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Five favourite salt
and pepper sets

Splashing out on a cruet set could seem extravagant, but what other artwork can you use every day in the kitchen? Besides – you don't have to go for the £43 duo, one of these beauties is just £8...

1. Bye bye birdie... couldn't resist a bit of Mad Men nostalgia, and these vintage-like ceramic tweetiepies wouldn't look out of place in an early sixties kitchen. Rather marvellously, they're not vintage – meaning more of you can get your mitts on them. Better still, they are just £8 a set, from the new Urban Outfitters homewares department. For a slicker, more contemporary bird-themed cruet arrangement, try these quirky little ones by Koziol, an interesting German design firm, available at Heal's, for £26.

2. Love the sleek sixties feel of this salt/pepper mills by David Mellor Designs (especially the red ones). They remind me of some of the images in the gorgeous sixties illustrations book by Fiell, featured in a previous post – you can just see it on the kitchen table in that top picture, can't you? £28 for the 12.5cm one, or the 25cm version is £35.

3. These cloud shaped salt and pepper shakers will be the focus of the dinner table, whatever the weather. A steal at only £12 from the V&A shop.

4. Shake a little bit of history: this early 70s set would be a bold addition to any table top and – though they're originals – there are two sets on sale (the other is in red). Both are £25 from the fabulous online vintage emporium, Pip’s Trip, with only a few scratches and scuffs. If you miss out on these, eBay has a whole bundle of alternatives for a rummage.

5. These friendly felines are £43 from Jonathan Adler’s range in Heal's (pricey but highly collectable). Sold in cute little gift boxes they would make for perfect presents. There is an even greater selection on Adler's own website, but not all are available in the UK. Like his styl? Check out his range of decoration books – really love this one on Happy Chic Colours.

Thanks to Hayley for her hard cruet hunting work

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