The International Home and Housewares show is one of our favorite destinations every March. This show is not just about potato peelers, that is for sure. There are some fabulous new products presented every year, from kitchen appliances (including glamorous espresso makers), to tabletop, (both elegant and casual), to wellness products, and hundreds of other items.
It is held at McCormick Place in Chicago, one of my favorite venues for its beautifully staged ballroom decorated with plants or floral arrangements and special lighting to reflect the Pantone color of the year. This year it was decorated with plants, most appropriate to “Greenery.” There were many of my color friends in the audience, some of whom have not missed a show since I first started to speak there 19 years ago!
Bridget Frizee of Kehoe Design in Chicago, Lee Eiseman, Melissa Bolt
Melissa Bolt, my associate, went with me. I am forever grateful for the design and imagery she puts together, including the arrangement of the colors that show the origin and direction of the eight color palettes for home that I presented for 2018. Large boards showing the forecasted palettes are also mounted in the Lakeside area of McCormick, each one complete with coordinating products in display cases.
We enjoy looking at some of the displays for new products that are also mounted at the show. This year one of the winners was Nicole Norris, a college student who designed a new ironing board. We certainly do see that as a winning idea!
On the first day for my keynote, I was introduced by Perry Reynolds, Vice President of Marketing and Trade Development, my good buddy, who is retiring and his cheery personality will be sorely missed. On the second day, I was introduced by Vicky Matranga, another delightful friend, who is Design Programs Coordinator for IHA where she manages the Student Design Competition and the Housewares Design Awards, coordinates displays, and organizes the DesignTheater and design-related events for the annual show. Vicky is also a collector of housewares items with an attic full of the products that grandma would have thought very high tech in her day (such as waffle irons and steam irons and Waring Blendors (yes, it is spelled with an “o”— a bit of a branding technique in those days.)
Many of you asked where my necklace came from. I recently discovered a local (Seattle) jewelry artist named Melanie Brauner for Verso www.versojewelry.com. What a talent!