Must-Have Products We Discovered at Design and Construction Week

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The Blue Man Group educates crowds at Design and Construction Week about Healthy Appliances. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Who knew? It now not only takes a village, but it also takes a Facebook group.

When I started writing this, I was planning on sharing the innovations, products, and ideas that I discovered during Design and Construction Week. While I was writing, I thought I’d reach out to a Facebook group that I’m a member of — The Kitchen and Bath Industry Group to get their thoughts. One member responded with a great idea, then another shared what they are seeing, then another … it was magic.

Thanks to them, I have some great things to share with our readers that can help keep you, your families, and your loved ones stay a little bit healthier.

KBIS Show Floor
Over 90,000 professionals explored over 1 million square feet of exhibit space during Design and Construction Week. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

A month ago, I didn’t think we were as aware of how just touching a person, handle, glass, or other things we have never given much thought to can make someone sick. With this coronavirus crisis being something that we will probably be dealing with for months and years to come, I rethought the innovative new ideas and products that I saw at The Kitchen and Bath Show and the International Builders Show. In the last few years, they have been under the same roof, but separate shows were making it easier to get a lot done at once. With over 90,000 attendees, 2,000 exhibits, and more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, it’s a daunting task. I am so grateful that this show happened early enough in the year that they didn’t have to cancel or postpone it so I can share these great ideas now.

SKS Sustainability
Learning about Sustainability from the best in the Signature Kitchen Suite booth. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Products That Improve Lives

The focus of new products and ideas has changed. Pretty is essential, but what is critical right now — and an emphasis — is ideas that can make our lives better and keep us healthy. Will I spend money on something that can improve my quality of life while I’m spending a lot more time at home? Absolutely. Part of being a Lifestylist is considering the lifestyle of my clients and knowing what can make their lives easier while creating a healthy lifestyle.

Usually, I try and wait a few months after a big show to share what’s new, because a lot of the items that they show may not be available for months, or not at all. I recently shared on the highlights of last year’s show, but with the health crisis we are having right now, a lot of these products are too good not to share.

LG Styler Steam Closet

LG Styler
The LG Styler Steam Closet System removes up to 99 percent of bacteria and allergens. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

I can’t imagine living without my LG Styler anymore. What is a Styler? Not only is it a steam clothing care system, but it also sanitizes and reduces allergens and bacteria from items by up to 99 percent.

Every morning all of my pillows go into the Styler. When I take my clothes off, they go into the Styler. It also is great for blankets, comforters, baby bedding, pet toys… you name it. I just went to find my iron, and I couldn’t find it because I’ve been using my Styler to freshen and get the wrinkles out of everything, including my Hermès scarves. The Styler is a product and idea most people haven’t heard about, but you’ll be happy that you did learn about it here.

I checked, and there is local availability at Texas ApplianceCapital Distributing, and Expressions Home Gallery. And the best part is that your builder can build it into your new home (I have mine in my closet with the mirrored door on it), or you can use it immediately – you plug it in, and it’s ready to go.

Elkay ezH2O Liv

Elkay ezH2O
The Elkay H2O is the perfect addition to any home for a hands-free way to fill your water bottles. Photo: Elkay

With this crazy bottled water shortage going on, now may be the time to rethink having filtered water readily available in your home. I love the centers they have at Love Field to refill your water bottles. These are by Elkay and are now possible to have at home as well.

The ezH2O Liv is a residential built-in water dispenser that can dispense filtered water, are sensor activated, so can be hands-free. As a special touch, they have an exclusive Green Ticker that counts the number of bottles saved from waste. There was a giant scoreboard at the show that showed that the ezH2O bottle filling stations had stopped over 20 billion bottles from ending up in landfills. They also had an adult ball pit filled with balls made out of recycled materials. It was one of my favorite things at the time; now, maybe it was a good idea not to jump in.

Hands-Free Faucets

Speaking of hands-free, I have a new respect and lust for the beautiful and thoughtful new hands-free faucets that are now available. Smart technology has made it possible for a lot of our appliances and products to be less touch, which after what we are learning now, is the way of the future for our health and well-being.

Graze by Kohler
The Graze Faucet by Kohler utilizes hands-free technology beautifully. Photo: Lisa Stewart Photography

Kohler launched its new Graze faucet that has a beautiful, almost vintage look paired with futuristic technology. The collection draws inspiration from iron railroad spikes and the steel industry that produced them. But that’s the only vintage thing about this group. You have a choice of water sprays to toggle back and forth from; Sweep, which is a strong blade of water that is ideal for cleaning dishes, Stream, and aerated flow for filling of pots and pitchers, and BerrySoft — a light spray that’s perfect for fruits and vegetables.

You can use the Kohler Konnect app with this, which can monitor your water usage and tell you if unusual water flow is detected. The Konnect voice-activated technology can turn the faucet on or off or pour a specific measurement amount. Need just a cup of water? This faucet can do that. It also has state-of-the-art motions-sensing technology offering touchless on and off activation with the wave of your hand.

Toto Washlet Toilets

Toto now offers its Washlet toilets in a wall-hung model. Photo: Toto

So let’s talk about toilets. I can’t think of a better place to use hands-free technology. Toto has always been a leader in this technology since 1917, and their Washlet technology may save the day during the toilet paper shortage. It can come with a sensor-operated auto-flush function, Dynamax Tornado Flush®, and Cleanovation. We see a lot more wall hung toilets as well to keep that area cleaner. I predict that we will see more bidets in luxury homes as well.

Products For Better Living

Jamie Gold is the “WellnessGuru” and has a new book coming out in May. Wellness by Design is a timely look at what we need to do to live a healthy lifestyle beautifully. She shared with me her thoughts on what consumers will now be looking for.

Pantries are going to be a new focal point.

After the insanity of the last few weeks, I think we’ll all be better at keeping our pantries stocked than we have in the past. Having a place to keep an additional freezer will become more critical as well — the less you have to leave the house right now, the better! It’s also a great way to buy fresh produce and meats from our local farmers and enjoy them all year long. Jamie also recommends evaluating your indoor air quality and adding houseplants and air purifiers for a healthier environment.

Plum Wine Dispenser

The Plum Wine Preservation System lets you keep wine at the perfect temperature, and serve
it one glass at a time. Photo: Plum

If I’m going to be sheltering in place, making sure that my wine cellar is stocked, and I’m storing my wine correctly is an essential subject to me. I’m in love with the new Plum Wine Dispenser. It keeps two bottles at the precise temperature to be served, and it has a motorized needle that will pierce through the cork and foil, extracting exactly how much you want to drink while injecting argon gas to keep the rest of the wine from oxidizing. This way, you can enjoy those excellent, special bottles that you have been saving and savor them for days or weeks. And it’s only 15 inches wide and can be placed on your counter to use immediately or built-in. And the design is so pretty you won’t want to hide it.

These should be a few ideas that you will want to incorporate into your own home and make the next few months a little easier and healthier. If you are a professional in the Kitchen and Bath Industry, you may be eligible to join the Kitchen and Bath Industry Group on Facebook. It is a private group filled with a lot of top professionals in the industry that are always willing to share ideas and resources. Tell them sent you!


Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber

Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber is one of those lucky people who truly loves what she does. By helping consumers discover their “inner-stylist”, Felber has helped thousands of homeowners design their own spaces to reflect their personalities and their lifestyles. Felber lives in her own Home Idea Factory - a circa 1942 factory that previously housed a printing company in Oak Cliff. She and her brood of rescue cats and dogs have been busy using the building as the perfect place to try out different ideas and products that she is excited to share here.

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