How To Hide TV Wires and Improve the Look of Your Living Room

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Your home entertainment area is a place for you to unwind, relax, and maybe even entertain, but it’s hard to enjoy any of those things when all you can see is a mess of cables and cords everywhere. But how do you hide TV wires?

How to hide tv wires

There is an abundance of options when it comes to cable and cord hiding solutions and, in this article, we’ll look at some of those options. We’ll determine the reasons for hiding cables and some of the best wire management solutions out there, and we’ll even look at some cool DIY solutions to this common problem. So, keep reading and let’s get those cables organized!

Why Hide Your TV Wires?

Ok, maybe you’re asking, “what’s the big deal?” or “Why even bother hiding your TV wires? It’s just extra work that you don’t need to do.” Well, strictly speaking, you’re right. There is no law saying that you have to hide your TV wires, or any other electrical wires for that matter. But there are three really compelling reasons for why you might want to.

Why Hide Your TV Wires


We live in a world of electronics and with all those devices, come all the cords that make them run. Whether those cords are for stationary equipment like TVs and game systems, or for charging portable equipment like cell phones and tablets, they all tend to get jumbled into one tangled mess. Hiding cords from home entertainment systems can actually help you to organize them too.

Many wire management systems are built to keep your cords untangled. And with different connectors to turn corners or change direction up and down, different cords can easily be run to where they are needed. Meaning the right cord will be where you need it, when you need it, every time.

wall mounted tv wire


A happy by-product of organization is aesthetics. Now I’m an organization freak and to me, when something is organized it is also tidy, but I have friends who care more about the look and don’t care if the cords are a jumbled mess as long as you can’t see them. Hence, aesthetics is the second reason why you might want to hide those cables and cords from view.


The third reason is probably the most important but doesn’t apply to everyone. Hiding your cords and cables puts them out of reach and out of sight, making the living space of your home safer for small children and pets. When cords are hidden there is no chance that children or pets can chew through them or choke themselves inadvertently.

Best Products to Help Hide Your TV Wires

Echogear in Wall Cable Management Kit

Echogear In-Wall DIY Cable Management Kit

The Echogear In-Wall DIY Cable Management Kit allows you to safely run electrical cables and wires behind the wall so they’re out of sight and pose no possible danger to children or pets. This pre-wired system is power-ready and easy to install in just thirty minutes or less. It is also ETL In-Wall Certified so you can res assured your home is safe.

The 1.75” Cable pass-through can comfortably fit multiple wires and cables at one time, boasting the ability to manage four large, braided HDMI cables plus additional thinner cables for an array of options. The top and bottom modules can be placed up to five feet apart and the bracket wings hold everything securely in place.

The kit requires three inches of space within the wall cavity and ½” to 1” drywall for proper installation. Included in the kit is power and low voltage cable management, a hole saw drill attachment for correct grommet hole size, locking bracket wings for secure installation, two pre-wired grommets, and one 6’ extension cable.


  • ETL Certified
  • Single and Dual Outlets Available
  • Easy install
  • Holds multiple wires


  • No listed warranty

Paintable Cord Cover for Wall Mounted TVs

Paintable Cord Cover for Wall Mounted TVs

The Eveo Cable Concealer Cable Management Kit keeps all your unsightly cables and cords concealed and out of the way of children, pets, and furniture. This on-wall raceway system hides up to 300 inches of cable in housing that is one-inch wide, 1/6” high and remarkably easy to install.

With the included connectors, you can have a straight run of cable and fit any corner with t-intersections, inside and outside corners, and outside elbows. The sixteen-inch-long raceways can also be cut down to suit whatever length you need. For installation you can choose between two-sided tape or drywall anchors and screws, which ever way you prefer. Once attached to the wall, the wire cap simply slides into place to conceal all the wires within.

This kit includes strong adhesive double-sided tape, eighteen – 16” long cable raceways, two – t-fittings, four – outside elbows, four – inside elbows, eight – flat elbows, sixteen – couplings, one – saw, four – cable ties, one – measuring tape, and thirty-six – dibbles and screws.


  • Installs in as little as 15 minutes
  • Holds multiple cables and wires at a time


  • No warranty listed

Delamu Cord Cover Raceway Kit

The Delamu Cord Cover Raceway Kit allows you to hide ugly cords and cables from sight and away from children and pets. With ten cuttable cable management raceways and a host of different connectors, you can run your wiring in what ever direction and what ever length you need. The paintable system is easy to install with double sided adhesive or screws and anchors and accommodates up to 157-inches of cable.

The kit includes: ten PVC channels (15.7”L x 0.95”W X 0.55”H each), nine couplings, six flat elbows, two t-connectors, one inside elbow, one outside elbow, twenty screws, twenty anchors, one roll of self-adhesive tape, and an installation guide.


  • Easy to install
  • Holds multiple cables and wires


  • Tape can’t be used on textured walls

PowerBridge ONE-CK Recessed In-Wall Cable Management System

PowerBridge ONE-CK Recessed In-Wall Cable Management System is designed to conceal low voltage cables and wires for wall mounted TVs behind the wall, providing a clean look in your entertainment area. The single-gang unit works with all TVs and wall mounts and installs easily. Simply connect the pre-wired PowerConnectors and you’ll have instant power directly behind your wall hung tv.

A deeply recessed wall mount plate lets the TV plug sit inset of the wall, allowing for low-profile mounting of your TV. Both the inlet and outlet cover come with brush style cable pass-throughs allowing you to hide your other AV and HDMI cables along with the TV power and the exclusive power indicator light lets you know power is getting to the outlet and the TV.

Included with this kit is a dual power outlet with pre-wired six-feet in-wall PowerConnector cable, a power inlet with pre-wired one-foot in-wall Power Connector cable, Six-foot power-supply cord, an installation template, and instructions.


  • Electrical Code compliant in-wall connectors
  • Able to power one outlet, but house multiple cables
  • Easy install


  • requires some light carpentry work

D-Line Cord Cover White

The D-Line Cable Raceway is a one-piece, easy to install, cable management system that allows you to keep cables and wires out of sight and out of reach of children or pets. The simple half-round design hides beautifully over baseboard or seamlessly on any wall.

Made of high-grade PVC, the D-Line Cable Raceway is 39” long x 1.18” wide x 0.59” h and fastens to the wall with a strong self-adhesive backing. Designed with an integral hinged lid, which make cable access easy, the D-Line can be cut to suit whatever size without having to double cut the body and the lid. This raceway comes in five different colors including white, black, beige, gray, and brown, and the white option can be sanded and painted to suit any décor. There are available D-Line accessories that work in conjunction with the D-Line Raceway to allow it to reach longer distances and any angles.

Included with the D-Line Cable Raceway is a 1.18” w x 0.59” h x 39” l half-round cord cover and double-sided adhesive.


  • Multi-pack also available
  • Multiple accessories available
  • Easy install


  • Can crack if walked on

Cable Concealer Cord Management Kit

The A+ Electric Cord Management Kit is designed to hide the mess and disorganization caused by wires and cables in any room in your home, creating a clean and organized environment that is also safe for children and pets.

This twenty-four-piece wire management kit an conceal up to 315 inches of wire and is easy to install with strong adhesive mounting tape that comes already fastened to the back.

The kit includes:

Twenty adhesive-backed channels, twenty drywall anchors and screws, three L-connectors, three T-connectors, three inside corners, three outside corners, twelve straight connectors, and instructions.


  • Certified internationally by RoHS, CE.
  • Paintable
  • Easy install
  • Holds multiple cables


  • Not ideal for large amount of wires

Flat Panel Tv Cable Organizer Kit with Power Solution

The Datacomm 50-3323-Wh-Cable Organizer Kit is an in-wall cable hiding system that allows you to hide your AV equipment cables in the wall, where they’re out of sight and safely out of reach of children and pets. It is code compliant and does not connect to existing electrical wiring, meaning there is never contact with live electrical circuits.

This low-profile kit is easy to install and fits multiple cables, so all your AV wires stay organized and hidden.

The kit includes two metal electrical outlet boxes, one recessed cable plate with straight blade inlet, one recessed cable plate with power source connection, one 6” grounded extension cord, one roll of electrical building wire, and three wire nuts.


  • Code compliant
  • Fits multiple cords
  • Easy to install


  • Requires light carpentry work

How to Install a TV Cord Hiding Kit

I was curious to know exactly how easy it is to install an in-wall cord hiding kit, so I sought out the answer. Turns out, it’s really easy. And I mean REALLY easy! With just a couple of simple tools and a little bit of time, these kits can be installed by just about anyone. So, let me share with you what I’ve learned about the process and what steps to take.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty, there’s a couple of things to let you know. First, the in-wall cord hiding kit I researched was the Datacomm 50-3323-Wh Cable Organizer Kit.

I think most in-wall kits would install in the same way, but always be sure to reference the manufacturer’s instructions before installing any kit.

This particular kit comes with two metal electrical outlet boxes, one recessed cable plate with straight blade inlet, one recessed cable plate with power source connection, one 6” grounded extension cord, one roll of electrical building wire, and three-wire nuts.

The second thing I want to mention is to make sure you choose a kit that is safety-certified and code-approved. Most kits, including this one, do meet code standards, but always be sure. In addition, in-wall cable hiding kits typically do not connect directly to the existing electrical so there is no fear of ever coming into contact with live circuits.

It’s also important to note that if you have a lot of cables for your AV system, make sure to choose a kit that will accommodate them. Some kits will only accommodate one additional wire while other kits accommodate multiple. Choose according to your need

How to Install a TV Cord Hiding Kit into a Wall

living room with wall mounted tv and hide wire

Step One

If your wall-mounted TV is already in place, you will have to take it down to install the kit but leave the bracket up. Once the TV is out of the way, figure out where the best place would be for the top fixture of the kit to go. This can go above, below, or on either side of the TV mounting bracket.

If you haven’t yet installed your TV and bracket, you will need to determine where the bracket will sit on the wall first. Use the template supplied with the wall mounting bracket or the bracket itself as a guide to mark where the bracket will sit. Once you have determined that, you can decide where to place the top fixture of the cable hiding kit. Again, the fixture can go above, below or on either side of the bracket.

Make sure to place the fixture in a location that will be hidden by the TV. Once you’ve determined where that will be, take the template from the kit and draw a line around it on the wall.

Step Two

Next, you’ll want to mark the placement of the bottom fixture. This fixture should be placed directly below the top fixture and in line with the existing outlets in the room. Ideally, it will also be beside or near and existing electrical outlet. Mark the placement on the wall using the provided template.

Step Three

Using a sheet rock (drywall) saw, cut the top and bottom holes and remove the drywall pieces.

Step Four

Feed the electrical building wire through the wall from the top hole, down to the bottom. Make sure that there are a few inches of cable sticking out of both holes. Create a “hook” at the top end of the wire that will catch on the wall and prevent the cable from falling into the wall.

Step Five

Feed the top end of the electrical cable through one of the included metal electrical boxes, leaving about six inches of cord exposed in the box. Insert the electrical box on one side of the top hole and fasten with the provided screws. Repeat this for the bottom hole.

Step Six

Next, you’ll install the top fixture – the recessed cable plate with power receptacle. Following the manufacturer’s instructions connect the appropriate conductor to its corresponding grounding screw on the back of the receptacle. Screw each in place.

Once the cable conductors are fastened securely to the receptacle, place the receptacle face plate into the wall and secure it with the provided screws.

Step Seven

Now is the ideal time to install additional AV wires and cables. Starting at the top, feed your additional cables through the cable access hole and down the wall the same way you did with the electrical cable. Pull the end of the AV cables out of the bottom hole being careful not to pull them all the way through the top access hole.

Step Eight

Install the bottom fixture – the recessed cable plate with straight blade inlet. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to connect the cable wires to the receptacle screwing them together with the included wire nuts.

Feed the additional AV cables through the access portion of the plate. Once the electrical cable is fastened and the AV cables are though, place the receptacle face plate into the wall and secure with the provided screws.

Step Nine

Plug the female end of the included extension cord into the strike plate inlet and the male end into an existing electrical outlet or power bar.

Step Ten

You are now ready to install or re-install your wall-mounted TV.

One side note; when placing the top and bottom receptacles consider what other AV cords you will be using and how long they are. Ideally, you’ll want to place the receptacles close enough together that your AV cords will all reach from the plug to the TV. If this is not possible, you may need to purchase longer cords.

Clever Tips to Hide Your Electrical Wires at Home

Clever Tips to Hide Your Electrical Wires at Home

Binding Them with A Casing or Plastic Ribbon

There are a number of options when it comes to wire binding, casings, and raceways to conceal your electrical cables and wires and all of them are pretty simple to use. Essentially, the cables and wires are “bundled” together and wrapped in the binding material or placed in a casing or raceway.

With the help of periodically placed openings or connectors that allow the wires to turn corners or change direction, the cables and cords can be run to the exact place they’re needed while being kept tidy and concealed.

Examples of these types of wire management are baseboard channels, cord covers, cable raceways, wrap around braided sleeves, flexible wire conduit, and fabric cord concealers.

Hooking Them Along the Back of Furniture

This is an inexpensive and easy solution for wire management anywhere in your home or office. Simply adhere clear cord clips, by 3M or any other brand, along the back edge of furniture as well as up and down table and desk legs where needed. Once the clips properly adhere, simple hang your cables and wires on them and run them neatly down to the power outlet.

Hiding In Drawers

This wire management hiding spot takes a little more time to set up than our previous solution and the use of a few tools, but the end results will leave you in organized bliss. Choose a drawer located close to a wall outlet to turn into your charging station. Drill a hole approximately 1-¼” in diameter in the back panel of the drawer on the side nearest the wall outlet. Place a power bar inside the drawer and run the cord through the hole you just drilled. Mount the power bar to the back panel of the drawer with strong double-sided tape and plug the power bar in. You now have a designated spot to charge all your devices where they are kept safe, and the tangle of cords is kept out of sight.

Stashing Behind Books

There are really two ways you can utilize “books” to hide your cables and wires from view. The first is simple. If you have a wall mounted TV with an entertainment table or credenza below, simply stack a pile of books in a pleasing arrangement and place them in front of the cords that come down from the TV. This hides the cords from view and allows you to display your favorite books or décor at the same time.

The second option you could consider is either purchasing a stack of fake books, in which you can hide your router or wires in or making your own DIY router cover. To make your own router cover, simply take a binder that is large enough to conceal your router and with some glue or other adhesive, cover the outside of the binder with fabric, decorative paper, or the actual jacket from a real book. Once complete, place the router inside its new home and run the cables down the behind the furniture and out of site.

Building a Wooden Box Painted the Same Color as Your Walls

If you’re an avid DIYer, you may want to consider building a cable management box to hide your TV and other cables wires in. The box really can be any shape you want, but if you’re looking for discreet, it’s probably best to opt for a simple rectangular or cube shape. Be sure to leave enough room inside to hide your wires and possibly a surge protector power bar, and to leave slats on one side so that you can run cables in various directions. You’ll also want a lid so that everything stays hidden and away from children and pets.

If you paint the box the same color as the wall it will be placed against, it will all but disappear into the décor.

Panel board

Another relatively inexpensive option is to hide your cables and wires with a panel board. Panel boards come in various sizes, colors, and designs, and are easy to make if you want one completely customized to your décor. The cables and wires for the TV and other devices run up the back of the panel board between the board and the wall. Usually there is a groove cut into the back of the board so that the cables can recess, and the board can fit flush on the wall. The TV is them mounted to the wall through the panel and all the wires are concealed.

Hide Them in Plain Sight

Get creative and turn those cables and wires into works of art. This idea follows the premise that if you can’t hide it, flaunt it. Using clear cable clips, double-sided tape, or some other type of adhesive, arrange the cables and wires in decorative patterns and designs fastened discreetly to the wall. Sure, you’ll be able to see all the wires, but they’ll be a focal point instead of an eye sore.

Running Them All Behind Your Walls

The most ideal solution is to run all your TV cables and wires behind your walls using recessed cable plates and power connection cords. If cutting a couple of holes in you wall is an option, this is a safe way to keep cords 100% concealed and organized.

The Final Verdict on Hiding Your TV Wires

Who knew that wire management could be so easy and that our entertainment centers don’t have to look like a tangled maze of cyber wires and clutter? It’s exciting to discover so many options that will keep our cables organized and our children and pets safe. My favorite option is the in-wall wire management system. What’s yours? Drop us a comment and let us know if you enjoyed this article! We love hearing from you!

The post How To Hide TV Wires and Improve the Look of Your Living Room appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

Palm Print Shadow Box Art

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In the past I’ve had mixed feelings about shadow boxes, they’re used to display memorabilia, sports jerseys or shell collections, that sort of thing. I’ve come around on this style of frame for wall displays now that I see them in a new light. If the subject matter of the shadow box is simple, I’m in.

I wanted to change up the mantel scene with a creative new art project. I decided on palm leaf shadow box art after spying this black and linen version at Pottery Barn. I gathered some faux palm leaves and an artificial monstera leaf, painted them shiny black, mounted them on linen and displayed them in shadow box format to create high contrast dimensional art.


I found a smaller shadow box at Michaels (art on the right) but couldn’t find an affordable large size shadow box for the palm leaf trio, so I made a shadow box using an IKEA RIBBA frame and trim from Lowe’s. Details on how below.

There are several shadow box art displays you can buy, many of them at a high price. My inspiration was the black palm leaf from Pottery Barn, but it costs $399.


gold palm / white palm

golden palm trio

Those other versions are expensive too, so I decided to recreate the look (and add my own spin) for a lot less. My cost was $50 for each piece.


Supplies to recreate: faux palm stems; spray paint; shadow box or IKEA RIBBA frame + ¾” trim from home improvement store; linen fabric; spray adhesive; masking tape; hot glue + hot glue gun; garden shears to trim faux stems.

I found some larger scale artificial palm stems. I had the palm leaf trio already, I estimate the same size similar to these costs between $5-8. The monstera leaf was $13 with a coupon from Michaels. I spray painted all of them gloss black and let them dry overnight.

The shadow boxes are backed in linen fabric (find it at any fabric store) and secured with spray adhesive. Spray the adhesive to the thick board backing that comes with the shadow box or frame and smooth the fabric so it’s flat. Secure the edges of the linen to the back of the board with masking tape.

Arrange the painted stems on the linen board at the angle you prefer then glue the painted stems to the board.

I bought at 16×20 shadow box at Michaels for the monstera leaf so I just reassembled it. For the larger piece, I made the frame with an IKEA picture frame.


The RIBBA frame has a wide edge so if you add lattice trim to the interior you can create a shadow box with either ¾” or 1” with wood strips from a home improvement store. I bought 8 ft. of both the 1” lattice and the ¾” pine bead because I wasn’t sure which would work better. Turns out, both work.


Using the 1” lattice will give you more space for your dimensional artwork inside the frame but you’ll need more masking tape on the back to secure the linen covered back to the frame.


I chose the ¾” pine bead so I could set the linen covered back inside the frame. I painted it black to match the interior of the frame and glued it to the inside of the RIBBA frame.

The trim allows you to set the linen backed board on top of it to create a shadow box for dimensional art. The RIBBA frame size I used was 19×27”, but you could make a shadow box with any size RIBBA frame.

Once I set the linen backed board inside, I secured the back with masking tape.


That’s the process to create a shadow box with an IKEA frame. Paired with the shadow box I bought at Michaels, the two make an interesting dimensional art display!

This project would look equally as beautiful in white too!

Teen Self-Care Starts With One of These Beachy-Cool Bathrooms, Preferably Clad in Tile

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fishscale tile Pin It
Photography by Chad Mellon

Bathrooms that belong to teens are one of Raili Clasen’s favorite things to design, which is why she’s done so many of them. “It’s the one space in the house where you can stretch the personality,” she says. “And teenagers are full of that.” For a lot of her SoCal-based clients, the beach is basically a bonus backyard, so Clasen has learned to bring in nods to the surf and sun without skewing too nautical. “The key is putting the brakes on before it gets theme-y,” she says. 

Powder-coated pendant lights, cast-iron sinks, and peacock blue tiles are some of her go-to moves. These features can easily transition into guest bathroom mode, but more important, they encourage a sense of levity and the ever-important pursuit of self-care. Plus the rooms look good amid the getting-ready-for-school chaos. Ahead, the designer shares her tips for creating a far-out space that brings the coastal vibes year-round. 

Say Skater, Subtly

When it came to designing her son’s shower at their Costa Mesa home, Clasen took cues from his shoe closet, which almost exclusively consists of checkered Vans. “It’s a little ode to the slip-ons,” she says of the floor tiles. (Her husband also happens to work for the company.) As a rule of thumb, the designer lets teens’ personal style and interests lead the way. “I also take a hint from the bedroom we’ve designed for them,” she says. Her son’s striped Pendleton bedding brings the graphic touch full circle. 

Durable Surfaces Are Their BFF

blue baththroom tilePin It
Photography by David Tsay

Wood flooring is (almost) always off-limits. “I try to make these spaces pretty indestructible,” says Clasen. Tile and stone surfaces are much more equipped to handle that damp pile of towels sitting in the corner or that half-opened toothpaste tube stuck to the vanity counter. The designer makes the most of the materials she works with by going beyond a simple pop of color. In one space, she took the wavy navy floor tiles a step further by bringing them into the shower—a playful effect that is “less adultlike but still keeps it cool,” she notes.

Bring the Beach Inside

Even in the depths of winter, an Endless Summer print or graffitied surfboard will transport your teenagers somewhere warm and sandy. The best part is these additions require little commitment on your part—just swap them out with something new when their tastes evolve. “Start off with a white cabinet and counter and just bring in a fun cluster of lights, a two-tone canvas shower curtain, and even some wallpaper,” says Clasen of making the space teen-appropriate.  

Build Organization Into Their Morning Routine

pegbaord wallPin It
Photography by Karyn Millet

A pegboard wall is a surprisingly futureproof storage option. When her son heads off to college, Clasen plans on adding a cabinet to his peg system so it’s a touch friendlier for guests. Because while most boys can get away with a few open shelves, she likes to offer drawer-filled vanities and lockers for everyone else. “Especially for girls,” she says. “At that age, they’re slapping on every kind of makeup sample.”

The Shopping List

farmhouse bathroom sinkPin It
Photography by Karyn Millet

Fun Lighting

Clasen swears by Schoolhouse, Industrial Light Electric, and Dutton Brown for sourcing playful, powder-coated light fixtures that range from tangerine orange to fire-engine red. 

Ship-Worthy Fixtures

For vintage-looking sink levers that look like they belong on a boat, Watermark is her go-to. 

Punchy Tile

Clé and Popham Design put a modern twist on Moroccan tiles that will make you feel forever young. 

Shareable Sinks

Clasen draws on her favorite New York restaurant bathrooms by bringing in trough-style sinks when siblings are involved.

Want to read about more kid-approved design tricks, creative organization ideas, and family-friendly living solutions? Sign up for our weekly newsletter! 

Best food processors 2021 – reviews of our top 10 for chopping and slicing

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Buying the best food processor will speed up your meal times and reduce food prep. With inserts for grating, shredding, slicing, chopping and pureeing, these machines allow you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time doing what you love. Not only that, but they often also pair with the best blenders in the form of blender food processor combo machines that can do just about everything, from your morning smoothie to your bolognese dinner.

We’ve been busy testing the best food processors from KitchenAid, Ninja, Kenwood, Bosch, Magimix and Magic Bullet to bring you our complete thoughts, including the pros and cons of each model, and important information such as the size and attachments. While some food processors cost well under £100, it is also possible to spend a lot more on a high-end model. These can come with attachments to knead, whisk, beat, and even act as the best juicer for citrus fruits with a motorised reamer.

Why do I need a food processor?

Image credit: Simon Whitmore

It seems like food processors just keep on coming out with more attachments and smart options – some can even be used as a blender, and you can even give your stand mixer a break with a food processor to make dough or whip up cream or mayonnaise.

Mixing, whisking, whipping, emulsifying, kneading, mincing and even heating are possible with a good food processor. You’ll be able to broaden your cooking repertoire and create more exciting, fresh meals from scratch that the whole family will love. Be warned, once you’ve tried homemade pesto, you may never go back to shop-bought again…

Best food processors 2021

1. Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor

Best food processor overall

Bosch MultiTalent 8 review

Capacity: 3.9 litres
1.5 litre blender jug, shredding disk, slicing disk, citrus press, dough tool, whisk tool, carry case
Reasons to buy:
It’s so multi-functional, and great value for money
Reasons to avoid: 
The attachments take up a lot of space, so prepare to make room for storage

The Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor is a capable food processor that packs in plenty of value for money. When we put it to the test we were impressed by how smooth it is to operate, and the huge range of attachments speak for themselves.

This food processor comes with a decent blender attachment that held up well when making soups and smoothies. It also has a mini chopper attachment that’s perfect for making dressings, chopping garlic and herbs or tackling smaller quantities of ingredients. The whisk is a stand in for low-in stand mixers and held up well when making cake and brownies. There’s even a citrus juicer attachment.

Other perks included the large bowl that could handle multiple punnets of mushrooms and more than enough onion for any meal. It’s got sturdy shredding, slicing and chopping disks that are held in place by a frame for no wobbling as you slice, and the insert into the feeding chute can also be used to measure liquids.

Cleaning is easy as everything can go in the dishwasher, and we were impressed by the carry case that neatly tucked away all the attachments. You can also buy more attachments online, to make your MultiTalent even more multitalented!

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Read our full Bosch MultiTalent 8 Food Processor review

2. Kenwood FPM910

Best food processor for families


Capacity: 4 litres
Blender, multimill, knife blades, multi chopping tools, citrus press, dough tool, dual whisk
Reasons to buy:
The in-built scales make life so much easier
Reasons to avoid:
That price is on the higher end

Multi by name and by nature, if you want a food processor that handles almost every part of your prep, this is it. The Multipro Excel food processor comes with a huge amount of functionality and kit – so there’s a tool for almost any food preparation job, but you’ll have to find somewhere to put it all.

As well as built-in scales and a weighing plate, it comes with several slicing and grating discs, knife blade, dough blade, whisk, folding tool, mini bowl, grinder, blender jug and even a citrus press for on-demand OJ.

Most impressive is its four-litre main bowl – with the option of a ‘mini’ 1.6-litre bowl that fits inside. There are eight speeds for processing plus a pulse, as well as auto speed button that selects a setting for you.

The range of blades will suit both the keen chef and those who like to batch cook. We found that some foods were most easily processed with the knife blade, while the julienne disc made short work of carrots and the slicing disc whizzed through rhubarb and leeks.

An extra-wide feed tube accommodated every vegetable without much chopping beforehand. Other features of note are a 30-minute eco mode, and a storage box for the blades, ensuring that they stay as sharp as possible.

The whisk tool and folding tool are especially clever in design – both slot onto the spindle in the centre of the bowl and work with the lid in place – meaning that the contents are whipped or mixed without any worktop mess. It’s quick too – our egg whites took less than a couple of minutes to form firm peaks.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

3. Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK

Best food processor blender combo

Capacity: 1.8 litres
Blender, personal blender, reversible shredding/slicing disc, dough blade, chopping blade
Reasons to buy:
Smart settings make the process hands-free
Reasons to avoid:
If you just want a food processor there’s a blender-free option, too

The Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK is a top pick for space-saving and multi-functionality. The base can be used to blend soups and smoothies in the large 2.1 litre jug or the personal-sized 700ml cup, and there’s also a 1.8-litre food processor attachment. The processor has a unique multi-layered blade that chops evenly, even when you’ve filled the food processor bowl, and there is also a reversible disc that shreds as well as slices.

We would have liked another disc for larger slicing, because the slicing side of the disc is quite fine and not suitable for large shavings of cheese or vegetables. We also found that there was a little of whatever we sliced (be it courgette or cheddar) left at the very top of the blade, because the pusher doesn’t quite fit all the way down into the bowl.

What the Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK does excel in is smart features. It has a blend, chop, puree, and mix setting, as well as a pulse button and three strengths for blending. These programs mean you can simply press to chop or mix depending on your desired outcome, and the process is pre-timed and hands-free. You could even get set on the crudites for your new pureed dip.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

Read our full Ninja 3-in-1 Food Processor with Auto-IQ BN800UK review

4. Magic Bullet Kitchen Express

Best food processor for small kitchens

Magic Bullet Kitchen Express food processor

Capacity: 850ml
Shredding/slicing disc, chopping bowl, personal blender, to-go blender cup and lid
Reasons to buy:
It’s amazing value and surprisingly powerful 
Reasons to avoid:
The small bowl won’t be suitable for large meals

With a motor of just 250 watts, we were ready to write the Magic Bullet Kitchen Express off. In testing though, it seriously impressed us. For a start, the reversible disc really cuts back on space demands and works to slice and grate everything from carrot to cheese very fast indeed. The chopping blade is also stacked, meaning it has two layers and will slice through every layer of your veggies or dough, even when you really fill up that 850ml bowl.

All attachments fit comfortable into the dishwasher, and while there is only an On, Off and Pulse setting, these are incredibly powerful and fast. Our one reservation was that there is no way of slowing down for rougher chops. For this, it’s best to use the pulse setting in short spurts.

While it’s a great food processor, the blender is just as good (and worthy of a mention here). Again, the small motor really overperformed by making thick and creamy smoothie bowls out of tough ingredients including frozen strawberries, bananas and blueberries.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

Read our full Magic Bullet Kitchen Express review

5. Cuisinart Easy Prep Pro Blender

Best food processor for everyday use

best food processors

Capacity: 1.9 litres
2 chopping blades, fine & medium grating/slicing disc, recipe book
Reasons to buy:
It’s reasonably priced and a space-saver
Reasons to avoid:
Not as multi-functional as some of the other food processors out there

Striking the balance between practical and versatile isn’t the most straightforward thing for a food processor to do – extra accessories often find their way to the back of a cupboard. For busy households, it makes sense to have a machine that can tick off the basics – blending, slicing, grating, chopping and mixing – while being powerful enough to handle a variety of foods.

The Easy Prep Pro answers this need nicely – it’s more of a day-to-day appliance rather than one you haul out every so often. Plus it’s lightweight and compact enough to move around the kitchen as required.

Its two bowls – a main 1.9-litre and mini 700ml – plus matching chopping blades and two reversible slicing/grating discs, are all dishwasher safe.

The mini bowl fits inside the main one, and, crucially, has a seal around the edge to stop food spilling out, so when we chopped herbs, there was only one bowl to wash, not two. A separate recipe book has some ideas to get you started, but as you might expect, most of them are basics, such as pesto, mayonnaise, coleslaw, bread and pizza.

The Easy Prep Pro isn’t perfect – its buttons are big and bulky, plus you have to hit the Off control rather than just the High or Low to stop it, which isn’t terribly intuitive. There’s also no dedicated storage for the discs or large chopping blade (though the mini bowl and blade store inside), meaning they could end up becoming blunt sooner than they should.

In tests, it performed well – our carrot was grated uniformly, and we made a springy bread dough easily with the blade and a combination of the pulse and low settings. The machine whined and shook a little as the dough came together, and some crept inside the tool, but overall, our loaf rose well. It’s good value, too.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

6. Russell Hobbs Desire Food Processor

Best budget food processor


Russell Hobbs Desire Food Processor

Image credit: Russell Hobbs

Capacity: 1.5 litre
Blender, dough hook, slicing/shredding disk, creaming disk
Reasons to buy:
It’s reasonably priced and not too big
Reasons to avoid:
The plastic construction does feel cheaper

We’re all about value for money, and the Russell Hobbs Desire Food Processor certainly delivers this. It’s not as shiny or multi-functional as some of the other food processors you can buy, but it held up well in our tests and comes in at well under £100. The Desire Food Processor has a 1.5 litre capacity bowl and a modest 600 watts of power, so it’s not best for those demanding tasks like kneading dough.

What it does do very well is chopping and blending, and let’s face it, that’s what really matters in a food processor. We were able to create a thick and perfectly smooth tomato soup in the 1.5 litre blender pitcher, which comes included with the food processor, and it was able to shred, chop and slice carrots, onions and courgettes with surprising efficiency in our tests. The results were fine and even, although because you’re limited on speed options we did find it harder to create chunky chopped veg.

The Russell Hobbs Desire Food Processor has two speeds and a pulse setting, which is very high power and can create smooth sauces easily. It also features a creaming disk, which really impressed us when we used it to make mayonnaise, although it is better used with large quantities thanks to the wide base of the bowl.

The stand is sturdy and has non-stick pads to keep your food processor from moving about. All of the attachments are dishwasher-safe, and clean up easily thanks to the plastic construction. The slicing and shredding disk is reversible, and there is also a dough hook included. It’s not as mighty as some of the other options in our lineup, but for a tiny fraction of the price this multi-tasker certainly delivers on value.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

7. Morphy Richards Prepstar Food Processor

Best compact food processor

Morphy Richards 401012 Prepstar Food Processor

Capacity: 4 litres
Chopping blade, whisk, beater, grater disc, grating blades, storage caddy
Reasons to buy:
A top choice for small kitchens
Reasons to avoid:
Takes some getting used to

The Morphy Richards Prepstar Food Processor stood out to us because we loved its stand mixer counterpart – the Morphy Richards Mixstar – is one of the best stand mixers we’ve ever tried. The Morphy Richards Prepstar Food Processor is good too, but it’s a little less finessed. Everything comes stowed away inside a caddy that slots into the generous 4 litre food processor bowl. This lifts out for use and you can attach the blades or whisk to the central column, which then attaches to the handle that slots into the top of the machine. This handle is plugged in and then twisted into the bowl, which did take some getting used to.

The chopping disc is clever, too. It has three blade attachments for grating and slicing, and these pop out for easy alternation. There was quite a large gap between the blades and top of the bowl in testing, meaning that not everything got shredded evenly. This bowl does have a huge capacity though, which was able to handle an entire cabbage for a coleslaw mix.

While it’s great that everything is stored inside the bowl, you will need to find space for the handle if you want this to fit inside a cupboard or drawer. It’s one of the most space-efficient food processors on the market, so if that’s a priority for you then it’s a good pick.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

8. Magimix 4200XL

Best food processor for versatility


Capacity: 3 litres
Dough blade, grating disc, whisk, 3 bowls, blendermix ring, egg whisk
Reasons to buy:
Auto detection and smart attachments
Reasons to avoid:
It doesn’t have a blender jug

If you’ve ever put off using your food processor for small or medium-sized amounts because of the mountain of washing up at the end of it, the 4200XL is the clever solution you’ve been looking for. It comes with three bowls that nest inside each other, meaning that you can whizz up herbs or mayonnaise in its mini bowl or shred veg in the midi one without having to wash the large main bowl.

However, it’s far more than the Russian doll of processors. What’s just as special is that you don’t have to pick the speed to use with each task, it’ll do it for you. So no more second guessing yourself or over-processing. One other point of difference is a BlenderMix ring that helps to make soups and sauces smoother, and the ability to add accessories to expand its functions, although there’s already a dough blade, knife blade, mini blade, a whisk, four discs, spatula and storage box.

In tests, the 4200XL consistently produced excellent results regardless of the task. It sliced onions and celery evenly in the midi bowl (with none of it landing in the main bowl), turning a 10-minute chopping tasks into 30 seconds of processing. Then we were able to take the midi bowl out, slot the whisk into the main bowl and add three egg whites. After about five minutes, the whites were light and fluffy and had increased in volume to fill the bowl.

It performed similarly well when using the blade in the main bowl to liquidise vegetable soup. The BlenderMix ring helped to deflect the liquid down towards the blade, rather than it splashing up into the processor lid, so that after two minutes it was smooth. Another advantage is that the bowl can blend hot liquids, so there was no need to cool the soup to room temperature before processing. A final reason to buy is that it’s dishwasher-safe.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

9. Bosch MultiTalent 3 MCM3100WGB Food Processor

Best small food processor



Capacity: 2.3 litre
Dough blade, chopping blade, shredding disk
Reasons to buy:
It’s perfect for small kitchens and easy to use
Reasons to avoid:
Lacks the attachment options of other food processors

This food processor takes up a smaller worktop footprint than most, is relatively light at 2.7kg and is shorter than many models, so can tuck neatly below wall units or in a cupboard with ease.

It still manages to pack in four accessories that provide more than 20 everyday functions, from grating and slicing to kneading and whisking. The clever design also extends to smart storage with both blades and discs fitting inside the 2.3-litre bowl after use, and integral cable storage.

Inside the bowl, there’s enough space for making up to 800g of bread dough, whisking six egg whites or 300g of chopped vegetables.

The food processor controls are simple – there are two variable speeds and a pulse (although it’s confusingly labelled M, which stands for maximum speed) – and each tool or attachment intuitively locks into place. In tests, it combined bread dough quickly, but the force of kneading spun the machine on the worktop.

It handled whipping egg whites, slicing courgettes and dicing onion superbly. All of the food processor parts are dishwasher-safe but were also straightforward to clean by hand.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars 

10. Sage The Kitchen Wizz

Best food processor for keen cooks

Capacity: 3.6 litres
Slicer, julienne blade, chipping blade, reversible shredding blade, whisk discs, dough blade, quad blade, mini blade
Reasons to buy:
The top pick for serious home chefs 
Reasons to avoid:
Comes at a high price point

This food processor comes with a mighty 2,000W induction motor, stacked four-bladed chopping knife and a variable slicing disc with settings from a super-skinny 0.3mm to 8mm. It means business.

Rather than relying on a standard array, some of the Kitchen Wizz Pro’s eight tools are designed to suit a particular need – so there’s a julienne disc for matchsticks, but also a French fry cutting disc for chips. Think of it like the difference between a full toolbox for DIY… and using a hammer for everything.

All the food processor tools fit into a handy box after use, leaving just the main 3.7-litre bowl and mini bowl to be stored on the die-cast metal base. There’s also an LED timer for counting down and up.

The machine adjusts automatically to the food being processed, while a choice of small or large feed chute allows you to keep vegetables upright. This means you can control the flow of ingredients.

During testing, the food processor’s dough blade mixed pizza dough to a good elastic consistency, while the quad blade easily emulsified thick, viscous mayonnaise and minced meat. The adjustable slicing disc meanwhile, created even slices of aubergine. The only downside is that the food processor parts are not all dishwasher-safe.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars 

How much should I spend on a food processor?

Food processors vary greatly in price and amount of accessories, so how much you spend will depend on how much you plan to use it and what it needs to be able to do. A basic machine can cost as little as £40, while food processors with built-in scales, timers and heating features can be priced from £500 upwards.

If all you need is speedy chopping and you’re unlikely to use multiple attachments and bowls (or will struggle to store them), it’s best to opt for a food processor under £100.

However, keen cooks and those who like to make batches for the freezer will get more use from the extra kit.

Some food processors may also be able to double up as a stand mixer, blender or mini chopper, making them a better value all-in-one buy.

Where will you store your food processor?

Decide where your food processor will live. If it’ll be on display on the worktop, you may want to spend a little more on a model you’re happy to have on display or that coordinates with your kitchen.

Similarly, check the height as not all food processors are low enough to fit under kitchen wall cabinets. If you plan to store it in a cupboard, check how much it weighs. You may put off using it if it’s too heavy or bulky to get out for smaller jobs.

What should I look for in a food processor?

best-food-processors-6 Magimix CBH_Magimix_0140

Image credit: Magimix

Which food processor accessories do I need?

One of the defining features of modern food processors is how much kit they can potentially come with. Standard accessories include a chopping blade for dicing, mixing, mashing and puréeing. There will be a dough hook for kneading, which works by stretching the dough rather than slicing through it. Then there might be one or two discs with a spindle, which will shred, slice and grate cheese and vegetables.

More expensive machines may come with a julienne disc for slicing potato or carrot into matchsticks, an adjustable slicing blade for different thicknesses and whipping/beating attachments.

Other food processor accessories can include a blender jug, midi and/or mini bowls that nestle inside the main bowl and have their own blades to chop smaller quantities of nuts, herbs or chocolate with less washing-up. A citrus press may be included.

What food processor bowl size do I need?

The size of your food processor bowl will affect how much you can prep in one go. The largest can be up to four litres – ideal if you batch cook or have a big family – but for everyday jobs 1.8-2 litres should be enough. A wide feed chute is also a plus as it’ll mean less initial prep for larger items, such as potatoes or courgettes. Look for a good-quality BPA-free plastic bowl and lid so they’re robust enough not to have to be replaced in a few years.


image credit: Magimix

Is storage important?

Storage is a key consideration if your food processor comes with lots of kit. Look for designs that allow you to store tools inside the bowl or that come with boxes or cases.

Storing discs and blades in a dedicated box means they’ll stay sharper and be more effective at chopping and shredding. Store them loose in a drawer and they’ll gradually become blunter from rubbing against other items.

What speed settings do I need on my food processor?

Variable speeds allow you to control how much you process your food and give greater versatility. For example, a pulse option is good for foods that only need rough chopping, such as nuts. Dough kneading, meanwhile, should always be done on a low food processor setting so it’s stretched rather than spun around the bowl.

How much power should a food processor have?

Russell Hobbs Desire Food Processor

Image credit: Russell Hobbs

Use a food processor’s wattage as a rough guide to its power. Remember that how a food processor is designed can have as much bearing on its performance. More watts won’t always mean it’s a better machine but anything over 650W should have enough muscle for most tasks.

Are food processors easy to clean?

Food processors might save on prep time but if they’re increasing washing-up duration by being awkward to clean, they’re not much help. Look for models where most or all parts can be popped in the dishwasher. Look out for crevices in the tools where food can become trapped. Some plastic parts and tools may be top rack-safe only, so check before you put them on a hot wash. See our guide on how to clean a blender or food processor for more guidance.

Are food processors noisy?

Food processors can be noisy – but some are more than others. Look for food processors with an induction motor for quieter processing. As a plus, induction motors also tend to be more reliable.

The post Best food processors 2021 – reviews of our top 10 for chopping and slicing appeared first on Ideal Home.

Best ice cream makers – for gelato, sorbet, and homemade ice cream

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The best ice cream maker will be an invaluable toy this summer, with self-freezing and freezer bowl options at every budget. While many ice cream makers are best suited to making gelato, some can also be used to make frozen yoghurt, vegan ice cream, and even sorbet.

Many of these ice cream makers are freestanding, but some can simply be slotted into a stand mixer for some added multi-functionality.

Discover the very best blenders with our complete guide

In case you were wondering what the difference is between gelato and regular ice cream, the Italian version contains more milk and less cream, and is whipped more slowly.

For that reason, your machine might come with two different paddles that you swap in depending on which you’re making.

Shortly, we’ll look at our best ice cream makers. But first, let’s address how much you should spend.

How much should I pay for an ice cream maker?


Prices for ice cream makers vary hugely, from under £20 to upwards of £300.

The more affordable designs have a bowl that you’ll need to remember to chill in the freezer for between eight and 24 hours beforehand. Both KitchenAid and Smeg have produced a freezer bowl that’s designed to work with their classic stand mixers, which we’ve also included in our test line up.

Alternatively, the less organized among you might feel it’s worth investing in a machine with a built-in element – this cools the bowl to the optimum temperature in minutes as the ingredients are being churned. If you are interested in producing large batches of ice cream in one go, these are probably your best bet.

Best ice cream makers

1. Sage The Smart Scoop

Best ice cream maker for keen entertainers

Type: Self-cooling
Reasons to buy: It’s self-monitoring, and very smart
Reasons to avoid: The large footprint

As if making your own ice cream wasn’t fun enough, the Smart Scoop comes packed with features to make it more joyful. It comes with 12 presets, which translate to three hardness settings for sorbet, gelato, ice cream and frozen yogurt. It includes a one-litre bowl, and a pre-cool that helps to create the dense texture of gelato.

There’s even a three-hour ‘keep cool’ setting – perfect for not having to dash away from guests. Then there’s a manual option with a timer from five minutes to three hours. While the bowl isn’t dishwasher safe, the paddle and lid are. The parts are simple to wash by hand, with an included brush. Considering that it’s a model with its own freezer, The Smart Scoop’s worktop footprint isn’t as big as some equivalent machines.

In tests, it was used to make strawberry ice cream, a custard-based recipe that required pre-prep before pouring in the bowl. The hardest ice cream setting was chosen. It was left to count up as it churned (it’s not a countdown as it monitors the hardness as it goes). It cooled the mixture quickly, reducing it from 18C to -5C in the first seven minutes.

By 15 minutes, it had started to clump around the paddle and by 17 minutes, had reached -22C. The ice cream was ready in 26 minutes and was easily removed using the included spatula. Its consistency was just hard enough to scoop into balls but needed more time in the freezer to become properly firm. All in all, one of the easiest, mess-free ice cream-makers tested.

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

1. Cuisinart Iced Dessert Maker

Best ice cream maker that freezes overnight

Cuisinart Iced Dessert Maker

Image credit: Cuisinart

Type: Freezer bowl
Reasons to buy: Easy to use and clean, great recipes
Reasons to avoid: It needs to freeze overnight

One of the more compact ice cream makers out there, the Cuisinart Iced Dessert Maker comes in as a mid-price option that makes more than just ice cream. In testing it turned out delicious frozen yoghurts, and the extensive recipe collection gave us a lot of room for experimentation. There were even vegan recipes.

The exterior of this machine is a refreshing metallic mint, and it’s easy to store and assemble. The bowl has a 1.4 litre capacity and fitted comfortably into the bottom freezer drawer, where it needs to be left overnight before use.

Our ice cream was complete in just 25 minutes, so while the prep took some time, the finished result was more than worth it.

Ideal Home rating: 5 out of 5 stars

3. VonShef Ice Cream Maker With Compressor

Best ice cream maker for non-stop sweet treats


Type: Self-cooling
Reasons to buy: Reasonably priced and not too tall
Reasons to avoid: Only three recipes included

Ice cream makers with built-in freezers aren’t as affordable as those with pre-freeze bowls but this model costs far less than the Cuisinart (below) and Sage (above) makers we’ve reviewed here. Its results were also incredibly good – taking only an hour to turn out perfectly churned, ready-to-serve ice cream that tasted far better than shop-bought.

What it really has in its favour is the size. It’s not too tall, so can fit underneath wall units easily, and is relatively compact overall for an ice cream maker with its own freezer. This means it’s feasible to have it out on the worktop all season long, so the moment the urge for ice cream strikes, it can be mixed and popped into the removable bowl.

Setting it is simple – there just two buttons to switch it on and to start, alongside a dial to add or reduce time in minutes, and an LCD display. While the maximum amount of time you can set initially is 60 minutes, it can be toggled by minute if you feel the ice cream needs 10 or 20 minutes longer.

Other plus points include the volume of its removable bowl – 1.2 litres, so enough for a few people – and a spatula for removing the ice cream once it’s finished. We found this came in handy as our batch froze more on the sides than around the paddle.

We also liked that lid of the clear bowl has flip up section, so you can add ingredients towards the end of the churning, and that the LCD panel shows different symbols to indicate when it’s mixing and when it’s cooling.

There are only a few minor niggles –no parts of it are dishwasher safe and it includes just three recipes to try, so you’ll need to find inspiration online. Plus, while not noisy, the churning can be whiny, so it’s best to head off to another room to await its finishing beep.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

4. Cuisinart ICE100BCU

Best ice cream maker for families and big batches


best-ice-cream-makers-1 Cuisinart ICE100BCU Ice Cream Machine FRONT 1 copy

Type: Self-cooling
Reasons to buy: Two paddles included for different types of ice cream
Reasons to avoid: Pretty noisy

Whether freezer space is in short supply or you tend to fancy ice cream on impulse, this smart machine can step up to the task. It is equipped with two paddles – one for smooth ice cream and the other for less airy, more textured gelato and sorbet. There’s no need to freeze its 1.5-litre bowl ahead of time. Just pop in a paddle, fill with mixture, lock the lid in place and set it freezing.

It can churn from between 10 to 60 minutes and the timer toggles in one-minute increments, with a beep to let you know when it’s finished. The downside of the machine is that it’s bulky and pricey. It will need to live on your worktop most of the time as it needs to be level for a period before use. During testing, it was used to make chocolate ice cream.

It was simple to pour the mixture in as it doesn’t need to be done though a spout, plus you can add ingredients easily. However, it was noisy in use. Its vibrations caused the machine to shift on the surface. One useful feature was being able to add time while it was churning, in five-minute increments. The ice cream took 30 minutes to churn to a firm consistency and was easy to remove from the bowl. Its parts aren’t dishwasher-safe but hand washing is fuss-free.

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars

5. Magimix Le Glacier 1.1L

Best ice cream maker for small kitchens


best-ice-cream-makers-2 Magimix Le Glacier 1.5L


Type: Freezer bowl
Reasons to buy: Affordable
Reasons to avoid: Freezing overnight will mean you need to do a lot of prep

A smaller version of the 1.5-litre Le Glacier, this mini model is no less a churning champion. It’s the ideal size to squeeze into a busy freezer. It comes with advice and recipes to make sure every batch is the best it can be. It’s worth noting that all the recipes have been devised for the larger machine, however. So these will need to be reduced accordingly.

The machine consists of a one-piece coolant-filled bowl that needs to be frozen ahead of time. Its small size also means you can keep it in the freezer all year round. Its lid, motor unit, spindle and paddle simply slot together and twist into place on top. The removable parts need to be washed by hand. Testing was straightforward although initially I was caught out by a safety feature.

A small pin descends from the motor unit when it’s turned on to lock the lid onto the bowl. However, a small amount of ice had frozen in the hole for the pin and stopped the machine from working. Once removed, the Le Glacier churned blueberry ice cream. As it was a thicker mixture and the pouring spout is quite narrow, this had to be spooned in.

There’s no timer to keep track of progress but the ice cream was ready in 25 minutes and was firm. The mixture on the sides and bottom were challenging to remove. The design of the paddle proved especially useful for consistent churning and kept the ice cream moving well.

Ideal Home rating: 4 out of 5 stars

6. American Originals 0.6L Ice Cream Maker.

Best ice cream maker for portion control


Type: Freezer bowl
Reasons to buy: Makes a great ice cream with a small footprint
Reasons to avoid: It got a little messy in testing

If you live by yourself or your partner’s on a diet, the idea of hauling out a sizeable appliance and making a big batch seems like effort. However, this dinky ice cream maker could be just the thing for making small amounts of sorbet and creamy treats when the urge strikes.

While its size could be limiting in a family home – we made enough ice cream for four generous scoops – it’s compact enough for the bowl to live in the freezer all summer long (as it takes about 12 hours for the liquid inside to freeze solid). And when it’s not in use as frequently, it’ll take up hardly any cupboard space. Another plus is that its metallic red bowl is a pleasing change from so much white plastic.

The design is simple, consisting of a cover that clips onto the motor unit and a paddle. Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t protect the motor unit entirely from mess, as after making our batch, some ice cream had found its way into the clips.

The other issue is that the assembled motor unit/lid doesn’t twist into the bowl to secure it, but drops on top into some recesses. This meant as the ice cream froze and thickened around the paddle, the motor unit lifted up and began to spin, twisting the power cable. While we stopped the maker and repositioned the lid several times, it was a recurring problem, meaning you can’t walk away when the appliance is churning.

Holding the lid down solved the twisting but wasn’t ideal. It’s also disappointing that neither the shield or paddle are dishwasher safe, and only four recipes are included.

Flaws aside, the strawberry ice cream we made came out perfectly in 35 minutes and had a uniform soft scoop consistency that ripened well in the freezer.

Ideal Home’s rating: 3 out of 5 stars

7. Smeg SMIC01

Best ice cream maker for easy desserts


Type: Stand mixer
Reasons to buy: If you’ve got a stand mixer, it’s a no-brainer
Reasons to avoid: Frozen bowl only

While the concept of Smeg’s ice cream maker is similar to the KitchenAid – in that it’s a freeze-first bowl that harnesses the power of your stand mixer to churn –a clever design sets it apart. There are several components, but their design makes it straightforward to assemble and chill ice cream quickly.

Rather than a paddle driver that clips on to where you’d insert a tool, the adapter is magnetic, so it just clicks into place. There’s also a ring that twists onto the frozen bowl, so that it fits securely inside the mixer’s bowl rather than directly on the mixer’s base.

The ring holds the frozen bowl in position by sitting over the handle of the mixing bowl (so it’s fast to fit) and has a wide chute, meaning the ice cream mixture can be poured in as the paddle turns without making a mess.

Other handy extras include a clear lid that fits the freezer bowl, so when you’re finished, the ice cream can stay frozen in it for up to two hours, and a plastic spatula, which we found ideal for scraping the sides of the bowl. Our ice cream froze to a firm consistency in around 25 minutes, and, as most had clumped around the paddle, was effortless to scoop out.

The pre-freeze bowl is similar to many others, although it needs longer before being ready for use – 18 hours – so you’ll have to be quick at cleaning it by hand and getting it back in the freezer if you want to make ice cream every day of the summer.

Its capacity for finished ice cream is also average at 1.1 litres, but on the plus side, it doesn’t take up too much space in the freezer. The other thing to be aware of is that you’ll need a Smeg mixer – the ring needs a bowl handle to stay in place, so it’s unlikely to be compatible with most stand mixer models.

Ideal Home’s rating: 5 out of 5 stars

8. KitchenAid Ice Cream Attachment

Best ice cream maker for creative cooks


Type: Stand mixer
Reasons to buy: It makes a lot of ice cream at one time
Reasons to avoid: It’s expensive

Whether your best stand mixer is usually beating for baking or whisking for a fluffy souffle, this attachment and pre-freeze bowl will give it an extra dimension. It’s compatible with most of KitchenAid’s mixers. The drive slides over the hub where you’d usually insert a tool (though it takes a little effort at first), and this loosely connects with a paddle once the pre-frozen bowl has been twisted or lifted into place.

As the mixer only needs to run on a slow speed to churn the ice cream, the noise while it’s in use is relatively unobtrusive.

There are a few things to be aware of however. The first is that the pre-freeze bowl is sizeable – on the plus side, this means you can make up to 1.9 litres of frozen dessert, so great for barbecues and parties, but on the downside, fitting it into your freezer can be a challenge.

We had to remove a shelf and a freezer drawer to squeeze it into ours, so it’s better for one with tall, deep drawers or a chest model. The other issue we came across is that it was almost a little too good at freezing – while the bulk of the ice cream we made was easy to decant, the compacted mixture at the sides and on the bottom was almost impossible to scrape away.

A flexible spatula wasn’t up to the job, so you’ll need a rigid plastic version to ensure ice cream isn’t left behind. For the price, you’d think one would be included in the box.

That aside, what this ice cream maker does offer is mostly even freezing, a large capacity and speed. Our ice cream required just 20 minutes of mixing for a ready-to-serve consistency, plus the open bowl meant it was easy to throw in extras as it churned. We also liked that the paddle was dishwasher safe and there was a small selection of tempting recipes to try.

Ideal Home’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars

How to buy the ice cream maker for you


Why do I need an ice cream maker?

It’s no secret that if you have a freezer, you can make ice cream by hand without a dedicated machine. However, it’s fraught with pitfalls and is a pretty boring process. Even if you follow a cycle of taking it out, stirring it and putting it back, it doesn’t guarantee it’ll be free from large ice crystals. These result in a gritty texture that’ll have you running back to the freezer aisle.

Ice cream makers, on the other hand, freeze while churning the mix, incorporating air. They scrape down the sides to prevent ice crystals from becoming too big. The result is soft and creamy, not crunchy. Just don’t forget to eat it while it’s fresh (it’ll store for up to a month). Homemade ice cream won’t have the longevity that shop-bought ice cream does.

How much should I spend on an ice cream maker?

Prices vary hugely, from around the £20 mark for a basic model to large all-in-one appliances that cost several hundred. Deciding which to plump for often comes down to how much you’ll use it. Consider whether you’re happy to plan ahead or keep a bowl in your freezer. Also think about how much space you have available.

Compact kitchens will struggle to accommodate the bigger ice cream makers for one major reason. Like a fridge or freezer, they need to be kept level for 12 hours or so in order for their compressor to work properly. However, you can’t beat them for convenience. At the sub-£100 end of the market, prices tend to be slightly higher for models with large-capacity bowls. A second bowl for making different flavours or types, and useful features, such as digital controls or a timer, will hike up the price.

What are the different types of ice cream maker?

Ice cream makers come in two forms – ones where you freeze the bowl around 12-24 hours in advance, and those that include their own freezing unit.

Pre-freeze ice cream makers


Image credit: American Originals

The bowls of the pre-freeze machines contain a gel or liquid coolant that sits between its inner metal layer and its exterior. This freezes solid, so that when the ice cream is poured in, it’ll start to rapidly cool the mixture.

The bowl will also be insulated, to minimise thawing. It’ll either sit within another plastic bowl with a lid, or a lid will lock directly on top. The lid contains a motor unit that powers a paddle from above to churn the mixture as it begins to freeze. Most advise starting the paddles before pouring the mixture in so it doesn’t freeze before churning can begin.

The motor unit is often manual ie it simply runs until you switch it off, but you can also find digital models that allow you to set a timer. The advantage of these machines is that they’re affordable to buy and cheap to run. This is because you only need to power a paddle – your freezer will have done the hard work already. They are relatively easy to store.

If you keep your bowl in the freezer all the time, you’ll only need to find space to store the lid and the paddle. However, if permanent freezer space is in short supply, the downside is that you’ll need to plan ahead if you fancy ice cream the next day. You’ll also need to make sure that the bowl fits in your freezer. Those with drawer-style designs may find the bigger bowls a tight squeeze.

The other disadvantage is that once used, you’ll need to wait for your bowl to defrost before you can clean it. You then need to refreeze it straight away if you want ice cream or another frozen dessert the next day. An extra bowl, so you can rotate them, is particularly handy in summer. Stand mixer-compatible ice cream makers are similar in concept. They use a pre-freeze bowl combined with a paddle that fits your mixer. This replaces the need for a separate motor unit.

Self-cooling ice cream makers


Image credit: VonShef

Models with a built-in cooling unit require no pre-freezing, meaning you can make ice cream whenever you like. Their bowls are made from metal with a paddle that fits in the centre and is rotated from below. They may have a fixed bowl with a removable second bowl or only a removable bowl, and sometimes different paddles for a variety of consistencies. Other useful features include hardness settings, such as for gelato or frozen yogurt, and a timer.

These machines are great for making batches or multiple flavours but they’re pricey, heavy and bulky with a need for plenty of worktop room when they’re in use. They’ll also require more power to run. Removable bowls can be washed soon after use but you’ll need to wait for fixed bowls to return to room temperature before cleaning.

Celebrate summer: Best BBQs

What other key questions do I need to ask about ice cream makers?

best-ice-cream-makers-4 Judge JEA57 Judge Electrical 1 5L Ice Cream Maker - Kitchen

  • Does your ice cream maker come with a recipe book? It’s the best way to ensure you get the most out of your new appliance. If it doesn’t, factor in buying one, or search online for tried-and-tested recipes. Remember to scale quantities up or down to suit the bowl size of your machine and prevent overflow.
  • Is there a good-sized spout in the lid? You’ll need to start the paddles of pre-freeze models turning before pouring in the mixture. This can get messy if the hole is small. Similarly, you may wish to add ingredients as it churns. This is less of a concern for freezer models as the lid can usually be completely removed to add mixture and extras.
  • Do you have enough storage space for your ice cream maker when you’re less likely to be using it regularly? Do you not have space in your kitchen cupboards or on the worktop? Then you may have to find another home for it out of season.
  • Give your maker a helping hand where you can – chill the ingredients or mixture beforehand. Make sure your pre-freeze bowl is frozen solid. Any sloshing around inside means you should pop it back in the freezer. Check in on your ice cream as it churns – it can take more or less time than recipes advise. Catch it at its best and before the machine struggles too much to turn the paddle. It also helps to get the ice cream out of the bowl quickly and into the freezer to ‘ripen’ and really solidify.
  • What capacity should I choose? The capacity of ice cream makers can range from 800ml to two litres, but most are 1 to 1.5 litres. However, it’s worth noting that bowl size doesn’t accurately represent how much ice cream will be made. This is partly because the paddle takes up space. But it’s also because ice cream will increase in volume as it freezes and is churned. Check the instructions for an idea of how much ice cream you can make in one go, or use the recipes that come with it.

The post Best ice cream makers – for gelato, sorbet, and homemade ice cream appeared first on Ideal Home.

Destination Design: Napa and Sonoma

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I’ve spent a lot of days enjoying my own backyard here in the Northern California Wine Country. It’s always been a top travel destination, sometimes I forget how lucky I am to live here. Continuing the Destination Design series today with a trip to my side of the world: Napa and Sonoma.

There’s definitely a vibe that exists here among the acres of grapevines and the rolling hills that are covered in old oak and sculptural olive trees. How nice to see the interiors of hotels, homes, and vacation rental properties reflect the tones and textures of the landscape. Natural wood finishes and neutral tones are common as is the use of textures such as leather, stone, and stucco. Many properties do a beautiful job of easing the transition from outdoors to indoors. Below find a list of inspirational stays that host guests, or homes that have been featured in publications in the Napa and Sonoma wine country region. Click on the links for the full home or resort tours!

auberge du soleil, napa

indian springs resort – calistoga

calistoga home

napa estate – katie martinez design

st. helena home

stanley ranch – napa

mediterranean style in sonoma

napa hilltop home

hotel villagio – yountville

healdsburg home – adeeni design

Clumsy Friends and Chic Outdoor Parties Can Coexist With This Unbreakable Dinnerware

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Sure, you could bring your fine china out to the backyard picnic table for an alfresco meal, but when kids and clumsy guests are involved, using plates and glasses that are made to withstand the elements (including potential crashes to the ground) is essential. That means looking for materials such as melamine, bamboo, and thick glass.

In the past, melamine plates and bubble glass have gotten a bad rap, but today’s versions are as stylish as they are durable. There are ones that set a beachy boho vibe and others that are delightfully nautical. Whether you’re eating poolside, on the patio, in the backyard, or on your stoop, here’s the best tableware for dining outside, divided by material.

Bamboo and Melamine Dreams

Melamine isn’t just for the kids’ table. With a mix of wild colors and patterns, your outdoor table will draw just as much attention as the party’s natural surroundings, and in some cases guests might be truly fooled that they’re not eating from stoneware. The best part? Each of these options, even the bamboo and melamine blends, are dishwasher safe, so you can reuse them all summer long. 

Enamel Everything

No matter what you’re making for dinner, enamelware gives your table a cool retro vibe—and it’s heavy-duty enough to keep from flying off the table when a strong breeze blows by. (No wonder it’s a camping staple.) Also, no two patterns are alike; from melt-y marbling to Splatterware, you’ll always be serving up a one-of-a-kind meal.  

Plastic Fantastic

You guests might do a double take when they pick up one of these acrylic options and realize it’s not made of glass. Plus their unbreakable nature means they’re perfect for poolside cocktails, and the pitchers (big-batch margs, anyone?) ensure your glass will stay full all afternoon. 

How To Install Crown Molding The Best Way

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Installing crown molding isn’t the easiest thing to do. That’s why hiring a professional is a good idea. This is always an option and it’s a good one too! You can have crown molding installed for a relatively low price compared to other contracting jobs.

What Is Crown Molding

However, if you are feeling bold and believe that you can take on the job of installing crown molding, then we can help you with that. This guide will take you through the steps and give you tips along the way.

What Is Crown Molding?

Crown molding is a type of ornamental molding used along interior walls and ceilings. It looks high-end and can cover any gaps or imperfections in the area where the ceiling meets the wall. But not all molding is created equally. 

Any trim can do this as well, but crown molding is special. It uses a specific form and technique that is as old as the crown molding itself. Let’s take a look at how you can accomplish the look on your own. 

How To Install Crown Molding

How To Install Crown Molding

Installing crown molding doesn’t always need to be done by a professional. You can install it on your own. While it isn’t easy and shouldn’t be a beginner’s project, you can install it by following these steps. 

Step 1: Test Them Out

It’s a good idea to buy a few samples of crown molding before you buy all that you need. You can secure them together and hold them to the ceiling to try different types out and find what you like best.

Step 2: Measure, Measure

I say measure twice because it is a good idea to always measure twice as much as you cut. So first off, get some grid paper and make a diagram of your room, using each square as one square foot of space.

Write down the length of each wall, door, and walkway in the room where it is located on the paper. This is when you figure how much molding you need. Use linear foot to calculate how much you need. 

Step 3: Find The Right Pieces

Go to the store and find the molding you chose after getting samples. Then, look at each piece carefully so you don’t end up with any pieces with imperfections. Make sure you get enough for your entire room.

There’s a good chance you will have a few extra feet. This is okay. It’s normal when the molding is sold in pieces rather than in linear foot alone. 

Step 4: Gear Up

Now is a good time to buy a miter saw and brad nailer. You want to get everything you need from the hardware store in one trip. If you don’t want to spend money on these things, then rent them instead.

Step 4: Mark The Wall

You need to mark your ceilings and walls at this point. It depends on the size of your molding but there will be a mark on the ceiling, wall, and corner. Use a chalk line or pencil to mark them, ensuring the lines are straight.

Step 5: Install The First Board

The thing about crown molding is that now you can get it in single pieces. But most crown molding will come in three pieces. Two baseboards or stops and then the crown molding piece which is installed diagonally. 

You want to make sure baseboards are installed first. So go ahead and install them across the wall. They are easy to install and will help secure the crown molding, giving them the crown look.

Step 6: Install Ceiling Rails

The ceiling rails are usually angled to help you get the right angle on the crown molding. They are usually installed at about 45-degrees, but this is up to preference. Just make sure you do a test with the sample first. 

Because of the angle, they usually need to be glued before you screw or nail them in. You can place brackets with nails or screws to hold the angle while the glue is drying as well. 

Step 7: Install The Molding

Now comes the fun part. The molding needs to be cut at an angle on each corner. This is what the miter saw is here for. So learn how to make angles and use the miter saw before you begin cutting your precious molding.

The placement should be fairly obvious. It’s a good idea to have someone who knows what they are doing on hand during this step because it is important as it will be the most eye-catching part of the molding.

Step 8: Sanding And Painting

Now it’s time to finish up. You can start by sanding down the molding if it is wood. Then fill the nail holes with wood filler. Let it dry before starting to paint or stain your crown molding your chosen color.

Make sure you protect your walls and ceiling with painter’s tape. If you are painting your walls too, paint them before you install the molding. If you do it after, then paint the molding first. 

DIY Crown Molding Tips And Tricks

DIY Crown Molding Tips And Tricks

Now that you know the basics of crown molding installation, you can now get down to business and learn a few tricks as well. These tips can help you when you are installing your crown molding and afterward. 

Customize Your Molding

You can actually mix and match crown molding to create your own. You can even cut your own if you know how to do it. This takes a lot of practice but you can “mold” your own molding with the right tools. 

This is similar to wood carving but isn’t usually done by hand. When you make your own crown molding, you can even carve little designs into the molding. These are very expensive and sell for a lot of money.

Shop In-Store

Because checking each piece of molding is important, pick out your pieces in the store. Even if you have them shipped to your house or delivered. Ask them to send you the exact pieces you pick out. Most hardware stores will comply.

You can buy online or have them deliver any pieces. But they will usually pick off the top. Or worse, pick the pieces that they can’t sell in the store. So yes, finding your own pieces is always best.

Study The Crown Molding Design

Before you begin, it’s a great idea to study the crown molding design. There will be three to five pieces unless you but already put together crown molding. But even if you do, learning the diagram can help you.

You will have a picture of what the inside will look like, or at least should look like, which can help you get the right angles and make the right cuts. Visualizing is important when it comes to construction. 

Mark Your Miter

When cutting angles, you need to mark your miter with a pencil before you even begin to cut. It’s easy to get flipped around or upside down so always mark the board on the side that you can see when testing it out.

Then, you can mark the side you will cut on as well. Whether you cut on the front or the back. Just make sure you don’t mark the angle wrong or you will end up with a piece of crown molding you may not be able to use at all.

Don’t Forget To Caulk

Caulk can be just as useful as a wood filler. For any gaps that won’t be visible but need to be filled, caulk can work wonders. Just use it along the edge and between any piece that isn’t touching and you won’t even notice it!

Caulk is an important material and should always be kept on hand if you are doing any type of home interior or construction work. Make sure you have multiple different kinds and don’t open them until you are ready to use them.

Don’t Overdo It On Nails

Nails can make you feel as if your crown molding is extra secure, but add too many and it does two harmful things. First of all, too many nails can really affect the wood filling, which becomes complicated.

But it can also affect the structural integrity of your crown molding. Too many or one in the wrong place and it can easily split. So avoid this by only placing nails where they need to be placed to secure the boards.

Stay 45-Degrees

Try to keep angles at 45-degrees. Try your first 45-degree fit by cutting two boards to fit. If they don’t fit right, then there’s a problem with your ceiling or wall, not your molding. Because two angles should fit together. 

If this is a problem, try to check the levelness of your ceiling and wall. If this is the problem, you’ll need to hire a professional to level it out or install your crown molding for you. Hopefully, you don’t face this issue!

Learn To Cope

Coping is a way to use a miter saw to cut the crown molding at an angle. But not just in the way you assume but also to create a lip that will let the crown molding pass over the other piece to create an even tighter fit.

This will all but eliminate gaps and look much better. It takes a lot of practice but if you do any woodworking then you will be able to learn this trick fairly easily. It will make all of the difference in the world!

Get Exact Measurements

Again, measure, measure, measure! Get your measurements right not by measuring right the first time but also by ensuring that you measure multiple times. Make sure the measuring tape is always straight too.

If it bumps or bends then the measurement won’t be accurate. This doesn’t matter in some cases but it sure does matter a lot when it comes to crown molding. Every millimeter counts, so try your best to get it right. 

The post How To Install Crown Molding The Best Way appeared first on Home Decorating Trends – Homedit.

Crate & Barrel’s New Storage Drop Isn’t Your Average Collection of Seagrass Baskets

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Baskets prevent us from stepping on teeny, sharp Legos; keep the teetering pile of mail in the entryway from falling on the floor; and are the reason our freshly rolled-up bathroom towels still look perfect when guests arrive. They’re essential to staying organized, which is why we tend to collect a ton of them. And while there is nothing wrong with your typical neutral seagrass container, we just discovered ones that look as good as they’ll make you feel. 

As of today, Crate & Barrel will be selling products designed by Mo’s Crib, a South African decor brand founded by sisters Mo and Michelle Mokone in 2016. The assortment includes pieces from the company’s PVC collection: a line of colorful baskets and planters (starting at $119) made from reclaimed PVC water pipes, each individually handpicked and collected from landfills and construction sites in Africa. PVC is the third-most produced plastic in the world, but less than 1 percent of it is actually recycled.

planter basketPin It
Courtesy of Crate & Barrel

Mo’s Crib’s artisans manipulate the plastic into thin strips before neatly weaving them into the bins (it can take seven-plus hours). From fiddle-leaf figs to throw blankets to dirty laundry—yes, there’s also a hamper version in the mix!—these recycled baskets can handle heavy lifting and look extra good doing it.