Smart Products from Dwell on Design 2015

A parasol umbrella perfect for relaxing out in the sun, while still being able to charge electronic devices.

Zon’s new Parasol umbrella offers shade and a cellphone or tablet charging station. Photo Courtesy of Zon.

Dwell on Design is one part turbo-powered home show, one part industry conference and one part Hollywood extravaganza with funky sets and design celebrities.

This energetic 11-year-old event gets bigger every year and has expanded to New York, as well as continuing in its Los Angeles flagship location, Dwell on Design, Los Angeles (DODLA).

Produced by Dwell Magazine, DODLA offers a unique blend of funky jewelry, fabulous furnishings, 
upscale appliances and offbeat accessories. These are some of the best new products for those building or living in a new home.

Shower Smarts

Always innovative, Hansgrohe introduced Select Technology for its shower systems. Its push-button controls allow you to change the spray with a touch of a finger, rather than having to turn the face of the showerhead. That can be awkward and inconvenient with wet, soapy hands. This is a much smarter way to do it.

Appliance Smarts

Miele introduced its Knock to Open Dishwasher, which you can open or close without your hands. This is a rather nice convenience if you’re hands are stacked high with dishes or slick from meal prep. You use an elbow or knee to “knock” it open and the touch point is above a toddler’s or small pet’s range. Plus, its no-handle styling will fit beautifully into a contemporary kitchen.

In the countertop appliance category, you’ve got some sexy new choices as well. Subzero-Wolf has introduced a suite of mixers, toasters and toaster ovens. If your budget doesn’t allow for one of their pro-style ranges or cooktops, you can get those iconic red knobs on your countertop gadgets instead, with professional-caliber features as well.

If you’re a fan of the classic KitchenAid Stand Mixer, you might also like its new matte black finish for 2016. This may be especially popular with auto enthusiasts — it’s like having a blacked-out muscle car in your kitchen.

Sink Smarts

Another area where kitchens have gotten smarter is in the clean-up zone. Sinks have come a long way and Julien has taken them to a new level of stylishness. Its new Social Corner sink allows you to put a sink in the corner of an island or peninsula so more people can use it at the same time. Not only is this 16-gauge stainless steel apron-front sink practical for entertaining, it’s also exceptionally stylish. There are optional accessories to make it more functional as a prep center or go for its sleek simplicity without add-ons. It can install on the left or right corner, depending on your layout.

Wall Smarts

If you’ve always liked wood paneling, you may be interested in Stikwood’s peel-and-stick version. The product is surprisingly attractive and makes installation a weekend DIY project instead of a professional carpentry job.

Another savvy DIY wall covering on display was DesignYourWall.com’s removable wallpaper tiles. Installed together, they look like wallpaper — in both traditional and modern styles — but they’re easy to peel off. That way, if you get tired of them or want our home to be more sellable in a few years, you can easily remove the tiles. There’s no more painstaking scraping required to remove this product.

Door Smarts

Sometimes a door swing just doesn’t work for a space, but a pocket door isn’t workable either. In these cases, a sliding barn door can be your best friend. RAYDOOR showed off some very attractive styles in its BarnDoor line that can meet the need with hidden tracks and contemporary style. The company also offers sliding walls and doors to divide a space, perfect for studios or loft-style living.

Outdoor Smarts

True showcased a dual-zone wine cooler for your outdoor kitchen. That’s perfect for those parties featuring both barbecue chicken and steak.

And while you’re enjoying your food and wine, you’ll probably want to stay shaded and fully charged. Zon showed off its innovative Powersol outdoor umbrella. This clever shade maker uses solar power to charge your cellphone or tablet in one of its Smart Charging Hub’s three weatherproof USB ports.

Countertop Smarts

Many designers and homeowners prize the dramatic style of recycled glass countertops. The problem is that they typically need to be sealed against staining. GEOS by EOS Surfaces is non-cement based, so it never requires that 
maintenance. It can be used in kitchens, baths and other indoor living spaces.

 

 

Jamie Gold is a certified kitchen designer in San Diego and the author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work (Taunton Press). She is currently writing the New Bathroom Idea Book.

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