Getting a Handle On the Situation

By Andrea Lillo

I've always loved products for the home, but this Housewares Show--my second one as a journalist covering the housewares industry--will mean even more to me as I am in the process of buying my first apartment, which translates, of course, to buying some new furnishings as well. And my new place has most of what I had on my wish list, except one thing: The kitchen is small. So after living with a huge kitchen in a New York brownstone for years, where I've stuffed my many cabinets with cookware, I'll have a galley type, albeit one with granite counter tops. So it's with much interest that I see more products focused on space-saving in the kitchen. Collapsible kitchenware such as colanders have been in the market for a while and is still popular, but at this show the trend has moved to include cookware. Cookware handles have been the focus of so much design recently, from added silicone for comfort or a v-design for heat dissipation or having an elegant arch, so it seems logical that they would be the target of the new space-saving movement. A number of companies will be showing their interpretations and many will have handles that are removable, making the body of the cookware easy to stack in a cabinet. In some instances, handles would be sold separately, allowing the consumer to buy a replacement one for a piece of cookware that's still in good shape. And only a few handles would even be needed, as the home cook could switch them between whatever pan she is using at that time. One company will even show handles that swing around to the side of the pan for storage (and lock in place when being used to cook) and the accompanying glass lids will stack on top of one another. One concern would be for safety, as this type of handle needs to be depended on to remain attached solidly to the pot--especially if the cook is using it to carry something heavy and hot. But overall, whether this is a concept the consumer will embrace is still to be seen. But the beginning effort is great news to me, an urban dweller wondering how I'm going to fit my multitude of cookware pieces into a smaller space. Now if only I could do something about all of my books.