12 Great Designs That Sparked Joy from the 2022 Inspired Home Show at McCormick Place

The Inspired Home Show, 2022 @ McCormick Place. Photo: Marielle Bokor. It was March, 2020. We’d just finished covering C2E2 and were anticipating a return to McCormick Place for the annual International Home and Housewares Show, newly redubbed the Inspired Home Show. We’ve been covering this gargantuan global look at trends and innovations in housewares since Third Coast Review’s inception and beyond. But Covid was on the loose in Chicago, and as the numbers began their precipitous rise, the decision was made to cancel the show.  The Inspired Home Show has a long history with Chicago, and has been calling McCormick Place home since 1960 when it was first built. And 2020 isn’t the first time the show’s faced adversity. Back in 1967, the night before the housewares show, in fact, an exhibitor’s booth caught fire, and the fire spread until the whole of McCormick Place had been destroyed. Today though, the housewares show is one of the biggest shows at the biggest convention center in the Northern Hemisphere, and to say it’s risen from the ashes to be something even more substantial than it was is an understatement, with today’s Inspired Home Show boasting participants from 130 countries under one roof to share the latest in items for the home ranging from cookware and cleaning to the latest in tech that’s meant to keep you wired and well.  The Inspired Home Show, 2022 @ McCormick Place. Photo: Marielle Bokor. This year’s show was a great welcome back, with an even more refined viewpoint for the show and plenty of great new things to see and discuss. Though the pandemic did mean the loss of the show for Chicago, McCormick Place and the industry in 2020, all the time we spent in lockdown certainly inspired us to become more invested in making our home feel more warm and welcoming, and build our homes around who we are and what we want. We were happy to see this perspective all across the Inspired Home Show. As we came to realize more and more these past two years, home is about the people who live there, and your home should work for you and your family above all else, and housewares designers across the board seemed to embrace this message, designing great things to add style, functionality and personality to your home, whatever it may look like.  Here are just a few of our favorite things from the show floor.    Anchor Hocking Anchor’s a name you may know for its enduring and exceedingly functional glassware. But there’s a lot more to it than that, and this year there were some truly elegant things to behold on the show floor from the company.  As charcuterie continues to have its moment in the sun, more and more people are attempting to make elegant boards. The building blocks of a great board are, well, a great board, for one, and luckily Anchor’s risen to the occasion with a beautiful and functional set of boards called Swing Boards. These acacia or cherry wood beauties are meant to be paired together or used separately and include useful accessories for setting up your charcuterie, like a mandolin slicer, collection tray and measuring cup that help you with prep and slide away under the board, which folds under itself when not in use. As kitchen organization becomes more and more in vogue, there’s also the SecureLock Gripper Jars, which offer elegant brushed stainless tops or muted gray ones and keep things like flour, sugar or anything else you can imagine, fresh and on secure display. E-Z Drinks It’s been a minute since any of us have entertained, and some of us haven’t quite become the bespoke cocktail crafters we wanted to be during ‘these trying times. But you don’t have to have a mixology certification to make great drinks, especially not with handy tools like E-Z Drinks, which puts training wheels on your cocktail crafting. All you do is slide the handy cocktail recipe into the accompanying pitcher and add the appropriate amounts in the appropriate order as directed on the recipe to their respective fill lines and you’re off to the races with great drinks you can receive compliments on in no time.  Meloria Ball Candle by Graziani. Meloria Italian Luxury Candles by Graziani If you’re like us, you noticed your home could use a little bit more TLC while you were in lockdown and working from home. Sometimes it’s about function and other times it’s about things that look great and really catch your eye. The Meloria Italian Luxury Candles are simply beautiful, and burn in such a way that they retain their glossy, spherical appearance. They come in a vast array of rich vibrant colors, too. It might be a bit of a splurge but it’s certainly something that’ll add a splash of color and shine to any room that needs something more. Lidia's Polish Pottery @ Inspired Home Show 2022. Photo: Marielle Bokor Lidia’s Polish Pottery What’s wonderful about the housewares show is the international community it brings together. When we came upon Lidia’s Polish Pottery we were at first struck by its delicate beauty. When we looked a little closer and talked to Lidia herself, we were struck by her story of support for the Ukraine, and the display she’d set up in solidarity, featuring gorgeous hand painted sunflowers on a bold blue background. We’d be proud to own pieces of this handcrafted, hand painted pottery any day, as it’s not only elegant but durable, but are even more inspired to pick up a piece from a small Polish-owned company that’s extending its hand to their Ukrainian neighbors.    The One Brush Dishes are never a super pleasant topic, and there are a LOT of options out there that try to make the whole endeavor a little less unpleasant, from silicone mitts to sponges and beyond. Rarely does a product come along that actually improves the experience, though. Enter yeseco’s One Brush. This sustainable, elegant dish brush aims to make your sink look better, reduce waste and make your dishes shine. It features a magnetic holder that attaches to your sink basin and stores the brush off the counter and inside the sink to drip dry, which keeps it more hygienic. It features an elegant handle and sustainable, long-lasting brush heads that are replaceable and compostable, and the handle is hollow to hold up to 75ml of your preferred dish detergent. In other words, it’s got a lot going for it that our current disposable sponges don’t.   Lodge Cast Iron @ Inspired Home Show @ McCormick Place. Photo: Marielle Bokor Lodge Cast Iron We’re big proponents of cast iron in the kitchen for its durability, heat retention and ability to go from oven to cooktop and table effortlessly, and we never miss a chance to poke around the Lodge Cast Iron booth at the Inspired Home Show to see what’s new in the lineup. We’re also never disappointed and this year is no different. If you’re looking to add pieces to your collection, there’s plenty to wishlist, including a few great new sets of cast iron pieces meant to jump start your cast iron collecting, some great new bakeware we’re excited to see hit shelves, and possibly our favorite Lodge reveal in years, the Sportsman’s Pro Cast Iron Grill. This hibachi-esque tabletop wonder is perfect for all sorts of event, from backyard barbecues where everyone can participate in the cooking to tailgating and camping. It’s attractive, durable and honestly, promises a lot of fun cooks around the table this year, and we couldn’t be more excited about that prospect. Dash at the Inspired Home Show @ McCormick Place. Photo: Marielle Bokor. Dash Back in 2018, we discovered Dash and its affordable range of sleek, stylish and small kitchenwares. We loved just about everything we saw that year – the return of the egg cooker to the scene, the mini ice cream makers and of course the waffle makers that have made Dash a viral sensation from waffle to chaffle. What we love is that Dash makes things that are adorable, functional and stylish so we don’t have to choose form over function and can have fun with our kitchens. The 2022 and 2023 lineup brings even more of that, with some truly enticing additions to the products we knew and loved, like a family sized air fryer, a waffle iron that makes several heart shaped waffles at a time, a Belgian flip-style waffle maker, and even dog treat makers that will get your pets in on the fun. There’s also been expansions to their line with Geoffrey Zakarian and a collaboration with Kevin Curry for The Fit Cook X Dash which features fun, colorful kitchen tools designed to entice you to eat healthier and make it a little easier to do so. As in years past, there’s not a thing in the lineup we didn’t like, and having owned our collection of mini waffle makers for years now we can honestly say these aren’t just cute/stylish appliances and accessories- they’re reliable and affordable. In fact, we might just go pick up a mini toaster oven for our office!   Zone Functional Minimalism is the name of the game for Danish made Zone products, and we’re here for it. Zone creates products for the home that are beautiful and functional without being busy or ostentatious. It’s an aesthetic that immediately brings a sense of calm (and who couldn’t use that lately?) and, especially in their RIM lineup for the bathroom, makes everything feel tasteful and luxurious, even spa-like. All the essentials are there, just refined and presented in a way that makes you want to spend time in a room we all have to spend time in at least a few times a day.  If you’re looking for that same sense of calm and elegance in other rooms though, Zone has you covered there too, with a beautiful selection of products in their Singles line that include tabletop lazy susans, elegant garlic presses, napkin holders and more, as well as a gorgeous line of barware and some geometric trivets that look as good as art on the wall as they will on the table. The Victoria Bowl by Rosti Rosti Danish design continued to impress this year with Rosti, known for their elegant work with a rather humble medium, melamine. This storied brand brought out their best for the show and we particularly liked the sturdy heft of the The Victoria Bowl, purported to be “the next generation of Mixing Bowls” enough to compete with our tried-and-true stainless set, especially given their sleek, colorful appearance that’d look great on any table or in any open shelving situation. Surreal Entertainment We’re nerds. And let’s face it, flying the nerd flag is no longer the ostracizing moment it once was. It’s more like a rallying cry to be who you are and enjoy what you enjoy, and the pandemic has only served to solidify our beliefs that you should find things that make you happy and put them in your home. Thanks to the folks at Surreal Entertainment, that can mean a beautiful tea set inspired by Uncle Iroh from Avatar the Last Airbender or some classy NCC-1701 mugs that Picard would be happy to take his Earl Grey, hot in. There’s more of course, from Coraline water bottles to squeezable Spocks and plenty of other great things that remind you to have more fun with your everyday life, which is a message we strongly stand behind. Printed Canvas by Danilo Cuevas. Printed Canvas by Danilo Cuevas You could plaster “Live, Love, Laugh” or “In this family we” signs all over your house. But let’s face it, that’s been done to death. You can get a standard greeting card and pay upwards of 5 bucks on something that generically says you care. But why, when what you can do instead is support a local artist whose designs are both adorable and whimsical and have an edge that will show off your personality and make people actually laugh. That’s what you get with Printed Canvas. Artist Danilo Cuevas, a Chicago local, creates gorgeous hand painted art that is sometimes paired with silly or demotivational thoughts, or even genuine sentiments expressed the way normal human beings would say them – not something you get every day in the greeting card/prints for the home category.  Cuevas’ work is well done and we’re looking out for it as it hits Mariano’s stores and more post-show. Lavender Teapot BELLA RONDE by Bredemeijer Bredemeijer  It’s worth saying again—your home should be your sanctuary. It was made clear during lockdown and though we’re out and about in the world again, what we’ve found is that there really is no place like home, and the cozier and more personal you make it, the more you’ll enjoy coming home. Not everything has to be magazine cover shoot ready, but if it makes you happy and happens to be gorgeous, there’s nothing wrong with that, either. So, if you’re into tea, and  you’re into gorgeous objects, while there are a lot of choices, we found that Bredemeijer’s lineup was full of gorgeous objets d’art that elevate your tea time. They’re obsessive about tea and how it tastes, so whether you’re going for cast iron, glass, double walled stainless or ceramic teapots,  you know you’ll get something that’ll help you brew a perfect cup, and with all those options, also be sure to find something that fits your decor dreams.   We hope you liked our picks from the show, and if you did, look forward to seeing them on the shelves at retailers in the very near future - or even today! We know we will. And remember, it's your home! Make it feel that way!
Picture of the author
Marielle Bokor