Shopping: 1999: a space odyssey

Boxing Day is designed for lounging at home - but first there are some serious purchases to be considered. If you want to know just where to put all those presents, Rhiannon Batten has the answers.
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With the fine packaging - and poseur attributes - of a good toiletry gift set, it's tempting to leave your Christmas bubble bath out on display. If you don't want to come home one day to find that greedy fingers have been helping themselves to your sensuous massage oil, though, keep them safely out of harm's way in a neat and sleek bathroom cabinet.

Bathroom cupboard with one shelf,

pounds 125, House (01258 454884 for mail order)

Ekenas low unit, pounds 299, Habitat (0645 334433


nearest store)

Bathroom trolley, pounds 109.95, The Holding Company (0171-610 9160)


For anyone with a bulging CD collection, Boxing Day is D-Day - or should that be CD-Day?. Blitz your Boyzone and have a Massive Attack on the organisation front with some serious CD storage equipment. Whether it's a walk-in musical wardrobe you require or the proportional equivalent of an elfin shoe box, make sure you give yourself room to expand.


CD case, pounds 18, Muji (0171-323 2208 for

nearest store)


CD box, pounds 7.50, Habitat (0645 334433


nearest store)


CD bag, pounds 12.50,

The Holding Company (0171-610 9160)

Cards and Letters:

If you admit to finding unscrupulous magpies infuriatingly difficult to live with (recycling's great but does anyone really remember to use their Christmas cards to cut down into eco-friendlier gift tags next year?), brute force is the only way out. Have done with chaos - it's never organised - and take charge with some stylish but pleasingly functional filing equipment.

Mark Garside Digital Grass letter holder, pounds 12.99, Same (0171-247 9992)

Forest letter


pounds 8.95, Ocean Warehouse Shop

(0171-670 1222)

Set of

two Emu boxes, pounds 9.50, IKEA (0181-208 5607 for

nearest store)


Books should not be hidden away under tables, inside desks and next to beds. Colour-coded, subject-themed, or nonchalantly shoved together, truth is they make the perfect display objects - eye-catching, impressive (if you read the right books, of course) and easily changed to suit the mood - so be brazen and create a library in the literary wilderness of your front room.

Penta occasional beech table, pounds 89, Habitat (0645 334433


nearest store)


shelf unit, pounds 89,

IKEA (enquiries and nearest store, 0181-208 5607)

Granite bookends, pounds 14.95

per pair, Ocean (0870 8484840

for mail order)


The thing about toys - whether they are of the adult or the juvenile sort - is that they were designed to be played with so keeping them in enforced order is always going to be an uphill struggle. But, even if the scattered-around-the-carpet habitat is their home of choice, at least try to tempt your toys into confinement with some stylish storage options.

PP Clip handle boxes, from pounds 6.95, Muji

(0171-323 2208 for

nearest store)

Plywood storage Unit

with PP drawers, pounds 135, Muji (0171-323 2208 for nearest store)

Stair basket, pounds 45.95, Shaker (0171-724 7672 for mail

order and enquiries)


The very culinary tools that are given to make your life easier - blenders, matching 60-piece dinner sets, steamer pans and so on - usually just end up by leaving you with a Krypton Factor-style obstacle course every time you step into the kitchen. To make your meetings with the midnight toast fiend easier and your path to souffle success a little less messy, clear the decks with some clever kitchen cupboardry.

Maximus tall cabinets, from

pounds 895, Colour Blue



Oliva beech kitchen units, from pounds 599, Habitat (0645 334433


nearest store)

Butcher's block trolley, pounds 179.95, The Holding Company (0171-610


Wine Bottles:

If you fancy yourself as something of a wine buff - and you have a portly- enough post-Christmas wine cellar to merit such a label - forget sniffing, sipping and spitting your way to the top and start caring for your bottles with the appropriate stacking.

And for those who have no such lofty

aspirations, at least treat your supermarket plonk to a change of image by leaving it on a stylish shelf.

Bottle Tower,

pounds 99,


(0181-246 4300)

Polished aluminium 6-bottle stand, pounds 33, Millen-


(07071 880760)

Country cupboard, pounds 149, and wine rack insert, pounds 29.95, Ocean (0870 8484840)


OK, no-one actually likes to see people ironing their knickers or colour- coding their t-shirts but, even for the less-obsessed with neatness, it's time to sharpen up and do away with the heap-on-the-floor school of wardrobing. With the number of funky hangers you can organise your clothes around, there's no excuse for letting them lie around gathering dust - whatever state your wardrobe is in, learn to dress it well.

Giant padded Sloppy Joe laundry bag, pounds 29.99, The White Company (0171-385 7988)

Adjustable steel hanging rail, pounds 32, Muji

(0171-323 2208 for

nearest store)

Mesh chrome metal wire linen baskets, from pounds 29, Habitat (0645 334433)


Video nasties are literally just that for anyone struggling with their Feng Shui tendencies - all those garish plastic boxes, stray tapes without their covers and, of course, the humiliation of having labels that tell everyone else exactly what you're watching. Do your aesthetic side a favour and invest in some suitably sophisticated casing for your home entertainment.

Wire video rack, pounds 29.95, Ocean Warehouse Shop

(0171-670 1222)

Kelly Hoppen lacquer video box, pounds 30, Deben-hams (0171-408 4444)

Chocolate brown soft woven leather baskets, from pounds 25, The Holding Company (0171-610 9160)