Design and Shopping: First Class Deliveries

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The Independent Culture
In the first of a new series, Dominic Lutyens investigates the best of the mail order catalogues for stay-at-home Christmas shoppers

Kitschen Sync

Turn your home into Graceland mark II with this collection of bottle- openers fitted with 3D frothy pint glasses, leopard-print candles, Virgin Mary bubble-bath bottles, rose-covered shower caps (see right) and fruit- shaped fairy lights. US-diner sugar-shakers and blenders add a classic note, but since this catalogue's usp is hi-tack, what's the point?

Cool thing: Fruit Hammock slung between palm trees (pounds 17.50).

Naff thing: Pierced Mug, emblazoned with a tattoo and a ring through its rim.

Phone 0171-720 1609 for a catalogue. Fax orders (pounds 4.95 p&p) to 0171-652 0774


Urban sophisticates have long paid homage to Aero, specialist in practical home and office furniture in a clean, modernist style. Think Le Corbusier's chaise-longue, Dualit toasters, unfussy shot glasses, Japanese kitchen knives. But it's not all sternly tasteful. There are some frivolous fuchsia plastic brooms, too, and conceptually witty accessories such as an ashtray with lungs (pounds 9.99) and an Alessi squirrel-shaped nutcracker attached to a tray for the nuts (pounds 37.99).

Cool thing: Small Wall Panel (pounds 66), a practical, versatile steel wall panel for storing kitchen items.

Naff thing: Hannibal Tape Dispenser - an elephant-shaped Sellotape holder.

Order line: 0181-971 0066 (pounds 4.95 p&p, for most items)