Best looking home and kitchen accessories: making your gadgets beautiful
So you've got it all. Wall to wall stainless steel in the kitchen, a sitting room brimming with designer tech and a bathroom loaded with stylish gadgets that will be the envy of all your friends. But you still don't quite feel satisfied with life. No it's not an existential crisis. It's because you haven't accessorized.
It's Style Week over at Pocket-lint and we are interested in only one thing, bringing together the absolute best looking gadgetry on the planet and, while you might not have the cash to fork out on a new Smeg fridge, there are ways of adding to what you've already got to make your home and kitchen gadgets look great. A piece of cloth here, a metal attachment there and your style levels could go through the roof. Read close, now.
The kitchen is always a good place to start when it comes to stylish accessories. There's a bounty of affordable and expensive gadget bling to get stuck into. First up has to be the common tea cosy, warming the brews of Brits the world over for over a century. Once the preserve of the 90-year-old, it has now become a must have retro accessory. Best of the bunch? That's easy, the classic shabby chic style.
Funnily enough, a simple tea cosy might just not be quite enough excitement or style to add to your uber expensive teapot, whatever it might be. So why not accesorise it with a selection of super rare Japanese style tea cups. We guarantee you wont see these too often and they can make a seriously stylish party piece. Easily the top dog in tea cups town is Bizen pottery. Not cheap, but the good stuff is rarer than a snow leopard and looks awesome up close.
We can't do much, in terms of style, for the humble ironing board. That one is pretty much a write off. What we can do, however, is come up with some goodies to stick onto it, namely ironing board covers. No surprise that Cath Kidston, the queen of kitsch, has got some ideas to add a bit of retro style to the board. If print isn't your thing, then you couldn't do much worse than TFL's own orange and black block print covers. Designed to mimic the tube seats of yore, they're about as awesome as the Blur album artwork the print features in.
Your kitchen might boast more NEF than most but chances are it will be fridge magnet free. That's likely because they aren't an easy thing to get right. Most are tacky rather than stylish. This all changes with these retro style scrabble pieces, awesome as they are fun. They're also just the right side of vintage to be cool.
Up next is the ice cube maker with an easy style victory on this one. Han Solo is clearly the coolest man on the planet, why? Firstly, because he shot first, but also because he appears in chilled form in this set of super cool ice cube makers. Runners-up would have to include the magazine clip and ice bullets, jewels ice cube tray and the strawberry because even the tray itself is pretty.
Standard tech itself is easy enough to add to your living room; a TV here, a speaker there and you're looking good. But have you really done the detail? And just because you can't afford this year's 300-inch plasma, does that mean that you can't still look state of the art?
The first bit of style you can add to the living room is a new house phone. Consider it an accessory to your broadband. This product decision requires you to decide whether you view yourself as part of the retro or futuristic camp. For those going retro, stick with the Sagemcom Sixty Digital phone. It's just the right side of Clockwork Orange in terms of design but with some 2001 Space Odyssey touches. You get a digital display, touchscreen nav and a cordless handset; all technology and style musts. At the opposite end of the spectrum is this Retro American 50s phone, which looks like it's come straight out of American Graffiti. (spotting the movie theme here?)
The common living room lamp, not hugely exciting unless you've shelled out for something uber designer. A cheeky workaround however could be opting for something a bit shiny in the lightbulb department. Yes you heard us right. Lightbulbs.
Some of the best we;ve seen are these decorative bulbs that Habitat does. We aren't sure exactly how they work, but if anyone somehow happens to spot one of your lightbulbs, then imagine the conversation you might have. Go on, imagine.
Everyone enjoys a good bathroom break, especially if your loo is crammed full of more technology than a Dixons store room. The thing is that there isn't that much stylish about the back room of an electronics store. You want your toilet looking more zen garden than back garden? First step is a custom made loo seat for your main bathroom gadget - the bog.
One of our absolute favourites that's as fun as it is kitsch and cool is this Berties All Sorts seat. This is followed closely by Giant Smarties, which we might add, you can't purchase anymore in sweet shops, so you are getting a piece of history for your loo here too.
What next? Well you have to wash your hands - that is unless you're a rather unhygienic being. Why use conventional soap, though, when you can have the joys of a dispenser for all sorts of liquid delights. Among the best is this Simplehuman setup, which comes in swinging with a triple soap barrage, heck you could even go crazy and use one for shaving balm.
So you have washed your hands, perhaps now its time to brush your teeth. Sure you might have the ultimate in electric toothbrush, but where to store it when its not busy? Design classic company Alessi do a rather shiny and shapely conventional holder but it doesn't quite get us excited enough. We are, however, thrilled at the concept of this Blomus custom made polished wall mounted glass. Anything wall mounted in all honesty adds about five extra points to the style-ometer.
If you have all of the above, then chances are you wont fancy leaving your hub of cool for all but the best in garden excitement. This means the ultimate in barbecue accessories, namely Weber who is hugely well known for its bbqing standards. Something like this three piece stainless steel set is a classic in grillsville. But then, since when has three pieces ever been enough? You want the whole set right? Easy way to go and as stylish as the man himself, is Marco Pierre White's set. Truly the best way to accessorize everyone's favourite common or garden gadget.
Eco-friendliness these days gains serious brownie points on the style front too. So, keeping your garden lighting solar powered is relatively cool. Catapulting yourself into the trend stratosphere, however, is a solar powered shed. Your garden gadgets are kept safe and warm inside, as indeed you could be if you work from home. Ecospace is just about our favourites, their work pod features low energy just about everything and likely looking better than your house itself.
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