For years, there has been a perception that Housewares products were relegated to last-place status in the world of trend. While this may have been true a decade or so ago, it is far from so now.
I thought about this when I was in London last week and saw the fabulous egg separator from Typhoon (see post on May 30). Then I reflected back to the Housewares Show, where Editorial Correspondent Chandra Palermo found so many interesting and unique items (you can read about the most trend-forward of them in the April issue of The Trend Curve).
Earlier this year, at the Ambiente trade fair, I saw lots of wonderful products for the kitchen that pushed categories like storage beyond basic status. Thomas, for example, debuted a collection of containers for pouring called Shuttle in shapes clever enough to evoke space travel while keeping functionality front and center. Hucks introduced the Designchain, clear polycarbonate cylinders linked together in trios with colored top rings that provide maximum flexibility to position or reposition, like a bicycle chain. These containers can be used on a counter or mounted in a meandering line on the wall.
Tools also got a style lift at Ambiente. Vivo’s Line 1 collection included White salad servers punctuated by non-slip handles that added fun color. At Vacu Vin, a melon slicer in bright Green polypropylene highlighted ergonomic design as well as great color.
Bodum designed a kitchen scale with a digital read-out poised atop a flexible arm. The scale comes with a glass bowl that flips over the folded-down arm to create a self-contained oval. (I also fell for their hot-chocolate maker.) Guzzini offered a set of five knives with brightly colored, ergonomically designed handles in an elegant steel body shaped more like a slightly tilted malt glass than a knife block.
When I first began my career in trend nearly 25 years ago, new colors, themes and motifs came first in upholstered furniture and last in housewares. Today trends show up in all kinds of products in a nearly random way. That means it is important to keep your eyes open everywhere for fabulous items and trends for the future.