The Inspired Home Show, or #TIHS23 (formerly known as the International Home and Housewares Show) is a pretty big deal. Not only has the show been held in Chicago since 1927, it survived its own version of the Chicago Fire in its early years at McCormick Place and has grown to include 1,300+ members from over 80 nations. This behemoth of a trade show takes up more buildings in McCormick Place than both the Auto Show and C2E2. Visitors, sellers and buyers make the trip here once a year to showcase innovative inventions, stylish new designs and the latest product lines, both tried and true and brand new.
We’ve been running our own trend hunt at the fair for the past 10 years, and now we’ve cultivated a keen eye for what you might want to look for when shopping at home in the near future. To that end, here are 8 of the best things we saw at the show. Keep them on your radar and add them to your wish list and you might just be one of this year’s trendsetters.
Three and three in Seattle
Three and three as a brand is perhaps our favorite find from this year’s Inspired Home Show. COVID showed us that our home is our sanctuary, and paying more attention to our personal space can really make a difference in how productive and peaceful we feel when we spend time there. Since working from home is much more common than it used to be, this is especially true in a home office.
Three and three has a fantastic selection of organizational products and office supplies that are incredibly sleek and stylish with organic finishes, smart accessories, bold colors and beautiful geometric designs. Some of our favorites from their range include the Glassencorque Magnetic Glass dry-erase and cork board, which means your planning space is lovely but versatile, with places to attach, stick, write and hang things – and it comes with markers, pins, magnets and hooks so you can get to work straight away.
We also loved their sculptural modular display risers as well as their attractive and smart sliding shelves and Sort it Out! Wall Caddy that gives you a place to hang your keys, dump your mail and look at your weekly schedule right when you walk in the door. This woman-owned, Seattle-based small business is definitely worth a look when you’re looking for any kind of office or home update.
Aeropress has been around for a while now. Born from an engineer’s desire for better coffee, this little contraption has gained a huge following without ever really deviating from its original, handy, durable design, except for a handy dandy travel version that has become part of our travel kit. It’s a household name for a reason – less fussy than a French press, less time consuming than a pour over, less counter space invasive than a traditional drip coffee maker, and more environmentally friendly than a Keurig by far, this device is a perfect cup of coffee every time, with very little time and effort involved.
While we generally agree with the adage “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” the Aeropress has more room to shine in the coffee world, and a little glow that doesn’t change function is welcome. This year, Aeropress comes to the countertop with a bunch of brand new ideas that we love, love an XXL version which will brew 16 oz of coffee in one go, a completely new clear version of the original Aeropress, and some premium versions of the OG that will give it not only a facelift, but a bit of a material upgrade, including a well-deserved presentation storage drive. We can’t wait to get our hands on the next generation and give it its rightful place of honor on our countertops.
Ooni pizza ovens
We have always been concerned with quality pizza. We are from Chicago after all. And while we’re blessed with the ability to order great pies from just about anywhere in the city and suburbs, making pizza at home is its own kind of awesome.
You can do some great things with cast iron and your 500 oven, and a Big Green Egg or similar smoker/grill can give you more options, but it’s still nothing like the magic a wood/coal or stone oven can give you. You can spend a few grand to build your own (and we’ve definitely thought about it), but lately there’s a new game in town and that’s the trendy, capable Ooni oven. These elegant stoves use propane, wood pellets or mixed fuel to give you that magic with all the bells and whistles of a high-end Weber or Traeger. These stoves come in a variety of sizes and price points and are on our short list of things to add to outdoor cooking.
This year’s surprise from this trendy pizza oven supplier was actually meant for indoors. The just-released Ooni Volt is a first for the company – an all-electric oven that heats up to 800 degrees and cooks a 12″ pizza in just 90 seconds, while being cool enough to the touch to keep indoors and even with lean arm on, and whose electrical requirements are just like a standard plug, we’d have had a hard time believing it could do everything its brothers could, but there was a live pizzaolo on hand to prove it!
As for the finishing touches – Ooni has a whole range of pizza accessories straight out of professional pizzerias, from tilting blades to sample boxes and making ingredient boxes on the table that also provide storage for your toppings. If you are serious about making pizza at home, Ooni is definitely a destination brand for you.
If you’ve ever lived in a place full of mountains, lakes, streams, and rivers with rushing rapids, you know that your Walmart specialty luggage is not. Things need to stay high and dry in extreme conditions. But let’s be real as city dwellers too – we can be awfully tough on our stuff even without the peaks and valleys. And water, coffee, and soda can all be introduced to our electronics in disastrous ways.
Matador takes dry bags out of the kayaks and rafts and into the daily travel gear. The materials are of high quality, rip stop, and most excitingly waterproof. There are chic backpacks, toiletries, duffles, hip bags and more, but our favorite (and maybe photographers, we’re biased) was the Camera Base Layer. There are many camera bags in the wild, but few allow your camera and the lens it’s married to (everything from pancake to wide-angle in size) to rest in comfort and dryness, nor do they allow a smaller lens to be packed away. up into pillow comfort at the end.
Not only that, but if you’re into nature photography or need extra protection elsewhere you’re shooting, you can use your existing camera strap and attach this bag securely to it. In the few minutes we got to check it out in person, it went from interesting and innovative to “new essential kit” and we’re looking forward to adding it to our gear bags.
There are countless stylish, attractive and expensive water bottles out there to help us remember to hydrate and keep our drinks hot/cold for 24 hours. Sometimes it can feel like you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.
Larq takes it one step further, and wins a slew of awards for doing so. It boasts a filtration system that goes far beyond tap-mounted purifiers and jugs, with a filter capable of removing harmful microbes, meaning it’s safe to drink tap and fountain water in places it hasn’t been before, and create a sustainable and safe way to travel and hydrate.
Not only does it make safe water available in more places, the Larq comes with an advanced technology suite, great style and lots of useful details that make it easy to pack. Although it boasts a high price point, it offers more value for money than any bottle we’ve come across, and certainly stands out as the most sustainable.
Hyphen rise to the top by thinking small. Their first foray into the limelight came years ago with tiny little waffle makers in a range of fun retro colors that were more than a gimmick – they actually made great waffles.
Every year since, they’ve brought new great things to the table, and remain dedicated to helping people whose counter space is non-existent or at a premium, with tons of great gadgets from tiny toasters to tiny egg cookers and more.
We checked in this year and found tons of great new items, including a portable usb blender that you can pre-load with a bunch of your favorite fruits and treats and plug in at work or on the go to blend fresh when you’re ready.
For folks who’d like a chance to make their own ice cream who don’t have room for the traditional core machines, or singles who just need to make a pint, there’s a brand new mug-shaped pint maker we couldn’t get enough of.
Finally, Dash showed off their digital hand blender – the Dash Turbo Digital Hand Blender is a full-sized hand blender that has come a long way from your mother’s blender. This beauty comes with a full range of accessories in a compact and cute stand, and has 7 speeds, attachable nylon whisks, a whisk and a frother, and has a built-in timer to track your mixing, and something called SteadyStart technology that ramps Increase the mixing speed to avoid mess.
We’ve always found that we not only enjoy the retro mini aesthetic, but really appreciate the mechanics of Dash’s kitchen units, which is why we recommend this latest batch as well.
If you don’t see these beauties on the site yet, be sure to keep an eye out for these brand new products in the coming months – we know we will!
LeCue is a name we have come to recognize as an annual innovator and creator of great storage solutions and kitchen gadgets. So we were delighted to see a new item straight out of the 2020s sourdough craze. LeKue has introduced a beautiful and easy-to-use sourdough kit, so you can make your own hybrid pet/sandwich foundation with much more precision and a little less mess. This sourdough starter kit features glass jars with special gas vents, a silicone strip that can be used as a marker to track the rise, as well as recipes, a spatula and a detailed booklet that will guide you through bread making if it’s your first time or you need a refresher now like you’re not quarantined at home with only YouTube to entertain you.
Our final finding is another pandemic byproduct. When the world was shut down, things like Twitch and Zoom allowed us to have an online presence. Webcam sales increased exponentially, and even the most tech-phobic among us learned to use ring lights and jump on Zoom to talk to family, friends and colleagues.
This also lit a fire on the already growing influencer/creators sphere. More and more people took to places like TikTok to dance, sing, cook, paint and perform whatever they were passionate about.
In today’s world, a good camera setup, microphone and recording space becomes a must, and with that comes the desire to make sure your creative space doesn’t just look good – it has to sound good too. Soundproofing is important, but let’s be honest – it’s not very aesthetically pleasing.
Or it wasn’t. Magnum opus comes to the table (or more accurately, the studio) with beautiful, “aesthetic” soundproofing, from medium-style lamps to succulent shapes in sage green that create beautiful geometric patterns on the beautiful wall while doing the job of dampening sound. .
Look good, sound good – sound good!
Well, that’s a wrap for this year’s housewares hunt. We hope you enjoy the treasures we’ve uncovered and add some of them to your own wish list for the coming year!