Stand-out Swivel Chairs for the Home Office

So many more of us are working from home nowadays – and your posture won’t thank you if you don’t use a proper office chair for the purpose! At the same time though, compromising on style is not an option – this is going to be a fixture in your home for years to come. Luckily, you can have your cake and eat it by choosing a chair from our range of five favourite swivel chairs for the home office.

Flynn Putty Beige Leather Office Chair
Flynn Putty Beige Leather Office Chair – £169, Made.com

From a company that produces endless ranges of beautiful, hardworking and reasonably-priced furniture comes Made.com’s Flynn office chair. Designed to feel like the best seat in the house, it is made from faux leather in a beautiful beige putty colour (though a pale grey version is also available) and stands on a swivel base with castors. The height-adjustable chair means that you’re not skimping on practicality either.

Wollano Desk Chair with Chrome Legs by Metro Lane

Wollano Desk Chair with Chrome Legs – £47.99 (was £64.30), Metro Lane

Fans of rather adventurous interior colour schemes – it’s certainly one way to inject a bit of energy into your workday environment – should take a look at the Wollano office chair from Metro Lane. Made from high quality faux leather to form a contemporary geometric design with a definite retro feel, the chair has hydraulic lift and sits on a metal star-shaped base with a chrome finish.

Brooklyn Office Chair

Brooklyn Office Chair – £99, Very.co.uk

Very.co.uk’s Brooklyn office chair is a compact piece that crams lots of features into its diminutive frame. Its curved and richly-finished wooden seat frame supports two cushioned sections covered in black faux leather and rests on top of a chrome-effect metal swivel frame. A lever beneath the seat enables you to adjust the height of the chair between 69-79cm with the assistance of gas lift.

John Lewis Croft Collection Marple Office Chair, FSC-Certified (Beech)

Marple Office Chair in Beech – £149 (was £299), John Lewis Croft Collection

A truly unique piece, which oozes quality, this office chair is brought to you by John Lewis as part of its country-styled Croft Collection. Made primarily from beech finished in a neutral cream colour, it has a round slatted back but doesn’t skimp on features – the chair can be swivelled or tilted, or its height adjusted, with ease. A grey padded cushion and curved armrests ensure your comfort.

Avram Home Office Chair In Yellow With Castors

Avram Home Office Chair In Yellow With Castors – £179.95 (was £233.94), Furniture in Fashion

Bright and contemporary, the Avram office chair is now eminently affordable, with over fifty quid off its original price tag. A versatile chair that clearly means business, it has a mesh contoured backrest and a deep-seated yellow cushion (with a bespoke upholstery option should you wish).  Other features include folding arms that can be pushed back if you prefer, a revolutionary counterbalance mechanism and a gas-assisted lift.

Industrial-style Table Lamps

Industrial style has been in fashion for some time now, favoured by admirers of its raw, often unfinished materials and minimalist aesthetics. Today we’ve chosen our five favourite industrial-style table lamps, each of which will add a sense of style to your home.

Schofield 28cm Table Lamp by MiniSun

Schofield 28cm Table Lamp – £26.99 (was £35.99), MiniSun

A real talking point, this Schofield industrial-style table lamp from MiniSun features a large, vintage-style, amber-tinted globe LED lamp sitting in a 13cm-high (11cm square at the sides) cement cube. An in-line on/off switch enables you to switch on the warm white light of the bulb, which beautifully complements and softens the starkness of the design. It’s currently available with almost a tenner off, so act now if you want to add this fine piece to your home.

Industrial Bottle Table Lamp

Industrial Bottle Table Lamp – £154, Premier Housewares

A really stunning and sturdy piece that promises to add industrial edge to your home – and remind you to take the recycling out – this bottle table lamp from Premier Housewares has a downlit glass shade and is attached to a frame made from exposed metal ‘pipes’ and joints. The contemporary piece stands an impressive 60cm high (and 32cm wide) and requires one 25W halogen capsule bulb.

Elstead Feiss Old Industrial Midnight Pearl 1 Light Table Lamp

Feiss Old Industrial Lamp – £199.80, Elstead

An unusual and chunky piece with a striking silhouette, the Feiss Old Industrial table lamp features two cogs of different sizes, to represent the industrial age. The cogs stand on a wooden plaque and have been given a midnight pearl finish, whereas the angular shade has been made from hardbacked black linen. It’s produced by Elstead, a British manufacturer with over four decades of experience in quality lighting.

Cabot Red And Silver Metal Desk Lamp

Cabot Red And Silver Metal Desk Lamp – £65, Habitat

Habitat’s Cabot red and silver metal desk lamp has something of an Eighties feel about it, with its red black and silver colourway. 40cm high (and 33cm wide), the powder-coated lamp takes one eight-watt mini golf ball light bulb and Its distinctive, perforated shade, in the style of a tin can, surrounds the adjustable head of the lamp. The angled stem stands on a black cast iron-effect base.

Hudson 2-Light Table Lamp

Hudson 2-Light Table Lamp – £39.99, Very.co.uk

Add some industrial-inspired contemporary elegance to your living space with this Hudson table lamp from Very.co.uk. The nickel frame features a spiralling stem emerging from a disc-shaped base, and carries two glass shades that have been cut into decagons in order to cast light at a variety of angles. If you’re a big fan of the look, an equally stylish matching floor lamp is also available.

Five of the Best: Retro Dining Chairs

Today we’re picking out our favourite retro dining chairs, with an emphasis on furniture inspired by pieces from the 1950s and 1960s – seating that is minimal in design but big on style. Join us as we present our five favourites, each of them available from an online retailer near you!

Hester Blue Wooden Stackable Dining Chair

Hester Blue Wooden Stackable Dining Chair – £95, Habitat

Reminiscent of our old schoolchairs (or maybe we’re just very old) with its simple shape and curved wooden seat and back rest, the Hester dining chair is – like the seating of our youth – stackable. It sets oak veneer against powder-coated legs and screws in a bright blue colour, though it is also available in versions with red, white, charcoal and green legs, as well as in the blue variety pictured here.

Pair of Palma Dining Chairs in Purple

Pair of Palma Dining Chairs in Purple – £179.99 (was £199.99), Very.co.uk

A bestseller for Very.co.uk, this pair of Palma dining chairs are a real bargain with over twenty quid off their original price tag. Each chair stands on four splayed oak-coloured legs and the seats are upholstered in a brushed, super-soft purple-coloured fabric that’s studded with four fabric-covered buttons. These beautiful Scandi-style chairs are also available in dark grey, should that be a better fit for your dining room decor.

Retro Wooden Dining Chair by Home Etc

Pair of Retro Wooden Dining Chairs – £313.98, Home Etc

We love the exquisite curves of these funky retro dining chairs from Home etc, which have been manufactured from moulded plywood stained in medium oak, a rich mid-brown colour. This stylish pair combine comfort, style, design and sturdiness, with curved seats and backrests resting on elegant frames. They’re also available with light oak and dark oak finishes and one of them is bound to work in your dining area.

Industrial Faux Leather Retro Stitch Dining Armchair (Pair)

Industrial Faux Leather Retro Stitch Dining Armchair (Pair) – £340, Classic Furniture

Industrial style is as popular as ever, so the functional and sturdy metal frame of this pair of dining armchairs from Classic Furniture is sure to be a hit with admirers of quality furniture. The seat and armrests of these chairs are made from faux leather in a mid-brown colour which has been topstitched in a series of parallel lines edged with a semi-circular shape. A version without armrests is also available.

Calligaris Area 51 Dining Chair (Set of 4)

Yellow Area 51 Dining Chair (Set of 4) – £372, Calligaris

This Area 51 chair is part of a collection of luxury furniture from Calligaris. It’s made from polypropylene and this and the fact its striking design has a water drain hole built in means you can take this chair outdoors if you wish. Made with air-moulding technology, it comes in a variety of finishes – sky blue, matt optic white, red, light green, orange and taupe – as well as in this mustard yellow version, and each is supplied as a set of four.

Five of the Best: Earthenware Storage Jars

Glazed earthenware makes beautiful storage jars – the earthenware itself is relatively easy to shape, and the glaze makes it watertight. This is nothing new of course – in fact pit-fired earthenware has been produced as early as 29,000 BC. So, what we can say with confidence is: today’s choice of five earthenware storage jars isn’t going to go out of fashion in a hurry!

Habitat Tira Small Orange Storage Jar with Black and White Stripes

Tira Small Orange Storage Jar – £7.50 (was £10), Habitat

Add instant cheer to your kitchen with the addition of the Tira small orange storage jar which has a wide-mouthed bottle shape and is painted in parallel bands of black and white topped with a panel of orange. A wooden lid with a silicone seals makes it airtight. It’s part of a range of similarly-painted jars in different sizes and colours – all of which are currently on sale, so there’s never been a better time to upgrade your storage options!

Rick Stein Coves of Cornwall Earthenware Storage Jar - 1L

Coves of Cornwall Earthenware Storage Jar – £17, Rick Stein

We’re sure seafood enthusiast Rick Stein knows a thing or two about storage and this elegant earthenware jar is part of his exclusive collaboration with John Lewis. The tall, cylindrical cream-coloured pot – which has the capacity of one litre – is painted on one side with the abstract blue Coves of Cornwall logo. It’s topped with a wooden lid that fits tightly and has a rather rustic, threaded rope handle.

Brigitte earthenware floral vintage pot in blue and green
Brigitte earthenware floral vintage pot in blue and green – £5.35, Maisons du Monde

Who can resist the retro, almost Scandinavian style of this earthenware storage jar from Maisons du Monde? We know we can’t! Microwave and dishwasher-proof, the 7cm high (and 11cm in diameter) Brigitte jar features a gorgeous floral and foliage design in shades of yellow, orange and light blue and has a circular lid with a natural wooden finish which slots on tightly to provide perfect storage.

M&S Textured Storage Jar Medium

Textured Storage Jar Medium – £9.50, M&S

Stylish without being obtrusive, M&S’s storage jar has a pleasing texture thanks to recessed honeycomb shapes on its surface. This medium-sized version is part of a wider range that includes a small version (with the same proportions) and a large tub that’s somewhat shorter and fatter. The jars have wooden lids and are available in charcoal grey as well as in this cream-coloured variety.

Blue Spot Plain Store Jar Set by Fairmont and Main Ltd

Blue Spot Plain Store Jar Set – £27.57 (was £56.97), Fairmont and Main Ltd

We finish with a trio of earthenware store jars. Perfect for both town or country kitchens, they are hand-decorated with a spot design in three different shades of blue on a cream background. The handle of the matching jar lids – all of which have airtight seals to ensure contents remain fresh – are painted in dark blue. Matching textiles are available and this fine set is currently on sale – so act now if you fancy a kitchen revamp!

Five Festive Finds: Christmas Cushions

It’s a cliche to say that Christmas seems to get earlier every year but…it really does! The local pubs have been taking bookings for the day itself since the end of August, so we may even be a bit behind the curve here! Still – forewarned is forearmed, and there are also one or two bargains available in our five favourite Christmas-themed cushions.

Town Scene Light Up Cushion

Town Scene Light Up Cushion – £6.99 (was £24.99), Ace.co.uk

The advantage of buying now, as opposed to in ‘peak festive meltdown’ week, means that you can find some rather splendid pieces – such as this red town scene cushion –  for bargain prices! Made from polyester with Sherpa on the reverse, the landscape depicted on this sizeable (43cm square) cushion has a starry backdrop which actually illuminates, should you insert two AA batteries into it!

Velvet Christmas Cat Print Cushion

Velvet Christmas Cat Print Cushion – £15, M&S

Our feline friends might be as indifferent to the festive season as babies are, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be incorporated into proceedings, thanks to tasteful items such as this marvellous cat print cushion from M&S. The cuddly 45cm by 45cm cushion is actually made from a polyester velvet, printed with a charming picture of a cat resting on a red blanket in a festive environment.

Reindeer Cushion Cover by House Additions

Reindeer Cushion Cover – £4.99 (was £11.99), House Additions

Adding a lovely tan colour to the festive surroundings, this wool-mix cushion features a pattern featuring parallel rows of snowflakes (or are they poinsettias?!) and two symmetrical reindeer. It’s the perfect piece to add a festive feel to a sofa or a guest bedroom and is made from a cosy wool-rich viscose mix. Should you like this look, a smaller version and a matching draught excluder are also available.

Christmas Pudding Cushion

Christmas Pudding Cushion – £14.99, Very.co.uk

Even if you don’t like the real thing, you can’t fail to be cheered by this Christmas pudding cushion which features a design in brown, white, red and green with 3D detail. The circular cushion is 38cm in diameter and will look great on a sofa or under a tree, as well as being extremely comforting to clutch to your stomach during the Queen’s speech as you recover from that Christmas Day binge.

John Lewis Folklore Round Embroidered Cushion

Folklore Round Embroidered Cushion – £25, John Lewis

If (like us, if we’re being honest), you think it is slightly too early to go full-on festive, you can dip your toe into the water gently and introduce this embroidered round cushion to your surroundings. Festive, but not in an over-the-top way, it’s part of John Lewis’s Folklore range, which aims  to bring Scandinavian festive designs into our homes. This cushion is 40cm in diameter and embroidered with a beautiful pattern in shades of blue, red, white and orange.

Shoe Storage Racks and Cabinets

Storing shoes might not sound like the glamorous thing in the world…so it’s rather surprising that a lot of the solutions are so incredibly stylish! We’ve searched our favourite online retailers for the best shoe storage racks and cabinets and come up with the following:Alana Copper Shoe Rack by Made.com

Alana Copper Shoe Rack – £99, Made.com

Copper is the metal when it comes to interior design at the moment and pieces made from it just seem so much warmer than their chrome counterparts – so we welcome the appearance of this Alana shoe rack by Made.com. Angled legs support two platforms onto which you can position your footwear. This fine piece is part of a wider Alana range that includes beds, mirrors and lots of other bedroom essentials – each of them with the same minimalist style credentials.

John Lewis Rubberwood Shoe Rack, 3 Tier

Rubberwood Shoe Rack, 3 Tier – £50, John Lewis

If two tiers won’t provide enough storage space for your footwear, John Lewis’s three-tier shoe rack might be the answer. It’s made from sturdy recycled rubberwood with a natural finish and the three platforms are supported by legs that meet at the top, where they curve. A fine and functional piece of furniture, it measures 49.8cm high and 63cm wide (23.2cm deep); so there’s plenty of room!

Ethnicraft Horizon Teak 2 Door 1 Drawer Shoe Rack

Horizon Teak – £869, Ethnicraft

Ethnicraft’s Horizon teak shoe rack just oozes quality. The two doors of this classy bedroom fixture – which are fastened by metal hardware open to reveal a drawer and three shelves. This rack is part of an extensive range of teak bedroom furniture that includes beds, wardrobes and tables. If you really like the look you can even extend it to the kitchen, as matching teak dining tables and sideboards are also available!

Shoe Storage Cabinet by Home Loft Concept

Shoe Storage Cabinet – £509 (was £549), Home Loft Concept

Home Loft Concept’s shoe storage cabinet looks every inch a vintage heirloom! It’s been made from solid wood that’s been varnished and distressed. The front has been painted in a diamond pattern in iridescent shades that have an almost mother of pearl feel about them. Inside you’ll find four shelves and the whole unit rests on distinctive angled black legs. It’s currently on sale so now’s a great time to invest in a quality piece!

Wilko Wooden Shoe Rack 2 Tier

Wooden Shoe Rack – £16, Wilko

If you’re looking for a practical piece of furniture for a great price, Wilko will not let you down. Easy to assemble, their two-tier wooden shoe rack is smart with a natural finish that will fit in with any home’s interior and its oak slats will house up to six pairs of your shoes. At £16, you’ll find it won’t break the bank and you’ll be able to invest in several if one isn’t enough to fulfil your storage needs.

Five Beautiful Copper Touch Table Lamps

Copper has never been more popular in interior design than it is at the moment, and with good reason – it manages to look striking while somehow also evoking a warm atmosphere. The effect is enhanced when the metal is used in a light fitting – and, with this in mind, we present our favourite copper touch-sensitive table lamps.

John Lewis Destiny Touch Lamp in Copper

Destiny Touch Lamp in Copper – £60, John Lewis

The elaborately-etched copper-coloured steel cylinder that forms the exterior of this gorgeous Destiny table lamp is only part of the story. Within, you’ll find a multitude of clear, faceted glass beads that refract the light residing at the centre. It’s also a practical lamp, with a three-stage touch dimmer; a simple tap to the base enables you to select your favourite setting. This beautiful lamp is also available with a chrome finish.

Premier Cameo Touch Table Lamp in Copper with White Shade

Cameo Touch Table Lamp in Copper with White Shade – £55, Premier Housewares

Premier Housewares’ ball table lamp is a stand-out piece that’ll add luxury to any setting. Its base is formed from four connected steel balls with a copper finish, and these are finished off by a simple round white fabric shade. Touch the orb frame to activate the lamp and move it through its three brightness levels. If you like the shape but not the colour, a version is also available with a chrome-finished base.

Ukai Fisherman 38cm Touch Table Lamp by MiniSun

Ukai Fisherman 38cm Touch Table Lamp – £41.99 (was £59.99), MiniSun

We can’t resist the curvy yet chunky form of this Ukai fisherman’s touch table lamp which has a four-stage touch dimmer switch. A curved arm extends from a thick circular base and supports a large, traditionally-shaped light shade and bulb. This stylish piece currently available with £18 off its original price tag, so there’s never been a better time to get your hands on this statement table lamp!

Angelo Copper Circle Touch Table Lamp

Angelo Copper Circle Touch Table Lamp – £24.99, Very.co.uk

This lamp looks like it belongs centre-stage at the school nativity play, so we are not surprised it’s called Angelo!  Very.co.uk’s copper touch table lamp has a really unique design: a bare bulb emerges from a chunky, copper-coloured cylindrical base, from the sides of which extend two parallel metal rods that reach out to form a circle. The 35cm-high piece will make a great, atmospheric addition to your home.

Maya Pair Of Copper Touch Lamps With Cream Fabric Shades

Maya Pair Of Copper Touch Lamps With Cream Fabric Shades – £20, Habitat

What do you mean, one lamp isn’t enough? OK then: we present – for a rather astonishing twenty quid – Habitat’s Maya lamps. This cute duo pair copper-coloured, touch-operated bases with crisp white shades – though, if these don’t match your colour scheme, versions with silver-coloured bases are also available with either black, grey or cream-coloured shades. At this price, we’ll have one (or rather two) of each!

Five Fabulous Soap Dispensers

So often it’s the details that matter when it comes to creating a particular atmosphere in your home – and today, we’re focussing on one of those details. The humble soap dispenser might not occupy much space in your bathroom, but it can certainly create a feeling of style or luxury. Join us as we present our five currently-available favourites.

Morphy Richards Sensor Soap Dispenser 250ml in Red

Sensor Soap Dispenser 250ml in Red – £10.99 (was £12.99), Morphy Richards

Pushing out liquid from a bottle might not seem like the most onerous task, but that isn’t the point of this 250ml sensor soap dispenser – the fact you don’t need to touch it for it to yield its contents means it’s ultra-hygienic. Operated by three AAA batteries, it’s made from non-corrosive stainless steel and is available in black, cream and chrome as well as in this rather striking bright red version.

Slim Joseph Joseph Soap Dispenser, Blue, 350ml

Slim Soap Dispenser, Blue, 350ml – £12, Joseph Joseph

If you have a sleek aesthetic in your bathroom, this soap dispenser from Joseph Joseph could be the one for you with its clean lines and pale blue and white colour scheme. The top of the dispenser flaps open so you can insert your favourite handwash, and the nozzle has been specially designed so as to not clog up with soap. Even so, the product comes with a two-year guarantee should you encounter any problems.

Biba Black Glass Soap Dispenser

Black Glass Soap Dispenser – £20, Biba

Fans of late ’60s and early ’70s glamour (or indeed Art Deco) will appreciate this Biba soap dispenser which is made from black glass and bears Barbara Hulanicki’s famous brand logo in an eye-catching gold finish. It’s part of a range of glassware that includes a tumbler and cotton wool ball jar – all of which perfectly match the other Biba bathroom items, such as towels, mirrors and even toilet brushes!

Rainbow Soap Dispenser by Gedy

Rainbow Soap Dispenser – £28.99 (was £40), Gedy

In a bold lime green colour, this Rainbow soap dispenser from Gedy is a real attention-grabber! This sizeable piece is made from durable thermoplastic resin and is part of a range that includes a wastebin toothbrush holder and tissue box cover – all of them available in a bewildering array of equally bright colours, such as lilac, orange, pink, blue and red. With over a tenner off, this is a perfect way to start your Rainbow collection!

Wilko Soap Dispenser Gold

Soap Dispenser Gold – £5, Wilko

You can always rely on Wilko for producing quality items that look more expensive than the price tag would lead you expect and this gold soap dispenser certainly does that. It’s part of a range of matching gold bathroom accessories that includes a waste bin and a shower caddy – and were you to invest in all three you’d still have change from twenty quid! At just a fiver, this dispenser is great way to add a bit of glamour to the smallest room in the house!

Five of the Best: Window Mirrors

Mirrors, like windows, can add a real sense of space and light to any room…so why not combine the two?! We’ve searched our favourite online retailers to find the best wall mirrors on the market, so you can make your living space look as cavernous as possible! Here they are:

Window Mirror by Latitude Vive

Window Mirror – £329.99 (was £550), Latitude Vive

We’re not sure that a photograph can do it justice, but this large window mirror from Latitude Vive is rather massive and very heavy – a real statement piece. If we tell you that it’s a sizeable 150cm high and 80cm wide, with a bronze frame finish, then you should get an idea. Best of all, this quality item is currently available in the sale at over £220 off, so act now if you want to get your hands on a real statement piece at a great price.

Arch Window Mirror

Arch Window Mirror – £473, CH House

CH House have made something of a habit of producing stand-out wall mirrors, from the classic to the contemporary. We highly recommend their porthole mirrors (ideal for a nautical-themed bathroom!) but today we’re focussing on their rather grand arch window mirror which is an impressive 132cm wide by 179cm high and has segments edged in a bronze-coloured finish. It’ll add a country house feel to your home in a stroke!

La Redoute Interieurs Lenaig Window Style Mirror

Lenaig Window Style Mirror – £149, La Redoute Interieurs

A simple but no less effective design, the Lenaig window style mirror from La Redoute Interieurs will add a feeling of space to your home. On a backdrop of black MDF, it measures 98cm high by 68cm wide (with a depth of 7.5cm) and is divided into seven segments (with a circular node at each intersection) by a metal frame covered in matt black paint. It includes two hooks to enable you to attach it to your wall.

Yearn Window 112x61cm Wall Mirror in Silver

Window Wall Mirror in Silver – £199, Yearn

Another classic piece that will work just as well in a contemporary interior design scheme, Yearn’s window mirror has an arch shape and will make your room feel bigger. The frame – which is made from long-lasting and moisture-resistant engineered wood, is over 111cm high and almost 61cm wide (it’s 3cm deep) and has a silver-coloured finish, although this mirror is also available with a white frame.

Gallery Roebuck Mirror - Cream

Roebuck Mirror – Cream – £89.99 (was £99.99), Gallery

We love the medieval-style shape of this Roebuck mirror from Gallery – and luckily, your don’t have to have a Dark Ages-era house in order for it to look fabulous! The mirror’s intricate metal frame is finished in a cream colour with an aged effect, and is 94cm high by 50cm wide. It’s currently available in the sale with a tenner off, so act now if you want to add this statement piece to your living space.

Weighing it Up: Measuring Cups

In the UK we’ve tended to favour weighing scales to measuring cups…but then the internet happened, with all those American recipes that specified cup measurements. Searching for the equivalent weights was annoying enough, but issues of mass and density meant that 8oz meant a cup of one ingredient but not another… So, we’ve succumbed to the need for measuring cups–here we choose our five favourites:

Gold Steel Measuring Cups

Gold Steel Measuring Cups – £20.39, Maisons du Monde

What can we say – these warm gold-coloured steel measuring cups do exactly what you’d expect of them – enable you to figure out exactly how much of a particular ingredient you need for a particular dish! Each of the set of four has a simple curved rod handle, and they stack together nicely. They’re part of a range that includes a gold metal whisk and matching, super-cute whisk (that’ll set you back less than four quid!) so check them out too!)

M&S Vintage Measuring Cups

Vintage Measuring Cups – £15, M&S

They might be doing a sterling impression of the sort of mismatched crockery that’s become so popular at weddings nowadays, but this is a set of porcelain measuring cups from M&S. The delicate measuring cups are in pastel shades of lilac, cream, pink and cream – finished off with edge trim and lettering indicating the sizing – with real gold edging, and range in sizes from 1/4 cup to 1 cup. Perfect to complement a shabby chic kitchen.

Joseph Joseph Nest Measures, Opal

Opal Nest Measures – £10, Joseph Joseph

The brightly-coloured nested kitchen utensils of Joseph Joseph are rather familiar to us all now but they’ve lost none of their impact or utility. This compact measuring cup set has eight – yes eight! – parts, and incorporates both measuring cups and spoons, which range in size from 1/4 teaspoon to one cup. Best of all, the stack (and snap) together neatly when you’re not using them and look fabulous to boot. Mason Cash Cane Bottle Shaped Measuring Cups

Bottle-shaped Measuring Cups – £14.99 (was £17.99), Mason Cash

We know – this chunky piece of bottle-shaped stoneware doesn’t look much like a set of measuring cups but don’t be fooled! Mason Cash’s stacking milk bottle measuring set features three measuring cups in addition to a flour shaker lid, which sit on top of one another to form a traditional milk bottle shape! They’re part of an attractive range that includes a pie dish, a carafe and a utensil jar.4 Piece Measuring Cup Set

 4 Piece Measuring Cup Set – £10.99, Cake Boss

When someone called Cake Boss tells you something then you have to take them seriously! Which is why we’re paying serious attention to this four-piece measuring cup set, which ensures your measurements are precise and that you cook in comfort, your delicate hands protected by the rubberised handles. Not only are the measurements indicated in bright colours, but the handles are linked together by a chain so you don’t lose any of them.

Say Cheese: The Best Food Graters

What do you do when all the ready-grated Cheddar has sold out?! It’s an emergency, sure, but you steady your nerves – and your arms – and reach for your trusty old cheese grater. But what if your cheese grater is more rusty than trusty? In that case, it’s time to get your hands on a new one – you’ll find that the world has moved on from the simple box grater, as our five favourite cheese – no, food – graters will show:

3-in-1 Grater by Tower

3-in-1 Grater – £16.99 (was £24.99), Tower

We begin with Tower’s Health 3-in-1 grater, which promises to help you ‘grate, peel and shred your way to a healthier diet.’ The three interchangeable plates – which can be safely stored inside when you’re not using them – slide onto the unit and form a grater that performs the function of your choice, whether it’s grating cheese, peeling fruit or shredding vegetables. The separate components are easy to clean and the handle has a comfortable grip.

Microplane Cube Grater

Cube Grater – £19.95, Microplane

We love the convenience of the rather cute cube grater by Microplane, which features three blades to grate your food (everything from cheese to chocolate to carrots) into fine, ribbon or coarse textures and shapes. The grater fits over a transparent box which is marked on the side so you can measure quantities and this also doubles as a protective cover for the grater, which measures 8.3cm along each side.

OXO Good Grips Grate and Slice Set

Good Grips Grate and Slice Set – £30, OXO

The OXO Good Grips Grate and Slice Set is every bit as practical as you’d expect from a brand that has become renowned for sturdy kitchen utensils. It consists of a container, into which slide four colour-coded grating surfaces, for straight and julienne slices, as well as coarse and medium grating. These can be used either above a bowl or on the lid, which will collect the grated or sliced ingredients. It has non-slip feet and a handle, to enable a secure grip.

Kuhn Rikon Ratchet Red Cheese Grater
Red Ratchet Cheese Grater – £15, Kuhn Rikon

Tired of grinding away for the sake of a bit of cheese? Make those bleeding knuckles a thing of the past with the fabulous Kuhn Rikon red ratchet grater. All you have to do is insert cheese into the ‘door’, move the ratchet back and forth and – lo and behold – cheese will fall neatly from the grater. It has super-sharp stainless blades, is easy on the hands and can grate cheese and chocolate equally easily.

Wilko Grater with Container Taupe/Silver Effect

Grater with Container – £2, Wilko.com

We get it – all of these colour-coded plates and julienne-slicing options are all very well but…what if you just want to take some Cheddar apart? (And…what’s parmesan?!) We have the answer: Wilko’s grater with an attached container. It features an oval-shaped grater that slots on top of a tidy taupe container, which collects the cheese but also  – with the attached lid – can be stored for later use. It also happens to be incredible value at just two quid!

Five of the Best: Task Lamps

This week, we turn our focus to task lamps – lights with a purpose, whether they’re lighting up a food preparation area or illuminating your work as you sew. We’ve found five great lights that prove that lighting can be elegant as well as functional – here are our top picks:

Kartell Taj Mini LED Task Lamp, Copper

Kartell Taj Mini LED Task Lamp, Copper – £246, Kartell

We start with a real beauty: the Taj mini LED task lamp from Kartell, which will look equally impressive when switched on or off. It’s 32.5cm high by 33cm wide (9cm deep) and has a simple and rather majestic shape enhanced by a metallic copper finish. It’s powered by an incorporated LED lamp which uses an estimated 85% less energy than an incandescent bulb and will last for up to 20,000 hours.

Ottlite Slimline Task Daylight Lamp

Ottlite Slimline Task Daylight Lamp – £40, Hobbycraft

Smart and functional, Ottlite’s slimline task daylight lamp has been specifically designed to provide powerful illumination to your home office, craft table or study area. It’s powered by LEDs that mimic the quality and spectrum of natural daylight: so, in addition to reducing eyestrain (and improving colour rendering for the purposes of your art work!) they can help treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Linea Harry Task Light

Harry Task Light – £70, Linea

Sometimes you realise that designs become classic for a reason – they’re every bit as stylish as they are functional. Linea’s Harry task light proves this – it has the shape of a classic desk light with its sturdy base and generous shade. However, its metal-look finish gives it a contemporary feel, and the angular shape and positioning of the supporting arm gives this piece more than a hint of industrial style.

Teal Retro Desk Task Lamp

Teal Retro Desk Task Lamp – £19, Dunelm

We love the cheerful colour and retro stylings of this teal-coloured task lamp from Dunelm – and we love the price too! For less than twenty quid, you can own this petite piece of desktop style, which features a large and vibrant vintage-style shade and matching circular base, held together by a narrow and curved chrome-coloured arm which holds the shade with a matching wide band.

Otto Task 49cm Table Lamp by Pacific Lifestyle

Otto Task 49cm Table Lamp – £58.99 (was £79.99), Pacific Lifestyle

We finish our selection with another copper-coloured piece – it is the metal of the moment, after all! Here we have Pacific Lifestyle’s contemporary task lamp which has exquisite curved lines and a sweeping form guaranteed to elevate the look of your office area or bedside table. This 49cm-high lamp is also available in shiny chrome or black chrome (that’s a new finish to us!) so take your pick.