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Kitchen, Bath Products Of Tomorrow

When it comes to home improvements, the two rooms Americans love to make over most are the kitchen and bathroom.

So, The Early Show's resident handyman, Danny Lipford, who also hosts "Today's Homeowner," went to Chicago for a huge, annual kitchen and bath industry trade show, where he checked out some of the cool innovations coming to, or on, the market.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association's show starts Friday and runs through the weekend at the McCormick Center.

Among the products that caught Lipford's eye, as described by their manufactures:

PERLICK UNDER-COUNTER REFRIGERATION

Perlick, manufacturer of luxury under-counter refrigeration and bar equipment, says it's the first to offer under-counter refrigeration in patented, colored stainless steel in 24-, 48-, and 72-Inch configurations that can feature one, two or three distinct temperature zones, respectively.

  • The 48-Inch Under-Counter Refrigerated Copper Cabinet is featured in a copper color finish with brass accents and is configured with a glass door refrigerator and glass door wine cabinet. MSRP: $4,500-$6,800; price varies according to configuration.
  • The 48-Inch Under-Counter Refrigerated Stainless Steel Cabinet is configured with a glass door refrigerator and refrigerated drawers. The glass door refrigerator is the only under-counter refrigerator in the industry with the ability to store food, as well as beverages. The refrigerated drawers have the largest capacity in the industry: A single refrigerated drawer can hold up to nine gallons of milk, with room to spare, and is tall enough to store Corona bottles upright. MSRP: $3,500-$5,300. Available nationwide through local dealers. For dealer listings, go to bringperlickhome.com.

    SHARP MICROWAVE DRAWERS

    Sharp's Microwave Drawer appliances take the microwave off the counter and place it at the most convenient height for ideal accessibility, especially for children, the elderly, and consumers with special needs. The new 24-inch model (KB-6014L) also accommodates one of the most popular cabinet sizes found in U.S. kitchens, offering consumers more possible places for the microwave. Features front-mounted touch controls and opens with the touch of a button for extra convenience. Also available in a 30-inch model. Comes in stainless steel, white and black finishes. Available June 2006. MSRP: $849.99 (for 24-inch model); sharpusa.comKOHLER DTV CUSTOM SHOWERING SYSTEM

    Kohler's easy-to-use DTV (Digital Thermostatic Valve) enables homeowners to create personalized showering experiences utilizing multiple showerheads, hand showers and body sprays, all controlled by the touch of a button. Shower preferences include up massage, down massage, wave massage, and temperature therapy that can run hot-to-cold or vice versa. The hydrotherapy programs can be combined with temperature therapy and, for complete freedom of choice, all showering components can be operated individually. Techno Touch Pad available in three finishes. Approximately $2,000 for entire system; kohler.com.

    GROHE RAINSHOWER JUMBO SHOWERHEAD

    From its Rainshower line, Grohe introduces an extra-wide 16-inch Rainshower Jumbo, featuring 252 water nozzles arranged to provide full-body coverage. Like its contemporary 8-inch predecessor, the new Grohe Rainshower Jumbo features a minimalist design. Made in a variety of finishes to match other Grohe faucets and shower products. Available in June through designer showrooms nationwide and select online retailers. Approximately $900-$1,000; groheamerica.com.

    GRAFF STEALTH FAUCET

    Graff's new Stealth bathroom faucet features a super-sleek, contemporary design. Available in either polished chrome or brushed nickel finish. MSRP: $685; graff-faucets.com

    AQUAONE FISH-N-FLUSH TOILET

    Fish-n-Flush from AquaOne Technologies is a two-piece aquarium toilet tank. It fits most two-piece toilets and turns the bathroom into the center of attention. Watch fish appear to fly out of the water when the toilet is flushed. The aquarium piece can be easily removed for cleaning without obstructing the toilet from working. MSRP: $399; fish-n-flush.com

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