Last week I went to the International Home & Housewares show in Chicago, where manufacturers and retailers get together in a giant extravaganza of all things made for the home. Toasters, placemats, pots, pans, knives, and vacuum cleaners were on display in miles of booths and aisles. I already showed you some new products from the show that stood out to me, but I'm revisiting it one more time with a few more finds that were interesting, instructive, or promising. From "Fennel" Le Creuset to a smart dish drainer to the cutest little teapot, read on to see a few more highlights of the show.
- Le Creuset's new Fennel color - This wasn't new for the show; it has been out in stores for a few weeks. To be honest, I am not a huge fan of this bluish-green. Compared to the more vibrant blues, greens, and fuschia on display this year, it felt a little too old-fashioned. But one friend pointed out that it would look great mixed with white pieces. Very fresh and Ina Garten.
- I was also reminded of how much I like these 3-quart gratin dishes from Le Creuset. They're huge, and with their enameled cast iron construction, immensely durable.
- Joseph Joseph Hands On Salad Bowl was more expressive of the green I saw at nearly every booth this year. Bright lime green — will it ever go away? I doubt it.
- Modern-Twist trivets - I liked these silicone trivets from our friends at Modern-Twist. They're bright and snappy, but very practical.
- Sagaform bread boards - I love Sagaform's modern design, especially their bread boards. These new versions for the show were very handsome.
- Stelton "Under Cover" dishes with holders - I love Stelton's simple bread serving bags, and these casserole and gratin dishes follow in that line with fabric carriers/holders/trivets. The carriers can be used separately as bread servers. Modern casserole accessories — I'm definitely a fan of this!
- Anchor Hocking glass cake stands and cloches - I already mentioned Anchor Hocking and their great new storage glassware, but I also wanted to point out their whimsical, inexpensive cake stands and cloches. Really cute stuff, and made in America, too.
- Adagio Tea Yixing clay teapots - I am a big fan of Adagio's well-considered tea products and great customer service experience. I totally fell for these tiny Yixing clay teapots, especially the Harbin teapot pictured. I like how they were simple and unadorned, unlike traditional clay pots. They were like little birds that sat in the palm of your hand. Lovely!
- Legnoart Down trivet - This new-to-me Italian housewares company had a lot of great and interesting stuff, including this handsome little trivet inspired by a propeller.
- Legnoart Sombrero cake stand - Another favorite from Legnoart.
- DeLonghi kMix appliances - Craving a pink toaster? Green coffee maker? DeLonghi's new line of mid-priced and brightly colored appliances may be just what you're looking for.
- Bodum grills - These egg-shaped, retro grills from Bodum were so colorful and exciting. Very beautiful in person, and they will be reasonably priced as well.
- Terra cookware from Matteo Thun - I had only seen this online — never in person — and oh my word this stuff stopped me in my tracks. Watch for more on this soon. Affordable modern cookware that's this beautiful? Yes please.
- MagLid storage containers - These are a really interesting new product — still in prototype, but about to go into production. They have sealing, locking lids that twist into place with the help of magnets. It is hard to describe, but the locking action worked extremely well, and I could see these being especially fantastic for people with arthritis who have a hard time squeezing or twisting container lids.
- Chef'n dish drainer - This new dish drainer from Chef'n is pretty great. It has cups for silverware and these can be moved around and adjusted. The slots in the drainer are large enough for baking sheets and pans, and there is a spout for water draining that can be left open or closed. Fun colors, too!
- Chef'n silicone tools - They also have a new line of kitchen tools, like a potato masher and a self-sharpening pizza wheel. Most of these I'll pass on in favor of wood or metal tools, but I did like this silicone pastry brush. It can be taken apart pretty completely for cleaning.
- Wilton Pops - And last but not least, looks like Wilton has jumped on the cake pops bandwagon!
That's a quick, colorful tour through some of the things that caught my eye at Housewares. Some of these are useful, and other not so much. But you can see the trend towards bright colors continues, and as usual the Italians bring some lovely stuff.
More Housewares 2011 Coverage
• The Best Zester Ever? New Graters from Edgeware
• Glass Storage from Duralex, Anchor Hocking & Bodum
• Raspberry Ice! KitchenAid Goes Hot Pink With New Colors
• Folding Handles, Stacking Pots: Bialetti Cookware Concept
• Smart Silicone Lids from Lékué & Charles Viancin
• Lovely Kitchen Storage Jars from Urban Butik & Kähler
• Beautiful Tea Ball & Espresso Maker from Freud United
• OCD Chef Board & Yumbots: 5 Fun Things from FRED
(Images: Faith Durand)