There are many reasons to love Chicago: there’s the rich architectural history, beautiful lakeside vistas, fantastic restaurants, and more. And every year, there’s one more reason for us to visit the City on the Lake: The International Home & Housewares Show. One of the world’s largest home goods exhibits, the show takes up 3 halls of the McCormick convention center. It takes a considerable effort just to cover the entire show – our fitness trackers were working overtime! Besides the fitness benefits, we’re always curious to walk the show to track emerging trends and to see new products and collections making their debuts. In fact, we were beyond excited to witness the debut of our Teorema line of cookware from TVS and to see the Kitchen Twins showcase the collection’s purpose and personality. We were also happy to catch up with our friends at Marpac and Polder. Stay tuned for info on the products emerging from those collaborations! In the meantime, we’d like to share some of our favorite things from this year’s show.
Elevating the Act of Cooking
This year’s show marked the American debut of Teorema – the cookware collection we designed in collaboration with TVS. An Italian cookware company, and true experts in the field of cookware, TVS has a rich history of quality and Italian craftsmanship. After months of design development and seeing partial pre-production samples, this was our first chance to see the complete collection in all its glory. We couldn’t be happier with the end result, which fully realized our design vision, and enhanced it with impeccable quality.
The Teorema range is full of purpose infused with personality. The unique profile of the handle forms a cradle that gives the hand a natural resting spot for better grip and balance. The same cradle holds cooking utensils, keeping the sauce inside the pan, and off the counter top. The handle on the lid has the same cradled profile and is generously proportioned to make it easy to grip with an oven mitt. The whole collection is oven-safe and is compatible with all cooktops. The clear borosilicate lids make it easy to keep an eye on the cooking process, and their one-piece construction means they’re easier to clean than traditional glass lids with a metal brim. All these elements add up to a cookware collection with effortless usability, and a unique personality that will delight the gourmand every day.
We were also excited to see the Kitchen Twins, who made great use of Teorema in their on-site cooking demo, and amazed visitors with their delicious risotto!
The Little Tumbler That Could
If there is one product category that continues to explode, portable vessels are a standout. This explosion was very evident at this year’s Housewares show. As more people are eschewing disposable bottles and cups in favor of reusable ones, there’s booming demand for personal, portable vessels with great looks and versatility. Naturally, since these vessels are carried with us every day, they are starting to transition into the realm of fashion. Wearable fitness trackers have gone through a similar transition in the past few years. Today, a bottle or tumbler is the fashion accessory to have. Established brands and new startups are striving to stand out with bright colors, premium materials and finishes, and novel functionality.
This tumbler was one of our favorites at the show. Created by Impel Studio, the Lttl Tumbler started out as a crowd-funding success story and is now making an entrance into the retail space. It has already earned a GIA award and is now carried by Built NY, another brand we love. The double-walled stainless steel construction helps keep drinks hot or cold, but that’s just the beginning. The remarkably simple form belies some clever functionality: a turn of the lid opens it enough for sipping, and the flared upper edge makes for a cup-like drinking experience. The lid can be locked for transport, and removed for easy cleaning. These With so many tumblers already on the market, it’s a challenge to stand out from the crowd. The Lttl tumbler rises up to that challenge with flair.
Joseph Joseph Helix collection
Tools with a Twist
The Helix collection from Joseph Joseph delighted us with a simple yet novel take on the food press. The collection consists of a garlic press, citrus juicer, and potato ricer, which all work on the same simple principle: The two halves fit together with a simple threaded twist, and the food captured between them is pressed and processed. The spiral action requires less force to operate than a conventional hinged press and allows for easier two-handed operation. Besides the function, the items have a friendly aesthetic that clearly communicates how they work and how to use them. That kind of directness and simplicity is a refreshing contrast to the increasingly tech-focused kitchenwares category and has earned Joseph Joseph a GIA award.
The idea of the shopping trolley tends to be more popular in Europe than in the United States, but we were delighted to discover what’s new for Rolser, a trolley maker based in Spain. The lightweight chassis range from 6-wheeled stair climbers to 2-wheeled featherweights, and can be mixed and matched with a wide array of bags. The bag collection is even more expansive, featuring bold patterns, and well-chosen materials. This year marked the debut of the colorful Julià collection and the 8 Soft collection, finished in a range of pleasing pastels. Rolser does a great job of elevating a utilitarian item into something aspirational, even chic. The result is a truly premium product that blends in, coordinates, or stands out – whatever your preference.
Simplehuman & Kohler soap dispensers
Advancing Home Hygiene
The touch-free soap dispenser is nothing new, but the latest iteration from simplehuman offers a pleasing refinement of form and usability. The stainless-steel body has a quality look and feel, and blends into most bathroom interiors. The true moment of delight comes from the way the pump interacts with the refill cartridge. The pump simply fits and self-locks on top of the cartridge, which is a quality item in itself. That means refills don’t involve actual “filling”. The bottom edge of the translucent cartridge remains visible, and it’s easy to tell when the soap is running low. While the dispenser does use proprietary refill cartridges, it’s not limited to simplehuman’s own range of soaps. Companies including EO and Aria have made their soaps compatible with simplehuman’s dispenser. That makes it easier to transition to the dispenser without giving up on a soap brand you might already use and trust. We love this open-ended approach to the soap system.
For an even more open approach to the soap dispenser, we loved this year’s entry by Kohler. This dispenser can handle all soaps: foaming or liquid. For another bit of smart tech, it features a 20-second lighted timer to encourage more effective hand-washing. The Kohler dispenser received a well-deserved GIA award for these advanced features. The clean form, available in two finishes, makes the dispenser a natural fit in a kitchen or bathroom space.