Home Improvements

Reed Gift Fairs showcased new season trends for homes, connecting thousands of buyers with more than 720 local and national wholesalers during its recent Sydney event.Reed Gift Fairs Sydney February is New South Wales’ largest gift and homewares event. The fair, held from February 19 to 23 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre in Darling Harbour, attracted close to 25,000 visitors and provided access to products across all ranges, including kitchenware, homeware and gifts.

“With the busy Christmas trading period over, this was a great chance for retailers in the hardware sector to look forward and focus on the new trends that will drive business in 2011,” said Omer Soker, Reed Gift Fair’s Exhibition Director. “Customers generally visit hardware stores specifically for home improvement and maintenance materials. By stocking stores with new and innovative merchandise, hardware store owners can fulfil customer needs while closing early sales on gift and home offerings in the lead-up to Easter and Mother’s Day.” New and innovative products on display at the fairs included:

Luke Nguyen collection, Baccarat

Celebrity chef Luke Nguyen exhibited his new range of kitchen and tableware for Asian-inspired cooking and entertaining. Nguyen worked with Baccarat for 18 months to develop his signature range, which will be available from May 1. “As a point of difference, the collection reflects my upbringing and love for outdoor cooking,” he said. “The cookware is perfect for creating authentic, yet modern, Vietnamese cuisine in any environment.” For more information, call (03) 9863 1133.

Ecolon Pan, Neoflam

Ecolon pans utilise a ceramic coating that is free of the harmful chemicals found in most other non-stickware. The cookware incorporates vibrant colours in its contemporary design and Oren Hamama, Marketing Manager of Ecolon distributor Neoflam, has noticed strong demand for products that not only look good, but are also safe and healthy to use. “Consumers are increasingly conscious about their health and the environmental implications of the products they use every day,” he says. For more information, call 1300 507 330.

Flameless Candles, Stylish Impressions

Stylish Impressions’ Flameless Candles are the only ones to offer the patented faux wick design that resembles a traditional candle. These candles run on a single pair of batteries for, on average, 400 hours longer than its competitors. “We are extremely proud of our product range and have no doubt of its benefits to consumers,” says Jessica Francis, Director of Stylish Impressions. “There is no flame, no heat and no fire risk. The candles are realistic and safe for use anywhere, anytime.” Two innovative products include Flameless Pillar Candles (8”, 10”, 12” round wax pillars with timers have a run time of 1,000 hours. They are available in white or champagne) and Rechargeable Candles that connect up to four charging trays together to reboot as many as 48 candles at once by using ‘Surecharge’ technology. For more information, call (03) 9836 7511.

LED spotlight, Mossko

This new long-life LED spotlight has been designed for toughness and reliability. It is chargeable via the car power outlet, offers three-hour burn time, is IPX7 waterproof and has a 50-metre range. Suited to a variety of outdoor activities, the spotlight is available in 12 colours and comes with accessory options such as lanyards and headbands.

Ultimate Key Finder, The Arnott Company
Never lose keys again with a convenient credit card-sized transmitter that includes an extra long range of 25 metres and extended battery life of over two years.

Urban kits, Artico

Artico distributes urban kits that contain handy items for a range of sport, festival, leisure, travel and home activities, including camping, golfing and fishing. For more information call (02) 9436 3400.

Whisky stones, The Brass Ring

Unlike ice, whisky stones chill spirits without diluting their balanced flavours. Made of soapstone, Whisky stones are effective at retaining temperature (warm or cold) for long periods of time. They are non-porous and will not scratch glass.

The Greens, Executive Concepts

The Green family of kitchen tools is made from a blend of recycled wood and plastic. For more information, call (03) 9415 9995

Brisbane (July 2-5), Melbourne (August 6-10) and Sydney (September 17-20) will host Reed Gift Fairs in the coming months.International Home + Housewares Show

Thousands of attendees from around the world were on hand to see the latest in cookware, kitchen gadgets, bathroom accessories and more at the International Home+ Housewares Show in Chicago in March. Visitors hunted for trends that could signal the next big thing for the housewares industry. These included:

  • Luxury products like high-end cookware, coffee machines, cutlery and bathroom accessories were everywhere. While consumers may not be splurging on major home renovations in the US, they seemed to be shelling out plenty of money to fill their kitchens and baths with high-end accessories.
  • Green’s still in. From non-toxic cleaning accessories to Earth-friendly pottery and cookware, manufacturers were promoting the safe or sustainable nature of their merchandise and consumers are obviously still in the market for eco-friendly alternatives.
  • Back to the future. A number of companies were introducing and promoting retro-inspired products. One great example was a new line of drink carriers and lunch supplies from Stanley that resemble the sort your grandfather used to take to work in the morning.
  • Licensing, licensing, licensing. If you want a cereal bowl with your favourite college team or a squeeze bottle with a superhero on it, just wait, they’ll be making their way to the market any day now.
  • Do it yourself. Canning products, preserving products and more are still very popular as more and more consumers are choosing to make it, bake it and store it themselves.
  • Organise, organise, organise. There’s little doubt manufacturers want to help consumers get organised. With everything from medicine cabinet organisers and under-the-bed storage units to closet hanger organisers, there’s a product available to keep your life in order in just about every room of the house.

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