'Your environment is key to getting good, restful sleep, and your bedroom should feel like a sanctuary, says Dr Nerina Ramlakhan, sleep expert at Silentnight. Keep your bedroom free from clutter and junk particularly the space around your bed, where tidiness clears the mind and helps you to let go of the day. Clutter is often distracting and creates mental busyness the opposite of what is needed for peaceful sleep.
Take advantage of the space beneath the bed... Silentnights new Diamond Collection of pocket-sprung divan beds (from £769 for the 1400 Natural luxury double bed set) have storage drawers beneath to take all the clutter, including an option with two standard and two narrower continental drawers, so you can access them without moving the bedside cabinet. Or try Dreams for the Palermo double bed, £349, which has an ottoman-style lift-up base.
Expert idea Try on the contents of your wardrobe and donate the reject pile to charity, including anything that needs altering, as the chances are it wont get done, says Julia Dee of Total Wardrobe Care.
● Theres a good reason for the current trend for tallboys. More practical than low cabinets, they over a bigger storage potential within a small amount of floor space.
● Dont forget to sort out the spare room. According to a recent survey of 1000 homeowners by online wardrobe specialist Spaceslide, 81 per cent of people couldnt list more than five things they stashed away in their spare room.
● Budget buy: Pretty up the room with vintage-style hangers and wall hooks if space is super-tight. Bombay Duck has a great selection.
● Shoes will last longer if you care for them properly on shelves or a shoe rack. Store in the Total Wardrobe shoe storage box, £10, John Lewis. It has a window so you can see inside at a glance.
‘Buy the best you can afford,’ says Jane Robson, creative director of The Fine Cotton Company. ‘Bedding should be seen as an investment and can make all the difference between a good or bad night’s sleep.’
● Trade up to a duvet with a down filling – it’s the lightest, fluffiest option and the best insulator. Down is often mixed with more robust feather; choose a product with at least 80 per cent down.
● Try a wool- or silk-filled duvet for a hypoallergenic option that’s resistant to dust mites. ‘Wool wicks moisture away from the body, for a sound night’s sleep,’ says Dick Beijen, founder of Devon Duvets.
● The top hollowfibre synthetics are readily washable, and often have anti-allergenic coatings. Look out for microfibre, which is similar in feel and weight to feather and down fillings. ‘A boxed wall construction ensures the duvet is never stitched through from front to back, so there are no cold spots,’ says Jane.
Gas. H88xW140xD59cm. Cooking area: 63.5x42cm. 3 burners. Gas hose and regulator, drip tray, grill and griddle. Warming rack. Cover.
Good points: Straightforward push button ignition. For maximum control, each burner has independent ignition. Even heat coverage, producing good results. Useful warming rack above the grill. Flare-ups from food drippings give foods an appealing char-grilled flavour.
Gas. H100xW125xD47cm. Cooking area: 54x30cm. Single rectangular burner. Comes with gas hose and regulator, disposable drip tray. Built-in thermometer on lid
Good points: Push button ignition. Very quick to assemble. Compact and easy to manoeuvre. Side wings folded inwards for storage. Excellent results for grilling burgers, sausages and chicken. Very good when cooking with the lid closed. Disposable fat collector aids cleaning.
Drawbacks: Side wings quite small and did not feel very robust. Grill needs continual greasing as food sticks.
800W motor. Weight - 1167g. 5 speeds. Noise 83db. Length of continuous operation 3mins. Attachments: 2 sizes blades, whisk, chopper bowl with knife blade and slicing/shredding disc.
Good points: Good versatile appliance which will do everything a food processor can except knead dough. Coped well with all food preparation tasks tested especially whisking and chopping. The supplied accessories are very well made and sturdy. Instructions are well laid out and very clear. Large processing bowl.
Drawbacks: Pricey. Lid to the chopper bowl quite stiff to remove. Accessories not dishwasher safe.
With a Rangemaster at the heart of your kitchen, your kitchen is always the heart of your home.
Famed for their wide collection of quality engineered range cookers, offering a variety of traditional and contemporary colours and styles, Rangemaster recognise that co-ordination is key in kitchen design and have developed an impressive range of other kitchen products and appliances. For example, Rangemaster is the UKs largest manufacturer of kitchen sinks, offering cutting edge designs for every type of kitchen.
Go sleek and stylish with the new geometric inspired stainless steel Senator sink, sure to make a statement in any home. A smooth, sloped drainer and square zero radius bowls make the Senator sink ideal for contemporary kitchen styles.
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If you want the hottest look for your kitchen, then youll love Rangemasters wide selection of fridge-freezers and wine storage units. Available in a variety of styles and high quality finishes to co-ordinate with other Rangemaster appliances, each offers a whole host of highly enviable features. The true hero within this range is the DxD four door fridge-freezer. A benchmark in ergonomic design, the DxD offers spatially efficient food storage and a host of clever cooling innovations, stylishly contained within sleek, modern aesthetics. Available in Stainless Steel, Cream or Black to co-ordinate with the popular Rangemaster cookers, the DxD offers enough space for even the largest of families.
For the grown- ups if wine making is an art, why not exhibit your collection? A Dual Zone wine storage unit is the perfect compromise for those favouring both red and white varieties, and will prove a showstopper at dinner parties! With two independently controlled cavities, the unit can be set to two different temperatures for preserving (or serving) your best collection at the correct temperature and humidity.
As one of the UKs leading kitchen appliance brands, Rangemaster also offers a comprehensive range of dishwashers, taps and built-in cooking products all designed to complement and co-ordinate with your chosen range cooker and made to exacting standards.
For further information on Rangemasters stunning range cooking collection, or the comprehensive range of wider appliances as above, visit www.rangemaster.co.uk
Good points: Clearly laid out instructions with a good number of recipe ideas at the back. Good sturdy construction. The bowl rotates around the paddle. The angled paddle scrapes the sides of the bowl clean easily. Very easy to assemble. The paddle coped with chocolate chips easily. Large feed hole on top makes it easy to add ingredients. Easy to assemble. Good creamy ice cream results and well mixed sorbet.
1200W. 1 speed plus pulse. 2.1 litre bowl plus smaller bowl and two feed chute sizes. Max liquid capacity: 1.7 litres. Max dough capacity 700g. Attachments include: whipping disc, adjustable slicing blade, fine grater, course grater, dough blade. Tool storage box.
Good points: Good chopping, blending and dough making results. Motor will not start unless large pusher is in place. Sturdy bowl and lid. Excellent instructions, clear and concise. Useful storage box for attachments. Finger holes in discs makes them easy to remove. Push on lid is easy to attach and remove. Stable on work surface. Generous bowl size.
Drawbacks: Intricate lid design makes it hard to wash and dry. Longer items like cucumber have to be cut to fit wider chute or motor will not start without pusher in place. Poor results for grating chocolate, quite a bit was trapped above the blade.
1200W. 2 speeds plus pulse. 4.0 litre bowl. Max liquid capacity: n/s Max dough capacity: 2kg. Attachments include: balloon style whisk, dough tool, julienne disc. Tool storage.
Good points: Planetary action balloon whisk efiiciently whips cream. Generous width of feed tube easily accommodates whole cucumber. Excellent, even results for chopping nuts, onions and bread and slicing cucumber.
Drawbacks: Some movement on work surface when kneading dough. Slight leakage through lid and base when filled to max capacity with liquid.
950W. 1 speed plus pulse. 3 litre bowl plus two smaller bowl sizes. Max liquid capacity 1.3 litres. Max dough capacity 1kg. Attachments include: egg whisk, slicer, fine grater, course grater, dough blade, citrus press. Tool storage box. Choice of four finishes.
Good points: One of the quietest tested. Wide bowl makes it easy to add ingredients. Large press controls are easy to use. Spacious tool box for attachments. Sturdy, solid machine.
Drawbacks: Messy when whipping cream, hard to view through bowl sides. Some residue remained after grating chocolate. Moved a little during dough test. Leaked through lid when filled to maximum liquid capacity. No measuring scale on bowl sides.
800W. 2 speeds plus pulse. 2.29 litre bowl. Max liquid capacity 1.21 litres. Max dough capacity: 1kg. Attachments include: whisking disc, fine slicer, course slicer, fine grater, course grater, dough tool, French fry disc, citrus press, juice extractor. Integrated tool storage drawer.
Good points: Easy to view through bowl. Quite a compact design. Good slicing, blending and chopping results. Efficiently blended mayonnaise and whipped cream well.
Drawbacks: White plastic blade holders stain easily and tend to drag ingredients like chocolate and cheese rather than grating cleanly. Very poor instructions, wordy and hard to follow with few diagrams. Storage drawer is awkward to open. Handle fills with soap and water during cleaning. Noisy blender.
900W. 1 speed plus pulse and auto pulse. 2.8 litre bowl plus smaller bowl. Max liquid capacity 2 litres. Max dough capacity: 600g. Attachments include: emulsifying disc, adjustable slicing blade, fine grater, course grater, dough blade. Tool tray.
Good points: Small bowl is useful for smaller quantities. Slicing blade can be adjusted to a useful range of thicknesses. Good results for whipping cream and bowl is easy to view through during this test. Quick to blend mayonnaise. Finger holds on discs makes them easy to remove.
Drawbacks: Moved on work surface during some tests. Large bowl better for liquids as food tends to fall between disc and bowl. Chocolate jammed around blade edge when grating. Feed hole too small to accommodate cucumber. No measuring scale on bowl. Bowl a little stiff to remove.
750W. 2 speeds plus pulse. 2 litre bowl. Max liquid capacity 500ml. Max dough capacity 600g. Attachments include: emulsifying disc, fine slicer, course slicer, fine grater, course grater, parmesan grater, French fry cutter, blender jug. Tool storage drawer.
Good points: Good at grating chocolate with little wastage. Good mincing and slicing results.
Drawbacks: deafeningly noisy. Bowl is awkward to fit. Failed to form a ball during pastry test. Blender has step shaped design which means ingredients get stuck on the ledge and remain unmixed. Flimsy lid. Blender lid is hard to remove. Ridges inside main bowl make it hard to scrape clean. Handle traps soap and water during washing. Slow to chop bread into crumbs.
2800W. Ceramic soleplate. 5 bar pressure. Iron weight: 1.1kg. 120g steam shot. 800ml removable water tank. 2m power cord. 2m steam cord. Anti scale system.
Good points: Lightweight iron. Comfortable handle.
Drawbacks: Steams vigorously when heating up. Slow to heat up, taking over four minutes. Steam is slow to stop when trigger is released. Small tank size compared to some models. Lighter iron means more pressure is needed.