“Some days ideas come easier than others. Some days it’s like pulling hen’s teeth.” – Jim Palmer This morning was perfect. Sunny, colorful, calm. Other than the pollen, Spring is such a fun season, don’t you think? (Achoo!) Wrinkled brown seeds turn into rainbows in the dirt, and birdsong is carried on the…
Yesterday I spent the day in San Francisco with my client, her full scale home renovation is underway and we’ve made some exciting progress! The bathrooms are nearly complete and the kitchen cabinets will be installed soon, it’s all coming together beautifully and I cannot wait to share these spaces with you!
I have a few local projects in the works as well, a patio makeover for a good friend is in progress and a DIY shelf project for me! I’m off to gather the wood to my design come to life, stay tuned!
If you are looking for small living room ideas, take inspiration from our gallery of beautiful small space designs to unlock the potential of your compact living room.
When you are redecorating, one of the easiest ways to make a small living room feel more spacious is to inject soft, pastel shades into your design scheme to keep the room warm and inviting – check out our ideas for living room colour schemes for more inspiration.
Take a look at these small living room ideas to get you started.
1. Swap your sofa for a snuggler
Image credit: TI Media
A bulky sofa can gobble up living room space quickly, so if you have an especially tiny room, ask yourself if you could manage with an equally comfy but far less invasive ‘snuggles’. Otherwise known as a 1.5 seater, it can easily accommodate a parent and child – or a cuddly couple.
This room also employs another neat trick that’s genius for small rooms that back onto gardens – a botanical decorating scheme. ‘Pretty florals are perfect for blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors,’ says our Senior Features Editor Stephanie Durrant. Creating this visual link will draw the eye outside and again make the rom feel bigger.
2. Avoid a corridor effect with a corner sofa
Image credit: David Giles
This reception room is quite long and thin, and previously the owners had a long dark sofa, which only added to the corridor effect. By swapping it for a pale L-shaped design, they’ve created a cosy corner and opened up the space. There’s now also room for more seating by way of large floor cushions.
3. Use stools as seats
Image credit: Robert Sanderson
The first thing you should never do if you have a small living room is cram in too much furniture. Instead, choose a sofa that’s proportional to the size of the space, and if you’re still in need of more seating, use stools. They’ll take up far less room than bulky armchairs, and can be easily manoeuvred. If you like your living room cute and cosy, try clustering colour-co-ordinated objects together – from pictures to cushions – to create a coherent look.
Make the most of natural light in the room by keeping window dressings simple. If you are lucky enough to have high ceilings, full-length curtains are a good choice as they’ll draw the eye upwards and create the illusion of space, even if the square footage in your living room is a bit meagre. Subtle stripe designs add to the feeling of extra depth. If you do choose curtains, make sure they can be swept away from the window for light or alternatively go for Roman or roller blinds.
4. Invest in multi-functional furniture
Image credit: Lizzie Orme
When it comes to small living rooms, hard-working, multi-functional pieces of furniture are your friends. Take this coffee table, which doubles as a storage bin, allowing you to clear away any clutter at a moment’s notice. You could also invest in lidded stools, or even a sofa with storage under the seat. Add wall mirrors and furniture with reflective surfaces into your design scheme to maximise the amount of natural light in your living room to make it feel bigger and brighter.
Whether it’s a bijou country cottage or a studio flat, it can be tricky to create a relaxing bolt hole when your front door opens straight into your living room. Take the emphasis away from the entrance by creating a focal point with thoughtfully arranged seating. Here, a neat two-seater and comfy armchair have been placed at a 90-degree angle to a slim side table and lamp.
A cool neutral palette works beautifully with the rustic plasterwork and the roller blind makes the most of a recessed window to add extra square inches to the room.
6. Decorate vertically
Image credit: Paul Raeside
Think about living room wallpaper designs to complement your lounge. Take that décor up high when floor space is limited. Here, a small corner of a brilliant white room has been transformed with a column of geometric pattern that pulls the eye upwards to make the most of a high ceiling.
The pattern is echoed at the window in a sheer voile, which allows the natural light to filter in for a clean and bright effect. The neat base of a marble floor lamp negates the need for a side table while providing great task lighting for when the sun sets.
7. Pare it back with wood
Image credit: David Brittain
Think about alternatives to traditional living room furniture, such as the three-piece suite. It’s still possible to have a cosy area for relaxing and reading with less space-greedy furnishings. Swap an upholstered armchair for a wooden rocker with cushions; and bookcases for slimline ladder-style shelving. Wash walls and accessorise with subtle colour.
8. Pop an L-shaped sofa into a tight space
Image credit: Brent Darby
Before decorating or furnishing an awkwardly shaped living room consider how best to optimise the space available. Think about an L-shaped sofa in a tight eaves space teamed with trunks that can function as coffee tables as well as handy storage. Keep a dark room white to make the most of what little light there is.
Decorating with white on walls, ceiling and floor can leave a space feeling clinical and stark. Take the chill off a compact nook with a homely leather armchair, red floor lamp and woollen rug – all circled around a log-filled fireplace. A tactile cushion and soft throw in viridian green add a final designer touch.
10. Use lighting to your advantage
Image credit: James Merrell
Mark out a living space with an overhanging pendant light and carefully positioned round coffee table. The two pieces work together to create a focal point around which you can sit a couple of chairs and add floor cushions or stools when guests visit. Here, a selection of accessories and books are displayed on industrial-style open shelving to create a relaxed feel without hiding the beautiful texture of a slate feature wall.
11. Show off interesting objects
Image credit: Lizzie Orme
Just because your living room is verging on the small side, it doesn’t mean that you should hide away all your favourite belongings in storage. If you have objects that are worthy of showing off then display them along an open shelf, above the sofa. This idea is great for when floor space is at a premium.
12. Place your pattern to create a theme
Image credit: David Brittain
Pattern can work as well in small living rooms as it does in large, but it pays to think carefully about where you put it. Wool fabrics are made for cosy country-style firesides, but keep tartans, checks, paisleys and florals confined to throws and cushions on sofas and armchairs, leaving walls for plain paint finishes. Add a natural flooring rug to bring the two sides of a room together.
13. Distract the eye with characterful furnishings
Image credit: David Brittain
While banishing clutter might help a smaller living room feel more open, if you’re a fan of the cosy, lived-in look such a pared back scheme will do little for you. But small doesn’t have to mean bare and characterless. Try the classic combination of dark leather armchair and traditional fireplace – there’s nothing like it for creating a warm, cosy environment. Add much-loved items and accessories – in an interesting, character-filled scheme, no one will be thinking about how small the room is.
14. Make the most of the space under the stairs
Image credit: Jamie Mason
Make the most of the unused space under the stairs by incorporating everything from storage to quirky accessories. If you have space issues in your small abode and need to make the most of every nook and cranny then turn to that nimble spot under the stairs into a warm and cosy living space. Here, a built-in bookcase and sofa tucks in neatly in that often unloved and underused area.
15. Work with original features
Image credit: Colin Poole
Give architectural features a modern update with a fresh coat of paint and light retouching. Here original features have been painted to give this living room a modern edge. The black fireplace remains the focal point, and adds a sense of cosiness along with the chunky sofa and rustic wooden coffee table. A wool rug brings texture to the scheme and enhances the inviting feel of the room.
16. Maximise storage potential
Image credit: David Giles
Small living rooms need to be kept fresh and uncluttered with well-chosen storage. A great way to make a small living room feel larger is to keep it meticulously tidy and in order to do that, everything in the room needs to have its proper place. Floating shelves are perfect for small rooms because they can hold a lot of things on a wall or in alcoves, or choose bespoke fitted, floor-to-ceiling shelves and cupboards that make use of every inch of spare space.
Home offices are as much a part of the modern home as formal dining rooms these days – in fact, many of us repurpose underused dining areas as workspaces! A home office can be set up within almost any room. Small study areas in bedrooms are commonplace, double workspaces pop up in living rooms to accommodate demand, and even the kitchen often has more than one kind of ‘worktop’. Once you’ve found a good spot, what about the colour scheme, desk design, chair style, shelving needs, and storage furniture to keep the whole thing neat and tidy enough to live with full time? Here are 51 of our favourite workspace designs to get you started.
Invigorate your working mind with a bright and welcoming colour. If you want your workspace to be inviting (and we all no that feeling of being repelled by a boring looking desk) then lay out the welcome mat, so to speak. Whack on a welcoming colour like this bright sunshine yellow to chase away a Monday morning feeling of gloom.
Carve out a section of your room using colour coordination. In this bedroom, a storage cupboard, shelving unit, desk and wall paint are colour matched to define a royal blue home workspace. One thin wood trim around a shelf cubby complements the Scandinavian style chair, which is the Hans Wegner Elbow chair.
Reap the rewards of repositional small shelves by installing a pegboard. The pegboard trend can be utilised in plenty of areas in the home, but is particularly useful in a busy workspace with changing needs.
Screen off noise without blocking off the visual. If you don’t like the idea of being holed away from family life when in the home office, then how about a glass dividing wall? Screen out excess noise and even cooking smells (if that’s your work domain) but remain part of the action. White decor, a minimalist desk and a slender led desk lamp keeps the work stuff paled into the background.
Make use of an unused alcove. Use custom cuts of timber or MDF to fashion a desk top and shelves inside a small alcove. Bring it out of the shadows with a designer table lamp, like this Menu JWDA lamp.
Aligned pendant lights aren’t just for breakfast bars. Hang a row of small pendants along the length of your desk to give it some status – as well as ample illumination no matter where you pull in your chair.
Don’t forget about the down time. Everyone needs a moment to mull something over during their working day, or even just a moment to rest their back after too long in the chair. Consider including a small sofa or comfortable lounge chair in the layout.
Jazz up a minimalist home office with controlled colour. If you like the clean look of an all white home office but need a little colour in your life too, introduce some colourful storage cubbies into the cabinetry.
Want your home workspace to meld more with the room? Colour match all office furniture and shelving with the wall paint colour. This home office features a stripe of mirror behind the desk to reflect the rest of the room decor too. LED strip lights illuminate the edge of the glass and a Rosendahl monkey.
Nothing feels quite so inspirational as green spaces. If you can, build your home workspace in front of a window with a garden view, incorporate a courtyard or indoor vertical garden, or even bring in a nature themed wall mural.
Set the scene. Kids workspaces are pretty essential these days with the amount of homework continually rising. If they’ve got a dedicated, comfortable and attractive area in which to do their work, it may be easier to persuade them to crack those books.
Home from home. Office shelving doesn’t have to be all packed out with overstuffed files, paper trays and pen pots. Arrange framed artwork, decorative vases and keepsakes on the shelves in your study to help it feel more like part of the home.
Castors provide moveable solutions. It’s not just office chairs that cruise on wheels, slide out drawers provide and extra work surface when needed, whilst a pull out PC tower offers easy access to wiring at the back and an easy clean solution.
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place- what is mankind that you are mindful of them? Human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You…
Amidst all the period revivals currently happening in the interior design world (Art Deco! Memphis Design!), one stands out as being perhaps the most pervasive: The comeback of the ‘70s. We’ve seen it in furniture, with tubular pieces and swivel chairs taking hold of the market. The retro style is alive and well in the materials we love, too—just look at all the contemporary takes on rattan. However, there’s one area of the decade that remains relatively unexplored in decor, and that’s color. We can’t look back at the 1970s without remembering the avocado green trend; and while the controversial hue definitely has its critics, we think it’s ripe for a renaissance.
The color green in general is enjoying a moment in the spotlight. This may be due to its range: On one end of the spectrum, emerald green is a luxurious, deep shade that instantly imbues sophistication into any room. On the other end sits lime green, a zesty hue perfect for warmer weather and beloved by the creative community at large. Fashion designers Ashish and Jeremy Scott both put the vibrant color at the forefront of their spring collections.
What’s missing is something in between—an earthy green that’s both elevated and light. This is where avocado green comes in. A critic might disparagingly call the shade “puke green”, but we here at Domino choose to remain positive in fully embracing this retro color.
This is made substantially easier by the fact that there happens to be such a cool array of avocado green decor ideas on the market right now. From cool ceramics to sculptural light fixtures, these pieces are proof that you can give an old trend a contemporary twist to great success. Need some convincing? Shop our edit of stylish avocado green products.
To light up your space
For the avocado skeptics: Tiptoe into the color trend with a sculptural mid-century inspired light fixture that features ombre shades of green. Breaking up the bold hue makes it more digestible. This Danish-designed piece would look stunning hanging over your breakfast nook or dining room table.
To bring charm to your living room
Picked up at a market in Lyon, France, this vintage piece perfectly encapsulates the vibe of the ’70s with its cushy material and fringe detailing. Place it in your living room or office for a cozy vignette.
To test the waters
Another way to slip gradually into the avocado green trend is by finding an item that features it in a small way—like this watercolor-effect porcelain vase. With only a tiny hint of green at the bottom, it’ll be the perfect complement to your spring blooms.
To dress up your mantel
We love a good tapered candle. Effortlessly elegant and surprisingly fun to style (there are so many playful candlesticks to pick from), they’re the perfect finishing touch for a mantel or coffee table. These slick handmade candles would look great with a contemporary brass holder.
To bring a natural touch to your space
Whether filled with greenery, dried florals, or fresh blooms, this speckled vase is a gorgeous accent piece. It even works left empty as a sculptural object.
To actually bring back a hint of the ’70s
When paying homage to a bygone era, sometimes the best thing to do is actually buy something that was built in said era. Etsy is a treasure trove of cool vintage finds and has no shortage of avocado green pieces. We’re loving this set of federal glass dessert bowls, which will look just as great in your kitchen’s open shelving as they would on your tablescape.
To get you excited about cleaning
To make cleaning less of a draining chore, this chic dustpan comes with a wooden brush and is possibly one of the most sophisticated cleaning supplies we’ve ever seen.
To liven up your tablescape
Tablecloths and placemats get all the credit, but sometimes, even the smallest parts of a tablescape can make the biggest impact. This napkin set will add a refreshing pop of color to your table—plus, the linen material is perfect for warm weather fetes.
To dress up your nightstand
This Insta-famous shell ceramic has gone viral for a reason: It’s the perfect blend of delightfully kitsch and actually chic. The muted avocado green hue is especially pretty. Try it out on your nightstand as a place to hold your jewelry or other trinkets.
Located on the small tropical island of Samui, Thailand, this extraordinary villa is known as the Vastu Villa project – the first of its kind to be designed according to vedic knowledge, Vastu Shastra. For those not familiar with the traditional Hindu system of architecture, Vastu Shastra literally translates to ‘science of architecture’. It includes everything from design principles to spatial geometry, and integrates architecture with nature, ancient beliefs, directional alignments and symmetry. Many of these aspects become evident in this magnificent home tour. Sweeping architectural features, natural materials and wide stretching reveals of stunning nature views give this home design a terrifically tropical flavour that is hard to resist.
A tropical scene forms the backdrop to this magnificent living room in Thailand, leaving absolutely no requirement for fancy wallpapers! A leafy indoor plant brings a touch of the tropical inside of the living area, between a light L-shaped couch and a swing chair. A cane hanging lounge chair takes up the other side of the furniture layout, at the edge of an overlapping rug arrangement.
Sitting low against the rugs, the rattan pouf is a wonderfully textural piece. The base of the sofa is solid wood beneath the light seat cushions, to bring the modern piece back in line with nature.
A live edge coffee table adds more rustic vibe to the lounge. Curvaceous architectural fins sweep into view along the open plan living room, which mark the entry point to a central staircase.
Dropped ceiling panels echo the smooth geometry of the curved fins. Wooden ceiling planks provide crisp contrast behind the white dropped volumes.
Frosted glass panels provide symmetry on the tv wall, making light reflective columns up either side of the screen and media cabinet.
The cane accent chair is perhaps the best seat in the lounge – due to its prime position facing out to the tropics.
The sunlight and green views through the vast surrounding windows give the dining room a sunny al fresco feel.
The dining set sits on an Aztec rug island. A buddha statue meditates peacefully by enormous sliding patio doors.
The stairwell divides the the lounge and kitchen diner from one another, which is partially screened from the rooms on either side by the sweeping architectural fins.
The rustic spiral staircase design is accessorised at the bottom with a pair of rattan baskets that can be used as ‘catch alls’ to keep the downstairs looking clear and peaceful. A rattan planter also rests at the bottom of the stairs, with a plant peering into a golden wall mirror.
White and wood kitchens provide the perfect balance of freshness and warmth, which is exactly the case in this one here. Wood wall cupboards, open kitchen shelves and dining peninsula cladding all work to break up the cold gloss white units.
Wood and metal kitchen bar stools line up along the dining peninsula. Three glass pendant lights create a cosy glow above the bar stools, their illumination amplified by an attractive wall mirror. On the other side of the kitchen, a recessed arch has been fitted with shelves and wooden cabinets to hold more decorative kitchen items on display.
The master bedroom is an impressive room with an imposing bed. A gathered canopy hangs from a timber frame. A wooden accent wall provides a dark backdrop behind the clean white fabric.
Tree stump bedside tables are tucked beneath low hanging rattan light shades. A glass vase holds a sprig of green down at floor level. A rattan planter holds an indoor plant by a swing chair in the window.
The bedroom is blessed with panoramic views on two sides. A dressing table area sits by the second window, under a round vanity mirror. If you should ever tire of the amazing views, a flat screen tv is mounted to the wall by the makeup table.
Stunning blue tiles pattern a modest sized bathroom. If the tiles weren’t enough of a feature, the vanity also holds an eye-catching unique sink, with a tactile rippled stone surface.
The same beautiful blue tiles back the shower enclosure and cover its floor.
A second bathroom design exhibits another attractively tiled shower cubicle. Thin timber beams criss cross the ceiling, continuing the nature theme all the way to the top. A wood vanity table, small side table and shower tray fascia add to the wooden accents.
Rattan bedroom pendant lights hang in front of another wood clad bedroom feature wall, this time framing a four poster bed design.
A sheer runner drapes across the top of the bed frame.
A rattan chair with matching footstool and a small side table have been placed in a sunny window spot.
Beach trinkets dress the bedside table.
An illuminated wood mirror has a Thai beach meets Hollywood look.
WHOCO Lighting & Controls announces the promotion of Kaitlin Rider to the director of outside sales position. “These are exciting times for WHOCO,” says agency owner, Josh Allen. “We’ve experienced tremendous growth in the …
While you can’t move for coffee shops on the High Street these days, we are (and probably always will be) a nation of tea-drinkers at heart. And helping us to brew that tea – ok, and coffee if you must – is the trusty kettle.
An electric kettle is a staple in the kitchens of houses all over the world – even those that have taken the plunge and had a boiling water tap installed will usually have a kettle tucked away in the cupboard for emergencies.
Our tester Ysanne was previously editor at Beautiful Kitchens magazine and has been hands on with dozens of kettles on her way to selecting the best. She’s looked at common kettle issues like noise levels and limescale build up, and has also included a range of temperature-control kettles suited to more delicate teas. Not all kettles tested made the grade long term, due to reliability problems. However we were careful to cover a wide variety of price brackets – from kettles under £30 to those over £140.
Our overall best kettle was the Bosch TWK7203GB Sky kettle, which we rate for its usability and temperature-control functions. The Dualit Architect kettle also wins our approval for its sturdy build and good looks. Read on to discover more of our test verdicts.
Why do I need a kettle?
Image credit: Smeg
Let’s face it, who doesn’t need a kettle? In fact, do you know anyone without a kettle? They’re invaluable, and not just for your daily brew. A kettle will make short work of blanching tomatoes ready for peeling, preparing gravy for Sunday lunch or getting the pasta on, pronto.
1. Bosch TWK7203GB Sky kettle – best kettle overall on test
We love a bit of hi-tech style, so it’s no surprise we were impressed by the unique touch-control panel on this kettle. At just 1kg, it’s light, easy to fill and holds an impressive 1.7L when full. The base features a simple power-on graphic that, when gently pressed, allowed us to switch the kettle on and off in the same way as we would our smartphone or tablet. Nice.
There’s also a funky, futuristic blue-light slider that illuminates to indicate a chosen temperature, from 70˚C to 100˚C. While it wasn’t quite the quickest to boil, it was pretty speedy at just over two-and-a-half minutes. And if you get distracted, like we often do, there’s an ingenious keep-warm function. This maintains the desired water temperature for 30 minutes after the kettle has boiled.
It also has the obligatory 360˚ base, meaning it’s comfortable to pick up from any angle. There’s a lovely large flip lid and a removable limescale filter, too. Sure, it’s got a slightly bigger footprint that most of the models we tested. But we think its elegant lines and steely good looks mean it’s an absolute keeper, however much worktop space you might have.
2. Dualit Architect Kettle – best for style and substance
If you’re the kind of person that likes to switch up your home décor with the seasons, then this model with interchangeable panels is for you. The (already beautiful) steel exterior can be further enhanced with easy-to-fit panels that encase the bottom and lid. The panel kits can be bought separately, and range in price from £12.50 for plain colours and metallics to £24.95 for specially commissioned designs from the likes of Bluebellgrey, Charlene Mullen and Kit Miles, whose floral Biophilia design is our current must-have.
As we’ve come to expect from Dualit products, the kettle is also beautifully built and ergonomic to use. The lid had a nice soft-open action, meaning it’s easy to refill without the risk of steaming your hand. The water indicator under the handle lit up when we started boiling, and has easy-to-read levels from two cups cup to a maximum of 1.5L. We particularly liked the unique circular pouring spout, which ensured free-flowing water with no splashes.
It’s not the lightest kettle we tested but feels stable and secure on its base. There’s an integrated cord store and it boils quietly, if not overly speedily, for such an impressive looking machine. An internal filter meant boiled water was crystal clear and scum-free, even though the water from our tap tends to be harder than action hero Jason Statham on a tough day at the office.
3. Colour-changing glass kettle by Salter – best value and best for clear on/off indication
The key USP of this kettle, apart from its stylish steel and glass exterior is the bold LED display that run all the way around the base of the glass jug and switch from blue to red when the kettle heating up and back to blue once it has finished boiling. It’s a clear indicator of whether the kettle is boiling or not, which could be useful for those who are hard of hearing or don’t notice once it is finished.
It has a 360-degree base with a handy cord tidy, so it’s easy to use whether you’re right- or left-handed and sits neatly on the worktop. Pretty quiet, it takes around 3-and-a-half minutes to boil a litre of water and it’s big enough to boil water for eight cups. Protecting the glass exterior is a limescale filter so you should be able to enjoy plenty of clear-water boiling – during the testing period, we didn’t notice any scale build up.
Available in either cool white or slate grey with contrasting wood-effect comfort handle, this highly attractive kettle is a great choice for anyone that loves a bit of Nordic design. The boil-dry protection mode, which prevents it from being accidentally switched on if there’s no water in it means you won’t need to worry about accidentally damaging it either. There’s also a limescale filter, which helps to keep drinks delightfully scum- and impurity-free.
It holds 1.7 litres, enough to fill around 7-8 cups depending on your ‘portion sizes’, and it boiled a litre of water in just 2 minutes 45. The end of the on lever glows an agreeable bold blue colour while it’s boiling and the handle has a lovely soft feel to it. It has a lovely drip-free pour, too, which we found very pleasing.
5. Breville VKJ972 Brita Filter Maxtra jug kettle – best kettle for hard water
If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water then this is the kettle for you. It comes with a Brita filter cartridge, which is quick and easy to fit into the reservoir that sits at the top of the kettle. As with all filters, it needs flushing, though but once that’s done, we simply filled up the top sections and the water flowed through the filter into the second chamber.
Pressing an electronic indicator at the top of the lid will activate a count down to show when the filter needs replacing. Although the kettle’s capacity is smaller than the other full-size models we tried, it boiled our 1 litre (that’s four cups) of test water pretty quickly and quietly. The water indicator sits on the side so it was really clear to see. The feature we liked best, though, was that the kettle body and handle is illuminated a vivid blue colour when boiled.
Its plastic casing means it is relatively light, even with the filter in place and filled with water, and the chunky handle means it’s easy to pour. The 360˚ base with cord holder is stable, too, so there’s no chance of it tipping – this also means it’s easy to use whether you’re left or right-handed. A good tip is to refill the kettle as soon as you’ve boiled it. This will ensure that you’re not waiting for the water to filter through every time you fancy a quick cuppa.
6. VonShef Glass Kettle with Tea Infusion Chamber – best kettle for tea drinkers
We love a machine that saves us time and as big tea drinkers, we were really excited to try this kettle. The design means it isn’t just for boiling water, thanks to the internal infuser chamber it can also brew up a range of different teas at the same time as it’s boiling. Simply spoon the required amount of your favourite loose-leaf tea into the infuser, screw onto the lid and pop it into the kettle’s glass body.
The handle features two LED-display buttons to adjust the final temperature up or down, allowing you to choose a different water heat depending on the type of tea you might be using. For fine green tea that’s between 70-80˚, while for black tea 95˚ will prevent the water from scalding the leaves producing a smoother, rounder taste. It’s comfortable to hold in the hand and boils fairly quietly and quickly – around 3 minutes 20 seconds for a litre of water.
It has a keep-warm function, too, but we’d recommend you remove the tea infuser if you’re using that otherwise you could end up with a bitter and stewed brew, particularly if you’re making green tea. The lid is easy to remove, so a good choice for those with limited hand mobility, and the handle is solid and comfortable to hold.
7. Russell Hobbs Luna kettle in Midnight Grey – best quiet kettle
Featuring a quiet boil – it apparently makes 75% less noise when boiling than other Russell Hobbs models – this is kettle is a great fit for open-plan spaces where a loud kettle can be a real distraction.
It also has a rapid boil function for one, two or three cups that’s indicted by clear red markers on the inside of the kettle. Not only will that save energy – the makers claim up to 66 per cent – it meant our water was boiled and ready to pour onto the waiting teabag in around 50 seconds. The kettle’s main boil function isn’t too shabby either and was one of the quickest on test, bringing a litre of tap water to 100˚ in a little over two minutes. That gave us plenty of time to make a hot drink during the ad breaks of our favourite shows.
In addition this kettle has an auto-shutoff to prevent it boiling dry, although since the water window on the side is clear and lights up, you can clearly see how much water there is when it starts to boil anyway. An integral limescale filter in front of the spout is easy to remove and wash and will help stop scum forming on your tea or coffee.
8. Cuisinart CTK17U Traditional Kettle – best traditional-style kettle
It features an easy-to clean filter, which is great if you’re in a hard-water area and suffer from limescale deposits. Nobody wants scummy tea, after all. It is one of the fastest boilers we tested taking just over 2 minutes to take a litre of cold water to 100 degrees C, which is probably due to its wide base and 3KW concealed heating element.
The stylish steel exterior, with clear viewing windows on both sides, looks good on the worktop and although the shape was more traditional kettle, the finish meant it would be equally at home in a modern kitchen. The handle was comfortable to hold, which made for an easy, drip-free pour. As with many of the cordless kettles, the 360-degree base meant it was suitable for left- or right-handed users.
9. Smeg KLF04 Variable Temperature Kettle – best retro-style kettle
Don’t let the fun candy colours and retro design of this kettle deceive you – it’s deadly serious about boiling. The sturdy 360˚ swivel base makes it easy to use whether you’re left or right-handed, while anti-slip feet means it stays firmly put on the worktop. An audible beep can be heard when you first switch it on and similarly when the water has reached the chosen temperature.
As it’s another variable temp kettle, we decided to take it through its paces with three different teas. We tried black, white and green to see if we could taste the difference. While we’re not real connoisseurs, we did definitely feel that the lower temps suited both the white and green teas we tested. It gave them what we can only describe as a softer, more rounded taste than they had when made with fully boiled water.
How much you spend depends on what features you’re after. Prices tend to rise the more stylish and feature-led the kettle is. If you just want a bog-standard model that boils fairly quickly and quietly, there are kettles available from £15 and above.
Designer looks come at a price, though, and many with more thoughtful, elegant designs can cost upwards of £50.
What are the main features to look for in a kettle?
Image credit: Lizzie Orme
Top of our must-have list is that it’s easy is it to hold, fill and pour. If you often refill a kettle as soon as it has boiled, choose one with a flip-top lid you don’t have to take off manually. This is really important to avoid the risk of scalding yourself on steam when you open it.
We’d definitely suggest a cordless model on 360˚ swivel base, for ease of use. A cord store will keep things tidy on a worktop, and an easy-to-view water indicator is handy.
While kettles don’t come packed with tech, some have variable boil temperatures. This is great if you’re a tea aficionado who knows their oolong boiling temp from the one that’s right for standard black tea. That’s 80-85˚C and 100˚C, respectively, if you’re curious.
I live in a hard water area. What’s the best kettle for me?
Filters that reduce limescale are invaluable if you live in a hard-water area and don’t want to be descaling your kettle on a regular basis.
Just be aware that models that feature a Brita filter, for instance, generally have a smaller capacity. That’s because of the room taken up by the filter and its holder. The cost for replacing the filters once a month can add up, too. However, it will mean you don’t need an extra water filter jug on the worktop.
Botanical colour inspires this bunch of four Scandinavian style homes. Each contemporary interior space has been either coloured with lots of green decor or is home to revitalising living greenery. The array of indoor plants bring texture to the clean modern arrangements, and freshness to some neutral backdrops. If you’ve been looking for home style inspiration for green kitchens, beautiful botanical decor, green accent bedrooms, how to arrange a plethora of indoor plants, or ideas on how to bring greenery into a modern monochrome living room then you’re in the right place. This set of four home tours is sure to grow your love of all things leafy and green.
The modern living room inside our first of four home tours is a clean space with a muted green sofa. The quietly coloured accent piece works well with natural wood tone and rattan elements in the room. Monochrome modern art provides extra interest on the sofa wall, alongside a cool floor lamp.
Wood and white nesting coffee tables stand on a white area rug in the lounge. A media cabinet lightly underlines a wall mounted tv. One end of the tv wall has been screened off to house a zen display of items against a green background.
Black and white tile fills the floor in the home entryway. The backrest of a black bench seat is separated from its base, and attaches to the wall instead to give a bespoke look. Monochrome wall cabinets have been arranged in a backward ‘c’ shape, which forms an ideal shelf for an indoor plant in the centre nook; a solo LED spotlight illuminates its leaves.
The muted green kitchen is enlivened by a glass door at one end. The kitchen floor is covered with the same black and white floor tile as used in the home entryway to achieve a cohesive interior design.
Inside the minimalist bedroom there is a wide green headboard design that also spans the space behind a home office area.
The familiar black and white floor covering makes another appearance in the bathroom, though in here the scheme is strictly monochrome, providing a pause from green accents.
A comfortable reading chair is upholstered in white and gold geometric fabric, which is wonderfully reflective in the light of the window. White paintwork stops short on the legs of a small side table, revealing warm wood tone.
Gold and green elements work harmoniously together.
Different height plants have been arranged over a glass side table, and a smaller wooden bench to give a layered look.
A wood bench, mini rug and set of hooks make a comy coat and shoe nook.