We're loving... We're hating... We're buying

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The Independent Online

Loving... www.mydeco.com

Mydeco is a website which enables you to give your room a (virtual) makeover, before investing in real furniture, fittings, paint and wallpaper. "Build" your room by entering its dimensions into the site, design it any way you choose, using products from the 650 retailers attached to the site, and then buy the items that work. A new "buy the look" feature also allows visitors to scroll through a range of virtual rooms, created with the help of Mydeco's affiliated designers, and find a "look" to suit a particular budget. You might not love all of the site's suggestions but it is an excellent starting point, and just think of how much you'll save by consulting a virtual – rather than real – expert.

Buying... The Shoreditch Sofa

Want your soft furnishings to be fashionable? Check out the latest offering from Darlings of Chelsea (020-7371 5745; www.darlingsofchelsea.co.uk), a sofa upholstered in fabulous Paul Smith fabric. The sofa consists of a handmade hardwood frame with soft seat and scatter cushions and is available in 10 different Paul Smith fabrics. Prices start at £2,699 for a two-seater and £2,799 for a three-seater, but the sofas can be upholstered using any fabric you bring into the store if you don't fancy Smith's signature stripes.

Hating... Independence

The credit crunch is forcing many "children" over the age of 21 to return to their parental home after university, while some never leave in the first place. According to research by Prudential, around one in five adults now lives with their adult children and a third of parents expect their offspring to live with them beyond the age of 21. The initial joy for parents of seeing their not-so-little ones return to the nest will inevitably wear off, so it is advisable to set some boundaries early on. Time limits on how long youngsters can stay are a good idea, as is not letting them live at home rent-free. Parents could even consider imposing a 10pm curfew and putting a lock on the fridge...