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New at NeoCon

6/23/2014 9:00:13 AM
Article by Mary-Carel Verden

We recently attended the 25th annual NeoCon at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. For those who don’t know, NeoCon is North America's largest design exhibition and conference for commercial interiors. More than 700 companies exhibited their latest and greatest products and materials. Some of the most innovative products on the market were on display.

The sheer scope of this show is mind boggling, but a few products stood out. Here are a few that caught our attention:


Abet Laminati showcased their Parade line of laminates. Designed by Italian Designer Giulio Iacchetti, Parade features bold digital patterns in three organic designs. Derby highlights short pencil strokes, Tar-Tan has intersecting lines of varying thickness and colors and Ya Yoi features polka dots. These unusual and compelling patterns are right at the leading edge of design and colorways and we found them inspiring design ideas and catching lots of attention at the show.

The Juice® Power System by Bretford Manufacturing provides a flexible, configurable power source for all recharging needs. Magnetic connections make connecting, disconnecting, and reconfiguring easy enough for anyone. Each unit has four outlets and units can be daisy-chained to provide as many charging stations as needed. With all the tablets and phones and computers we all carry around this versatile option is not only handy, but also much needed.

The Vi tap is a premiere piece presented by Vivreau Advanced Water Systems. While it’s primarily designed for commercial applications it could easily find a home in homes, especially for someone who wants a state–of-the-art kitchen. The Vi tap delivers chilled, still, carbonated, and boiled water from a single tap using advanced micro-filtration technology. I love the idea that it could replace so many appliances and offer such streamlined efficiency.

Techtop by LG Hausys is next on the list. We recently covered this product in an article by Pat Windmeier that ran in our June 10 issue of CountertopNews, but now that we have seen it in person we are even more impressed. Place your phone on the charging station imbedded in the Hi-Macs® countertop and charging happens with no wires, or different chargers. The system works with any make or model of phone. If your phone is not compatible with inductive charging, easy to use adaptors are available.

One of the fun products we saw at the show is Ideapaint from Ideapaint, Inc. Ideapaint turns any surface into a dry erase board. No surface is off-limits be it a wall, countertop, furniture, vertical, horizontal, straight or curved. One especially useful product is Ideapaint clear that makes dry erase conversion about as easy as it gets. Paints can be rolled or sprayed and they even offer a powder coating application. I can imagine a kitchen message center wall that the whole family can use as well as enjoy, or a kid’s room where writing on the walls is encouraged and super easy to clean up.

This list barely begins to scratch the surface. We heard about even more products that will be introduced in the near future. It’s an exciting time to be in our industry as innovation continues.

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