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10 Best Kitchen Products of 2012

By Christine Cooney, The House Designers Staff Writer

Every year we send our editors and writers to the largest home building shows like the International Builders Show (IBS), the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS), PCBC and Greenbuild to find the best home products from thousands of manufacturers exhibiting their newest, most innovative products.

We were very impressed with the intelligence of today's kitchen appliances. This new technology is so smart it makes meal planning, cooking and cleaning easier than ever before. Big names like Sub-Zero® and Whirlpool® have partnered with technology giants like Apple® and Microsoft® to create products that can be operated remotely via your smart phone or the Internet. How's that for staying conveniently connected to your home? Even KraftMaid® created its own iPad app this year.

After you've previewed our favorite home building products, we'd love for you to vote for your favorite products on our Facebook page. Everyone that votes will be entered to win a $250 gift card. From now until December 29th you can enter each week to vote for your favorite kitchen, bath, interior and exterior products.

Here's a sampling of what we feel are the best in kitchen appliances, countertops, flooring, cabinetry and more from 2012. Next week we'll showcase our favorite bathroom products.
1 - KraftMaid® Kitchen Cabinetry
1 - KraftMaid® Kitchen Cabinetry

This dream kitchen from KraftMaid® features customized panels that elegantly blend the appliances into a wall of cabinetry that's accented by a large center island workstation done in a contrasting glazed paint finish. It's part of KraftMaid's® Classically Traditional maple cabinet collection, which recently introduced two new paint colors — a muted green Sage and cream-toned neutral Mushroom. When it comes to creating a warm kitchen decor this collection is one of our favorites. Added touches include large cove moulding, prism glass doors and decorative hoods.

Never hear a slamming door again with their Whisper Touch™ soft-close feature which is now standard on all cabinets.

Check out the new KraftMyStyle free app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It allows you to capture images, create photo collages and easily share your ideas. Their motto is "If you can dream it, you can design it!"

Model: View complete product details for this kitchen design >
2 - Delta® Cassidy™ Collection

This fall Delta Faucet® introduced the Cassidy™ Kitchen Collection, a new suite of faucets and accessories featuring clean lines and elegant design details to easily turn your kitchen decor into a classic. You can continue this look and design throughout your home by using coordinating faucets and bath products from the Cassidy™ Bath Collection. One of our favorite features is the Touch2O® Technology which allows you to turn the water on and off with a simple tap anywhere on the spout or handle. We really loved the new selection of colorful finishes including Chrome, Arctic Stainless, Champagne Bronze and Venetian Bronze, which make it easy to spice up any kitchen decor.

Model: View the complete Cassidy™ Collection
2 - Delta® Cassidy™ Collection
3 - Sub-Zero® 36' French Door
3 - Sub-Zero® 36" French Door

The newly redesigned Sub-Zero® 36" Stainless Steel Built-In French Door Refrigerator is our favorite for smaller kitchens. It has two 18" doors and a pull-out freezer drawer which open together for full access to the refrigerator's interior, even in tight spaces. The 23.3 cubic-foot interior has adjustable glass shelves, door shelves and other neat compartments to keep you organized and have extra space when you need it — like during the holidays. A great feature is the new air purification system that keeps the air free from bacteria, mold and viruses.

Model: Sub-Zero® BI-36UFD French Door | MSRP: $10,060
4 - Kohler® Octave™ Sinks

At the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in April, Kohler® launched the stainless steel Octave™ Kitchen Sink. This unique basin sink is available in both top-mount and under counter installation and features a curved back that not only looks great but also creates extra space that's perfect for large pots and pans. The Octave™ also comes with a bunch of cool accessories like stainless steel bottom basin racks, a sponge caddy and bottle of Kohler® Stainless Steel Cleaner.

Model: Octave™ MSRP: Top-mount $427 | Undercounter $800
4 - Kohler® Octave™ Sinks
5 - Lumber Liquidators® Hand-scraped Flooring
5 - Lumber Liquidators® Hand-Scraped Flooring

Lumber Liquidators® top-selling hardwood floor is Bellawood® hand-scraped flooring. Its rich texture and rugged looks make it the perfect accent to any home interior design. Because it's pre-finished it's easy to install and even easier to clean. For spills and stains, Bellawood® makes a great floor care kit. And when it comes to affordability and selection, Lumber Liquidators® can't be beat.

Model: Bellawood® Brazilian Cherry | SKU: 10004530 |$5.89/sq. ft.
6 - Whirlpool® Ice Collection

Be on the lookout for the Ice Collection from Whirlpool®. This new streamlined collection of kitchen appliances includes refrigerators, wall ovens, ranges and dishwashers and is available in a White Ice (our personal favorite) and Black Ice finish.

We highly recommend purchasing the entire collection, not just because of the cool, crisp design but the innovation, particularly when it comes to cooking. We love the 17,000 BTU Flex Power™ burner and TimeSavor™ Plus True Convention, which makes it easy to create delicious dishes no matter what your cooking skill. Of course when it comes to clean up, the AquaLift™ self-clean technology is amazing. With just a little water and minimal heat your oven will stay sparkling clean. Check out all the great built-in products in this collection by clicking here.

Model: Whirlpool® Built-In Ice Collection | MSRP:$750 to $2,600
6 - Whirlpool® Ice Collection
7 - Broan® EVOLUTION™ Range Hood
7 - Broan® EVOLUTION™ Range Hood

The new BROAN® EVOLUTION™ under-cabinet range hood offers double the illumination with four halogen lights so you can easily see what you're cooking. Your culinary creation will take center stage under these bright lights. It has one of the quietest fans we've ever heard and its large filtration area is powerful enough to carry away even the toughest smells. The new QP4 joins the ever-popular ventilation series featuring the QP1, QP2 and QP3. Another great feature is the automatic light sensor, which is great for sneaking into the kitchen for a midnight snack without tripping.

Model: Broan® EVOLUTION™ QP4
8 - Integrity Windows® Glider Windows

Integrity Windows® Ultrex® Fiberglass Gliders are the perfect alternative to casement windows where you want a swinging sash but space is limited. We think they look great over a kitchen sink where space is often tight and you want to allow for natural light and fresh air. They are constructed of Ultrex® fiberglass to create highly durable, stable and virtually indestructible windows. Additional glass options include LoE2 tempered glass with extra durability, shatter resistance and a special high-efficiency glazing.

Model: Integrity Windows® Ultrex® Fiberglass Glider
8 - Integrity Windows® Glider Windows
9 - Wellborn® Active Living Collection
9 - Wellborn® Active Living Collection

Wellborn Cabinet® has updated its accessible cabinetry and created the Active Living Collection. This new catalog features 21 fresh new door styles, additional wood species and 65 new cabinets to meet the requirements of accessible living and homes designed for aging-in-place. What we really like about this collection is that there's no limit to the cabinet selections since it's available in overlay door styles from all product lines — Home Concepts, Select, Premier and Estate. View the Active Living photo gallery for some great kitchen design ideas.

Model: ® Active Living Collection
10 - Formica® 180fx® Collection

Formica's® 180fx® Collection launched five lighter and more exotic granite and bold quartz patterns this year. They are available with their trademark Etchings™ finish, a softly polished finish etched with highlights from tiny particles reminiscent of those found in real granite and stone or Radiance,® a high-gloss finish that refracts and reflects light. This is a fabulous product for homeowners on a budget looking for a luxurious countertop. Shown is our personal favorite the exotic Crema Mascarello, which draws its inspiration from Brazilian granite. You can view all 5 new patterns by clicking here.

Model: 180fx Collection | 3422 Crema Mascarello
10 - Formica® 180fx® Collection
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