Top 5 Trends at
International
Housewares
Show 2017

Every year at McCormick Place in Chicago, the International Home & Housewares Show gives us a glimpse of future home, kitchen, and bathroom trends. This year our team covered nearly 9 miles on foot – a true testament to the show’s sprawling – and exciting expanse.

Here are some of the trends we spotted on our journey though the exhibit halls:

1. Mid-Century Modern

This year’s show put the 1950’s back in the spotlight. Mixing a unique blend of pastels with streamlined modern, inspired geometric shapes was prevalent.

2. Let’s Talk Colors - Pastels, Turquoise, and Greenery

Pastels are back in 2017 but these tones are already darkening and intensifying. Turquoise made a sweeping appearance as well as other warmer jewel tones such as Pantone’s Color of the year, Greenery. Brands struggling to bridge the gap between stainless and warmer tone hardware in the kitchen and bath continue to use warmer tones such as copper and champagne.

3. For the Love of Water

Whether it is carbonating water or infusing it with fruit flavors – reduction of waste, water and well-being played a big role at this year’s IHHA. We were drawn to both the design and refreshing bubble infused water from Toronto-based Bonne O with their simple tablet that replaces the cumbersome C02 canisters required by competitors.

4. Pump it out - vacuum blending, humidifiers, and scent diffusers galore

Many small appliance manufacturers introduced or improved their version of vacuum blending. Some seemed large and complex but the Kuvings vacuum blender had a very versatile system that used a hand-held vacuum to suck the air out of the blender but also could be used to seal food storage. Also, pumping it out, new and improved humidifiers and scent diffusers in all shapes and sizes drew in large crowds.

5. Smart Home is Advancing - but missing some meaningful connections

While the number of meaningful connected products increased, we were still surprised that there still isn’t a strong story in the smart home portion of the show. There was evidence that the area is developing, yet some of the new technology, such as connected water bottles that track your water consumption didn’t seem all that competitive or compelling.

New-comer GeniCan was the highlight of the Smart Home display, promising to save people time and money by creating an automatic shopping list every time an item is thrown into a household garbage can. The small devices attaches to any garbage can and identifies items thrown away through its barcode scanner.

All in all, the 2017 show was a bit disappointing for connectivity. Here’s hoping that strategic connectivity has enough time to evolve before the 2018 show.

Now that we roved the halls for nearly 9 miles, we think we'll sit down and drink another glass of that infused water from Bonne O.

Thanks for the inspiration and see you at next year's show!

Photo credit: International Home & Housewares Show 2017

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