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1. Lace ball pendant shade, £36.98, B&Q. A cut-out lampshade diffuses the light and casts lacy shadows. 0845 609 6688, diy.com

Play the lace card: Add some Victoriana drama with a frilling touch

1. Lace ball pendant shade

Grand designers: Inside the homes of Vivienne Westwood and Giorgio Armani

From the monochrome chic of Giorgio Armani to the blousy beauty of Vivienne Westwood, clothes have the power to delight us. But what of the houses that the fashion creators inhabit? They are, of course, as stylish and inspiring as you’d expect and, thanks to ‘The World of Interiors’, we can take a peek behind the front doors.

The Insider: How to restore old wooden furniture

I recently interviewed the people behind Out of the Dark (outofthedark.org.uk), an incredible social enterprise that trains underachieving youngsters to restore mid-century furniture. I asked co-founder Jay Blades for his guide to pimping Ercol et al…

The Billy bookcase is Ikea's bestseller. But what are the other items you're most likely to see in your neighbour's house? Here's our list of the Ikea products we bet you own, starting with: Frakta bag, 40p

Ikea: Manipulative corporate behemoth or saviour of British interiors?

One to thrash out in the queue as you throw in those extra tea-lights, perhaps. Kate Burt assesses a quarter century of Ikea

Ellie Harrington of Duck Egg Designs
1. Baroque velvet chaise longue £1,040, Black Orchid Interiors. Go goth with this decadent day bed. 0844 854 2794, blackorchidinteriors.co.uk

Put your feet up: Relax in indulgent luxury on a decadent chaise longue

1. Baroque velvet chaise longue

The Insider: Don't let low ceilings get you down

I've finally visited a Heston Blumenthal-ed Little Chef. The transformation from claustrophobia-inducing roadside last resort to everything one could hope for from a motorway fast-food chain is spectacular on all fronts. I was particularly impressed by the makeover of the trademark low ceilings, now adorned with trompe l'oeil sky. It got me thinking about less radical solutions to improve rooms with limited headroom – and I asked budget-friendly interior designer/stylist Beth Worth of LoveHouseDesign.com for her tips…

Sous Chef is a beautifully designed new destination-website for serious foodies
Who needs wall paper? Hiroyo Suzuki pins scraps of fabric to walls

The Insider: The art of display

I love Sarah Bagner's innovative shop supermarketsarah.com. She sells wares via creatively curated wall displays, each a work of art itself. Now Bagner has an excellent book out, Wonder Walls: Supermarket Sarah's Guide to Display (£19.99, Cico Books), on imaginative ways to show off your stuff. Here's what she learnt writing it…

Interior insider: Jocelyne Sibuet, luxury hotelier

Interior insider: Jocelyne Sibuet, luxury hotelier

Jocelyne Sibuet is France’s ultimate interior designer. Dubbed the French Martha Stewart, Sibuet is co-founder of (the super chic) Sibuet Hotels & Spa Group and author of A French Country Home: Style and Entertaining. She searches far and wide to kit out her hotels, chalets, restaurants and spas in the French Alps, Paris, Lyon and in the South of France. Here, she talks inspiration, favorite hotels and decorating mistakes with Annie Deakin.

<p>{1} AEG</p>
<p>This machine does everything, it seems. An OptiSense washing system works out how big the load is and adjusts water, energy and so on accordingly. The drum is large (9kg capacity) with a big door for easy access. Excellent.</p>
<p>L98699FL ProTex PLUS, £849, currys.co.uk</p>

The 10 Best washing machines

Whether you need a washer that's compact or capacious, these high-tech options really are the sultans of spin

The Insider: New term inspiration

However long you've been out of education, that new-term feeling can still kick in around now, at the start of the university year. Why not channel the fresh-start enthusiasm into your home – by learning something, or simply seeking out new inspirations…

Interiors: Into the woods

Start feeling autumnal with these forest-inspired finds

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Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project