps, you can flush away your business, get a very personal wash from a built-in bidet and then be dried off when you’re nice and clean. Oh, and of course there’s a seat warmer ““ duh.