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What’s Cool
A fast-heating charcoal grill, biodegradable flower pots, an upside-down shower, and more. By Marilyn Dickey
Comments () | Published May 1, 2008

Homes > Home Design > Outdoor Living Package 

Movable Shade

Seat four people at a four-foot-wide table under the Vizor Umbrella ($1,249 with base) and everybody will stay in the shade during peak sunlight hours. As the sun moves, rotate the asymmetrical canopy using a handle on the pole. The canopy closes around the pole thanks to a mechanism that raises the pole as the umbrella folds down. The Vizor comes in three colors—natural canvas, glacier blue, parrot green. Custom colors and graphics cost extra. Available at Annapolis Awnings (410-573-5198; or online at

Swing Shift

The EZ Hammock ($1,425) by Royal Botania doesn’t sway from side to side as rope hammocks do; it’s attached firmly to the stainless-steel bars. Want to sit and read? Scoot down, and the head of the hammock inclines; scoot toward the top, and you’ll be lying down. Both the hammock and the pillow—which attaches with Velcro—are quick-drying. Available in ten colors at DC’s Apartment Zero (202-628-4067;


Hot Grill

The German Grill makes charcoal grilling easier—and you don’t need lighter fluid. Pour in charcoal from the top, stuff newspaper into the chamber below, and light with a match. Fifteen minutes later, start cooking. Use a lever to distribute the coals safely, and control the heat with a handle that moves the charcoal basket up or down. Coals and ashes drop into a removable pan; the rest of the grill opens for cleaning. One model has a cabinet underneath ($1,890) and another a cart ($1,690). Available at


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Posted at 12:00 AM/ET, 05/01/2008 RSS | Print | Permalink | Articles