Best New Kitchen Products
The experts' lineup of the best kitchen product debuts from the International Builders' Show
Months before they hit the shelves and catalogs, companies' newest kitchen products debut to homebuilders and industry insiders at the International Builders' Show. This Old House was on the trade show floor spotting the latest products and trends for the kitchen—and here are a few of our finds.Delta's new Allora pull-down kitchen faucet has a magnetized connection between the movable wand and the fixed spout. Pull-downs, great for their versatile spray range and their modern, industrial edge, usually have a twist-and-lock connection. This one saves a step and the action is satisfyingly smooth. Shown with a built-in soap dispenser for approx. $343, Deltafaucet.com.
In lieu of a door, the Lift Oven's bottom drops down to the countertop, allowing access from three sides and saving you from having to hoist hot, heavy casseroles. It's a fine centerpiece to a modern kitchen or as an eye-catching under-cabinet retrofit. Leave the bottom down and it also doubles as a 24-inch-wide ceramic cook top. Approx. $3,300; Gaggenau.com.
Range hoods are always a tricky aesthetic fit, but the custom hoods in GE's Monogram collection can be camouflaged to match your kitchen's look. Tuck them behind tile or wrap them in wood the same color as the cabinetry. Position the control panel down by the stove, or you can hide it as well—the display model we saw had controls sandwiched nicely between the under-cabinet halogen lights. Approx. $950-$1,550, GE.com.
TurboChef's in-wall Speedcook oven lives up to its name, cooking a 12-pound turkey in 42 minutes, a rack of lamb in five, and a sweet potato soufflé in four. Perfect for the fast-paced foodie, the oven cooks 15 times faster than a traditional model, thanks to its 50-amp draw and a blower that recirculates heated air at 60 mph. (And yet that soufflé stays in its pan.) The bottom oven is a conventional convection cooker. Approx. $7,900 for 30-inch; TurboChef
Dense, rot-resistant, and second only to Brazilian cherry in hardness, Texas mesquite shows off its dark, rustic character in flooring, countertops, mantels, and the distinctive dining table seen here. It's that rare material that combines a distinct look with enduring functionality—why settle on a generic granite countertop when your kitchen island could be a unique, hand-hewn mesquite slab? See Livingelements.com for pricing.
Hand-crafted from recycled materials, these bronze, nickel, and copper sinks were displayed at the show as if they were branches of a metal tree. Running water gives a copper sink an aged patina over time, allowing at least one part of the kitchen to change for the better over time. The company also mills vessel sinks out of rough-cut rocks from the Hill Country of central Texas. See Livingelements.com for pricing.
These Brooklyn-based artisans carve beautiful vessel and farmhouse sinks from granite, marble, and onyx—one editor commented that they looked like they'd been chiseled from huge geodes. A smooth milled basin paired with the craggy exterior gives an earthy permanence to the kitchen counter. Starting at approx. $600, NYstoneart.com.
Ultra-efficient Axxis washers and dryers from Bosch use Logixx technology to automatically detect optimal water and detergent levels, giving you a low-waste wash. Even more efficient are their Nexxt machines, which use 72 percent less water than competitors and kill 99.9 percent of clothing bacteria during their Xxtrasanitary cycle. See Boschappliances.com for pricing.
Formica debuted some granite-inspired laminates and solid-surfacing, while traditionalists went for the boomerang patterns in the company's recently revived Classics collection. The low-VOC, low-formaldehyde countertop material has earned a GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certification for 3 years running. See Formica.com for pricing.
Diamond Cabinets' new Logix: SuperCabinets line offers all types of organization options to help clean up kitchen clutter. Here, the back of a cabinet door shows a dry-erase board that functions as a family message center. Storage solutions include innovative racks for pot lids, spices, and a swing-out "Super Susan" for easy access to base corner cabinets. See Diamondcabinets.com for prices.
Insinkerator's new Evolution garbage disposer accepts all kinds of castaway food waste into its gaping maw, yet uses noise-reducing technology to dampen sound by 60 percent. It quietly pulverizes rib bones, coffee grounds, corn cobs and the notoriously difficult celery stalk. Approx. $375, Insinkerator.com.