Thursday, April 28, 2011

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Euro-Ware

Euro-ware has entered into a licensing agreement with mogul baking company Entenmann’s to create a new line of bakeware products. Euro-ware, a family owned and operated company based in New York, was founded in 1989 and has since built strong relationships with leading industry manufacturers and distributors. As a result, the new line of bakeware products will bear the name of Entenmann’s, a nationwide company known for producing scrumptious baked goods. The Entenmann’s Bakeware line recently debuted at the International Housewares Show and will be showcased at the upcoming National Hardware Show next month. The line spreads across 3 categories, Classic, Ultimate and Mini. The classic line includes baking sheets, brownie pans, nonstick baking pans, loaf and cake trays, and muffin pans. The Ultimate, heavier weight products, feature silicon handles and includes a mix of specialty sized, nonstick bakeware trays and pans. The Mini line consists of kid-friendly, small-sized bakeware products, great items for editors of children’s, family-oriented and cooking magazines. The new Entenmann’s line will hit stores in June. Visit for additional information.

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Bluworld HOMelements

Bluworld HOMelements has launched a 48” tall line of the company’s Gardenfall Series. The line includes 5 variations of color and water surface. Designed to create a peaceful and soothing atmosphere in indoor living spaces, the new Gardenfall can be enjoyed year-round. The contemporary design not only adds to a home’s stylish décor but also has humidifying and air-cleansing properties to help promote a healthier living environment. The Gardenfall Series water features are ideal for creating a relaxing atmosphere in hotel lobbies, restaurants, office spaces, and homes. Bluworld HOMelements offers design consultations to assist buyers in creating the ultimate visual effect and functionality of the water feature. To learn more about the Gardenfall Series or other products, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Driven By Solar, Inc.

The new Ultralite Lithium Powered Recharge Mower manufactured by Solar, Inc. will be showcased at the 2011 National Hardware Show. What grabbed our attention is the fact the Ultralite weighs only 35lbs, making it a strong competitor in the lawn and garden industry. Powered by a lithium battery weighing only 4 lbs., the Ultralite Recharge Mower is long-lasting and energy efficient. The mower has 6 cutting-height adjustments, 15-in. wide cutting path with a dual purpose blade and a choice of either Rear Bagging or Mulching options. This environmentally friendly product is easy to use, whether you’re a landscaper or a homeowner. The Ultralite is sure to impress show-goers, including media members seeking the latest in lawn care for their readers. For more information about the lithium powered Ultralite mower, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: My Color Keeper

My Color Keeper will be exhibiting at the National Hardware Show in the New Products Expo in May. The idea behind the company’s new Home Paint Color Record is to allow for easy decision making when it comes to paint colors and textures. My Color Keeper consists of a deck of 12 blank swatch cards, allowing for an interior decorator or homeowner to collect paint swatches from various paint manufacturers. The cards can be easily fanned out for easy viewing, and each card includes space for adding the room location, paint manufacturer, paint name and formulation, sheen, and purchase date. Additionally, the booklet is designed to have space for a business card, enabling the interior designer or homeowner to easily reference the sales contact. Most notably, My Color Keeper is designed to help consumers, with the company’s emphasis on women, who play key roles in selecting paint colors to be able to control the color coordination of fabrics and home accessories and allow for client retention and referrals to benefit retailers. For more information about My Color Keeper, visit

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Best of Show: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Part III

Wrapping up the “Best of Show” series from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, the ECPR team has included several more products for our readers. We encourage you to read our initial show recap entitled “The Best of Beautiful Design from NYC,” dated March 25 on our blog as well as Part I and Part II for more insight about the “Best of Show” series. Media members, designers and retailers, we thank you for your comments and support thus far, and we hope you will continue to tap into the previous and new product / company profiles in this series.
Oasiq Outdoor Furniture presented the Kagan Capricorn Collection designed by Vladimir Kagan at the New York Architectural Design Show in March. Vladimir Kagan is known for his contemporary designs, particularly the Capricorn Collection. Originally designed in 1952, the collection has since been reinvented in a white powdercoated steel frame to appeal to today’s modern furniture connoisseurs. The timeless collection includes lounge chairs, sofas, coffee tables, dining chairs, and much more to create sleek, modern outdoor living spaces. To view more pieces from the Kagan Capricorn Collection, visit Oasiq’s website at

Eastern Marketing is a distributor of exclusive, top-of-the-line appliances. With so many great appliances from which to choose, the ECPR team decided to include three products from Eastern Marketing in the “Best of Show” series. The Six-Four oven from AGA combines the iconic design of cast-iron construction and glossy enamel finish with modern features. With six burners and four electric ovens, owners of this oven will never have to worry about preparing large family dinners or parties. This time-saving oven is stylish, practical and bold, making it a valuable inventory consideration for retailers. Available in a variety of unique colors, the Six-Four can transform a kitchen into the ultimate cooking and entertaining area.

The Bertazzoni range distributed by Eastern Marketing infuses precise engineering and Italian craftsmanship to provide the highest quality ovens and ventilation systems. For kitchen designers, whether your client is a culinary expert or just a homeowner who loves to cook, the Bertazzoni range combines a sophisticated look with exceptional mechanics. The oven range features gas burners close to the flame to reduce cooking time by 30 percent, while the ventilation system draws away steam and heat to allow for a comfortable cooking atmosphere.

XO kitchen ventilation systems owned and distributed by Eastern Marketing are designed to complement high-end ovens. Specifically, the XOB has classic lines to match modern or traditional kitchen designs. The XOB features 3-speed electronic illuminated controls and a 600 CFM high-velocity blower to remove smoke, grease and odors. Each hood also boasts two 50W halogen lights to provide brilliant light over the cooking surface. Additionally, the XOB is crafted from stainless steel with a handcrafted Italian finish. To view more products distributed by Eastern Marketing, visit

Ethan Allen has launched five new signature lifestyles, Romance, Modern, Vintage, Explorer, and Elegance. Each new signature style represents its own distinct vision to stand apart from the crowd. Designed to help consumers choose their own interior design style preference, Ethan Allen has created these new signature lifestyles to match various buyers’ personalities. The Romance lifestyle is inspired by traditional European design. Alternatively, the Modern lifestyle creates the feeling of sleek and contemporary living. Additionally, the Vintage lifestyle engages in a mixture of color and texture to produce a peaceful and harmonious feeling. The Explorer lifestyle provides a worldly adventure through intricately detailed woods and global inspired fabrics. The final signature lifestyle is the Elegance lifestyle, which has been selected for the “Best of Show” series from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. Elegance is the essence of timeless sophistication. With classic design elements, this new luxurious style is a cosmopolitan mix of ornate and clean woods paired with chic, enduring fabrics. Editors, the lifestyles would make for a well-received, five-point article regarding how to design interiors. Contact us if our article writing is of help. For more information about Ethan Allen’s new signature lifestyles, which we believe will address homeowner and designer trends in a fresh new way, visit

A maker of high-quality cabinetry, Maple Ridge Cabinetry creates designs to reflect the buyer’s lifestyle and personality while providing fully functional workspaces. Depending on design preferences, Maple Ridge Cabinetry offers over 40 door and drawer styles with a grand selection of moldings, corbels and curio cabinets. The company offers expert design advice to help create a truly unique space. Using only superior materials and construction techniques, Maple Ridge Cabinetry offers 13 wood species, soft-close drawers and doors as well as a limited lifetime product warranty. The company exhibited at the New York Architectural Design Show, showcasing a new line of multicolored finishes with techniques to convey a time-worn vintage theme. Designers, if you’re looking for kitchen ideas and resources for clients, keep Maple Ridge Cabinetry on the radar. For more information, visit

SA Baxter is one the premiere crafters of high-end, exceptional quality architectural hardware. Of the many companies in the category we have known over the years, this one offers an impressive assortment spanning several lines. The company’s architectural hardware products are handmade to order by a group of local, world-renowned artisans who use both modern and old-world manufacturing techniques. SA Baxter was an exhibitor at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, where the company showcased a vast number of products, including breath-taking Gothic Door Knobs. Inspired by Gothic designs, the door knobs can provide a majestic and enchanting feel to traditional interior designs. The Gothic Door Knobs are available in Polished Nickel, Bronze Antique (Dark), Antique Brass (Light), and Burnished Silver as well as 2.25", 2.5", and 2.75" diameters. Their styling is well-fitted for both residential and commercial settings. Media members, we know from your editorial calendars many of you are currently seeking this type of accouterment to share with your readers. Contact us with feedback and questions. For additional information on SA Baxter, visit the company’s website at

* To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. At the end of our article series, the product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status.

Note: Click on the above photos to enlarge them.


Thursday, April 21, 2011

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Real Life Products, LLC

Real Life Products, a company focused on discovery, development and commercialization of every day products for home and work use, will be exhibiting at the National Hardware Show next month. The company will showcase a brand new product called the TRiCC Utility Cover. The patent-pending product camouflages utility equipment by creatively disguising it as a well-manicured bush or shrub. Where a living shrub is not possible or practical, it acts as a substitute. The TRiCC provides sufficient ventilation and airflow while accommodating cables, wires and line connections all year long. Designed to visibly improve landscapes, the utility cover also prevents damage and protects air conditioning units, heat pumps, pool pumps, and home generators. The environmentally friendly TRiCC Utility Cover is durable and built to withstand harsh environments. The primary structure is made from recycled, high-density polyethylene plastic, while the faux foliage is constructed from UV protected vinyl. The cover is available in three sizes and is easy to install. To learn more about the TRiCC Utility Cover, visit 

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: HD Hudson Manufacturing

The 3-in-1 EZ Applicator by HD Hudson Manufacturing will debut at the National Hardware Show this year. The versatile sprayer promotes stress-free sealing for decks and fences. The product includes a cleaning brush to remove dirt and clean stains before applying sealant. Once the surface is clean, users can simply remove the cleaning brush and change the applicator head to the stain pad. The stain pad allows for even application, which saves time and money. Additionally, the 3-in-1 EZ Applicator comes with a standard deck sprayer, control valve, wand, and dual fan head nozzle. The applicator’s long handle and 15-ft clear chemical resistant hose make deck and fence sealing less exhausting and more efficient. For more information on the 3-in-1 EZ Applicator, visit HD Hudson Manufacturing’s website at

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Blackbeam, LLC

Blackbeam will be showcasing the Blackfire Camplight for the first time at the National Hardware Show May 10-12 in Las Vegas. The Blackfire Camplight most recently made some pretty exciting waves in the industry by being awarded the prestigious 2010 GOOD DESIGN Award along with an IDEA international design award. The company prides itself on creating and producing products based on consumer wants and needs. Blackfire manufactures durable and long-lasting LED flashlights designed to enable the user to work more efficiently and accurately. Uniquely, the Camplight is able to transform from a handheld flashlight to a clamp light as well as a stand light. This allows the user to work with both hands in tight areas for sink repairs, electrical repairs and more. Whether you’re a trade professional or homeowner, the Blackfire Camplight LED flashlight is versatile for all needs. To learn more about Blackfire, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Bagrite

Bagrite is debuting at the National Hardware Show with the company’s revolutionary and innovative product. The Bagrite product holds open most 33 to 60 gallon trash bags, allowing for easy and efficient clean up. The Bagrite is lightweight, ergonomic and durable, making the product a desirable asset to homeowners. The patented design of Bagrite simultaneously enables the bag holder to keep the trash bag open while filling it with debris, without the hassle of wind or other elements blowing the bag closed. The frame is designed with taper teeth to secure the trash bag as well as an elongated edge on one side, which the operator can use as a dust pan. Currently, Bagrite is being used by several City Public Works Departments and commercial landscape companies to save time and money to clean up road debris, public parks and recreation areas. For information on Bagrite, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Bond Manufacturing

Bond Manufacturing is a premier supplier of lawn, garden and outdoor living products. Unveiling the company’s ceramic tabletop fire pots at the 2011 National Hardware Show next month, Bond Manufacturing is keeping up with the latest consumer trends and tastes, as seen in this portable fire feature for the home. Made from all-natural material and hand-glazed, these ceramic firepots generate more light and heat than regular candles. Designed to reflect styles ranging from ancient civilizations all the way to today’s modern and sleek concepts, Bond Manufacturing’s ceramic tabletop firepots are ideal home accessories for outdoor landscape designs or indoor décor accents. The firepots are clean-burning and use carbon neutral fuel called Fire Gel. The Fire Gel’s glutinous material leaves no ashes, soot or smoke and releases only a small fraction of carbon-dioxide, making the product eco-friendly. While burning, the firepot remains cool to the touch. We have seen other tabletop fire feature products at shows and markets for more than a year, but this one gets our stamp of approval for its combined benefits and design. For additional information on Bond Manufacturing, visit

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: FITT

FITT®, based in Sandrigo, Italy, will be introducing a new line of garden hoses called Bios® at the National Hardware Show in May. This environmentally savvy company is one of the leading manufacturers of PVC flexible irrigation hoses, for gardening, building, nautical environments, DYI, and special applications. The company offers a wide range of products, including the Bios range of hoses. The Bios hose, made from PVC and additional natural substances, aims to reduce the use of unfriendly environmental products. To create the Bios hose, FITT uses “natural regional materials”, thus contributing to local economy and reducing transportation pollution. The NTS Bios is the premiere hose from FITT, offering the most innovative technology in terms of eco-sustainability and advanced features. Given our industry PR and writing work, we have seen our share of hoses, and this one is well worth a close look. For more information on Bios, visit FITT’s company website at

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: International Mulch Company

International Mulch Company is in the process of recycling more than 300 million pounds of tires, or approximately 19 million tires, into landscaping and playground products by the end of this year. The International Mulch Company will be exhibiting at the National Hardware Show, where the company will be showcasing a variety of new spring 2011 products such as Rubberific Edging. This product is the latest design in the company’s ever-growing line of recycled rubber products. As many well know, decorative borders can be costly and hard to maintain, so these experts in the field came up with a solution, Rubberific Edging. Available in 3’ lengths, Rubberific Edging comes in Weathered Gray and Tan to match any outdoor landscape design. The rubber design is geared to save time and money as well the benefits of easy installation. Additionally, unlike decorative river rocks, Rubberific Edging won’t chip or crack. For information on more 100% recycled rubber products from the International Mulch Company, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: iTouchless Housewares & Products

The new iTouchless Toilet Seat by iTouchless Housewares & Products is extraordinary. Designed to rise upon approach and lower after usage, the iTouchless toilet reduces the amount of bacteria and grime. Simply put, we chose this innovative product because it makes life easier and healthier. The front-mounted sensor detects an approaching occupant, while the second sensor located in the center of the seat cover keeps the lid open for as long as the occupant is present. For males, the lid can be lifted automatically by placing a hand over the top sensor. The lid is not only beneficial for health reasons, but it is also ideal for elderly persons, children and those with disabilities. The iTouchless Toilet Seat is able to fit all standard-sized toilets and is easy to install. Give it a try at the show. Well, at least take a look. For more information about the iTouchless Toilet Seat or other iTouchless products, visit the company’s website at

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Johnson Level & Tool

Johnson Level & Tool is one of the leading manufacturers and the marketer of “Job Site Tough” professional quality spirit levels, laser levels and other various construction measuring tools. Exhibiting at the National Hardware Show in May, Johnson Level & Tool will be introducing a new level called 1404 -1000 Magnetic Torpedo Level. This solid cast aluminum frame with three high powered v-groove magnets embedded in the gauging edge is top of the line. The Magnetic Torpedo Level measures 10” in length and features Johnson Level’s SurroundView vial system which reflects ambient light for easy reading in dimly lit spaces. Additionally, the durable precision block vials will not crack leak or fade over time. All Johnson Level & Tool levels come with a lifetime warranty on accuracy. For more information about the 1404 – 1000 Magnetic Torpedo Level, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Osram Sylvania

Osram Sylvania, headquartered in Danvers, MA, is one of the leaders in lighting solutions and specialty products which feature new and innovative designs as well as energy-saving technology. Known for producing high quality, high performance products, Osram Sylvania is now introducing the company’s new series of LED lamps called the Sylvania Ultra Professional Series. The series, ideal for retail, hospitality, museum, and high-end residential settings, rivals today’s halogen lamps. Currently available in four lamp types, the Sylvania Ultra Professional Series includes superior color consistency, robust dimming functionality and high-lumen output. Offering color rendition with a color rendering index of (CRI) of 95 paired with an R9 color rating, this series is truly one of the most advanced LED products on the market today. For additional information, visit

National Hardware Show “Sneak Peek”: Concept2Reality, Inc.

Retailers, mark this down on your list of must-sees for the upcoming show. The WeedBlaster Pro from Concept2Reality, Inc. is ideal for weed control in lawns, gardens and patio areas. With a total height of 46” and unique push-down spray button, the WeedBlaster Pro is comfortable and effortless, allowing the user to stand tall to minimize back pain and hand fatigue. A feature we know will make it popular among homeowners, the sturdy, lightweight design allows for easy storage. Making its debut at the National Hardware Show, the WeedBlaster Pro’s spray stays inside the cone and on the weed, avoiding overspray and wind drift that could endanger nearby flora and fauna. The product can be used with any herbicide, including homemade mixtures. For additional information, visit

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

National Hardware Show 2011 “Sneak Peek” Series: Introduction

The National Hardware Show is just around the corner. The event is the industry’s largest trade exhibition show, offering the latest inventions and products from companies in hardware & tools; homewares; lawn & garden/outdoor living; paint & accessories; plumbing & electrical; storage & organization; and tailgating, camping & picnicking. In addition, first-time categories like outdoor recreation, DIY security and energy-efficient products will be introduced to the sold-out event in Las Vegas, May 10-12.

This year’s show is shaping up to be a premiere exhibition. Attendees ranging from designers, builders, trade professionals and media members are sure to be impressed by exhibitors and the latest product innovations and technologies the market has to bear. For the second year in a row, the ECPR team has an alliance with the show, showcasing exhibitor’s products in our “Sneak Peek” article series on the ECPR blog. Our “Sneak Peek” series is a great way to preview the show and allows media members to easily learn more, whether they plan to attend or allow us to serve as their “eyes and ears.”

In the following days and weeks, we will be posting several “Sneak Peeks,” so be sure to check back regularly for the newest posts. Each will be linked to our media contacts’ applicable online outlets and channels, giving exhibitors more opportunities for being noticed by trade- and consumer-oriented media professionals. These include editors and publishers of select online or print magazines and newspapers as well as some key television and radio producers.

As you follow our posted series in late April and early May, feel free to add your comments under each narrative / photo. Products with the most comments will be considered for our post-show “Best of Show” feature series. We are looking forward to sharing valuable information and trends with our fans, followers and readers. Connect with us on our social media channels, and see you at the show!

~ The ECPR Team

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Best of Show: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Part II.

As you may be aware, the ECPR team first showcased the Architectural Digest Home Design Show “Sneak Peek” series prior to the show last month. Immediately following the show, we published a follow up about the show entitled “The Best of Beautiful Design from NYC,” dated March 25 on our blog.

Since then we have begun the “Best of Show” series, featuring the latest and greatest products and companies ranging from art, home furnishings, accessories, kitchens, appliances, and more. Be sure to read Part I for the full introduction to the “Best of Show” series.
Naula Workshop made its 4th appearance at the show this year, officially debuting The Plaza Bed. This luxurious bed designed by Angel Naula from the company’s new collection of customizable home furnishings has clean, modern lines in an effort to showcase its new minimalist designs. The Plaza Bed was featured in Esquire’s SoHo Penthouse “Bachelor Pad” last year. Since 2002, Angel Naula has brought together a group of artisans and designers to create a workshop that thrives on the idea that, at its inception, each piece is of its own unique design. All furnishings are manufactured, lacquered and upholstered in Brooklyn, NY. To view more of Naula Workshop’s new home furnishings line, visit the company’s website at
The Exclusif Sectional by Didier Gomez for Ligne Roset is as comfortable and luxurious as the picture portrays. The sectional sofa was highly popular at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show, particularly, in a stunning gray fabric sure to set new trends. (Shown here in light gray). Designed with great emphasis on extreme softness and comfort, this sectional would be a perfect addition to a family room with panache or a modern condo or apartment well-suited for entertaining. Uniquely, there are two types of armrests from which to choose: a low, wide rectangular version and a high, narrow trapezoid version. They can be combined with one another for what can be considered an asymmetrical element. Additionally, and most impressive to us, the Exclusif Sectional can be designed to the customer’s liking. When juxtaposed with the piece’s eye-catching styling, this flexibility is unlike all others we encountered in the category. Given standard and customized options, the plush Exclusif Sectional allows for a wide range of seating, from loveseats and banquettes to lounge sofas and ottomans.

Ligne Roset, an international contemporary furnishings company based in France, was founded in 1860. The company features high-end, design-forward lines of household furniture, lighting, accessories, and textiles geared toward the modern lifestyle. Ligne Roset has stores worldwide, including premiere U.S. locations in New York, Miami and Philadelphia. These stores were represented at the show in an exhibit space well-liked for its bold essence. For additional information on the Exclusif Sectional or to view more furnishings and collections from Ligne Roset, visit,, and

Derived from an original Mayan stone sculpture, TON Art’s Mayan Wheel has started a new generation of art speakers. It is one of the more creative show examples of form and function, in that, the sculpture acts as wall art as well as audio speaker. With its rough, hand-crafted, and painted surface resembling the original’s ancient stone, the speaker’s design made a positive impact at the show. The Mayan Wheel has two gold-leafed boxes illuminated by soft incandescent bulbs. Additionally, it boasts four speakers, two on each side. Each state-of-the-art speaker provides exceptional sound for large areas. Collaborating with designers, artists and craftspeople, the company’s art speakers are able to replace traditional speakers to create a serene, organic look. TON Art has a variety of speakers for indoor and outdoor use, all of which incorporate top-of-the-line technology and are able to connect easily with any sound system. For additional information, visit the company’s website at

The Grothouse Lumber Company’s Walnut Sink was brilliantly showcased at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show last month. Its wood composition made it stop show-goers in their tracks. Earning a nomination for the “Best of Show’ series, the Walnut Sink is available in over 60 species of wood with distressing and custom-stain matching. The company’s wooden sinks are a unique alternative to stainless steel, stone and ceramic sinks. Every hand-crafted solid-wood sink is coated with an exclusive Durata® permanent finish.

The company was founded in 1994 by Paul Grothouse. His extensive knowledge and background in woodworking and engineering resulted in starting his own company. With a 20,000 square foot, solar-powered facility in Pennsylvania, The Grothouse Lumber Company strives to be environmentally-friendly. While it did not surprise us in the least, the company’s award-winning designs have been featured in a number of magazines, books and on one of our staff’s favorite television shows, “This Old House”. In addition to the line of solid wood sinks, the company also crafts fine custom wood countertops, butcher blocks, table, and bar tops. The Grothouse Lumbar Company distributes worldwide and each organic surface ships in 2-3 weeks. Installation and blanket-wrap delivery are available in select markets. Last, but not least, FSC & LEED products are available, offering designers and homeowners the sustainability factor. Visit for more information.

* To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. At the end of our article series, the product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status.

Note: Click on the above photos to enlarge them.


Friday, April 8, 2011

Best of Show: Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Part I.

As readers of our blog and other channels, we hope you have been enjoying our pre- and post-show coverage of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show. Most of you already are aware our team has been working to feature select companies and products in our two article series. These include the “Sneak Peek” profiles prior to the event, which took place in New York City last month, and our new “Best of Show” series, first addressed in the article entitled, “The Best of Beautiful Design from NYC,” dated March 25.

Today we commence with a well-researched and collaborative review of some of the very best the show had to offer trade and consumer attendees. For those not having had the pleasure of seeing the show first-hand – as well as media members seeking content and articles for your own magazines and websites – follow our multi-part “Best of Show” article series now through early May.

With real estate still flat for the most part, homeowners are renovating and redesigning their current homes at increasing percentages. Product manufacturing experts and retailers of lifestyle inventories agree that consumers are spending more time, thought and budgets on the re-creation of existing living spaces. They are staying in their homes longer, yet giving them fresh new styles by adding furnishings, art, accessories, kitchens, appliances, and more. The effect is an again-growing Home and Design Industry, whereas supply and demand are showing positive signs of balance. The result involves expert companies in the trade producing and showcasing the best of the best for home design. So begins our “Best of Show” reviews…
The Tortoise Commode, designed by Christian Lyon for Matsuoka International, is a one-of-a-kind casegood. The piece was inspired by an amber and dark brown tortoise shell the artist had seen several years before constructing the commode. Christian spotted the Zebrano veneer at the Matsuoka International factory, which resembled the image of the tortoise, capturing the spirituality and beauty of the animal. The Tortoise Commode is beautifully designed with an Asian theme, ideal for traditional or modern interior design spaces. Its essence is perfect craftsmanship very much like that of superior art, yielding a piece that is both functional and conversational for those fortunate enough to own one. To view more furnishings from Matsuoka International, visit the company’s website at

Sun Valley Bronze’s Goose Neck Faucet is timeless. Precision machining and superior components ensure exceptional functionality and durability. Made from only the highest quality grade bronze, the Goose Neck Faucet is available in white or silicon bronze. Featuring world class craftsmanship, this faucet from Sun Valley Bronze is available in several choices of elegant patina finishes. Designers will find it of high interest to their clientele. The Cremone Bolts, also from Sun Valley Bronze, are a beautiful way to accessorize a door or gate. They are available in passage, dummy, patio, and entry functions. Any escutcheon design can be used on the exterior side of the door. Cremone bolts are available in any length. Like possibly no other feature we saw at the show, these bolts will provide a warm and welcoming sense of place for thresholds to beautiful rooms and spaces. For additional information on Sun Valley Bronze products and accessories, visit the company’s website at

This energy-saving, environmentally safe Grando rigid pool cover from CoverTech is a new and innovative design, one that caught our eye and those of both trade and consumer show attendees. With enhanced safety features and clean lines, Grando is the future of pool covers. A main reason for this is the fact the rigid-slatted covers float right on the water, which keeps evaporation to a minimal level. Additionally, the Grando pool covers do not slide out of place. Instead, they are designed with a locking mechanism using plastic moldings and stainless steel pins to secure them, preventing leaves and other particles to creep into the pool year round. Uniquely, this German-made pool cover can be custom designed to fit any pool shape. For additional information on these state-of-the-art pool covers, visit

Heritage Metalworks showcased a traditional hanging lantern made from a symphony of glass and paktong, an ancient non-tarnishing metal with a golden-silver hue. The company created the Meta Lantern from a design by Matali Crasset. At first look, the distinct personality the lantern portrays takes the breath away for a moment, making a design statement that is quite memorable. Designers will find this lantern of particular applicability when seeking a dramatic way to bring light to a home’s foyer or dining room. Preferred to modern float glass because of its intricate details, the Meta Lantern is made up of 102 different shapes of paktong, which meticulously hold the hand-blown glass panes. It is lit by an internal pendant made from hand-blown, milk-white glass in a style and shape purposely reminiscent of the glass encasement. The lantern is suspended by a paktong chain with a unique repeating link, designed to obscure the flex. It is a unique counterpart to other designer lanterns, sconces, chandeliers, and various lighting pieces the company creates, including the Maker’s Mark Collection, which was also displayed at the show.

Heritage Metalworks' Matt White, the company's creative leader, and his colleagues are quickly making a name for their company as one of the nation’s top metal design and fabrication specialists. Readers can learn more information about the paktong Meta Lantern and Heritage Metalworks by visiting

* To vote for your favorite "Best of Show" product, add your "Comments" below. Be sure to indicate the name of the product in your comment. At the end of our article series, the product with the most comments will be awarded the top "Best of Show" status.

Note: Click on the above photos to enlarge them.