As any House of Cards fan worth her salt knows protagonist Frank Underwood likes nothing more than retreating to the basement of his well-appointed home for a solitary interlude of exercise on his rowing machine—a meditative release after a long day of philandering, eating ribs for breakfast, and menacing co-workers. That beautiful wood grain contraption is called a WaterRower, and is now being sold at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC ($1,500; momastore.org).
Designed to mimic the feeling of a boat gliding along a river or lake, the rowing machine creates resistance with a tank filled with water, and the level of difficulty adjusts naturally to the user. It’s quieter than air resistance rowers, requires no external power, has a small footprint and can be stored upright when not in use.
The machine’s construction is worth noting too. It's handcrafted in Rhode Island from sustainably managed hardwoods from the Appalachian Forest—let’s just say it’s far kinder to the planet than Frank.