Luxury housewares are getting smarter. Smart home technology is automating everything we do at home, from turning on the lights and locking the doors to turning off the oven when we forget. When I visited the International Home and Housewares Show (IHHS) here in Chicago a few months back, there were so many new high-tech home gadgets the organizers had added an entire smart home pavilion to showcase them.
“We’re recognizing that this is the wave of the future for housewares,” said Lisa Casey-Weiss, a lifestyle consultant for the International Housewares Association (IHA). “It’s not technology for the sake of technology, but to make life easier and simpler for consumers.”
The IHA isn’t alone in recognizing this trend. According to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Smart Home Trends Study, 45 percent of homeowners included smart home systems in their renovation projects. Another study by Parks Associates found that voice control and other smart features are among the top 10 consumer technology trends for 2017.
Not all high-end home gadgets need to be “smart,” however. There were tons of items on the show floor that represented smart, time-saving ideas but didn’t have brains of their own.
Check out 10 of my favorite luxury housewares designed to make your life a little easier.
Memento Smart Frame | $549 to $899
For: The Photographer
The Memento Smart Frame is exactly what it sounds like: A smart picture frame for your home. It allows you to showcase up to 3,000 of your photos via a smartphone app you can use to upload the photos from anywhere. The embedded sensor adjusts display brightness to match ambient lighting and ensures your pictures always look crisp and clear.
KettlePizza Charcoal Oven Kit | $237.56
For: The Pizza Pie-maker
Though it’s not the “smartest” on the list, the KettlePizza Charcoal Oven kit will make your home the place to be on pizza night, giving you that wood-fired pizza taste without spending the time or money building your own brick oven. The kit has an expandable insert that fits on top of 18.5-inch and 22.5-inch charcoal grills. The deluxe kit also includes an aluminum cooking pan, a 15-inch pizza stone and an aluminum peel. It’s everything you need to impress at your next pizza party.
You can buy the deluxe kit on Amazon for $237.56.
Gourmia Tea-Square, Fusion Tea Loose Leaf Tea Maker | $99.99
For: The Tea Time Trendsetter
Gourmia’s Tea-Square lets you brew loose-leaf tea without the having to monitor it every step of the way. It can brew up to four cups of tea at three different settings – white, green, oolong or black.
The Tea-Square retails for $99.99 on Amazon. If your caffeine interests aren’t limited to tea, don’t worry; it does coffee too.
For: The Homesteader
The DIY trend goes a step further with home grain mills like the NutriMill Harvest. This electric mill can grind soft or hard wheat, dehulled oats, rice, buckwheat, barley, rye, millet, quinoa, field corn lentils, dry beans and more. It’s durable and built from eco-friendly bamboo.
It’s available for $299 on Amazon.
For: The Conscientious Cleaner
The Aura Clean System is a self-cleaning and drying electric toothbrush that protects against environmental pollutants and germs. After brushing, place the handle in the base station, which will automatically charge the toothbrush while cleaning and drying the bristles.
June Intelligent Oven | $1,495
For: The Detail-Oriented Chef
Love to eat home-cooked meals, but can’t stand keeping track of which cooking temperatures different foods require?
The 44-pound June Intelligent Oven bakes, roasts, broils and toasts food like many other kitchen appliances. Unlike a regular toaster, however, June’s smart technology can identity what you’re cooking via an HD camera inside the oven and help you cook it exactly how you want it. It also contains a built-in meat thermometer to prevent under- and over-cooking.
The June Intelligent Oven has a 5-inch touchscreen control panel and also pairs with a smartphone app to let you control each aspect of your meal. The June Intelligent Oven retails on Amazon for $1,495.
Wink Hub 2 | $90
For: The Smart-Tech Obsessed
If you have a lot of smart home tech – your lights, thermostat, garage door opener – chances are your phone is cluttered with apps for managing each of your many smart systems. The Wink Hub 2 makes managing them all easier by joining all of your smart home tech to one hub and one app.
The Wink Hub 2 has an easy set-up and auto-discovery process that makes connecting all your smart products easier and faster. On Amazon, the standard Hub retails for $90, but you can also buy packages that include tech like smart locks and light switches for a couple hundred dollars more.
Smeg Citrus Juicer | $159.95
For: The Fresh-Squeezed Brunch-er
This high-end citrus juicer could be an attractive addition to your kitchen countertop. It comes in relaxing pastel colors, which is one of 2017’s hottest home design trends, Casey-Weiss said.
Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra | $199.99
For: The Year-Round Gardener
If you long for straight-from-the-garden fresh veggies and herbs in the middle of winter, the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden can help sate your cravings. It’s a soil-free indoor gardening system that uses hydroponics and LED light to grow plants anywhere in your home at any time of year. The 17.25-inch-wide AeroGarden Ultra is one of the largest AeroGardens. It comes with a built in interactive LCD display to monitor the growing process and give you step-by-step guidance as your plants grow.
The device comes with a seven-pod seed kit, preparing you to start immediately with different combinations of veggies, herbs and flowers. You can also plant and grow your own seeds with a Grow Anything Seed Pod Kit.
Even if you have a traditional outdoor garden, the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra makes a great seed-starter, giving you a jump on your seasonal gardening. You can buy the Miracle-Gro AeroGarden Ultra on Amazon for $199.99.
Philips Pasta Maker | $224.99
For: The Homemade Host
The Philips Pasta Maker cuts down the often-frustrating and tedious work of making homemade pasta. Just fit a shaping disk to the machine, select a program and let the machine take care of mixing, kneading and forming the pasta.
The Philips Pasta Maker can make a pound of fresh pasta in less than 15 minutes. It comes with four shaping disks and others can be purchased separately. The Philips Pasta Maker can be purchased on Amazon for $224.99.