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Kitchen Essentials We Love

If your kitchen doesn't have products like these, it should. They'll make your life so much easier.

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    • Squeeze, Please

      Each Flex-It silicone bowl has a rim that forms a spout when squeezed, great for precise, easy pouring. The bowl's textured bottom grips the countertop. Microwavable and dishwasher-safe, red bowls ($49 for three) come in 1-, 2-, and 3-quart capacities. Williams-Sonoma; 877/812-6235; williams-sonoma.com

    • Coffee ... quick!

      This 12-cup digital programmable coffeemaker boasts a 1,300-watt heater for fast brew time. The unit's oversize, French-press-style filter holds more grounds for richer flavor. Functions include pause-and-serve. GE's model 169209 sells for $39 at Walmart stores or walmart.com.

    • Leftovers with Less Stress

      The Easy Find Lids food storage system helps you get organized. Lids snap together and to the bottom of the containers they fit. Graduated containers nest to maximize drawer or cupboard space. The 40-piece set (7K20) shown costs about $20. Rubbermaid; 866/271-9249; rubbermaid.com

    • A Cut Above

      Fun and functional, the Jasmine Block features a maple butcher-block top on a base available in 11 paint colors, such as Sporty Blue and Basil Green. A drawer and shelf adds storage. The work table comes in 24-, 36-, and 48-inch widths ($699-$1,099). John Boos & Co.; 888/431-2667; johnboos.com

    • Quench Your Thirst

      Home water coolers are now easy to use and easy on the eyes. Five bottom-loaded models mean no lifting and flipping of heavy bottles. Models range from $99-$200 for stainless-steel versions that match other appliances. Primo Water; 866/429-7566; primowater.com

    • Germs Be Gone

      Using a battery-powered sensor, this pump automatically dispenses soap or hand sanitizer, helping to prevent the spread of germs. Just place your hand underneath the spout. A volume dial controls flow. In black or white, it costs about $30. Simplehuman USA; 888/988-8880; simplehuman.com

    • A Soft Spot

      Gel-filled anti-fatigue floor mats move from the restaurant kitchen to your kitchen. Especially comfortable on hard flooring such as tile, stone, or concrete, the mats relieve back pain, leg pain, and arthritis-related pain. Choose from several colors and styles in sizes from 20x36 inches to 36x144 inches, priced from about $150. GelPro; 866/435-6287; gelpro.com

    • It's a Pasta Party!

      Cook for a crowd with these vintage-style enamel-on-steel pieces with chip-resistant stainless-steel rims. From the Paula Deen Signature line, the 12-quart stockpot costs $40 and the colander costs $25. Meyer Corp.; 800/214-8369; meyer.com

    • Touch-Control Tap

      Hands messy? With Touch2O, just tap anywhere on the spout or handle to turn water on or off. (It works manually, too.) The pull-down spray head clicks back in place automatically. The Pilar faucet costs $495-$547, depending on finish. Delta Faucet Co.; 800/345-3358; deltafaucet.com

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      Tiny Timers

      Digital timers from Taylor are compact but sport extra-large 1.6-inch LCD readouts. Each counts up and down to 99 minutes, 59 seconds. Hang it with a built-in magnet or use the display stand. Available starting November 1, item 648774 comes in six colors and costs $10 each. Sur La Table; 800/243-0852; urlatable.com

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      Put a Wall to Work

      A country kitchen (or small space) classic, this solid wood plate rack keeps dinnerware and linens accessible and on display. Sold in antique pine or antique black, item 32453 measures 29 1/2 inches wide and costs about $130. Plow & Hearth; 800/627-1712; plowandhearth.com

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      Supple Soakers

      Woven bamboo dish towels show that green design comes in many colors. The 16x24-inch towels (about $10) are bacteria-resistant and ultraabsorbent, and they soften with each wash. Mukitchen; 866/544-2224; mukitchen.com

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      A Must for Potlucks

      This 6-quart digital slow cooker operates on 200 watts, so it's 25 percent more efficient than conventional models. Set the time and temperature or use one of eight cooking programs. A locking lid tops the nonstick, dishwasher-safe insert. GE's model 169200 sells for $39.88 at Walmart stores or at walmart.com.

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      Just Hanging Around

      Using toggle bolts, Rack It Up ceiling-mount pot racks install in any spot on a drywall ceiling -- no need to find a joist or stud. One of five models ($50-$100) in steel with a silver-gray powder-coat finish, this is the Ceiling Bar. Enclume Design Products; 877/362-5863; enclume.com

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      Easy In, Easy Out

      Inspired by the shape of sake bottles, this set of Pourable Canisters (KTH-1246, about $40) includes 1.5-, 1.75-, and 2-quart sizes. The wide opening eases filling, and the snap-on cap helps you dispense with less mess. The see-through base lets you see when you're running low. Polder; 800/431-2133; polder.com

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      Small But Mighty

      The 5x8-inch Page digital scale ($40) fits in a shallow drawer or on end between your cookbooks, yet it measures up to 9 pounds, 14 ounces in 1-gram or .5-ounce increments. Orange (shown) is one of seven colors on tempered glass. Soehnle brand, through Leifheit USA; 866/695-3434; leifheitusa.com

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      Spice Central

      Now it's easy to see and reach your favorite dried herbs and spices. This epoxy-coated-steel rack (item #8020, about $13) installs on a wall cabinet shelf. Just pull it down while cooking. All mounting hardware included. Rubbermaid; 866/271-9249; rubbermaid.com

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      Sort in Style

      This recycling bin is stylish enough to leave in the center of your kitchen, where it will get the most use. The pedal-operated unit (about $180) holds two color-coded buckets and has a fingerprint-proof stainless-steel finish. Simplehuman USA; 888/988-8880; simplehuman.com

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      Get a Grip

      GripperBoards feature dozens of gripping feet on the underside to create a stable, nonslip food-prep area. The colorful polypropylene material is dishwasher-safe and won't absorb odors. The 11x14-inch boards sell for $15-$17. Architec Housewares; 800/659-9786; architecproducts.com

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      Blend and Go

      Make healthy, budget-friendly smoothies and shakes in this Single-Serve Blender with travel lid. Its 14-ounce container is made for quick and easy clean-up and fits most car cup holders. Available in January for $20, it comes in white, black, red, or stainless steel. Hamilton-Beach; 800/851-8900; hamiltonbeach.com

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      Next Slideshow Eclectic Kitchen Ideas

      Eclectic Kitchen Ideas

      Blend elements from different decorating styles to fashion eclectic kitchens that function beautifully while perfectly reflecting your tastes and personality. See how these design-savvy homeowners melded their love of diversity with practical layouts to craft inspiring eclectic kitchens.
      Begin Slideshow »

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