From hotel interiors and practical home tips to DIY projects and ideas to kickstart your next decorating project, get inspired by the Good Homes team's edit.
Interiors expert Sue Jones outlines how to correctly use stripes in your home, and how they can refresh a neutral palette or make a room appear bigger
Stripes are commonly used in interior design thanks to their versatility and timelessness, and their ability to make a statement. But for those with a more minimalist taste, their boldness can be off-putting.
However, this shouldn’t be the case, as stripes can suit all tastes and have myriad benefits for interior design. Sue Jones, interiors eRead More
Joy-filled folk florals will add a vibrant, positive touch to any room
Autumn is the perfect time to get your home's heating system in place to ensure your energy bills are kept at a minimum
Autumn is all about new beginnings. From candy stripes to collaborative crafts, check out Good Homes things to love in September
From muted layers of print to bold pops of colour, here's how to add pattern through your finishing touches.
P12 cordless vacuum cleaner
The Good Homes Approved team reviews the P12 cordless vacuum cleaner…
Founded in 2013, Proscenic is leading the way with smart home appliances. Relatively new on the floor cleaning market, the Proscenic P12 has an in-built Vertect™ light that shines a bright green LED light on the floor to highlight dust particles that are otherwise invisible to the naked eye.
A V-shaped guiding bristle and anti-tangle roller brush has an internal comb that reduces hair getting stuck in the roller. It has a five-step filtration system with cyclonic dust separation that captures 99.99% of dust and has two HEPA (high-efficiency particle air) filters for clean emission.
The design is lightweight and sleek and didn’t feel as bulky as some similar hoovers on the market. It arrived compactly with minimal packaging. A great feature is the large round digital display, showing the percentage of battery left, so it’s easy to see when it needs re-charging or if the floor brush is clogged.
With two small children and hardwood floors throughout our home, the green LED light is a game changer; it showed up all the crumbs (of which there are many!) and gave a thorough clean. Although the ergonomic handle is comfortable to hold, it felt heavy after vacuuming the house for an extended period.
Ease of use
Super easy. The 180-degree rotating angle on the swivel head gets into the tightest corners. You can switch between the two attachments, a crevice tool and a 2-in-1 dusting brush, with the flick of a button and quickly turn it into a handheld device for sofas and buggies. It was also great for cleaning the car. The large dustbin (1.2 litres) has one-press emptying, and it doesn’t fill up too quickly, even with frequent use.
Assembly and instructions
It was uncomplicated to assemble, with simple instructions. All it needed was a full charge before use, which was speedy with a slim power adapter, so from box to first use was quick. The vacuum has an adjustable height so you can set it to what’s comfortable for you, and it comes with a handy wall mount.
The performance has been consistently good, and the battery lasts a decent amount of time (60 minutes in the quiet mode and 13 in maximum). There’s a brushless motor with powerful suction and four different suction modes. You can easily switch between the modes with the button on the digital display. I found it great for daily cleaning.
Brilliant. I was seriously impressed with the P12 cordless vacuum cleaner and would highly recommend it. The lightweight design made it very easy to handle, and it felt excellent value for the number of features included. It’s been quite revolutionary in our house, and I wouldn’t return to a corded vacuum again.
The Proscenic P12 costs around £219. For more information, visit Proscenic.com
Weight: Vacuum body: 1.95 kg (4.3 lbs) | Package: 4.1 kg (9.0lbs)
Dimensions: Product size: 350 x 120 x 230mm | Package: 440 x 330 x 190 mm
Delivery options: Approx 2-5 business days shipping time. Return or replace for any reason within 30 days (excluding consumables)
MORE GOOD HOMES APPROVED
The Fahren K&W Swan Neck 4-in-1 boiling water tap ChillBox bundle
Considering investing in a boiling water tap? Read the Good Homes Approved team’s review of The Fahren K&W Swan Neck 4-in-1 boiling water tap ChillBox bundle.
Fahren’s K&W boiling water tap system provides instant boiling water and filtered cold as well as mains hot and cold water. The ChillBox bundle we tested includes a tap, digitally controlled 2.4 litre water boiling tank and two anti-scale water filters, with a second chilled water tank.
The tap is available with either a round or square neck in rose gold, brushed gold, gun metal grey, brushed nickel or matt black finishes.
Ease of use
A lever on the right-hand side controls the mains hot and cold water, like a standard tap and also dispenses the chilled water. A child-safe push button control on the left activates the boiling water. You simply press and hold the button for a couple of seconds and the boiling water comes out. Take your finger off the button and the flow instantly stops.
Having instant boiling water was a game changer in the GHA tester’s family kitchen. From making hot drinks and ingredients such as stock to speeding up the cooking process of pasta and vegetables, the K&W 4-in-1 certainly ticked all the boxes. On the downside, the two tanks took up a large part of one of the cupboards under the sink, losing some storage space, but not having to have a kettle increased valuable worktop space. The flow of the boiling water is not as fast as the mains water, but this is a safety function to prevent accidents.
- Child safety lock on tap
Boiling water tank
- 2.4 litre capacity water tank with anti-scaling filter & filter monitoring system
- Size 327x210x210mm
- CE Approved
- WRAS Approved
- Digital touch sensitive on/off control on tank
- Powered by a standard 13-amp plug
- Accurate to within 0.5°C
- Pre-set your preferred temperature setting from 4-9 °C
- Size 356x136x308mm
- 2.4 litre capacity
- Produces one litre of chilled water per minute
- Very low power consumption. Working power 120W, standby power 0.85W
- Extremely low noise level at 52 decibels
Would you recommend?
Yes, definitely. The tap looks sleek and stylish, it made preparing drinks and food in the kitchen more efficient, and water and energy wastage were reduced as it only dispenses the required amount. Plus there was no hanging around waiting for the kettle to boil! It could also be a useful aid for anyone who has restricted movement or strength in their hands and finds it difficult to lift a kettle.
The Fahren K&W Swan Neck 4-in-1 boiling water tap ChillBox bundle costs £1,398. For more information visit fahrenuk.com
MORE ON TAPS & SAVING WATER
Charlotte Thomas’ Fern bedding range
The Good Homes team reviews the Fern bedding range from British brand, Charlotte Thomas. Elegant, bold and good value for money, the Charlotte Thomas collection includes bed sheets, cushion covers and curtains in designs ranging from modern to classic.
Manufacturing in the UK since the mid 60s, Charlotte Thomas’s bedding collection includes classic plain dye ranges, toile designs and timeless florals, as well as contemporary on trend prints. The eye-catching Fern double duvet set reviewed by the Good Homes team comes with two housewife pillowcases and is reversible, so you get two great mix and match designs in one.
While the Fern range is made from 144 thread count polycotton with metal stud fastenings, the brand also offers luxe designs in 200 thread count 100% cotton percale. All the collections are machine washable at 40ºC and can even be tumble dried.
Some ranges, including the Charlotte Thomas Fern bedding set, offer matching pencil pleat curtains and tiebacks and cushion covers to complete the look. If your style is a little more understated, the two plain dye collections include duvet cover sets and housewife and Oxford pillowcases, as well as flat and fitted sheets, platform and fitted valances.
Where to buy
The collections can be found in major online retailers including Wayfair and Amazon. Prices start from £19.95 for a single duvet cover set in 144 thread count polycotton, rising to to £41.95 for the luxurious 200 thread count 100% cotton percale.
Would you recommend?
Absolutely. The Good Homes Approved team were impressed by the Charlotte Thomas bed linen range.
MORE ON BEDS & BEDDING
Dowsing & Reynolds’ bubble chandeliers
Bubble chandeliers are delicately frosted glass orbs suspended in a cluster formation from a length of fabric cable. Sophisticated and chic, it creates the illusion of a cloud drifting and comes to life once lit up. The elegant baubles absorb the light beautifully, cascading an ambient light into any space. Good Homes magazine takes a closer look at the OG – the Dowsing & Reynolds bubble chandelier…
Bubble chandelier design
Designed by Founder and Creative Designer James Dowsing-Reynolds, this unique bauble chandelier light can be customised to suit individual preferences. Choose between one, three or five outlet points depending on the size of the space and either Antique Black, Forgotten Silver or Raw Brass bulb holders and matching ceiling rose. Browse 21 fabric cable colours and select the number of baubles to complete the look.
Baubles are available either frosted or clear, and all Dowsing & Reynolds bubble chandeliers are hand-assembled to order in Yorkshire, using components sourced from the UK and around the world. Dowsing & Reynolds recommends the bubble chandelier is installed on a dimmer switch to be able to control the ambience.
Bubble chandelier installation
The bubble chandelier requires some assembly by the customer or an electrician, but full installation instructions are provided. Each bauble is individually wrapped and packaged so these need attaching to bauble hooks in situ once the ceiling rose is in place. The customer service team is on hand to assist with any installation queries. For more technical electrical queries, consult an electrician.
Bubble chandelier cost
Prices range from £112.49 to £529.99. Options available include standard sizes (a small chandelier has 8, 12 or 16 baubles; medium has 12 or 24 baubles; large has 40 baubles). Bespoke options, where you can specify the length and colour of the fabric cable, number of outlet points, and number of baubles, are also available.
What’s unique about Dowsing & Reynolds’ bubble chandelier?
Chandeliers designed in a ‘bubble’ formation are becoming popular, however the ability to customise Dowsing & Reynolds’ bubble chandeliers is what makes them unique. Customers can choose their own colours, lengths and sizes to suit their interior space.
Styling your bubble chandelier
Check these five ways to work the bubble chandelier trend, as styled by interiors influencers.
Delivery: Since each bubble chandelier is hand-assembled to order, deliver usually takes three to five working days.
Availability: Bubble chandeliers are available to buy all-year-round, in a range of sizes and finishes, with customisable options also available.
Customer service: Dowsing & Reynolds is rated ‘excellent’ on Trustpilot, scoring an average of 4.8 out of 5 stars across nearly 9,000 reviews. Contact Dowsing & Reynolds via phone, email, live chat, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Would you recommend?
Yes. These stylish pendant lights are handmade and customisable, yet they represent better value than many similar models from other brands, the wiring is tidier, and they are delivered faster. Plus, they look great.
Find out more at dowsingandreynolds.com/bubblechandelier
MORE ON LIGHTING
The Bosch MUM 5 Kitchen Machine
Looking for a kitchen assistant that will help you without complaining? Read the Good Homes Approved team’s Bosch MUM 5 Kitchen Machine review…
The Bosch MUM 5 Kitchen Machine is a freestanding machine designed to help with all manner of cooking and baking activities (MUM stands for multi-use machine, just FYI). It’s a freestanding mixer, food blender, meat grinder and even a juicer, all in one package. It’s the perfect all-round investment for not just cake makers and bread bakers, but all-round chefs, too.
The machine comfortably sits on your kitchen worktop and the other accessories (such as an ice-cream maker and pasta maker) can be added to further boost the functions, as required.
- Mixer stand
- Stainless steel, 3.9 litre mixing bowl
- Splatter guard
- Flexi stirring whisk
The box is quite hefty, but considering all the handy accessories inside, it’s like a Mary Poppins bag of surprises. It comes with the mixer stand, stainless steel, 3.9 litre mixing bowl and handy splatter guard. A neat accessory bag sits inside it, containing a patisserie set including a flexi stirring whisk with silicon edge, metal beating whisk and kneading hook with gear protector. It also contains the metal discs for the food processor attachment. Other attachments include a blender jug, meat grinder and citrus press, all of which can be cleverly attached to the mixer via several power ports.
Design-wise, the unit itself is light to carry, easy to store and looks good – it would make a contemporary addition to any kitchen. But if you are planning on keeping it out on your worktop, note that it might be a tad bulky for smaller worktops or those with low-hanging cabinetry.
Ease of use
As a multi-use product, it’s great for keeping your worktop clutter-free. The MUM 5 even has integrated scales. It’s simple and straightforward to use, with each attachment fitting onto the basic kitchen mixer with ease – just press the silver button, the EasyArmLift lock releases, then you just push on the attachment. The bowl twists and locks into place, and the clear lid slips over the top.
Additionally, a touch screen panel helps you to reset the scales and select your weight metric and time. Once the machine is switched on, the speed is controlled using an intuitive twist-dial and the screen switches from scale function to a count-up timer.
All the stand mixer attachments sit low in the bowl and reach the majority of the ingredients. The whisk attachment is height adjustable.
The main body of the product is easy to wipe clean, and the speed control is easy to use. All the accessories are dishwasher safe with hand grooves for lifting the machine for cleaning underneath. Every single part, as mentioned previously, is easy to remove and clean by hand or in the dishwasher.
The Good Homes Approved team was impressed with the MUM5. The integrated scale, timer and LED display built into a multi-functional mixer are perfect for ease of use and saving space. The additional accessories make this a worthwhile investment purchase – you can add to it your cookery and baking skills progress.
The Bosch MUM5XW40G costs £479.99 from bosch-home.co.uk
MORE GOOD HOMES APPROVED PRODUCTS
- Good Homes Approved: Bosch FreshUp
- Good Homes Approved: Die Zudecke Goose Feather & Down Range
- Good Homes Approved: Crown Breatheasy Coloured Emulsion
The Bosch FreshUp
Need to instantly refresh your clothes? Read the Good Homes Approved team’s Bosch FreshUp review…
The Bosch FreshUp is a portable odour remover that keeps your clothes fresh between washes. The hand-held device uses innovative Bosch Plasma Technology to lift odours simply by brushing it over your clothes – no washing, no added chemicals.
You can even use it while wearing the item, making it ideal if you need to make a quick dash from the office to an evening soiree, if you’ve been around smelly foods, or if you’re about to head out the door in your favourite jumper but it’s not quite as fresh-smelling as you’d like.
- The Bosch FreshUp removes smells on fabrics like body odour, smoke, food, pet odour and musty smells
- Spot treat a garment in 30 seconds or a full garment in two-to-five minutes
- For use on dry fabrics including cotton, silk, cashmere, wool, linen polyester blends and sportswear (not suitable for wet fabrics, or leather, skin, real or faux fur and sequins)
- Gentle on fabrics, it uses no chemicals, detergents or water
- Long runtime of up to 60 minutes and a charge time of three-to-four hours
- Charges like a phone with USB charger and adapter included
- Lights up white when it’s on and ready to go, and purple when the plasma is active
- Roughly the size of a glasses case and lightweight, you can pop it in your bag and be on your way
How does it work?
Plasma may sound a little science fiction, but it’s been knocking around forever – in the stars, the sun, lightning bolts, neon signs and even in fancy TV screens. It occurs naturally in the universe, but is artificially made for products we use in daily life. The Bosch FreshUp generates plasma through ionisation – the process by which electrically neutral atoms or molecules are converted into electrically charged atoms or molecules. These active plasma particles, released by brushing the device across fabrics – either on a flat surface or while you’re wearing them – then break down odour molecules on fabrics, removing smells instead of just masking them.
Ease of use
You simply turn on the device and give it a couple of seconds to glow white – this means it’s ready to use. Then press down and slowly swipe the device across the fabric you wish to remove odours from. The device will glow purple when plasma is flowing. A few times on testing the light flicked back to white while running it in a straight line over the fabric. Using it on a flat surface makes it easier, as does swiping the device slowly in an S-shaped motion. If the device starts blinking purple, it has detected moisture – dry the garment before continuing.
Our GHA tester found that the device does indeed lift odours, so it does exactly what it says on the tin. You can smell the plasma at first (it smells a little grassy, the way some smells when they come in from a long period out in the cold), but it’s not an unpleasant smell, and it does fade, giving way to fresher fabrics.
The Bosch FreshUp was tested on a woolly jumper that had taken on the smell of some new seagrass baskets (almost a curry-like odour that lingered on a treasured old jumper for weeks!). The device lifted it after a couple of goes (thicker fabrics like chunky knits may require a second swipe), meaning it didn’t need washing.
Our GHA tester also gave it a whirl on a cotton pillowcase that had taken on the scent of a new hair product. That delivered great results. It was slightly less effective on a down jacket that had taken on cigarette odours. It’s not really designed for waterproof synthetic fabrics, but it did make a bit of a difference after a couple of sessions.
Would you recommend?
Yes. It’s no substitute for that just-washed off-the-line freshness, as you might expect, but the Bosch FreshUp is a close second. It’s perfect for ideal for grab-and-go moments when you can’t change.
The Bosch FreshUp is £249.99 from bosch-home.co.uk
The Die Zudecke Goose Feather & Down Range
Contemplating upgrading to a goose feather and down duvet and pillows? The Good Homes Approved team reviews the Die Zudecke range…
When weighing up feather duvets, many choose goose over duck because they have fluffier feathers and larger down clusters, meaning better insulating properties and longevity. Down is the fine layer of insulating fluffy feathers found around the belly of the bird, so for a plump, soft duvet and pillow set, look for one that combines both, offering fluffiness and insulation rolled into one.
The Good Homes Approved teams reviews the Die Zudecke Goose Feather and Down Range, which contains 85% Hungarian Goose Feathers and 15% Hungarian Goose Down for luxury bedding on a budget.
- Fill – 85% Hungarian Goose Feather & 15% Hungarian Goose Down
- Cover – 100% Cotton Cover which is 233 thread count to enhance comfort
- Duvet Sizes – Available in Single to Emperor sizes.
- Pillow Sizes – Available in Standard (50cm x 75cm) and Kingsize (50cm x 90cm)
- Natural product which is biodegradable produced in an eco friendly factory
- The products are NOMITE certified. This is issued by the EDFA and means that the fabric is so tightly woven that house dust mites cannot penetrate the fabric, making them suitable for sufferers of house dust mite allergies.
- All products also conform to the Oeko-Tex 100 Class 1 standard. This gives you the assurance that there are no harmful chemicals or substances in Surrey Down duvets and pillows. This also means they are suitable for babies and children.
- The wonderfully soft, fluffy clusters of Hungarian Goose Down trap large pockets of air, offering incredible softness, warmth and minimal weight.
- The natural filling enables the body to breathe as it allows excess humidity created by the body during sleep to escape resulting in a refreshing night’s sleep.
- This duvet also benefits from a cassette pocket construction, keeping the filling evenly distributed and eliminating any cold spots for a luxurious drape.
Delivery & additional services
All of Surrey Down products on their website are delivered to the UK Mainland for FREE with no minimum spend. The delivery is a next day service if the order is placed before 2pm Monday to Thursday. Plus, the duvet is packaged in a box and is lightweight and easy to carry.
- No assembly needed – the duvet springs to life once unrolled from the box
- Pillows ready to use straight from the carry case
The 4.5 tog duvet vs 10.5 tog
4.5 tog duvet:
- The 4.5 tog Hungarian Goose Feather and Down duvet is extremely lightweight and perfect for spring/summer
- It’s very comfortable to sleep in and retains warmth, despite being so lightweight
10.5 tog duvet:
- The 10.5 tog Hungarian Goose Feather and Down duvet was light weight but also very warm, great for winter
- The duvet bounced into shape quite quickly after unwrapping
- There was no odour to the duvet when unpacked, which can sometimes occur with feather and down products
Soft, medium or firm pillow?
- The soft pillow was plump and very comfortable, and also had no odour when unpacked
- The medium firmness pillow is extremely comfortable and the perfect balance between soft and firm
- The firm pillow is robust and retains its firmness over time
Would you recommend?
The Surrey Down Die Zudecke Goose Feather and Down duvet is £113 for a king size 4.5 tog, and £125 for a king size 10.5 tog. A soft pillow is £38, medium pillow £43 and hard pillow £57. All available online at surreydown.co.uk
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