Long gone are the days when toasters merely browned your bread. Today they can warm your croissants, toast bagels and won't burn extra thick fresh cut bread. It seems that manufacturers have woken up to the possibility that this once dull appliance can actually add a degree of style to the kitchen. The use of retro chrome and contemporary coloured plastics has made the toaster a functional, funky and user-friendly appliance. There's bound to be one to suit every home.

1 Classic Coolwall 2 slice chrome toaster, pounds 34.99, by Russell Hobbs. The coolwall combines traditional styling with modern features, including removable crumb tray and a frozen bread selector button. The best things definitely come in small packages. Available from Argos, branches nationwide; for other stockists call

2 White oval 2 slice toaster, pounds 19.99, by Rowenta. The simplicity of its design and its economical price make this a good basic toaster. The little round slider is nice to use and the addition of a cancel button is always useful. Available from selected John Lewis Stores nationwide; for other stockists call 01604 760291.

3White Quadro 2 slice toaster with bun warmer, pounds 42.99, Rowenta. The most unusual design of the bunch. This is a small and compact toaster good for anyone who hates clutter in the kitchen. The addition of a bun warming rack make those continental breakfasts all the more inviting. Selected John Lewis Stores nationwide; for other stockists call 01604 760291.

4Cream Sunrise XL toaster with opaque amber lid, pounds 49.95, Philips. Philips have come up trumps with this big beauty. It's very easy to use and loves thick crusty bread. It comes with the addition of a bun warming rack and lid making this groovy design all the more useful. Available from Comet stores nationwide. For other stockists call 0181-689 2166.

5Primrose yellow Gildo toaster, pounds 74.95, Guzzini. This Italian prima donna likes to be used. The handles mean that you can check your toast at any time to ensure perfect browning. Other colours available include pistachio and dove grey. Available from The Conran Shop, Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (enquiries 0171 589-7401).

6Mint green and chrome 2 slice toaster, pounds 120, Dualit. Always a favourite, the Dualit is the classic toaster, used by caterers and style guru's alike. Normally seen in chrome but now available in mint, primrose, lavender and cream. Available from Heals, Tottenham Court Rd, London W1. For other stockists call 0171-639-5271.

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