The $4,500 Toilet, A Must Have For Your Modern Home

Finally a toilet fancy enough to keep in the living room of your magnificent, glass-enclosed, hilltop house.

This weekend's First Dallas Modern Home Tour begs the question: Everything else in your retro-futuristic frame is perfect, but how do you hide the commode?

Well, if you're feeling especially flush, you shouldn't have to. Ringing in at $4,473 dollars, the Numi toilet by Kohler is more than a streamlined waste removal system: it's a remote-controlled work of art. Complete with varying bidet spray settings and dryer, seat warmers and a built-in sound system (FM radio and an MP3 input), Numi will wait until commanded and then politely fold up like a Transformer, disguising any physical evidence that you do, in fact, poop.

The price tag has made it a bit of a target. Conan played up the original commercial with this late night parody:

Designed primarily for oil magnates, Japanese heads of industry, and anyone who's super stoked that Emirates now offers non-stop flights from Dallas to Dubai, the Numi is not a toilet for the everyman. But for a true modern home, there is no substitute. Or is there?

I went over to Apex Supply Company, a high-end kitchen and bath showroom in the Design District and spoke with showroom consultant, Teresa Browning. While they don't yet have a store model of the robocommode, it is available for order. To date, nobody has taken them up on it.

Browning thinks the square design is a bit of a turn-off. Feedback from customers who purchased similarly shaped models has been patchy, with ergonomic discomfort to blame. It seems nobody wants a square John, even if it does warm your feet. For those searching for that perfect, ultra-modern toilet with all of the "bells and whistles" of the Numi, Browning would suggest Toto's Neorest series.

But that one doesn't have a sound system. Or a cool commercial. It also doesn't fold up. But it's comfortable -- you know, if you're into that kind of thing.

If your home is decidedly deco, maybe you should opt for this model instead:

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