Design trends: magnets

Magnets are being used more than ever in home at the moment in useful appliances and mysterious designs.
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Magnets are the invisible force that adds a touch of mystery and, indeed, magic to design. And the latest type — neodymium rare-earth magnets — are at least four times more powerful than the familiar standard ferrite ones, enabling a new generation of designs. Used in motors, as with Dyson's newest cordless vacuum cleaners, they produce more powerful and efficient machines (

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1. A new take on the fridge magnet: these printed magnetic frames, designed by Nick Fraser, will set off your postcards; £3.95 from
2. A six-jar magnetic spice rack from the new own-brand House range at John Lewis, £25. Call 08456 049049 or visit
3. Young designer Hugh Leader-Williams's award-winning Spun design will be available shortly from Circular steel tops for a dining table and stool in a choice of colours, including black, white and pastels, attach with magnets to a space-saving folding wooden base.
4. Jolan van der Wiel makes stools using magnetic force to shape resin embedded with iron filings so that each piece is different; £1,100 at Mint, 2 North Terrace, SW3; 020 7225 2228 or; or see them at Designs of the Year in the Design Museum, Tower Bridge, SE1.
5. British-designed and made, magniQ magnetic metal shelving has revolutionised shop displays. Now comes a domestic version, iQ Lifestyle. This is a kit of a magnetic back panel, 60cm by 90cm, which screws to the wall, and two woodveneered 50cm-wide U-shaped shelves which can be placed anywhere on it, supporting weights up to 10 kilos. Price is £387; other sizes can be made to order; visit or call 020 8348 9888.
6. First you stick up a magnetic liner, and then apply this charming Woodlands fairytale wallpaper in a choice of three pastel colours by Deptford's Sian Zeng (£248 a roll). It is then magnetic and you can attach a choice of quirky animals, flowers and so on (£2.95 each), adding dry-wipe speech bubbles for your own changeable messages (£3.95); visit or call 020 8691 7770.
7. West London's Sebastian Bergne has designed this beechwood stool and table, called 2D, with oval tops that hang flat on the wall on pegs, with legs attached by magnets. Take one down and simply slot in the legs, which the magnets then hold firmly in place; from about £250;; call 020 7622 3333.
8 The Clip Timer keeps tabs on your cooking wherever you are. Hang it round your neck, or use the magnet on the back to stick it on the fridge or cooker hood, leaving both hands free to roll pastry or lift a dish from the oven, £15, from
9. The sleek stainless steel Thermo pot with screw-in cork lid will keep food hot for five hours. A magnetic spoon clings tenaciously to its side, all ready for use; £29.95; call 020 7633 0022 or visit
10. The new Joyce range from Villeroy & Boch has basins (from £332) embedded with magnetic discs. A range of colourful accessories called App, including soap dishes, and various storage containers, have magnetic pads underneath to hold them securely to the basin without scratching. Call 020 8871 4028 or visit

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